Hey everybodyyy. I joined this forum years ago and I have lurked from time to time and I really need to get back into my writing since it's the only thing I like to do. I guess I'll post an intro or something just to do it right or whatever. Anyway, I have been struggling with drug addiction and depression since 2009 and I'm finally kind of coming out of it. It started getting better when my daughter was born in 2013, but I haven't written a damn thing in so long and now I'm afraid of it. I've spent so much time criticizing authors and now I'm paranoid that I'm secretly a horrible, horrible writer, and will never finish a book, and I am just so swamped by this crap. Writing is my only hobby, or passion, and I am just so afraid of sucking. And thanks to the fun side effects of depression it's hard to feel inspired. All of my previous stories have just kind of fizzled and died, and I've gotten preoccupied with making sure my stories are socially conscious as well as, you know, good. Ugh it takes so much energy to put myself out there. People terrify me, but I'm pushing myself because I'm never going to accomplish anything in life if I'm not writing books. This is a horrible jumbled post. I'm sorry. I'm pregnant and tired. I hope I am posting this in the right area and such. I guess my purpose in posting this is just to ask you guys if you have struggled with bouts like this, struggled to balance your writing with mental illness, and how did you begin to overcome it? How do you stop hating yourself and comparing yourself to others and thinking that your story ideas are horribly unoriginal? Or am I alone? That would suck. And how do you let an idea go? I've been writing this huge epic fantasy in my head for ten years and the characters are almost a part of me but the story just never seems to work. I have tried to just scrap it all and start fresh but remnants of my story always find their way into the new one. I wonder if that would be better as a separate thread. Another day.