Crawling Back Out

Hey, y’all.

It’s been a while, I know.

Here’s the truth: I’ve been pretty depressed for the past few months. In January, when I basically stopped sleeping altogether, I finally got up the nerve to admit defeat and march myself down to my old therapist’s office, who promptly referred me to a psychiatrist, who promptly prescribed anti-depressants.

The adjustments to the medicine — something I’ve always been ambivalent about anyway, but hey, I’m trusting the good doctor for now after “healing myself” definitely did not work — have been weird, and I don’t think it’s over: while I’m generally feeling better mood-wise, these last ones have made me so sensitive to caffeine that even some chocolate triggers a migraine; all of the ones I’ve tried have weird sexual side-effects that I feel fairly certain would simply not be tolerated if antidepressant use were as prevalent among men as it was among women. Switching makes me impossibly sleepy or keeps me awake, and I’m never quite sure which a change will bring.

My therapist, a lovely and wise older woman who reminds me of some kind of lion goddess and who I’d basically like to be by the time I’m her age, has gotten me through some tough times and is doing so again. Her advice was simple: “Do the minimum you can, and don’t put pressure on yourself. Pretend you’re hibernating while you heal; there’s no way around slowing down for a bit; hunker down until the spring, the natural season for waking back up anyway.”

So, that’s what I’ve been doing. It turns out, though, that even in doing “the minimum,” there’s still quite a lot to do to keep my household afloat. Most of my various jobs are somewhat erratic: it’s fairly impossible to keep a schedule because, for the majority of them, tasks are offered to me when they’re needed, which means I’m constantly playing a making-money version that fruit ninja game with little control over when/if it comes flying at me. I did manage to get a steady-ish gig, at least, which has me feeling a little more tranquila. It doesn’t pay as much as the others which means I have to spend more time doing it, but a little security can go a long way when it comes to one’s mental health.

So, I haven’t done too much creativity-wise other than what I’m paid to do; for the rest, I’m still in hibernation, though the sun is starting to peek into a crack through the door, at least. Will spring really and truly arrive? Like, all the way?

That said, I believe my depression is situational, perhaps with a dash of genetic predisposition thrown into the mix. The world is crazy and sad. AI is coming, inevitably, for all the ways I make money in a world where no one has to give you a job but you do have to work to survive. My ex has been, preposterously, insisting for over a year now that he doesn’t have the couple of hours to spare needed to mediate our divorce, meaning I’ll have to sue him at some point if I ever want it to happen (I very much do).

But I’m trying. I’ve got a list of project ideas if I can ever work up the confidence and energy to see them through. I’m happy with my partner; I’m happy with my daughter. I have a nice family and good friends. And I came over to write to you, so that’s progress, right?

Soon, soon. Finding the strength to make things better for ourselves and each other is all any of us can hope to do.