‘Her face was both changed and unchanged. She still had sharp, pixie features. Her lips were childishly full and the corners still turned downwards. Her eyes shone like pebbles washed with waves but did not glisten. The dull pallor of her skin and crow’s feet suggested she was older. As did her height. This was to be expected; I hadn’t seen Dee in years. Yet, despite the passage of time, Dee didn’t look any wiser than when I first met her.’
– from the opening chapter of Dee, a novel by Kristiana Reed (very much still in progress…)
Dee is my personification of depression and toward the end of last year, I decided I wanted to write a novel about her. Novelists always say, ‘write the story which demands to be written’ (or something along those lines). I had struggled to find this until Dee’s story, much like Dee herself, turned up on my doorstep and said it wouldn’t leave until it had been written for others to read.
Writing about depression is difficult and asks a lot of you, especially when you suffer with it yourself. Over the past four years, I’ve had intense highs and lows and I’ve found alongside the therapy and medication, writing helps (often more so than anything else). Therefore, I am beginning ‘The Dee Diaries’. I will share with you every Wednesday and the posts will range from short essays on living with depression; my experience writing about Dee; and excerpts from the novel itself and updates.
First and foremost, I’m writing these ‘diary entries’ for myself, however, I hope it helps people along the way. I hope it will shed light on mental health and illness and remind us all, we are not alone on the good or the bad days.