Welcome to the part where we delve deeply into self-loathing confessional crap that would have been more at home on LiveJournal, circa 2001.
Mind you, don’t misunderstand my introduction completely. It was born more out of my own self-hatred and general disgust for releasing my own problems from their tightly guarded supermax cell down in my squishy bits and into the fresh air and daylight. I don’t begrudge anyone the airing of their personal laundry in public (regardless of how ill-advised it may be a lot of the time); I do recognize the cathartic value in just “getting it all out there.” It’s just not something I approve of doing myself.
Still, I need something to write about today and seeing as I’m about to begin what feels, to me at least, like a fairly major undertaking, I figured if nothing else it would give me fodder for the upcoming weeks. This story’s going to take a bit of time to tell, however, so I’m going to be breaking it up over two or three entries to make it both more digestible for you and allow me to pad out a few posts in the process.
Anyhow, I suppose we should start at the start. For the better part of the last 20+ years of my life, I’ve been battling clinical depression. It’s been a rocky, difficult uphill climb, for a number of reasons. Any of you out there who’ve dealt with similar problems don’t need me to enumerate on how hard it can be and those of you who have never known that crushing grip will never fully be able to grasp the magnitude of what it means, no matter how florid a picture I try to paint. However, it turns out that I may well have been fighting the wrong fight this whole time…
So it’s happening already…
One day into this thing and already I found myself making excuses as to why I couldn’t write a blog post today.
To be fair, I’ve spent most of today in a pretty blank mood and it’s hard for me to write when I’m barely able to handle just staring into the distance. Then, as usual, I started tending toward darker modes of thinking as the night wore on. By the time midnight was almost here, I had already given myself over to depression and just totally written off the possibility of even throwing together the most cursory, hastily assembled blog entry.
Why write when you don’t even want to be awake, right?
But, after being reminded of it, I decided that I would soldier bravely forward and hammer something out. I have no idea what it’s going to be. You tell me. You’re the one reading it, after all…
Here we go again…
So as many of you may know, around this time last year, I signed on as part of Pete Davison’s “One-A-Day Project,” a group of bloggers ostensibly dedicated to cranking out daily blog posts in the interest of creative expression, personal growth and just plain old damn stubbornness. Never having been able to summon the creativity to make projects like NaNoWriMo work, I figured this would be a much more doable endeavor. It would be less pressing in the lack of need for a single unifying idea and progressing narrative. Just overall a more achievable goal, one that I could even cheat my way through a bit, with the use of themed content days to pad the calendar and limit the number of times I’d actually have to talk about my own real life, which is ridiculously boring and uneventful.
Needless to say, I dropped the ball and bailed before the month of January was fully finished. I can’t say I really surprised myself there either. This was not unexpected, not by myself or likely by anyone who really knows me well either.
But what would a new year be with a new (and likely soon to be aborted) attempt to do something with myself? Exactly. I’m glad you all agree with me on this. So let’s get this show on the road, shall we?
“Welcome to Summoner’s Rift”
Those seemingly innocuous words delineated the edge of a deep, dark rabbit hole; one I would often find myself at the bottom of during my time away, occasionally glancing up at the pinprick of light far, far above me, where the rest of the world carried on in my absence.
We’ve all heard tales of “WoW Widows” who had relationships dissolve because their significant others couldn’t prioritize their domestic partner’s happiness and the stability of their relationship over “Raid Night” with the guild. I was even one of those widows myself once. The game in question wasn’t World of Warcraft and the circumstances were a bit different, but it held enough similarity and helped contribute (note: contribute – it wasn’t the sole cause) to the downfall of a long-term relationship that I feel the comparison is totally apt. The point being, I knew that such things weren’t just exaggerated hyperbole trumped-up by slighted girlfriends to justify their hurt feelings. I’d been in their shoes. I knew what it felt like.
What I didn’t necessarily believe were the assertions from the other parties involved that they were “addicted” to said game; that there was a burning psychological need to log on and play. It seemed like a cheap, shitty cop-out to excuse your own lack of self-control and absolve you of any responsibility in maintaining your half of the relationship.
Then I got drawn into League of Legends.
Some of you may (or may not) have noticed, but I’ve been gone for a little while. I’ve been missing from this blog for just shy of about eight months. I slipped on the One-A-Day program for a couple of days, told myself I was going to take a week or so to rest and then come back at things with renewed fervor, but that never ended up happening. Procrastination wrapped me in its Snuggie-like embrace of complacency and warmth and I never really looked back for more than a fleeting moment or two.
However, that’s not really what I’m here to discuss today. What’s more important (maybe, depending on if you even know who I am or why my disappearing would matter) is the fact that for the majority of July and August, I was more or less totally off the grid. Incommunicado. The world couldn’t reach me and I wasn’t reaching out to them.
Greetings from the salt mines.
So as some of you may know, I run a website. This February is going to be our 2 year anniversary of going online and the beginning of our third year in existence. In that time, we’ve gone from being essentially a one-man band (plus art team) to an operation with a crew of 10+ people. It’s been a crazy ride and one I’ll probably do a post or three about in the future, assuming any of you care.
However, for now, we’re up to our necks in trying to get our new visual redesign for the anniversary in place and running as soon as possible. The site has laid fallow for a few days now, as we don’t want to flood a bunch of new content out while trying to futz with these design issues simultaneously. It’s already enough of a pain as it is.
I used to love snow. What kid doesn’t really?
Growing up in Southern California, snow was, as you would guess, something of a rare commodity. However, my first experience with snow came at a fairly young age. My family used to tell a story of how, when I was a wee tyke of around 3, we lived in a town in Northern California called Clearlake Highlands (now just part of Clearlake) for around a year or so. What follows is the only clear memory I have of the time I lived there.