How did the controlled chaos of a cosmic witch turn in to everything smelling like cat pee and dirty socks?!
I’ve always been a little bit weird. Not in that classic weird way, where you go through this epic transformation from a creepy bear-child into everyone’s favorite manic pixie dream girl. More like… confusing everyone by being a complete contradiction to not only their expectations of who I should be but also in how I actually exist and function.
The most striking example is my double life.
In person I am quiet, I am reserved, I am anxious. Being around other physical human beings is draining. Using the phone gives me panic attacks. Most people perceive me as this hermit, a little lady, scared of the universe, living in a fantasy world, probably not leading a fulfilled life. At least, that is what a few of the randos I’ve experienced have told me.
On the Internet I am ambitious, I am the leader, I am the boss. I built communities of people from nothing. Fostered wandering tribes of homeless personalities looking for a place to fit in. I have confidence, I’ve been melodramatic, compassionate, inspiring, destructive, empowering. When there is a crisis, I know what to do. When it’s time to bring new life to something, I know what to say. I have a small empire of people that have been with me for two decades.
When my two worlds collide, they bring about some interesting results. I met my husband online. Reunited with long lost childhood friends. Made best friends on the internet, and lost real life friends because of the internet. It’s always been fun for me to see people’s reactions to my other life. People that have only known me online are always surprised by how little I talk in person. While people in the real world are shocked to discover I can do a lot more than just watch Netflix and cook.
But who am I really?
Lately, I’ve asked myself this question a lot. Since 2001 I’ve been the leader of Roleplay Communities (collaborative story-telling in the form of playing a single character per person, for you confused peeps) and that has been my passion and greatest achievement. I’m good at it. It combines my two favorite things in the universe – writing stories and creating communities. Weaving tales of adventure with people you consider family? Best. Thing. Ever.
And then I died.
There’s no one thing that I can place the blame on. One thing would’ve been easily fixed. Over time, things just started to build up. In my real life we had a series of problems; lost jobs, financial problems, family issues, deaths, health decline – you know, typical life. On the internet I dealt with the consequences of being a leader and the choices I’d have to make. The majority of my friends exist online within the communities I create and when things go haywire it often results in me losing friends. Combined and repeating in a cycle, even a fully fledged healthy person feels beat down. With depression? You find yourself in a hole with no idea how to get out.
Depression is more than just being really, really sad.
For clarification, I am “undiagnosed” officially by a physician. Most of my life is a constant flux of being without insurance or broke, so going to the doctor for anything less than a dire emergency hasn’t been an option. Depression is something that runs strong in my family heredity, though, so I have a lot of experience with it. Since I was a teenager I’ve spent a lot of time in educating myself about Depression as well as learning to be self aware about my physical and mental health. Eventually (perhaps when I finally have no other alternative) I want to see a professional, but like many Americans, the cost of health care is more likely to put us in severe debt than help.
Most people seem to think that being depressed means you are just really, really sad and that all you need is a happy little pickup and some inspiring words. Perhaps you need to stop doing all the things that are making you depressed. Ha. No! Many people with depression are leading lives that they want and appreciate – it’s just the chemicals in their brain are borked. Sometimes it’s despair, sometimes it’s anxiety, sometimes it’s being suicidal.
The worst one of all is feeling nothing. When all you are left with is a deep, dark, emptiness. You no longer function like a normal human being. You’re a robot going through the motions, and sometimes not even that. Suddenly there are mountains of laundry, everything smells like cat pee, and you have no idea what day it is.
How do you rediscover your passion when depression is working against you?
Do you know how many times I’ve googled stuff like that? There’s no single answer. Everyone’s experiences and life circumstances are so different, that what works for one person doesn’t mean it will work for me. Without medication as an aide, I tend to focus on building good habits. The little things that make a difference. Waking up and washing my face in the morning. Making sure I get at least an hour of music time everyday. Completing tiny tasks off a check list so I feel like I am still accomplishing something even if I can’t seem to do the big things like washing dishes or working on one of my sites.
This past year I found myself in a big hole and I’ve had a tough time trying to get out of it. I retired from running my largest communities, which was something I needed to do for my mental health, but have found that without a big project to be responsible for that I’ve felt lost and aimless. Which is crazy because I have other ambitious projects with plenty to do. What am I missing? It’s not the drama of managing people issues, that’s for sure. But do I need that direct contact with managing people in order to feel fulfilled? I’m not sure I am ready to handle that kind of stress again.
What I really miss the most is the writing.
Telling stories is what I am born to do. I’ve been playing pretend, roleplaying, telling stories, creating worlds, using my imagination in every way possible since I could walk and babble. All of my fondest memories involve me and friends throwing ideas back and forth about characters and plots, moments of hilarious posts, being surprised or joyed by reading each other’s work and then responding to it. My dream is to write a series of novels, get them published and see one of them made in to a poorly done movie adaption that everyone complains about being different from the books.
I have the stories in me and I know it’s possible.
I still don’t have everything worked out, but this blog post is a part of it. In the physical world, I am combating my depression by trying to improve the fluffiness and prettiness of my home, one room at a time. Using fancy products to wash my face is something to look forward to in the morning and night. In the digital world I’ve been working on a schedule to stick by so that I am always releasing content even when my brain is not functioning at 100% capacity. I’ll share my experiences through my blog, good days and bad, because connecting to people inspires me to keep going.
Welcome to the controlled chaos of a cosmic witch.
I am a contradiction of things. An introvert that loves people; a leader that hates being bound by rules. My special power is creating something from nothing, spinning entire universes from the tips of my fingers and somehow collecting people to fill my worlds both real and imaginary. Whether I succeed or fail is unknown, but I always keep moving forward. Hop on my space ship, weirdos, we’re gonna have an adventure.