If I’m Being Honest

Okay. I’m here. I’m back in my office and I’ve updated my whiteboard for the first time in over a month. And I have to say, it feels really good. I’ve been out of sorts for months now, really since March. I have learned that I am a creature of habit, more so than I already acknowledged, and this summer has put forth a concerted effort to keep me from doing anything in any semblance of routine.

Week-long video game binges, my husband lost his job, two of my biggest music icons took their own lives, my best friend almost died, and then we had extended house guests for the first time in my life. Coupled with applying, interviewing, and being denied two full time positions at my work and really I’m just a ball of rubber-bands stretched too tight: one has got to snap eventually.

I think the only thing that kept me from snapping was all the fanfic I wrote, and the friends I made on tumblr because of it. Since mid-April, I’ve written 168,799 words of fanfiction. Just… let that number sink in. 168 THOUSAND 799 words.

Of fanfiction.

I’m still trying to convince myself that’s okay. Anyone I talk to in my personal life or online seems to find it incredible and awesome. Thanks guys! But, my writer brain is still royally pissed that all that effort and output went to fanfiction.

But, if I’m 100% honest, I really LOVED writing it, and I fully intend to finish it before the end of the year. Also, I’m going to continue to write small prompts and drabbles, because they are fun, and I need writing to be fun still. Also, this year has shown me that I am absolutely capable of writing a novel in a month (if it’s a short one).

I’m not good at being honest with others when it comes to my mental health. I internalize everything, and I am usually the “solid” person in my circle of friends. I give advice and keep my shit together. So, when I start to break under pressure, or when my mind is trying to sabotage me, I don’t feel like I have anyone to tell, other than my husband. And even then, he had just as tough a summer as I did so it was easy to convince myself not to make things harder on him by being completely honest. So, I drop hints that I’m not feeling myself, to which he’s receptive, and we commiserate about our mild depression.

Meanwhile, I’m feeling isolated, raw, and like a useless piece of shit. And it’s all my own fault. I know it is. I could just talk to someone, and feel one hundred times better. I KNOW this. And now I understand why so many people never suspect the depths of their loved ones’ depression, why so many suicides are so shocking. Because, you can KNOW what you need to do to fix things, to make yourself feel better, and it doesn’t matter. You can know it, but you’re powerless to either find the right words, or time, or simply the energy to bring it up.

I want to note that, the fact that I’m here, talking about this means I’m feeling much better and am confident that I am on the path to getting back to my old self. I also want to state that at no point this summer did I contemplate any sort of self-harm. I was/am depressed, for the first time in a way that was recognizable to me, and that has shone a light on what it must be like to battle these feelings constantly. I understand now, in my own small way, how exhausting it must be and how incredibly lonely, even if you’re good at putting on a brave face and doing things to convince others you’re okay.

I understand, and I’m so sorry anyone has to put up with these constant feelings of worthlessness, self-loathing, and loneliness. And I know that, for many people, it doesn’t end. There doesn’t seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel, where someday you’ll feel good again and actually want to do something productive with your time.

And I’m so sorry, I wish I knew better how to help.

But, I’m seeing that light now, and I’m gifted days of incredible output and energy. I fully intend to make good on them.

So, later this week I will be back to talk about Proven Guilty. I’ve made some goals for the rest of the week, and if they go well, I’ll be back on Monday to do a goals summary for the first time in over six months!

Until then, Blogland,

 

BZ

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Book Review- Morning Star by Pierce Brown

Hi Blogland.

I’ve had a bit of a rough week. I’m exhausted. Overworked. I haven’t been reading as much as I should, and I didn’t write a single thing. And finally I knew I had to admit something to myself.

I have anxiety. Legitimately. There are behaviors that I’m used to, that I’ve always considered a part of me, that aren’t “normal”. My mind never stops, and I’m constantly second guessing myself in every action and thought. Simple interactions become critique sessions, usually ending with the conclusion that I am “weird” or “dumb” or some other adjective that isn’t very kind. I’d like to say that I know my anxiety could be worse. I don’t have it as bad as others I know, and I am so incredibly thankful for that.

But lately these thoughts have been out of control.

Every week that I don’t meet my goals adds to the weight on my mind. Every book that I don’t read. I’m being too hard on myself, and yet, these are simple goals. Why can’t I achieve them?

I don’t know what the next step is. I’m reading up on anxiety. What it looks like, how to combat it. I’ve also looked into how anxiety and ADHD interact, because I have both. But short of medication, which I’m not currently open to, there doesn’t seem to be many options.

Exercise and eat better. Ok, yeah. I could do that. But when? I already don’t have time or drive to do the things I really love, let alone something I hate. Like jogging. And for the most part I don’t eat terribly. I eat at home mostly. Fruits and veggies, homemade meals, and I don’t crave carbs as much as I used to. I don’t eat many sweets, and I drink water more than anything else… well, besides coffee.

I think I just need a vacation. But there’s no free time in sight.

Anyway, before I let this post spiral out into some depressing lament of my current state of mind, let’s talk about Morning Star.morning-star

I loved this book. Seriously. Every single page upped the ante in ways I couldn’t have imagined. Brown does a wonderful job of tying up all the pieces, leaving no story arc unfinished.

Roque? Dealt with. Cassius? Dealt with. Aja? Dealt with. The Sovereign and the Jackal? Oh, fucking dealt with. And every single one was unique and powerful. They all fit their characters. Darrow’s interactions and decisions were believable, and often poignant. Darrow, and in turn the reader, held so much love for these Golds, despite their betrayals. And in Aja, the Sovereign, and Jackal’s cases, so much hate. Brown did a really wonderful job of treating them all.break-the-chains

I will say that the ending was a little conflicting for me. On one hand, my critical reading/writing mind thought the ending was too tidy. Everything wraps up in this tidy, damn-near pleasant bow. But as a fan, and someone completely obsessed and madly in love with the world and the characters, it was perfect. I cried and cried afterward, because I was sad and happy all at once.

This book, this whole series has everything you could ever want. Intense one on one combat. Seiges, large scale battles, and space battles galore. There’s awesome technology that is at once fantastic and yet understandable and believable. It’s fast-paced, intricately plotted, and character driven. It’s brutal, gritty, and yet sometimes damn poetic.

I would call Morning Star a triumph. I consider it the best of the three, but each book really stood out and earned a place in my heart separately.

I still find myself in a bit of a Red Rising hangover. I’m listening to playlists constantly. Thinking about Sevro and Darrow and Mustang still. I was so immersed. So enraptured in the world and the relationships. It’s proving to be difficult to move on, which is making the next book on my list so much more difficult to get through.

Poor thing never stood a chance.

Anyway, I recommend the series to anyone with an interest in Science Fiction. It’s a fantastic series that never quite twists in the ways you’d expect, and hits hard in all the feels, all the time. A great series.red-rising-trilogy-by-pierce-brown.jpg

Until next time Blogland,

 

BZ