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So I Turned Myself To Face Me

Sometimes, you realise something about yourself so fundamentally obvious in hindsight that you’re not sure how it took you so long for it to occur to you.

I’ve been struggling a bit with my depression in recent weeks. Given the amount of slow-motion change in my life right now, that’s hardly surprising, but today, while thinking about a comment thread yesterday in osewalrus‘s Facebook page, something clicked in my brain that clarified to me why I’ve felt so unsettled.

I have two strong behavioural methods for temporarily punching up my mood: eating and buying things.

Neither of which I can really do right now.

I’m trying hard to get back on my fitness plan, which means I have a careful budget with regards to what and how much I can eat in a given day.

I’m saving up money to move across country in 3 months and need to be prepared to weather out a period of unemployment, so I can’t really shop for much of anything I don’t actually require.

It could be argued that neither of this are strictly healthy ways of dealing with stress and depression, but I’ve been me for a long time, and I know they both work, at least in the short term. And right now, for a variety for reasons, I’m denied their outlet.

Not sure what to do with this information presently, but there you have it.

When You’re Up On The Stage, It’s So Unbelievable

Between 2005 and 2009, I didn’t play a lot of music in public. It wasn’t a decision I made to withdraw from the stage. It started because of struggles with depression that caused me to withdraw from a lot of social spheres, and then after I came out the other side of that particular emotional valley, I just…didn’t. No one was asking me if I wanted to, and I wasn’t volunteering, and the longer it went on, the more it just became…normal. This wasn’t just not doing concert sets or one shots; many have noted that I absented myself from open filk, preferring instead to spend my con time socialising or lurking around the edges.

The last couple of years, I’ve been making an effort to get back to playing public, because…I enjoy it. So I’ve made an effort at cons to make itto at least a little bit of open filk, if only to justify having brought my guitar. And when [ profile] mrgoodwraith asked me at OVFF a couple of yearsago if I’d like to come play a short set at Confluence in 2011, I eagerly agreed. Unfortunately, just before I was to book my flight, [ profile] kitanzi unexpectedly lost her job, and I couldn’t justify the expense. Randy understood, and extended an invitation to come up in 2012 instead.

When I find myself in times of trouble…

So, having made a solemn pledge to start updating again, I promptly stopped updating. Which isn’t to say things have been boring around here. [personal profile] runnerwolf came to visit, which was shiny and awesome, and then I went to California for Consonance, which was also shiny and awesome, and then I came home and had the plague, which was dingy and boring, and then Marian Call was in town for a concert, which was back to shiny and awesome.

So, rather than talk about those things, each of which deserves at least a post unto itself, I want to talk about Pop Culture Comfort Food.

This past weekend was mentally fragile for me. I do pretty well most of the time these days, but depression still sucks, and every so often it gets the better of me. There are some things that reliably help, but it’s mostly a matter of just getting through them until my brain chemistry balances out.

Since I had managed to lure [personal profile] kitanzi into playing The Old Republic with me, I got the notion over the weekend to rewatch Star Wars. I followed it up with The Empire Strikes Back because, well, it comes next, doesn’t it. And a couple of things struck me while I was watching it:

1) The Special Editions are fine. Seriously. There’s really nothing wrong with them. (Before you start, I want to note something: Han still shoots first. Really. Go watch. He shoots Greedo, whose gun discharges at strikes the wall. At the very worst, they shoot simultaneously. It’s Not Even A Thing, stop griping about it.)

2) These films are, for me, the cinematic equivalent of a big bowl of macaroni and cheese. I’ve seen them enough times now that they really are like comfort food. I go back to them and I’m 10 again and the world is okay.

[personal profile] kitanzi and I were discussing this last night, and she said that she couldn’t really think of a movie that fit that category for her, but she certainly had books which did, most notably Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan series, which she claims to have read more times than she can actually count anymore.

So what are *your* pop culture comfort foods? When you just need something warm and familiar, what entertainment do you turn to?

Protected: Forget where have I been. Where am I going?

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Pointless whinging.

What follows is probably mostly whinging and self-pity. But it’s my journal, and I get to use it for stuff like that sometimes.

Protected: What lives here, and what’s stray…

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Protected: I’m not crazy, I’m just a little unwell

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Protected: Medical: Renewing my subscription for another year

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Closing the Book on 2005

I’ve been debating how much I want to talk about 2005. In many ways, it was a painful year. There were highlights, of course. kitanzi and I spent half of February honeymooning in England, I got to visit New York City for the first time, and we celebrated our first wedding anniversary and fourth couples anniversary. I developed a much closer romantic relationship with aiela, which brought me joy, and cultivated an intimate and satisfying friendship with klrmn.

On he downside, I spent much of the second half of the year fighting off depression, much of it wrapped up in a specific single issue that ultimately was not resolved satisfactorily. In the process, I learned a lot of useful things about myself, and a lot of things I wish I hadn’t about someone else, leaving me ultimately more disappointed than I was with the outcome of the issue.

Between myself and kitanzi, we had a lot of medical issues, the most major of course being her shoulder surgery in November. I’m still working to get a handle on my blood pressure. We started and then faltered on a fitness plan, partly due to various infirmity, but mostly on my part due to my depression.

My task for 2006 is to take the good stuff above with me, while leaving the bad behind. I will make my 2006 be a year of light and love and joy and hope and promise, for myself and all of those I care about. How’s that for a New Year’s resolution?



Though this may come as a surprise to those of you who have never lived with me or spent copious amounts of time around me, I’m a moody person. Quite often, I have extended bouts of melancholy which have no discernible cause, marked by low energy, mopiness, and being unfit company.

Today seems to be one of those days. Well, it really started last night, but I chalked it up to being tired from my recent day of not enough sleep. The total amount of sleep I got yesterday was alright, but it was broken up into 2 and 3 hour segments, so it never really felt like rest.

Today is more of the same. The real problem with these fits of depression is that they don’t seem to have any real cause. If I could come up with a reason for them, perhaps I could shake myself out of it. Instead, I berate myself for being down for no good reason, which only reinforces my mood.

And, in truth, I have no good reason to feel this way. My life is filled with love, I am surrounded by good friends, I’ve been in the most creative mood the last 3 months that I’ve been in for 2 years. So why are whispering voices scurrying around in my backbrain, insisting quietly that I’m a failure, and imposter, and that I don’t deserve all the happiness?

Sometimes, I wonder what the human brain is up to.

I know this will pass. It’s the same mood that has come and gone a thousand times, and it rarely lasts long, and it never really incapacitates me from doing important things, but…it doesn’t make today any easier.

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