Where Things Are Now

I haven’t written here since getting my new job. I’m still thankful to be employed, but I’d be lying if I said I enjoy the job itself. Even when you want desperately to make the adjustment, customer service is probably the absolute worst job possible for an introverted person with depression and anxiety issues. I might go into more detail once my contract is up (assuming I make it that long), but since I need the money, I’ll leave it at that for now.

I hope there’s something better waiting on the other side. The idea of that does a lot to keep me going. But this “pay the bills” work is taking its toll; it’s really hard sometimes to find the energy to do what I want/need to do when so much of it is spent dreading the next work day and knowing as soon as I really get into doing thing-I-love, my time off will be over and it’s back to the real world. So I guess in some ways, I’m right back where I started.

Though I have to say actually writing that out makes me feel somewhat better. Maybe part of what’s made it all so draining is trying too hard to convince myself it’s really not that bad.

When I can, though, I’m going to keep working on my games. I have one underway right now that I think has a lot of potential–assuming it turns out half as cool as it looks in my head. :p I also have two novels in mind. One, an idea I’ve been toying with on an off for over a year now; the other, something that I wrote some time ago, but now I wonder if I might’ve been writing towards the wrong genre. (My favorite genre is science fiction. Horror is a close second. For the most part, I don’t like fantasy except for Harry Potter. So trying to write urban fantasy (however popular it is) was probably a bad idea, but rewriting it as straight-up horror… might not be.) And at the request of someone special, I have a comic to draw, so be on the lookout for that. I just need to figure out what said comic should be. And I have a Patreon under construction. I’m not sure where it’ll lead, but I want it to be there when I feel the time is right.

I’d also like to get back into writing personal blog stuff sometimes. :) There are definitely topics I’d like to discuss; I think I just needed to get this post out of the way.

Anyway, that’s where things are now. Here’s hoping there are better things to come.


New Job; Changing World

I probably should’ve posted something about this earlier, but… I have a new job. I start work next week. It’s an office job (nothing fancy, but it is a job) and pays enough for me to have something like a life.

For a long time, I doubted it was even possible for me to get a steady job. I wasn’t even getting interviews, much less anything else. I even gave up and quit looking for a while. Now it seems like out of the blue, things have turned around.

I have a lot of feelings about this. The first is a sense that this really IS the start of a new life for me. From now on (and especially once I’ve tied up some loose ends), I can think of all the money-related misery I’ve dealt with as part of the past. And not just because of this job, either. I think that’s just step one.

Without that particular thing weighing me down so much, it’ll probably be easier in a way for me to make progress with my creative stuff like writing and game design. Yes, I’ll have to learn to work with a new schedule, but not having 50-90% of my day eaten up with wondering how I’ll pay the rent can only help my focus. And with money, I’ll be able to by some new game-making tools.

And… I’ll no longer feel so ashamed to be around other people. I won’t have to be “That friend who can’t afford to pay for lunch”–a situation I avoided by just not making friends. If I want, I’ll be able to see movies other people see instead of maybe (if I’m lucky) going to see one once a year. I might even be able to buy a current game console.

I think it’s all still sinking in right now. After so long with so few options, so much is opening up. For so long, I’ve dreamed that something like this would finally happen. And it is. Maybe that means it’s safe to believe I can attain bigger dreams.


Uncluttered

I took care of some things yesterday that I’d been putting off. Tedious, unpleasant but rather important things like taxes and healthcare options. For the last couple of weeks or so, I had been lethargic and quietly miserable; I couldn’t seem to get much done without it being a struggle.

A few hours after I did all that (which took up most of the day), I suddenly felt amazing. I wanted to do all sorts of things, both practical and creative, and some “just for fun” type things of whatever sort: catch up on writing in my personal blog, spending some quality time online with someone very special, enjoy some video games, get back to work full force on making video games, sundry household chores….

Oh, yes. Household chores. This is about household chores. Namely how my weekly taking out the trash turned into something symbolic.

It started with just that: taking out the trash. Then I thought, “Hey, why stop there? It’s way past time to clear out all this junk.”

So I got to sorting through all sorts of paper stuff that had been accumulating wherever, mostly junk mail and magazines (for some reason, they seem to send me ALL of the sample subscriptions), anything that was bothering me and had no reason to be there. And I shredded up old bills and threw those out, too.

It was a lot of work. It took me well over an hour. But in the end, that stuff was gone and I felt strangely lighter. Like I was cleaning out more than old trash: maybe I was cleaning out some mental clutter, too.

That industrious feeling is still with me now, as evidenced by the fact I put up this new blog entry today. Hopefully, it really IS out with the old and in with something much better.


X-Post: My First Game Jam

[Crossposted from my Games site.]

[You can play the game I made here.]

Last night, I finished my first game that I made as part of a game jam. Well, not finished, exactly; more like managed to put together something serviceable that kind of makes sense, even if I didn’t get to do nearly as much I wanted to with it. Anyway, the game jam in question was the Cyberpunk Jam. All the games are listed here. And I have to say it was an interesting experience.

[Read the Rest]


Oldest Friend

I’ve been a bit stressed out recently. No, at the moment, I don’t feel like saying why. Mostly because if I did, it would reopen a HUGE can of nonsense I’m not emotionally equipped to deal with right now. The main point is because of it, I had a “mood crash” recently. Normally, this would entail crying my guts out, possibly for hours, and likely being so paralyzed (possibly for days) with stress, fear and anxiety I could barely function. Or being sucked into a pit of despair where I just feel numb. Whichever it was, I’d have fantasies–strong and very persistent ones–of taking my own life.

I did have a suicide fantasy, but it was extremely fleeting. A “dust in the wind” sort of thing that might’ve come as an old habit. Also, I’ve yet to feel the overwhelming hopelessness and terror I’ve come to expect. I’ve been waiting patiently for it to happen, but… though I have had a bit of a low mood, I haven’t reached despair. And eventually, I felt okay. Moreover, it wasn’t the usual “HAPPYHAPPYHAPPY! HA HA, I’M FINE! REALLY!” thing I tend to do when I’m trying to convince myself and everyone else I’m happy. I simply feel okay, like I can deal with this, albeit still a bit panicky since I don’t know what’s going to happen.

I also feel out of my depth.

I don’t know who this person is who doesn’t have those awful feelings. I don’t know who this person is who doesn’t have that pain and really DOES seem to bounce back. I don’t know how she conducts herself or how she should react when the old familiar ways (self-defeating and destructive, yet reliable and safe because they were so familiar) no longer feel quite right.

Is this person still painfully shy? Or is it just deep-seeded habit?

Does this person maybe know how to function in the real world?

Is she capable of things that just look too scary? Things that look so scary that I’m scared “she” might succeed and drag “me” along with her, but it becomes too much to handle?

What if in spite of everything, it’s just too little, too late?

Really, all I’ve known is the depressed version of me. It–my depression–was protection in a way because in the fog of it, I never had to think too much about the world beyond it; in that state, I really wasn’t capable of such.

My world consisted of me and my cat. It was small and safe. It wasn’t exactly a happy world, but at least I knew how it worked.

I know how strange it sounds to freak out over a mental state I’m guessing most people call “normal.” Or to mourn a part of yourself that’s caused you so much grief. But when “normal” is a thing you’ve likely never known (or if you did, it was so long ago that you’ve since forgotten), it’s a massive adjustment.

I’m sure I’ll be fine eventually. For now, though, I’m trying to figure out who I am all over again.


Self-Care

I’ve been dealing with a lot of stuff over the last couple of months. Most of it’s of the “I don’t discuss this in public except when I’ve totally fixed it–really!” type. Even then, I tend not to bring it up directly, though I have expressed those feelings in a game. And I’m grateful I do have one person now I trust enough to discuss certain things with, and who isn’t listening simply because it’s his job.

After the tragic event mentioned in my last blog entry, I got to thinking a lot. With my long history of depression and the persistent suicidal feelings I’d had for the last month or so, I knew I had to do something or risk having one (and it only takes one) especially bad day finally push me too far past the breaking point. One of the first things I did was start taking SAM-e, a naturally-occurring antidepressant that’s actually given out in some countries by prescription. If that didn’t work, I was going to find some way (despite my lack of health insurance) to get the more traditional stuff. I also started keeping a diary of my thoughts and moods and I’ve committed myself to writing in it every day.

Three weeks later, I can say with confidence that the SAM-e is working. I wake up every day in a pretty good mood which, for me, was unheard of. I’m getting lots done on my game design stuff, finding a lot more enjoyment in things that used to be enjoyable, and generally finding it easier to get through the day even when things go poorly. I’ve also noticed that my worries don’t become obsessions that send me into crying fits or make me curl up in a ball.

It’s weird not having “Constant fog of misery” as my default emotional state. Weird and kind of scary. Once that fog is gone, I’ve found, you can see the other parts of your life and may not like what you find. Worse, what may be less than clear is how to make things better. Or if you even can.

I still have avoidant personality disorder.

I’m also still, by nature, extremely introverted.

I still feel like I was absent the day they were handing out instructions for relating to and socializing with other people.

I still have to deal with crushing self-doubt regarding my worth and abilities.

I still have a lot of dreams and…. No, it’s not so much I don’t know how to reach them. It’s more I don’t feel capable of all that’s required.

The world still looks too scary and big to have a place for me. And I don’t have the slightest clue how to stop being invisible or even, deep down, if I want to.

And still other things that, frankly, I’m just not in a good place to deal with right now.

The funny part is that writing these things is also kind of helpful. Usually, I don’t admit (especially not to others) just how much it hurts or that any sign of an answer seems so far away.


“He Seemed So Happy”

I didn’t want to write this because it hurts too much, and I’m only doing so out of respect for my now-gone friend. It’s still near impossible for me to actually say what happened; I may never fully process it because it’s just so wrong, and someone who Very Much should still be here… isn’t. But the internet world learned Saturday that Justin “JewWario” Carmical had taken his own life.

I don’t know what I can say about him that hasn’t already been said. He was cheerful, kind, and always eager to lend his talents and his time to others. He even offered to cameo when I was making videos and I certainly wish now that I had taken him up on that. I wasn’t nearly as close to him as many others were. I do and don’t wish that were different because the closer you are to someone, the more it hurts to lose them.

Beyond all the obvious–how sudden it seemed, what great person he was, how it didn’t need to happen–what struck me most was how so many people said “he seemed so happy.” Maybe because it sounds similar to things I’ve heard before. Oftentimes, the people who carry the most pain inside are determined to wear a smiling mask so as not to “burden” others and/or believe their own suffering isn’t worthy of attention, even (perhaps especially) when it’s about to crush their souls.

They tell themselves they can deal with it and the world sees nothing wrong.

Until they can’t deal with it. And then, it’s too late.