Time to get as raw as I can.
I’ve been extremely prolific in my other ventures but largely negligent of this one lately and I finally realized I needed to change that. It’s been a long couple of months. I’ve been deep, deep in a depressive episode. I’ve not been okay mentally. This has been a period marked by lack of sleep and severe emotional disturbance. I can admit to all of this.
And I’ve tried to recover. I really have. It’s crazy how people always suggest the very things I’m doing to fix this. I’ve tried every piece of self care I know to do. I’ve taken family time. I’ve reached out to friends. I’ve watched movies. I’ve read comics. I’ve tried to rest. I’ve meditated. I’ve even tapped retail therapy. I’ve. Tried. So why am I not better?
The very brutal truth is you can’t fix your pain simply. Everything you can try might not be enough. Not if you’re wrestling with very deep pain. I’ve been doing so.
I think a lot of my depression is actually fairly simple. I have severe PTSD from a childhood that built some sick patterns into me. I am desperate to please people and that means being perfect. But I’ve not been perfect lately due to exhaustion. So I’ve not pleased people. Which means I’ve been exhausted. The cycle has repeated enough to send me into depression.
So I have to confront this. And I’m trying. Because the core of this is that bitterness I feel towards myself. I do hate myself. Whatever everyone else hates about me I hate worse. Except they get to walk away. I have to live in this mind.
But I try to escape. I do. But I’m starting to see a sick pattern in my escaping too.
Let me explain. Since I was a kid, I’ve lost myself in old movie listings from old newspapers. I’ve never really stopped that. Not even after my job became designing newspapers. And inevitably doing that has stepped up during this period.
However, I made the decision to try and turn that into a column. I thought that maybe I could get attention for the odd ads I found. And I’ve found a few things that have interested people but I’ll be honest. I haven’t found the response I hoped. I wanted a bit more attention.
What happens next is to be expected. I find myself feeling isolated in the work I do. The research stops being fun because I’m trying to get approval I’ll never get.
Why does it matter? Well I also decided permanently to abandon book 2 this month. I realized nobody cares. The period after my job started won’t be written about. There’s no interest.
I’m nobody. That’s what I’m seeing. And yes, I know people care about me. I value that. But I’m seeing a pattern repeat that I saw in my childhood. Terrible people, the Grace Randolphs and Doug Walkers? They get the attention. Even people who hate them give them their energy. They are someone. (The less said about politics the better.)
Me? I’m nobody. And growing up there was a strong implication I had to be somebody to justify the condition I had. I had to have the best grades, place the highest, be the single best. I had to be exceptional.
I’m 36 in three months. I’m not going to be someone. That day has passed. And as silly as it is, as wrong as it is, it hurts. I wanted to be a writer people respected and while I’ve entertained people, I will never get much of a reach.
What’s getting my depression to this pit? It’s wrestling with the knowledge I have to be a mote in God’s eye while people who are functionally bullies are stars. And that’s triggering my PTSD. Every wretched bad take, every time one of their faces crosses my feed, it reminds me I fail yet the people that hurt me won.
I should write in private. I should sever any hope of it reaching people. Because people care but not that much. I should make peace that I work in the dark. Maybe eventually I will. But I’m going to keep trying to share.
Right now, I’m just saying all of this aloud. The hurt, the pain, the feeling of failure. I’m going to link to my patreon. I’m going to hope someone hears me. And maybe one day these feelings will leave me.