Kyōto-shi, Kyōto-fu, Japan

October 2, 2016

Of Depression and Triumph

This week’s letter is less about culture or travel or the slow unfolding of Japan, and more just about a personal triumph that’s defined my week and I wanted to share with you. :)

As you might remember, I’ve been working on a book - The No-Bullshit Guide to Depression - for most of this year. It’s been slow but steady progress, and after a recent round of feedback from my awesome editors, I knew I had one last big push to get the content fully done.

Aside from the sheer size of a book, it’s come with an additional challenge - every time I really dig in and spend time on the content, Aunt Dee shows up, and starts jabbering her crazy shit. But this past week I could feel the finish line out there.

One of my favorite tools in taking on depression is something called Behavioral Activation - basically, do the things that matter to you even while you feel shitty. It doesn’t promise you’ll feel any better - but it does promise you'll spend your days on the things you care about.

I committed that whatever it took, however I might feel, I was finishing up the last sections to rewrite this week and getting it done.

On Monday morning, I sat down to make a big last push, and Aunt Dee showed up right on schedule.

She came, she saw, and she yammered - more loudly, with more crazy thoughts and with a bigger drain on my energy than I’ve had all year.

But I triumphed.

This book that I’ve worked so hard to make great - something to really help people - as of yesterday, it’s all there.

I still have another round of fine-tuning edits and all the million typos, excessive commas, and - as my copyeditor likes to point out - highly gratuitous uses of hyphens to clean up, but the heart and soul of this thing is there, breathing, alive.

And it’s beautiful.

Sometimes I think these letters are here to give a window into the world, sliding culture and language and questions on what a well-lived life might be back and forth across the wires.

But weeks like this, it seems it’s a whole lot simpler. It’s you and me. Two people, sharing little moments and tiny triumphs in the stories of our lives.

Thanks for listening to mine. Anytime you want to share yours, I’m all ears. :)

-Steven

p.s. The best thing I saw all week is a little sci-fi, but hear me out. Warp speed? Turns out we’re working on it. For real.

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