Monday, February 10, 2014

For want of a potato

I'm sorry I didn't post last week. It was one of those unfortunate times where I had too many deadlines and no internet access. While I wasn't able to get the blog written and up, I did get nearly everything else done.

There's one bit of news that I haven't mentioned on the blog yet because I've been a bit hesitant. My close friends and family already know but I'll tell the rest of you. My geriatric cat, Spud, the one I've mentioned in a few early posts, passed away two weeks ago. It wasn't unexpected -- she was almost 19 -- but her passing has definitely put a pall on my life. Not a good thing when I've had so many deadlines and obligations that couldn't be postponed. For some people losing a cat wouldn't be traumatic but I've had her for more than half of my life. She's comforted me during the most distressing moments in my life. That's a distinguishing achievement for any being, let alone a pet. I'm not telling you this because I want to be a pathetic figure or because I can't move on. Believe me, life has given me no choice but to move on.

I've never been one to criticize someone in mourning. It's a very personal thing that effects everyone differently. If an author wants to mourn for a year and a day, then that's what they need to do and I hope they find the peace they need during that time. Me? That's a bit hard to say. The last time I was in this sort of headspace I wasn't a serious writer. But how it progressed last time was completely different. This time around I'm oddly aware of my mental state and the precarious edge my schedule has forced me to walk. It's a very strange place to be. It's like living in someone else's head while being fully aware that it's still my mind.

That part isn't so bad, weird, but not bad. What I don't like is that this headspace is making my writing inconsistent. On good days I can produce the same quality words at the same pace. But if I'm having a difficult day I don't get much of anything on the page. Difficult days have already caused me to miss one deadline. While I don't want to miss another I don't want to ask for extensions because that would mean that I'm letting depression take control of my life when it should be the other way around. I'm stronger than this, damn it.

Grief aside, I've had enough experience with depression to know how I need to deal with it. Unfortunately my production issues have mitigated the effects of my usual therapies of choice. I've worked too hard to get my work to this stage to let my imbalanced brain muck it up. Please don't flood the comments with suggestions. As I said earlier, I know my own mind and if anyone is going to find a way through the brain fog, it'll be me. If you want to offer condolences, prayers, positive energy, go right ahead. What I don't want is a barrage of "try this therapist &/or medication"or "you need to do _____."I realize those kind of comments are offered out of concern and love but they aren't what I need. They may help someone else, but they won't help me.

So if I don't want advice, why bring all this up? Because depression and silence tend to go hand in hand. The last time I was in this headspace I pulled away from my friends and didn't tell anyone what I suffered. It made my recovery excruciatingly slow and I refuse to let my depression sabotage my life like that again. This time I'm being proactive. I'm telling you that my mind is currently teetering between okay and hanging in there. If I seem out of it or not as chatty as usual, it's because I am having a difficult day and need to be in the background for a bit. If I look pissed off, I am, but not because of any serious wrong doing on your part. My fuse is very short these days and it doesn't take much to set me off. Plus it may be the result of writing frustrations so don't take it personal. I'll be myself again in time. All I ask is that you be patient and understanding while I work my way through this.


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