[Journal] Depression is like mold…

So, tonight I decided that having depression is a bit like fighting brown mold from the Pathfinder universe.

Brown mold is an interesting thing. It’s a pretty standard looking thing that you find plastered to walls and floors in dungeons, and when left alone it’s more or less harmless. However, when you encounter the brown mold, that’s where things get interesting. When it finds a source of heat (see: endothermic creatures, adventurers, pets, etc.), it feeds off that heat and draws it from any surrounding sources until they are ice cold. Anything within range of it’s draw begins to take cold damage as it eats away at the heat source magically. If you blast it with fire to try and destroy it, it simply doubles in size and continues on it’s merry existence.

Depression is an interesting thing. It’s pretty standard and most people have experienced it. You find little seeds of it stuck inside people, and when everything is going well, it’s more or less harmless. However, when you encounter depression head on because it’s been set off, that’s where things get interesting. When it finds a source of happiness (friends, family, favourite things, etc.), it feeds of that joy until it’s source has been extinguished – replaced by the same apathy and misery depression makes. People within range of someone affected by depression begin to take friendship damage as the condition causes the sufferer to push people away and find isolation, something that’s not always visible. If you drag the sufferer out into a social event or force them into ‘fun’, the depression doubles in size and leads to further feelings of isolation and sadness.

My life is undergoing some pretty big changes right now. Like. Literally life changing changes. And I’d doing my best to take it in my stride, but I’m no saint and I’ll be the first to admit that I’m actually afraid of change. I’ll run at it with a warrior’s face when I have to, but by the same token, I’m happy to just sit here and mind my own business and just do my own thing. This change has unsettled me. It’s changed the way I interact with people, it’s changed what I’ve been doing with my time and it changes how much patience I’ve had over the last few weeks -both with other people and myself.

It’s honestly starting to show. Because on one hand, I’m handling things damn well. I got through a funeral, helped with the prep, organised 50% of everything, have held things together and not slapped heads when relatives made truly horrid comments on the day, and then called my mum after to repeat them. I’m helping with the legal matters. I’m sorting the house. I’m slowly adjusting to the life changes I’m facing. I’m doing a damn fine job. On the other hand, my depression is out of hand, my anxiety is a dickweed, I feel I can count on one hand the friends that are actual friends and my body is an asshole. I feel like I’m fraying at the edges while simultaneously being the atlas of my world right now. And it’s incredibly confusing because I feel like I can’t be both of them at the same time.

I’m going to leave the blog here for tonight because I’m just too damn exhausted to analyze the situation much further. But I do plan on having at least one comic this week if everything goes to plan. Anyway, it’s almost 2am. I’ll pick up more on this another night.

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[Journal] A catch up

Once again, I managed to fall behind in my blogging schedule.

The last few weeks have been pretty full on. It was roughly a week after my toe procedure before I could walk again. It’s been almost three weeks now? Honestly, I have no real concept of time. But I’m finally able to wear socks and loose shoes. Thankfully, this means no more cold feet when we have our chilly weather snaps. I’m down to weekly visits to the doc so he can look at the mess that is my big toe, though I no longer require a dressing, and I can confirm that it still hurts like all sodomy. I was clever enough to drop my cane on my toe during the doctor’s visit today. I’m nearly in tears over it, Manthing is trying not to laugh at my misfortune and the poor GP doesn’t know what the dickens is going on.

My new GP decided that we needed to go over a complete and thorough patient history. I’m in two minds about this. On one hand I really appreciate his dedication to the task at hand and to giving me the best care he can. On the other hand, I seriously hate the fact that I had to go through all the other shit about my history, stuff I either was or wasn’t told growing up and the whole mental health side of things. He’s suggesting I see both a psychologist (which I’m undertaking in my own time) and a psychiatrist regarding the antidepressants and stuff that I’m on.

I had to get my dose of Endep lifted due to ongoing anxiety issues, panic attacks, negative thoughts, etc. The sort of shit that seeps into your brain like a leaky pipe. I can deal with everything in due time, but when I’m busy fighting my own brain, not sleeping because I’m afraid of the dark and having major panic attacks over nothing, then no progress gets made.

Speaking of panic attacks, I had an interesting experience this week. Albeit regrettable, it was worth noting that I have a new and identifiable trigger for my panic attacks. To simplify the situation, there was a great disagreement with a group of friends due to one being a selfish prig. The whole situation got out of hand, this person in question couldn’t see past their own nose, they threw around a lot of hurtful names (I may be many things, but I am NOT a bully, especially not to someone that I treated as a sister) and the whole thing boiled down to them acting like a spoiled, selfish little child. We were expected to be mind-readers, fortune tellers and have superhuman empathy because we should simply KNOW when this person was upset, rather than them using their adult skills and… well, you know, telling someone. They refused to accept responsibility for damaging property out of carelessness, I was called names for disbanding the gaming group (because it was THEIR group and how DARE I, despite the fact that I was GM) and any attempts to talk rationally to them ended up in them putting on the water works and involving a friend’s parents. I don’t deal well with conflict situations at the best of times, so when this all blew up on Sunday before our Pathfinder game, you can imagine just how pleased I was.

This week has been pretty shocking for pain levels and I’ve spent far more time out of bed than I should have, so when some ungrateful tit turns around and starts carrying on like a child, and tries to tell me what I can and can’t do, you get the idea. To sub up this person’s attitude over the weekend in regard to other people, “HER panic attacks? Her anxiety? What about MY anxiety? I get anxiety too and none of you care!” Suffice to say if I see this individual again, it’ll be too soon.

On the plus side, I’m feeling a little artsy tonight so hopefully I’ll have some new comics for you all. I’ve got a few old ones to put up still (one in regards to a ‘request’ journal I did a while back) and, as always, still taking inspiration from readers if they want to suggest something in particular, or challenge me.

[Journal] A response to “rapey dungeon masters”

This article is something that I came across on my Facebook news feed.

I have not been more enraged or disgusted by an article in quite some time. You have a problem with your GM and what’s being done in the game? FUCKING SAY SOMETHING! You change your group. You establish your boundaries and make it perfectly clear that you are NOT okay with this. It is up to YOU to say something about this, not assume that everyone knows this makes you uncomfortable and just sit there and suffer in silence. Nobody is ever forced to play a fucking GAME. You do it for fun. If it’s not fun, you put your big boy/girl pants on and tell the culprit to fuck off.

As someone who has played in a sexualised campaign, this disgusts me. Nothing has ever happened in our campaigns without equal lashings of consent or known consequences. Not all GMs are the same, but it’s up to the players to moderate these things a much as the person running the god damn game.

The idea that the rape of a character is equal to the rape of your actual person makes me physically ill. I have come across this issue in the past with my present group and, as someone who has been a victim of rape twice in my life, the idea that they are on par makes me want to throat punch a nun. They are NOT the same and anyone that thinks that what happens to a fictional character is somehow on par with real life is bullshit. Where are the arms being thrown up at rape or sexual harassment in novels? These are characters that people relate to greatly. How is this any different to something you watch on TV? Are you not also invested in those people to a degree? Sure, you make the character, you may play with the character as a reflection of self, but at the end of the day the entire thing is a game and if you have issues separating fact and fiction, there’s a far deeper issue at hand and you need to take a step back and reevaluate things.

If you have an issue with some guy being a creepy fucking perv, you take it up with him in person, you get yourself out of that situation one way or another. The comments alone on this article echo my feelings. Now if you pardon me, I’m going to be sick.

Trash and Treasure

Today is a very emotionally complicated day.

In fact, this entire weekend has had it’s own lot of ups and downs.

Pro: I got to spend time with friends.

Negative: I spent the entire weekend in high levels of pain.

Pro: We played Pathfinder and it made a decent distraction.

Negative: It made me realise how much I rely on these distractions to get through daily life, and how I never play a character with my illnesses.

Pro: I made awesome food and I should be proud of it.

Negative: I missed my adoptive dad’s surprise birthday party and hated myself for it.

Pro: Did I mention we played Pathfinder?

 

I’m making a marked point to leave this post with more pro points than cons, but it’s bloody difficult. My memory is at the worst it’s ever been. I’m forgetting names, places, details and where I parked my car. It’s starting to get scary. I’m less and less mobile. I need more painkillers and begin and end every day with a steaming hot bath to ease the pain enough so I can sleep, or get a small amount of shit done. I honest to god feel like I’m starting to lose parts of my self to this illness.

On the plus side, today I was sold as chattel to a bandit camp as an entertainer. I Inara’d the shit out of it, demanded a bath, to be unshackled and put on a performance of a lifetime. I actually earned 12gp out of a bandit camp (rolled a 37 on my perform check) and hit the soft spot of a poet-gone-rogue so to speak and, with the rest of my party, we killed the Stag lord (their leader) and I single handedly shot dead seven people from a guard tower with zero detection, and the NPC was utterly smitten – and a little afraid of me – and joined our party. We formed a kingdom, and I went to bed in utter misery because I had not only a fucked up pain flare, but a massive spike of depression when I realised just how much different the life of my character was to my own.

Right now I feel seven kinds of awful. Emotionally I feel fairly crushed. I’ve hit a new physical low. Mentally I feel like I’m drying to dig through a brick wall with a dull spoon. Everything is more or less really shit. Hell, I’ve got three or four comics to upload for you all, but I can’t sum up the effort to do it. Just the overwhelming feeling of being utterly useless seems to be overshadowing everything else I do right now.

I suppose the plus side is that I’m seeing my psych tomorrow. I’ll at least be able to talk through some of this shit with her, but the shit side is that we effectively can’t really do anything about it. We tweak medications, my chemical levels flail wildly, I still have pain flares, I still forget things, I still feel like shit. I guess that’s one of the biggest reasons I decided to make this blog so, on nights like tonight when I really don’t feel like talking to anyone (not even manthing about this shit, though I know he’ll read it anyway) I can still find some way to get it all off my chest. There just seems something harmless about writing it down. Like I somehow take the sting out of the feelings when I translate it into words. I don’t know. At least this way I don’t have to look people in the eye or deal with them hovering around me and asking if I’m okay.

On the down swing

Today is one of those very unkind days where you wake up with big plans to get stuff done, but your body has decided otherwise in your sleep. I had planned to finish cleaning the office and getting my business stuff back in order with the biggest event of the year coming up in less than 2 months, but I’m instead sitting at a 7 on the pain scale with most of it located in my shoulders as luck would have it.

If the pain had been anywhere beneath my navel, I could more or less deal with it. After all, that’s what computer chairs are for (see: wheels!) and I could just push myself about the room as needed, or just suck it up. However, shoulder pain is one of those things that floors me every time. It’s not a simple matter of an achy joint, but more feels like I’ve been shoulder barging a wall for the better part of 6 hours, and the pain tends to spread down my arms into my elbows, wrists and hands. What this means is that I’m effectively useless. Typing hurts, getting my medication is tricky and even using the bathroom on my own can prove difficult, which immediately rules out anything else I could need my hands for (see you later, craft work!).

The worst part is that I had a really good productive day yesterday. I guess I should have seen it coming, but when I have good days, I often forget the predicament my body is in and expect to be able to get back to doing things the way I used to before I got sick. While the expectations are unrealistic, the problem is when I run into this issue and hope to be able to ‘push past’ it all and keep going. I get sore and I get angry, and the more sore I get, the more angry I get until I’m mopping the entire house out of sheer frustration. When I finally decide to give myself a break, the damage is already done and I feel angry and defeated mentally, and physically… well, I keep forgetting to catch the numberplate of the truck that hit me.

Anyway, I’ve got a cuppa tea calling my name and a nice warm seat in the loungeroom on my bean bag. Mass Effect is the latest thing I’ve been playing through on the console and, thus far, I’m really enjoying it. It also gets me out of the office where I’d be inclined to start more projects.

Does anyone else have these shitty days? Perhaps you get days where you forget you’re sick for a while? What do you usually spend it doing?

I’d love to know.

– Abi

A nice quick vent and update

I barely slept, I’m dealing with a fuck of a pain flare, I’m angry because I just found out there’s about 2k of repairs on a car I paid 3k for, because the salesman was a lying scumbag and I have to juggle paperwork for warranty in the event that they consider covering it. I now owe close to about $8,000 to various parties for all the recent shit, my office is completely trashed, it’s too hot to sleep and my painkillers aren’t fucking working. I’m annoyed as all hell at the hospital staff my best friend/sister and her incredible husband have to put up with, and I’m upset that she’s still in pain. I’m rubbed the wrong way because Kieran is cranky as shit. I’m up for a new Xbox 360 console I can’t afford, since this one is now on it’s last legs and freezes every 10 minutes I try to play, if not more often. I just tried to break a toe by walking into a chair. The allergic reaction on the bottom of my foot is itching like Satan’s wrinkly balls, my hands are on fire with pain and my deadline for having a self-sufficient business that makes at least $200 a week so I can cover rent, food and bills is now in 3 months and I’m going nowhere. Fuckyeah for being completely stressed out of my brain, facing being broke again after working so hard to climb out of the hole and having my body just pack it in on me.

I hate everyone, everything and everywhere and I want to cry, but I have my mother doing her thing around the house today so locking myself away from the world isn’t even an option in my own god damn house.

The Party Crasher

This weekend was undeniably a big one.

I had actually intended on starting my weekly video blog update this past Friday, but commission work kept me busy during the day and then a pain flare up kept me busy at night.

Image

I started the weekend very early by my standards. I was up at eight with a brush in hand for some awesome costume make-up for a friend that was cosplaying at an event (I do face painting and body art as a bit of a hobby), then moved onto our monthly Rogue Trader game. I play a sadistic, egotistical princeling (think Russian mafia) with a sharp temper. In our first session, I shot one of our player characters for being an unsanctioned psyker. This session, I threatened to shoot my pilot for scratching the hull of my grand ship. My new ruling is that for every one million thrones of damage they do, my character takes a pound of flesh from them. It’s fair 😛

I always look forward to our gaming sessions. It’s a little slice of escapism for me. For one day a month, I get to become someone completely different in a universe entirely unlike our own, where my fate is decided by wit, charm and the roll of a dice. It’s also pretty much the only social event I attend regularly these days – mostly because it’s in my own house. I get to see half a dozen friends of mine and we all spend several hours together while cracking really god-awful jokes, taking jibes at each other’s parents and playing a volatile game of ‘Guess Who’ when it comes to strange and offensive smells in the room.

That night, manthing and myself went to a nifty party along with another couple. Naturally, it was along the fetish side of things, but was very tame and generally very fun. I love an excuse to get dressed up and this particular event allowed me to rock a floor-length velvet dress, a filigree metal masquerade mask and a very pretty leather collar I made myself. I always find myself dressed very formally (along with manthing who looks utterly delicious in a frock coat with his hair out – think the vampire Lestat, but less waifish)  whereas most of the other attendees are clad in PVC, leather or not much at all. I am a very big fan of the amount of corsets I saw on the night, along with the  Jack the Ripper burlesque act. I hit the stage of lethargy around 11pm and cracked a can of my vice – purple Mother energy drink – which propped me up for another few hours. We ended up getting home about 3am, thoroughly pleased and exhausted and eventually tumbled into bed and slept.

The rest of the weekend was spent looking at a new car which I will hear about later this week. I tried to go over and help out at a working bee, but I just entirely ran out of spoons and crashed out the moment I walked through the door.

ImageOne of the things that got me thinking last night was that my nerve issues mean that I’m pretty different to most people and it’s a lot more pronounced in the kink scene, especially when a lot of ‘play’ involves setting nerves off with various sensations. I have severely hypersensitive nerves and will explain further in my next blog post. Right now, I’m completely exhausted so I’ll put down my thoughts tomorrow when I’m running on more than three brain cells.

Hope you all had fantastic weekends!