Start in the Middle: Advice For When You’re Stuck

middleI stare at a blank page and can think of nothing to say. My anxiety grows. With every minute that passes devoid of inspiration, I panic. My breath speeds up and I can feel my amygdala, the fear center within my brain, getting ready to send out invites to a party. I am overwhelmed and frustrated. I feel defeated, pathetic, deflated. The longer I stare at the screen, the more convinced I am that I’ll never be able to craft another sentence in my life.  I wait for something to happen, but am too disabled to let it happen. My breath shortens still more. My heart beats faster. Tears well up in my eyes.

It’s an acute case of writer’s block, but it’s also an accurate description of how each of us feel in the throws of a depressive episode or anxiety spell. You want to move forward. You would do anything to be productive. But you are stuck in this invisible closet where you are constrained, constricted in all movements until you somehow emerge from the hell.

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