I just reread this entry and felt the need to tell you this: yesterday was horrible and I spent most of the time from 4 pm to 9 pm crying (not weeping silently, howling). Then around 7:45 until 8:40 I sat down and wrote on a short story, and I got down more words in one go than I have in ages. And I quite like what I wrote, too. The language feels alive in a way I've been having trouble capturing for a long while.
I don't think it was because I was miserable, really. I've been reading good books with beautiful language lately, and that tends to give my own writing a boost. But I still feel it's remarkable that I could produce something while being so exhausted. My head was an utter mess, everything crashing and too much and there was no room for anything. Except my story, apparently.
I've been rethinking what I wrote then about not channeling my pain and feelings into my writing. I read some stories I wrote aloud for my therapy group recently, and I'm discovering that my fiction, too, has more of me in them than I thought. Apparently I do use them to process what I'm feeling; I just don't realize until later.
I'm in much better touch with my emotions now than I was at the time I wrote that entry (though I still have a long way to go); I'm hoping to make the gap between writing the stories and understanding what they deal with smaller. Maybe not close it entirely - it's nice to have something to discover. I've been sick for a while and felt like I've lost an important connection I had to my art before. I think I'm slowly regaining it, and on top of that, I'm starting to feel connected to it in a whole new way, too. Mental illness is horrible, but there's something to be gained from hardship. That would be wonderful.