gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Default)
[personal profile] gridlore
It's a new month, and time for some honest self-examination. I have been really, really bad about using this tool for anything. Novel preparation, Traveller world-building, even just blogging stuff. Using it as it was intended as a way to encourage the daily habit of writing 750 words every single day. Even if they are total crap, I have to be better about putting myself in the chair and opening the page and doing it.

It's been hard. My birthday stresses me out, as I wrote about earlier. Hot weather really messes with my system, and we don't have air-conditioning at our place. And my mental state has continued to get worse. I'm going to say it: I think I'm suffering from depression. My moods have gotten deeper and darker like my emotional drive is a pendulum that is slowly losing momentum. I'm spending more and more time in the dark spaces of my head, questioning my basic value as a human being and wondering why the hell they ever woke me up from that damn coma four years ago.

There's another stressor - four years ago yesterday I had a stroke and 22 years ago in late July, I was diagnosed with Stage IV-B Hodgkins Lymphoma. So the happy days of summer are not the happiest for me. Probably why I hate my birthday so much; just another reminder that I am actually past my sell-by date in terms of how Hodgkins survivors do. I am beginning to realize that I'm never going to shout "Hello, Cleveland!" to a capacity crowd at Red Rocks, and my chances of topping Chris Garcia's Hugo Award acceptance speech grows ever dimmer with each rejection notice.

But the hardest thing for me is feeling useless. I used to be things. Light Weapons Infantryman, Training Driver, Truck Driver, Dispatcher. . . all those identities, which are so vital in our culture, have been taken from me. I'm a writer who can barely write. A gadfly at conventions. Someone who is only of the slightest help at Burning Man. I feel all my days of glory have passed me by far too soon and just when I was getting good at life, it was all taken from me piece by piece.

See, that's the real horror. I wasn't struck down in a day and told: "rebuild from the ashes, Berry." No, my competence was taken away in tiny chunks. Bit by bit parts failed, slice by slice I lost chances and doors closed. Did y'all know I was on the verge of working to get my Class B license and a much better paying job when I developed pulmonary embolisms and had to quit commercial driving? Road construction company in Fremont. They wanted me and would help me get that Class B and pay me double what I had been getting at Lord & Sons, plus a per diem for overnight runs. That fucking close.

Closed doors. That's all I can see these days. Except the one marked "exit" and I'm not quite ready for that one, even if some days it's only understanding how badly my death would hurt Kirsten and my family that keeps me here.

But there may be a crack, a light at the end of the tunnel that is not an oncoming train. I finally got some referrals for therapists, with a suggestion I schedule an evaluation meeting with a therapist and they can work with me to decide if I need full-on psychiatric care from an MD or if therapy might be the best bet. Waiting for a call back from one of the offices I was given to look at. Hopefully, I'll hear back soon.

Because when the pendulum isn't down in the dark places, I'm still me. I can still feel some hope, some joy, even have some energy. I want to write the Great American Fanzine Article, I want to finish my novel and sell fifty copies, I want to volunteer at BMIR at Burning Man to see if I can help out and be part of a team again. Damnit, I want to see the 49ers win the SuperBowl and the Sharks take the Stanely Cup.

Right now, I'm just waiting for a phone call and an appointment. No idea what that will lead to, or how long it will take, or if I'm going to be one of the Happy Pill People or sitting in a group. No matter what, I want it to happen because it represents a door opening.

Date: 2 Aug 2017 02:16 (UTC)
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
From: [personal profile] mdlbear
Good luck!

Doors are good

Date: 2 Aug 2017 02:50 (UTC)
murphymom: (Default)
From: [personal profile] murphymom
Keep an eye out for windows, as well.

Date: 2 Aug 2017 06:35 (UTC)
feyandstrange: Write hard - die free.  (write hard die free)
From: [personal profile] feyandstrange
Go you for staring it down. And I get you on the "useful" thing. A lot. I try to tell myself I'm decorative and mildly entertaining, but that's not gonna win us any Hugos. (And I'm on the happy pills.) Depression is a sneaky bastard, too. Keep shining a light on it.

Date: 2 Aug 2017 17:03 (UTC)
filkerdave: Made by LJ user fasterpussycat (Default)
From: [personal profile] filkerdave
I think you should go for the 49ers winning the Stanley Cup and the Sharks winning the Superbowl but that's just me.

Besides, even although I'm not a gamer I want to read more about your Traveller universe.

Date: 2 Aug 2017 18:21 (UTC)
kshandra: long-haired woman silhouetted against a stormy sky (Bad)
From: [personal profile] kshandra
Rock Manley posted this over on the Book of Face this morning, and I figured it would resonate with you.

Depression... it's easy to slide into without help. With help, especially with the right medication, colors seem brighter, food tastes (well, more "foody") and you just engage the world on a different level.

It IS physical. It is not a "defect of the spirit."

If you think you have it, you just might. Don't be afraid to get the help you need. Help lines, online resources, emergency rooms. Use them.

I love you.
Edited Date: 2 Aug 2017 18:23 (UTC)

Date: 3 Aug 2017 12:47 (UTC)
claidheamhmor: (Default)
From: [personal profile] claidheamhmor
All the best with it, I'm sure it'll help. I think you're damn impressive for just coping with everything that's happened, and still doing stuff.


gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Default)

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