I’m going to reveal something from my past here.
Ready for it?
I used to suffer from depression in s big way as a younger person.
You see, in my younger days, I was horribly bullied by people; even members of my own family would get into the mix. I wasn’t a great looking guy, nor was I ever one of the “Naturally Cool ™” people that I am sure you know of. You know, the ones that being “in” just fits them, and they can ease right into it with no problem.
Not for me, though. Not for my horrendously socially awkward younger-self, with the weird hair and glasses.
With all of this happening, I had to do something to get myself OUT of the constant battle with depression and anger. I had to break that cycle in some way, or I would find myself hurt in ways that I might not recover from.
For me, that solution was to create fiction.
Fiction writing became a form of escape for me. While some people do take to reading as a form of escapism, for me, it was just not enough I had a need to immerse myself fully into a world, and that was something I could not do with reading alone. For those of you out there that can find yourselves peace through only reading, more power to you and I am glad that it is so.
For me, it was just not enough.
Dungeons and Dragons to the Rescue!
It was, perhaps, helpful that I was also really into Dungeons and Dragons, Shadowrun, and other role playing games during that time period, as well. I had the most enjoyment out of not just playing those games with my friends, but also being the Dungeon Master (or Game Master, as the case with Shadowrun would be),
I would spend hours creating maps, forming spells and characters, delving deep down into the worlds as much as I possibly could. I would create pass-outs – little papers, figures, maps or lore – on bits of paper and cardboard, anything that i could to immerse my players as much as they could be, into this particular adventure, or entire world, that I had created for them.
My players really appreciated it, and it was a great distraction away from the “real world” that had brought a lot of disturbing things to me.
Eventually, I extended those techniques outwards into novel writing. Why not? I already had things outlined in a big way!
In other words, experience definitely helped.
That being said, it was not the end-all be-all for me. What made the biggest impact on me was the need to escape, to find my way past the despair that had been set upon me, to move past those thoughts in my head that I was no good, or that I did not matter.
Many nights were spent in my room, in front of my old keyboard and a ream of paper, creating story after story.
What I realized very soon after starting to do this was that I was including the experiences that I had been going through into my stories. It was very cathartic, a way to purge out the gut-wrenching feelings that I was experiencing and placing them on the paper.
I was surprised at just how effective this was as a way to give myself my own power back.
Would this work for everyone? No, I know that there are many people that have very deep issues and most of those can be attributed to hormonal or chemical imbalances.
However, it COULD help to get some of those emotions out onto the paper. It could help to have a system like that which would be a channel of sorts.
Much like writing in journals can be used to help people deal with issues, writing fiction can, as well.
It might be worth a try and, hey, if nothing else, you might create a world that everyone around would love to be in.
Give it a try, and let me know what you find yourself into. I would love to hear the stories of your world.