So on this blog I've always tried to be honest and up front, showing you me with little pretense. (Ego happens, kids, so some pretense gets through the censors.) Part of what this means is that I show you not just the good times, but the bad. I show you the pretty, dolled up words that have been edited, and I show you the ugly muck that comes out on the fly.
And part of that is showing you the realities of me.
I've never hidden the fact that I've struggled with depression for much of my life. I have baggage and while I try to go through it and deal with it, I leave it out in the open for you to see. My depression has been well-managed since 2008, but there are days.... Oh man there are days when I look up and I'm in the thick of it.
What is "it"?
It's whispers. Voices. No, not characters talking to me. And it's not the other kind of head voices that you might think of. These voices are mine. They are re-runs of insults I've slung at myself, or things I expect to hear from others. Some days, these voices are all I can hear.
The past 2 days have been rough because those voices are in town. And they've been throwing a parade. A "Jamie is Shitty" parade.
I've been busting ass for a month or so on various projects. Most of them involve support work--meaning they are things that support my career, but aren't writing. Like writing pitches for Cracked. (I know I just said it's not writing, but this is different.) Pitches involve hours of research, then putting that info together and presenting it to editors. It's more like reporting than writing at this stage. So I've been doing a metric fuck ton of that work. Other tasks, too, like researching and ordering merchandise for Kickstarter backers. Well, to do that efficiently, I needed to do a lot of data organization/entry with the Kickstarter reports and spreadsheets. But, yay, that info is there and the cards and bookmarks are designed and ordered and woot. And hiring my publicist! That's done (and cool.) And this website came due for renewal, but I hated my former hosting service.... so that was another couple of days spent researching new providers, toying with interfaces and such, then doing the actual work of, you know BUILDING this whole new site from scratch. (Including the new store, woot!) And the audio book for WILD CARD! Mandy got the final draft to me and I had to listen to that. If I wanted to give it my attention, I couldn't be writing another story, ya know? My brain is good at multi tasking but not to that level, yo. So there was that. And we got the audiobook done (Mandy is amazing) and you can now buy it on Amazon, Audible and iTunes! And there's this new book I want to write, so I started doing character studies and research and plotting....but no actual writing. (And then a short story idea came in....)
All of this on top of regular life tasks. A sick daughter who stayed home from school for most of a week. Then I got sick with the crud. Then Sean (the hubbins) got sick and stayed home for most of a week.
Anyway, what I'm saying is that I've been burning the candle hard lately and have accomplished a lot! Yay, productivity. But at the end of the day, there's that thing that writers do, right? We write. And I haven't written my fiction in too long. I managed to eke out 200 words on Tuesday. That's not even a page. Yesterday, 530 words. I then spent yesterday telling myself those words weren't good enough, and slamming myself for having not accomplished a damn thing but a much-needed nap.
I recognized it for what it was. This is how my depression manifests. This self-loathing chorus of voices that lashes out and constantly tells me that I'm not good enough stands up and starts poking at all my soft parts. I call it out for what it is. I recognize it. And that's part of how I get through it. I hear what is said and remind myself that those are lies. Depression lies.
The illustrious Monica Valentinelli asked if I wanted to do wordsprints with her today and I did! I jumped at it. And today while waiting for noon to roll around, I found myself already exhausted. So I decided I didn't want caffeine to keep me awake. I took a walk. I haven't done that in months, honestly. I walked a mile in 30 minutes. Outside! In the sunshine!
And all I could think was, "You used to do 3 miles in an hour."
Shut up, lying voices. This was good for me right now. And I feel good. I did this now. I started.
Then the word sprints. I wrote more than 2100 words today in 2 hours. And all I can think is, "You used to have 5k days. And I bet you those 2100 words are all shit that will get cut. I mean, were you saying anything at all in them?"
This is what it's like in my head.
I know it's lying. I know that I am enough. I know that I am worthy.
Just some days it's harder to remember that. It's the still small voice that sometimes gets lost in the din of all that other shit.
So here it is. Here's me. From the middle of it, wearing this bracelet I got that says, "I am ENOUGH" as a reminder. I'm not writing this to get a fix, but to acknowledge where I am.
This is me.
This is how my demons manifest.
And this is how I cope with them.
I name them and deal with them until they go away for a bit.
Thank you for hanging with me.
PS: Don't forget, in honor of #WorldBookDay you can get a digital copy of WILD CARD for just 99 cents here on ye olde website! Just click "MERCH" above. Sale ends tomorrow. Also, you can pick up the audio book of WILD CARD on Amazon, Audible and iTunes. Also, also, you can preorder the alt.sherolck.holmes collection. Features novellas by Gini Koch, Glen Mehn and yours truly as we ponder variations on the Great Detective.(yes, even when in the mire I have to make time to pimp myself.)