Blaugust Day 8 – The Morning After the Night Before

So for the first time in a week of Blaugust I’m sitting in front of my screen with no clue what I’m going to write.

This doesn’t actually happen to me that often. My writer’s block — if it’s even worthy of the name — isn’t the blank-page-terror variety, it’s more the lack of self-confidence variety that convinces me even I don’t care to read what I might write – and if I don’t like it, why would anyone else? Come to think of it that’s probably the self-sabotaging variety, and I’m quite certain I’m not the only one to suffer from it. One of the things one learns from depression and anxiety is that one may be a unique snowflake, but lots and lots of people also suffer, most of them quietly, internally, and often ashamedly. The components of our uniqueness are shared by billions.

Okay so I didn’t intend to hit that whole depression / anxiety / mental health note, especially on a Saturday, especially on a blog that purports to be mostly about gaming, but I have an e-friend I’m extremely fond of struggling their way out of denial as we speak and it’s on my mind. That friend posted some incredibly personal and brutally honest, super raw stuff a few days ago, and did it again yesterday. And a literal horde* of friends, e-friends and acquaintances — myself included — came pouring out of the virtual woodwork with words of encouragement, shared experience and support. When brain chemistry decides to screw with you on a daily basis and make you believe (as in my case) that the only way to achieve peace and get some rest from one’s demons is to simply not be there anymore, one of the hardest things to remember and believe is that we are not alone.

It’s only due to the loveliness and kindness of some of my oldest friends that we are still friends, 25 years down the line. When I was at my worst in terms of depression I dug a big hole, crawled inside it and pulled a rock over myself; that’s what I do. If *I* am sick of listening to myself about what hurts, why I’m sad for no reason, why I can’t even make it out of bed some days and why I burst into tears for no good reason, how could anyone else possibly want to?

Depressed people tend to treat themselves about as kindly as Genghis Khan treated towns that wouldn’t surrender. Depressed people treat themselves with a cruelty they would never display to their own worst enemy. Depressed people tend to forget that just as they would never not be there for a friend, their friends want to be there for them. If only we knew how to let them.

So if these words strike a chord and you also own a large villa in De Nile, reach out. Here, to friends and family, on Facebook (seriously – inane as the medium is, it’s actually pretty good for that kind of thing if you’re careful about your sharing circle), on your blog, on your rooftop, to a professional — wherever. Just do it. I didn’t, and I spent probably 5 years longer than I needed to in a state I wouldn’t wish on anyone. And as far as depression goes I suspect mine was one of the milder cases. Point is, it doesn’t matter if it’s mild or not — when it hurts, it hurts. The belly of the wolf is a nasty place to be. Don’t live in it alone.

Well. That wasn’t at all what I intended to write — or hell, for all I know maybe it was. I didn’t have an intention when I sat down and sometimes that’s not such a bad thing. But let’s lighten the mood a bit. It is, after all, Caturday.

And now for something completely different

In other news, Exploding Kittens was hilarious.

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A selection of safe-for-work deck cards

We ate like pigs, drank just enough to make everyone merry, and had a lot of fun. I even ended up wearing a real Cone of Shame (my Husky came home from the vet with one a few weeks ago and never actually needed it, so there it was) which I sincerely hope will not end up on Facebook, though I’m quite sure it will. Wearing the cone of shame is now a house rule method for obtaining a new Defuse card (but only if you played the Defuse through Spay/Neuter card). A game takes all of 10-15 minutes to play, 20 if you have a player who insists on examining the strategy of every card he might play (the fucking strategy is DO NOT EXPLODE!, dude!) and another player who insists on reading aloud and roleplaying every card that’s played (me). We played 2 games with the NSFW deck and another with the SFW deck and both decks were excellent. The SFW deck might make your kids a little weird but all the best people are weird and it is in fact perfectly clean, if super-skewed, humour.

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A not-so-safe-for-work (or kids*) card

That’s all for now, folks. See you tomorrow.

* Yes, I know what I did there. I’m a lit major, remember?

7 thoughts on “Blaugust Day 8 – The Morning After the Night Before

  1. A month or so ago, I mentioned in my blog that I was back on depression/anxiety medication. I didn’t really mean to go there (I just had an Ingress story related to the doctor appointment), but then I remembered how much it helps to be reminded that you are not alone, you are not broken, and it’s ok to seek help. It’s a bit uncomfortable (for me anyway) to post about something personal like that, but I think it’s probably important people do, if they can.

    And good thoughts toward your friend, that’s a rough place to be.

    1. It’s incredibly uncomfortable!! But also oddly liberating to be honest with others and articulate stuff you yourself (or me, myself) prefer not to even think about most of the time.

  2. *hugs* Mental illness is a demon many of us share, indeed. I have to VERY carefully manage my stress levels to keep my head above water and that’s ON medication. If I can manage that, I’m okay. But others aren’t able to. And it always sucks knowing that somebody else is suffering.

    1. Among others yes — from someone who can barely remember New Year’s Eve and, at 46 and counting, really ought to learn that ageing bodies don’t cope with alcohol like they did at 20. (And did learn, as a result of that NYE.)

  3. My admiration for you grows by the day. Some of my very favorite people struggle with depression, and I think those who are acknowledging it are getting extra love and support which we can only hope helps them. It is not always possible for those of us who care to know when our loved ones are in a dark place. Please always leave the door open a little to someone who can help you come back to where it is light.

  4. I can’t say I know the level of anxiety that those who are “diagnosed” do…but that said, I think that first part resonates with everyone regardless. I try to be a support pillar for my friends who have moments, and even for those whom I know only in a digital medium.

    It’s important to remember that behind the avatar is a human-damn-being.

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