Tuesday, July 06, 2010

So, I know I've been really quiet

But my head has been up my rear - i'm starting to come out of it now, I think. This particular depressive episode took me by surprise. Everything was going tickety boo - book was selling well, kids were fine etc and then bam I woke up under a black cloud which hasn't wanted to shift in, ooooh, about a month now.
But today feels a little different. I've been doing all my usual self help thingies - reading my note from the universe, checking my angel cards, writing a little (not always easy with vertigo, which the doc thinks is stress related) and sleeping around the clock.
Last week I was plagued with nightmares every night - thankfully they seem to have stopped but I'm freewheeling it this week on no medication waiting for the prozac to exit my system before I can start my new tablets.
I'm doing a lot of thinking.
One of the major reasons for me feeling as low as I do is the feeling that I'm not good enough. It's not surprising that a great deal of my books deal with the feeling of being not good enough - I think a lot of people feel that way.
As an exercise to myself the other night I listed my achievements in my head... I know pride is a sin, but if you don't mind I'm going to share a few now.
Later today, I'm going to post some very bad poetry I wrote once about life and the achievements which count which are not academic, or professional or whatever but I need sometimes to remind myself - and perhaps the world - that I'm not "just" anything. I've done a lot for someone of 34. Perhaps the person I need to remind about that most of all is me.
Maybe you could all do the same? You might surprise yourself?

  • I drive a car. It took me seven years and four tests, but I did not give up.
  • I was the only person in my journalism course to pass the Masters element first time round. I went to graduation on my own (well, with family, of course) and loved it.
  • I freelanced for a year writing for local, regional, national and international newspapers.
  • I covered everything - courts, councils, breaking stories, front page leads, human interest features.
  • I secured a staff job when I was 23 and started with the Derry Journal where I'm still there, still working and, where eight years ago, I became the paper's first female columnist.
  • I covered the Saville Inquiry into Bloody Sunday, was first at the scene (reporter wise) of several attempted murders, covered crown court trials, cut my teeth in the magistrate's court, wrote extensively on domestic violence, city centre violence and other issues which plague our city.
  • I pitched and ran three consecutive Children of the Year Awards for the Derry Journal - rewarding the best in the young people of the city.
  • I have written three bestselling books.
  • I wrote my first book in six months, got an agent straight away (first agent I queried) and got a book deal by the end of that year. This is not to make those who didn't get lucky straight away feel bad about themselves,I'm just fed up of always apologising for my success as if I don't deserve it. I do. So there.
  • I have been a spokesperson for Aware Defeat Depression.
  • I've been on TV - I've even done a life on air broadcast for Sky News as their roving reporter at the scene of a gas explosion. I've appeared on discussion programmes about PND. I've done radio. All of this inspite of chronic self esteem issues!
  • I have been a writing mentor.
  • I am a good, talented and conscientious person.


Gerry Snape said...

Claire, as an ex Belfast woman living in the N.W.England ,I sooo look forward to your blogs and your great sense of humour. I read your list....amazing! no wonder you've been a bit quiet for a while!! You're O.K. In fact as my long dead aunt Helen said to me regularly, "you're all right wee pet"Best wishes G.

Sarah said...

welcome back! I missed you! Keep going! You're great and bring smiles to so many people :-)

Fionnuala Kearney said...

YAY!!! SHE'S BACK!!!!!

You have been a friend and mentor to me, one I value tremendously. I think you should print this list off and whoever told you pride is a sin lied. I think we should all be more proud of our achievements. Surely its arrogance is worse? But pride? Pride is something we should all feel when we think about the good things we've worked hard to achieve. xx

Sharon Owens said...

Welcome back, Claire. Yes, we're far too humble here in NI. We could have won the Nobel Prize and still we wouldn't mention it at parties while some girls in the US/UK seem to make a good living out of once dating a footballer for a fortnight. Who's right???

Anyway, that's quite a list of achievements. Well done!!!

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