Posts Tagged ‘depression

24
Oct
19

I Did a Bad, Bad Thing

It isn’t the first time. My brain, background, and situation frequently lead me to such moments.

When I was very young (probably no more than six; before Kindergarten, anyway), I had a shiny mylar He-Man balloon on a stick. Loved it. Then I got mad. Don’t even remember what about. So I popped it.

I remember feeling a savage sort of glee as I popped it, then shredded it, then twisted the stick until I could break it into small pieces. I remember a sensation not unlike grief when I calmed down and realized what I’d done.

It didn’t get any better. Later, furious at a teacher who had determined that my book review of Stephen King’s It wasn’t appropriate and made me redo the assignment (on Bunnicula, if memory serves), I yanked a model X-Wing from the fishing line that held it on the ceiling and shattered it into as many pieces as I possibly could. I’d worked very hard putting it together (I was never very good at doing models, especially those that involved glue; even as a child my hands didn’t work right, and the smell of the glue aggravated my asthma), and adored it even though it wasn’t quite right. Again, didn’t care in that moment. I wanted to hurt something or someone, and the more treasured the object, the better I felt. The sorrow, regret, and self-loathing came after.

Later still, wounded by the betrayal of the woman I was in a relationship with at the time, I took a Commodore 64, a Color Computer 2, an Atari 2600, an NES, and a Pikachu Nintendo 64 (and probably would have added the PS2 and PS3 to the pile, if they weren’t already broken) and destroyed them. There was glee as I pried off the keys, tore the wood panelling apart, cracked the RAM chips and shoved chunks of the motherboard into the garbage disposal. I haven’t really collected games since. I usually try to have current hardware, and my game shelf has a small array of whatever I’m playing at the time or haven’t finished yet. But an entertainment center with a carefully curated collection designed for display and a number of retro consoles/computers? Nope. Never again.

All of those (and other events) were before official diagnosis and medication. But last night, I succumbed to it once again.

I’m not going to say why, because it makes me feel and sound like even more of a whiny bitch than I already am, but I opened up Pages and deleted all my manuscripts. Then went to iCloud and flushed them from there, too. I don’t have backups. I don’t have hardcopies. They’re just gone, except for anything on Wattpad or here, which is nowhere near all of it (or even most of it.)

I don’t know if I’ll come back to it. I signed up for NaNoWriMo, but don’t think I can handle it. Don’t know if I want to. The grief hasn’t really hit yet; I’m still in the rage mode and fighting the urge to delete myself from the internet entirely. This blog, my Twitter, my Twitch, the books that are still in KDP. Just poof. My computer is in lockdown – thanks to depression and COPD, I am not physically or emotionally motivated enough to hook it up to commit such a purge – and the options to do so are not available from most mobile apps or the mobile versions of sites, so they’re safe for right now. But the urge is strong.

I don’t know what’s going to happen from here. If I suddenly disappear from your feed, you’ll know. I’m sorry.

22
Oct
19

What’s Stopping You?

Every creative person hits a wall or a block from time to time. But sometimes those blocks become ridiculously huge, and your ability to chip away at them shrinks to nothing. Even worse, when someone or something is constantly building that wall, it becomes a losing game to keep smacking away at it. It’s akin to bashing your head against a wall repeatedly, thinking sooner or later your fractured skull will actually break the concrete.

What stops you? What internal or external influence adds bricks to that wall? How do you counter them?

For me, it’s being online. Going online is unpleasant. I’m painfully socially isolated, and want to interact with people. I acknowledge that, as a writer, if I want people to read my work, I have to interact with others. But it feels like any attempts I make are met with explanations of how I’m a horrible person and should kill myself. I get that at least once a day, and while the might of the block button is strong, my mental issues are stronger. I will fret over it all day, either assuming they’re right, I am a horrible person, and I should commit suicide, or I will be fuming at the person who said it for being just plain wrong in whatever assumptions they made that led them to say that to me. Or both. Well. Maybe frequently both.

That usually ends with naptime or some fresh scars on my arms. It almost never ends in me returning to the keyboard or accomplishing anything of relevance that day.

I don’t know how to block it out, or how to chip away at that wall.

Having just moved (and still fighting with my employer and SSI in a vain attempt to get paid, at least for the 9 months I’ve been unable to work, which they still want to fight even though I now have four different doctors all in agreement that I’m messed up), I can’t even hit up my go-to comfort food. There is no Popeye’s in Albany. This is a terrible crime that should be rectified, posthaste. If you’re listening, corporate overlords of delicious fried chicken.

Anyway. Back to the question at hand; what builds your wall, and how do you try to break it down? Let us know down below.

09
Oct
19

Nothing To Report, Sir

I spent the morning being poked and prodded and made to lift many boxes and drag many more, to test my grip strength and to do toe-touches and squats.

It was not a pleasurable experience.

At the end of said experience, I was informed that, despite having to stop and use an aspirator many times during these exercises, that despite the large glob of lung tissue that was spat into a trash can, that despite the fainting spells, dizziness, and the migraine I got, that despite my heart rate being in the 130s and my oxygen dropping below 90% multiple times, that it matters more that I was able to do the things I was asked.

Lesson learned; they don’t care if you kill yourself doing a thing, so long as you do the thing.

The video isn’t coming today; I can’t talk and looking at the screen is making the one eye that can still see at the moment about to bleed, even with night-mode on. Hopefully tomorrow.

So, since I’m apparently still going to be arguing with people over the definition of disabled and will not likely be collecting any form of compensation this month, I’m still on the e-begging train; if you think you can help, please stop by my Patreon or consider dropping a dime in the bucket on my GoFundMe for my surgery fund. It’d help a lot. If you can’t, I understand; no worries. But nothing ventured, nothing gained, or so they say.

Hope everyone out there is having a better day than I am. Take care.

 

08
Oct
19

Working on a Video

It has not been a good week (and it’s only Tuesday.) That’s a common thread around here. Racking up the number of people who tell me to kill myself, that I’m a Nazi, or that my life is meaningless should just become my new career or hobby; apparently, I’m quite good at it.

I did manage to fill out most of the fields on the NaNoWriMo page, though for some reason it keeps deleting it when I attempt to add Chrysanthemum Graves as the project which I’ll be working on during that time. I’m sure I’m doing it wrong, or there’s some box I’m not ticking, and I’m sure I’ll figure it out eventually, but it’s still annoying.

I’m making a video that will probably be up on YouTube tomorrow (or Thursday, depending on how uploads want to behave or not.) It’s not going to be pretty, is liable to be a bit ranty… but maybe it’s something some folks need to hear. Apparently, people like to hear other people’s opinions on mental health over there. We’ll see.

Until next time, folks.

KA Spiral no signature

05
Oct
19

NoNoWriMo Anxiety

So, yesterday I signed up to play with the cool kids in NaNoWriMo. Today I’m panicking.

I have no idea what I’d write for it.

I know I don’t want to use one of my half-finished manuscripts that are strewn about my hard drive like fish carcasses along the shore when the tide goes out. I feel starting fresh is the “fair” and “correct” way to do it, and anything I’m currently working on or previously touched is “dirty” with poor mental states and the stench of abandonment.

So I sat there all day yesterday and most of today, wondering what sort of story I would want to write, and am drawing a blank. I tried leaving the word processor open and staring at it for a while. I tried doing other things, hoping inspiration would strike while I wasn’t thinking about it.

Nothing’s coming to me. I know it’s probably weird to be worried about it, since I’m not supposed to put pen to paper for 25 whole days, but…

That’s on top of the usual issues of “why bother writing at all,” my usual load of depression that says “why bother leaving the bed at all,” and the stress of finances and moving.

Perhaps I should reconsider. We’ll see.

KA Spiral no signature

01
Oct
19

Medicated Downsides

I’ve mentioned before that I’m not mentally well… as if that wasn’t readily apparent from the things I write, read, play and watch. It makes things unpleasant, to say the least, a lot of the time. Even with medication, there’s still periods where the world just, for lack of better explanation, “grays out” and seems half-real and ultimately pointless.

That being said, on the whole, I prefer to have the meds than to be without them… except for one little thing.

Among my problems is bipolar disorder. Saying mood swings are a bitch is an understatement. When they initially diagnosed me, they thought I was severely bipolar and only medicated that. Then they discovered my “normal” was exceptionally low and adjusted to include severe depression. That’s been a little better… but the problem is that my bipolar experience included fairly lengthy – a month or more – periods where the mania would stick around, kick up its feet, light a cigar and make itself comfortable.

I miss those periods. Maybe not enough to say “fuck it” and chuck the meds, hoping the manic phase lands quickly and sticks around – because the low period is literally about six inches from going to bed and never coming back – but still a strong yearning.

I would sleep for two or three hours, add four thousand words to a manuscript, kick out three blog posts, clean the house, stack raid after raid in WoW or dozens of Greater Rift runs in Diablo and still feel energized. To be fair, I’d be smoking like a chimney the whole time, nervously munching on anything in the fridge and consuming prodigious amounts of soda and coffee, but at least I felt productive.

Without those periods, managing a single blog post and one or two sentences on a manuscript or story is an accomplishment. Add in the other health problems, where sitting in my chair or any kind of moving about for any period leaves me winded and exhausted, and even that much feels like a Herculean struggle sometimes.

So… yeah. There’s times where those manic periods look pretty appealing, and I wish I could capture them again and put ’em to work for me. I might actually get something done around here. What about my fellow neurodivergents out there? Do you feel better or worse with treatment? Are there things you wish you could keep from a pre-treatment period, even if overall you prefer the situation when it’s medicated? Let us know down below!

KA Spiral no signature

28
Sep
19

Writer’s Block

Suffering from it quite badly at the moment. Between physical and mental health – which are always a factor, obviously – and too much exposure to other so-called “humans” on the internet, I’m left feeling paranoid and paralyzed, unable to fill the white space because it feels like anything I type is going to be considered “problematic.”

Part of me is apathetic. Another part of me is chasing itself in circles trying to decide how to appease all potential readers and avoid being punished for trying to tell a story. Neither is capable of putting worthwhile words on the paper. A third part is digging its nails into its arms and ripping little bits of flesh off due to the anxiety and rage inspired by the other two and the social climate that inspired them.

Hopefully the mental storm passes soon. I have shit to do, and I don’t want to leave Ms. Crowe and Dr. Gale staring awkwardly at one another, picking nits and tapping their feet, while they wait for their god to return from his crisis of conscience and resume having the hubris to write about female characters despite being a cishet white male.

Hope everyone else’s weekend is going well. Until next time, folks.

KA Spiral no signature

04
Sep
19

Sleeping in

The harsh sound of ducks quacking interrupts the soothing voice of the British woman who has been talking to me for the last two hours. She’s currently telling me that she’d like me to touch the tip of my nose, then reach out and touch the tip of her finger repeatedly.

Both sounds come from the same place. My phone, lying on the bed. The ducks are just the alarm. I’d set it when I decided to take a nap, thinking it might improve my mood or give me the energy to do something besides watch television. An hour, I’d said. The hour was up, and then some.

I didn’t care. Without opening my eyes my thumb finds the right spot on the screen. The ducks stop; the British woman and her eye exam resume.

“Get up.”

The voice isn’t unexpected. It also doesn’t matter. I know if I look to the doorway, where it had come from, the owner of the voice wouldn’t be there, but I can picture him anyway: tall, pallid, thick mop of black hair, round glasses. A cigarette dangling from the corner of a scowling mouth, a tablet or laptop under one arm, and a camera in his other hand. Looking pissed because he had places to go, things to do, problems to solve.

“Don’t listen to him. Stay here. It’s better this way.”

That voice is more familiar. It’s comforting. Like the first, I know the owner isn’t actually there, but can picture him, too. Lying there with the covers pulled over his head, eyes closed, phone on his chest, listening to the British woman and ignoring the ticking of an internal clock as it wasted away. Seconds, minutes, hours, they didn’t matter to him, and he told me it shouldn’t matter to me, either.

I know them both very well. After all, they were me. The sleepy one was the one I listened to the most, though. No matter how much the angry, anxious one yelled – and he could yell plenty, something I envied about him – I could turn his volume down to nothing, listen to the tired one, and just stay here. I might feel bad about it later, and it might make the other one angrier later, but it doesn’t matter. I know if I stay here long enough, soon I can stay forever, and then it’ll all be darkness and soothing voices. No more shouting. No more fighting. No more pain.

“I said. Get. The. Fuck. Up.”

My eyes shoot open, and something is different. I can tell it’s been a while since they last had anything to say; my sense of time is broken, but not completely gone. But that’s not the problem. Time skips like that at the norm these days.

The problem is that he’s straddling me, his face inches from mine, teeth – the few he has left, anyway – bared at me, ash from his cigarette dropping onto my forehead. Somehow that detail, feeling the little flakes drift down from the glowing red eye of his cigarette and tickle their way across my forehead, my check, into the crease of my neck and give me the shivers like the thought of a bug crawling across me, is what convinces me this is real. Somehow, some way, he’s real, and he’s tired of putting up with my shit.

The camera and tablet aren’t with him; I imagine they’re still sitting by the doorway, carefully laid aside so they wouldn’t be damaged. He – we – always cared more for our things than ourselves. But everything else is the same; the Coyotes hoodie, the split left knee of his jeans, the jingling of his keys against the lighter and aspirator in his pocket, the dangling tail of the My Little Pony lanyard hanging loose and flopping as his lays hands on my shoulders and shakes me.

My head slams into the headboard, creating a white flash across my vision. When it clears, he’s still there, lips curled and eyes slitted in the same expression I’d seen in the mirror a hundred times before I took nails to flesh and clawed out a chunk of my own arm or my back.

“Go ‘way. Lemme ‘alone.” That was Sleepy. I don’t look. I’m afraid to look. It’s bad enough seeing one version of myself looking ready to kill me; I don’t want to confirm the physical reality of a third. Angry doesn’t have those problems. His head snaps to the left, he lets go of one of my shoulders, and a moment later I hear what sounds like a thundercrack and a mewl of pain. Blood begins to trickle from the side of my mouth, and Angry’s, and why not? What happens to one of us happens to all of us.

“You shut the fuck up. Christ. I’m trying to save us, here.”

Despite the rage and his actions, there’s a note of sincerity in his voice, curious but harsh care that somehow makes it worse. His attention comes back to me, locking eyes. His left hand rummages in his pocket for a moment and comes up full of pills. I know them well. Antipsychotics, antidepressants, antihistamines, steroids, cough suppressants. The things that keep me – us – alive and well. At least as well as we get, anyway.

His face doesn’t change from the bizarre mixture of care and hate as he hooks the index finger of his left hand into my mouth and forces it open. I try to talk, to yell at him to stop, but nothing comes out. He shoves the pills into my mouth, then clamps his hand over my lips and pinches my nose shut with the other hand. I don’t have a choice; I swallow.

“Good. Now get up. And don’t make me do it again.”

I blink, and he’s gone. For now. I glance down at the bed, and see three dents in it; one to either side of me, circular. Knees. To my side, a larger oblong one. The shape of a body.

That’s it. That’s enough. For today. The taste of the pills – the steroids, especially – is still on my tongue, stinging and rancid, and there wasn’t anything that would get rid of it except for chugging a soda and taking a hard drag on my vape box. The taste was shit, but it worked great as a motivator… once I had it in my mouth, anyway.

Time to get up. No more sleeping in.

KA Spiral no signature

03
Sep
19

Invisibility

Everyone’s in a constant battle for visibility these days. Frequently that battle seems to be waged on the field of social media, where Likes, Retweets, Shares, and Reactions serve to gauge if anyone is paying attention to you.

Probably not healthy, but it’s how things go these days.

There are some surefire ways to generate that; if you’re an attractive woman and throw up a pic of you gnawing on a PS4 controller, you’ll probably do well. If you’re a weird looking dude, you may do well, though not necessarily how you want to; being memed to death is perhaps not the best way to gain recognition, but hey, it worked. If you can come up with a fun, clickbaity thumbnail, you’ll do well… even if the content has nothing to do with it, because the numbers will look good even if the actual engagement or care isn’t there. If you can get the right popular person to retweet you, you’ll do well, because there’s always a legion of folks who will like and share anything their senpai says, regardless of context.

But if you’re a generic-looking individual, aren’t connected to the right people, don’t enjoy the clickbait thing and are no good at making memes, you likely feel invisible. If you don’t have many real-life friends and contacts who also follow you, it gets worse. You live in a little bubble of nothing.

I’m not trying to complain. I’m not pointing any fingers. Just noticing it.

I’ve always felt invisible. Part of that is my depression, I’m sure. Part of it is an… interesting childhood. But it also feels like when I call, leave voice messages, send e-mails, drop a Tweet, pick your poison… they go into a black hole. I’m getting a lot of this dealing with the disability people; I left four voice mails for my employer’s disability case manager not that long ago, spoke directly to her supervisor once and her underling twice, e-mailed paperwork to her, her supervisor, my manager and one of her underlings (said underling actually e-mailing me back to say “got it, thanks”) only for all of them to say they never got the message or the paperwork.

People say they’ll call back, they don’t. Ever. I have to call my shrink ten times, leave a voice mail each time, and finally hit that magic moment where he picks up the phone himself to schedule an appointment. Which will frequently be three months out, and twice when I showed up I was greeted with “Oh, he’s out of town today; we cancelled all his appointments. We must have forgotten to call you.”

I ask for input, for beta readers, for commentary, for any sort of interaction, and even the crickets leave the building. Most days, if I get a reaction at all, it’s to insult me – usually with the bog-standard “alt-right Nazi racist homophobic transphobe” or “ur ugly,” which is its own special disappointment… I wasn’t even interesting enough to come up with a good insult – and I’m hitting a point where “bad attention is better than no attention” is starting to make sense.

I make a Tweet, and despite having around 350 followers, the views and interactions are in the single digits. Make a blog post, and 9 views is a big deal. Not that I’m not happy – someone is reading it, at least – but it’s still kind of saddening. What makes it worse is that if I reblog something or retweet something, they have ridiculous numbers in comparison. I don’t know if that’s because it counts views and interactions from the original or not – I don’t think so, but I’m dumb when it comes to how all these statistics work – but my brain tells me the problem is something else.

I’m just that boring. I’m so boring that I create a massive black hole around me, and anything I say just falls into it. It’s a fascinating concept – and probably wrong – but perversely amusing all the same. “I suck so much, I’ve created a gravitational warp, that only other people’s words can escape!”

“Aha,” says I. “I know the answer!” Silly me, it’s not trying to figure out what makes good content – mainly because I apparently don’t know what that is, and can’t catch anyone’s attention to tell me what I’m doing wrong – but rather, to make as much garbage content as possible! If I cram that magic black hole so full of crap it can’t take anymore, the spillover should be noticed!

Right? Right?!

Don’t mind me. I’m just crazy, out of my meds, and still trying to get the damned shrink to refill them. Back to trying to scribble on “Dr. Gale.”

KA Spiral no signature

26
Aug
19

I can’t even, today

I meant to work some more on “Dr. Gale.” I did. I had my coffee and Strawberry Jam Monster at the ready, my chair lifted to its maximum elevation (the pump is busted, so it sinks to uncomfortable levels after sitting in it for about half an hour, or if left unattended for two hours or so), my salt lamp burning and Mista GG’s Predator Chronicles playlist on the iPad (I need noise, and given that I’ve watched them a hundred times and know them by heart, plus it’s long and not often interrupted by ads, it works well for this purpose.)

I was prepared. But my brain decided not to cooperate, especially when it got crapped on by all the layers of the “real world” that I get to deal with.

My apartment, as I mentioned previously, is infested with bedbugs. We’ve set off multiple bug bombs, hosed the place down with Raid. They keep coming back. We had notified the complex owners, also pointing out that the damned things appeared after a new neighbor moved in downstairs, one who likes to stand naked or nearly so by his window and make whale sounds at passersby, one who brings a stench of rotten meat and garbage juice that wafts constantly from his open window, and who sounds as though he’s boxing with the walls at any time of day where he isn’t blaring “music.” On Friday, they informed us the exterminator was coming on Tuesday.

Great, cool. We’re supposed to rearrange the whole house for the exterminator (or face a fine), and I get to try to meet these demands in my condition and then figure out where to hide for several hours while they do the job (accompanied by a deaf-but-very-vocal cat who dislikes me at the best of times) and the apartment returns to livable conditions for a severe asthmatic with allergies and other respiratory or pulmonary issues. I don’t mind all that; if I can stop being eaten alive at night, I’m happy.

Went to call the exterminator to find out what else they need, find out they’re actually coming to spray for roaches and don’t know anything about bedbugs. Apparently, they’re doing this because two other tenants have moved out recently, leaving behind a roach infestation. So I get to continue to be eaten alive, and they’re thrashing the place for bugs I don’t have, and both incidents boil down to the fact that my neighbors are fucking disgusting.

Add in small claims court, fighting with disability and doctors, my depression deciding it wants to bludgeon me extra hard today, my schizophrenia keeping me up all night, arguing back and forth with different doctors over who’s supposed to poke me next and who’s going to sign off on my inability to work for the last several months (if anyone) and scheduling my visit to the Giant Rotating Coffin of Doom (aka, a CAT scan) and my mind is just not able to deal with the idea of writing fiction.

I actually was sitting there staring at the keys for a long time before typing this. Was tempted to say “fuck it” and not post anything at all. But I said I’d do every day in August, and by God, I meant it. It’s still August. I’m at 25 days in a row. I can’t – and won’t – quit now.

So, sorry, for anyone who was waiting on “Dr. Gale.” Hopefully things are a bit better tomorrow.




Show your support

Adopt an Artist

Take pity, and eternal gratitude will be yours; helps keep this site running and the words flowing.

PayPal Donate Button

Archives

Follow Insomniac Nightmares on WordPress.com