Guess Who's Back? Back Again?|
Penguicon was simultaneously a blast and an absolute terror, like a rollercoaster ride with no seatbelt. It was a lot of fun, but the entire time I had this nagging feeling:
They were nice enough to invite you, and you’re disappointing them. The people you meet? They all think you’re a buffoon. Why are you even bothering?
I kept wandering out into the halls to meet people, and then I scuttled back to my room to cool down because all the conversation stressed me out. But the hotel room wasn’t much consolation, because I’d be endlessly replaying what I just said, my brain effortlessly picking up the dumbest thing I had said in the last hour and endlessly replaying it in a loop. Each time I heard myself, I sounded like a bigger idiot, until I realized with a certainty that they were all mocking me behind my back, and quite rightfully so.
Eventually, I had to leave the room just so I wouldn’t hear myself fuck up over and over again.
When I got back from the con, I exchanged emails with some of the folks I met… And the moment I sent any email, I realized that I had sent an email that was so hideously tone-deaf that the recipient would recoil in horror. I read it over and over again, nitpicking every word, and remained in a state of mild panic until the person responded to me – with a perfectly pleasant email, mind you – and I’d clumsily respond with another email that was, of course, equally bad and horrible and wrong.
It wasn’t until Real Men Cook called that I realized what time of year it was. I checked the calendar, and yup – I’d had a breakdown around this time last year.
My old pal Seasonal Affective Disorder is back, and once again my body chemistry is doing its damndest to convince me that I’m a useless piece of shit.
It’s tricky, because like a woman’s period it never arrives on the same date, and moving to Alaska’s lengthened sunshine seems to have knocked it back a couple of months. I first noticed the cyclical nature of my downer periods in late June, and I only figured it out because my two major suicide attempts were in – you guessed it – late June. After that, I realized it was a chemistry issue, and I’m working hard to get past it. It only lasts for about a month, and oh how the fun times roll.
My productivity dips during the down time, because everything I do is worthless and why am I bothering? Yet that’s no excuse; as I’ve said many times in the past, the problem is that the world does not stop for your mood swings, and if I stop working then I’ll be so far behind that I’ll have a reason to be depressed when my mood matches up with reality again.
In the meantime, I ask my wife to cut me a little slack – not enough that I can be a raging asshole within the boundaries, but enough where she knows that I’m in a different way right now. I ask friends for support. And I wait.
And here’s my request for support: If any of you want to help a depressed man, you can show up at my house on Thursday night to help me peel and slice about five hundred apples so I can make Mom’s Apple Crisp for Real Men Cook, and maybe y’all coming over to help me will ease my stupid, traitorous brain.
Anyone wanna come?
Tags: seasonal affective disorder