If you've ever wondered what it's like to have "crazy brain*," I wrote this blog post when I was in the grip of a depressive episode yesterday. Reading it today, when things are a little brighter, it reminds me that I'm FIGHTING to get better, to keep from sliding back to a dark place permanently.
It's okay. It's going to be okay.
I'm awful and I should die. I'm a monster. I'm terrible. No wonder people hate me. I just had this litany go through my head. Welcome to anxiety. Welcome to depression. Yeah, I know they lie. Doesn't make the lies any less like a siren's call. Doesn't make the sensation any less like bees knocking around in my rib cage and weights dragging down my wrists.
I've been struggling for years to write through depression, to live through anxiety, and sometimes I feel like it's pointless to fight. Fortunately, thanks to regular therapy and a combination of meds, I can now flag those times and check myself. But, again, it doesn't make it any less attractive to just shut out the world, hide away, and give up.
I know that self-sabotage and self-judgment are a large part of my illness. I set myself up for failure, and I'm terribly hard on myself. Every mistake, every misstep, every fumble, must reinforce that I'm awful.
So, yeah, there IS a part of me that wonders if all my social justice and race-in-publishing raging is really about doing good or just about proving to myself that I'm a caustic jerk who can't leave things alone. I mean, it wouldn't be the first time. I have torpedoed a lot of things in my life, done a lot of self-destructive things. Maybe I'm trying to ruin my writing career before it even really starts, alienate everyone I possibly can?
Okay, no. I don't really believe that. I do think the ranting is actually what it says on the tin. But the fact that I am a blunt asshole with no filter is definitely still destructive. It just adds to the things my depression and anxiety already whisper to me. I'm a monster. I'm terrible.
I don't know where I'm going with any of this. I'm trying to remember the strides I've made. I have a new day job that I love. I self-pubbed a serial last year under a new name. I'm writing more often these days and it might eventually add up. I've made countless new friends. I dyed my hair. I get out of bed every morning.
But I'm still afraid. I'm always afraid.
Last year, I split my head open and broke my ribs. What if this is the year I break everything else?
*I know a lot of people find terms like "crazy," to be ableist, but it works for me. As well as "nuts," "loony," and many other variations.