Currently in the process of making a shiny new set of websites. It’s a coping mechanism. Some people clean their houses, I redo my websites. So ignore the links in the previous post; turns out a third-party platform just isn’t what I need (I said, as I post on WordPress, which I’ll also be ditching soon).
So lately I’ve been pretty focused on my “Worldbuilding” projects, for which I’m using a specialized writing platform called World Anvil. I’m building my own custom Role-Playing Game system on a whole new dimension of reality, as well as a homebrew world for AD&D 2e.
My, what a lot of work.
Someday I’ll go through and assemble all the graphics I’ve been creating for these and plunk them down over here. In the meantime, follow these links:
Oh! And I have a Ko-Fi account now, in case you would like to give me $3. I’ll make a clever graphic for that soon. And then you can give me ANOTHER $3. Everyone likes clever graphics.
Call me a PollyAnna if you like. An annoying bright-sider. Sure, that’s me. I suspect those terms are only used as insults by those who are too afraid, too lazy, or too comfortable with their own negativity to get their shit together.
But it’s not like I just don’t understand, okay? I’ve been dealing with real, clinical depression and anxiety all my life, and I’ve had some pretty nasty tumbles and frights and close calls. (Check out my cool scars!)
So, I get it. Depression, trauma, misfortune, and sadness are real and terrible. Sometimes things just don’t go right, even if you’ve given it everything you’ve got. Failure sucks.
But whaddaya gonna do?
Well, some folks just give up. They gather all their failures and heartaches around themselves like a big cozy blanket, wrap themselves up in it, and never peek out again. Oh, they say they want to get out from under it. They moan about how hot and stuffy and smelly it is in there. But if you watch long enough, you’ll eventually realize that while all their frantic struggling makes it look like they’re trying to escape, they’re getting nowhere. Instead, they focus intently on every single thread in that blanket, over and over again, pulling and poking and petting, knotting themselves up ever tighter behind a shield of familiar woes that they’ve woven to protect themselves against any new woes.
For years, I’d be the one tugging on the blanket from outside, trying to help them find their way out. Or I’d crawl under there with them, because I felt guilty–what right do I have to be happy and hopeful and successful, if someone I love is stuck and feeling shitty about themselves?
Oh you poor thing! Come on! Take my hand! Let’s do wonderful amazing things! Let’s just try, shall we? We can do this together! Sure we might fail, but so what? We’ll try again! No? Okay, then, we’ll just sit here until you’re ready, because I care so much about you, I’m here for you, I won’t leave your side…
Yep, I had a big ol’ savior complex. I wanted everyone around me to be happy, to like themselves as much as I liked them, to feel as hopeful and excited about life as I did. Nothing wrong with that, right? No…but I took it too far. I felt like I didn’t deserve to enjoy my life if someone I cared for was suffering, even if they clearly brought it on themselves. Even if I suspected they were loving the attention.
I had let their pain become my pain.
But, you know what? I don’t like pain.
And I don’t like holding myself back just because someone else
WON’T. FUCKING. MOVE. FORWARD.
How did I get past my savior complex? Well, I’ll tell you, but you’re probably not gonna like it…
Feeling bad about yourself? That sucks, here’s a list of reasons why you’re a great person, do with it what you will. Hope you feel better soon.
Wallowing in bad memories? Gosh, I’m sorry that happened to you. You should get a therapist. I’m not a therapist.
Need to talk about a problem? Okay, I’ll listen…but if I’ve heard all this before, you better tell me what you’ve done about it since last time, or I’m going to get bored real quick.
Maybe this sounds a little harsh. But it’s no harsher than punishing myself because I can’t control someone else’s life or feelings, and my life–the only life I can control–is better for it.
One of the hardest parts of this lesson was learning to check myself. I gripe about these martyrs like I’m so much more enlightened than they are, but for the longest time, I was hiding under a blanket of my own. Hey, those sad-sacks were getting attention and love, and I wanted in on that action!
No matter how much support others offered, though, it didn’t really make me feel any better. Why would it? My issues aren’t theirs to fix.
Also, somehow, my personal litanies of angst didn’t feel…authentic. Maybe I’d given too many pep talks to too many other people. Even if I’d never gotten through to any of them, I must have gotten through to myself at some level. I’ve been deeply unhappy, hopeless, and desperate, but even in the worst of it, my own words keep coming back to me, interrupting all my favorite depressive monologues:
Come on! Take my hand! Let’s do wonderful amazing things! Let’s just try, shall we?
“Talking about it” didn’t seem to do any good, so I tried “shutting up and working on it” instead.
Once I realized that I actually wanted to ditch the problems instead of allowing them to define my life and pretending I had no power over them, things started to change. My own depression and anxiety began to lift. Not all the way–I still have bad days, of course (hey, that’s life), but once I accepted the fact that I’m responsible for my own bullshit, I no longer felt obligated to carry everyone else’s on top of that. The load got a lot lighter.
Making this shift cost me some friends. An awful lot of self-proclaimed victims out there have a warped idea of “friendship”. They’ve been taught that misery and victim-hood are rewarded with love. They may truly believe they’ve got no other way to connect with people, nothing else to offer besides their pain, so they cling to that pain and build on it until it becomes their whole personality. When others don’t make with all the hugs and sympathy they feel is their due, they can get really nasty about it. All that sadness turns to rage and indignation and passive-aggressive pity parties on social media. They don’t even recognize friendship if it doesn’t come in the form of tireless, caring supporters and hand-holders.
What a shitty, stupid way to spend the time we’re given.
But that’s their choice, and
Well, maybe I give a little shit. Just a tiny one. I want people to find peace and contentment. I want people to love their lives. If there’s something going on that I can help fix, I’ll give it a try. But if they don’t want it fixed, it’s not my problem. It’s not my fault. It’s not my responsibility.
So yeah, I’m now a proud PollyAnna–an eternal optimist, always looking at the bright side–and I’m good with that. It’s certainly better than the alternative. I’ll do it all by myself, if that’s how it is. I’d rather enjoy my life in solitude than make myself sick trying to drag miserable people out of their self-made muck.
Do me a favor, okay? If I ever come to you whining about something you’ve heard me whine about before, ask me what I’m doing to fix it, and how you can help. If I can’t answer either of those questions, change the subject. I’ll thank you when I get over myself.
And keep your muck off me. Gross.
It would be nice if Anxiety Disorder could tell me what it wants.
“Hey,” it could say, “You need a nap.” Or, “Go eat some protein.” Or, “Put a sweater on.”
But no, all it can do is scream like a BIG DUMB BABY and sound the same alarm over and over again. Klaxon bells go off and sirens wail and the red strobe lights throw all sensory perception into a tizzy of surreal, confused urgency.
FIX IT FIX IT FIX IT NOWWWW!
But…fix what, exactly? Do I need to eat? Sit up? Lay flat? Stand? Is this a body thing or a mind thing? Take a rest, or get up and exercise? Just breathe? Drink some water? Go back to sleep? Or did I sleep too much? Do I need to go to the bathroom? Call an ambulance? Is there TIME for an ambulance, or should we just rush to the hospital right now? Should I try to Think About Something Else, or hyper-focus and cry it out? Is this just a post-stress blowback because of that problem that I actually solved this morning just like a real grown-up, or is it because of all the items on my ever-looming list of Problems Yet to be Solved, or is this the ricocheting echo of a problem from 10 years ago that never really did get solved?
Is there actually anything wrong at all? Is this a false alarm? Did some trigger-happy trainee neuron push the wrong button? Should I cover my ears, roll my eyes, and wait patiently for a re-set?
But no, all Anxiety does is scream. And scream. And scream. And like a harried babysitter, I try to guess what it wants, run down the whole list, and finally resign myself to just waiting until it screams itself out and returns to its dormant state until next time, which could be any time.
It occurs to me that instead of editing one post with new updates, I could probably just start a whole new one. I mean, I know how to Word-Press and all. I just didn’t think anyone was looking yet. Hello!
Anyway, I’m still trying to figure out what to include in the empty categories and if I even need some of those categories here (I mean, poetry, really? Is that still a thing?) The art pages are complete for now except for captions and headers.
I’ve always had a problem curating my own portfolio sites. I know that I’ve got an overwhelming amount of work, but I don’t want to leave anything out in case there’s THAT ONE PIECE that will get the attention of THAT ONE VIEWER…but if there’s too much then no one will bother to look through it all…but what if…and what if…
Well, at least I’m SUPPOSED to stay inside and not socialize this month; it’s what I want to do anyway, and I’m getting a lot done. I may even start another 75 projects.
I may even write a blog post that isn’t about blog posts.
If you’re here looking for my art portfolio (thanks!), I guess I didn’t plan very well, ’cause it’s not here yet. It’s still over there. (Edit 4/9/20: No it isn’t! Not anymore! I took it down.)
3/30/2020: Edit: Okay, now SOME of it is over here. How about that pandemic, huh? Gettin’ all KINDS of stuff done these days.
4/3/2020: Edit: All the “ARTING” pages are up. I don’t have any comments or captions on the pieces, and I’m still debating on whether or not I should add more stuff (oh, I have more stuff) or leave it alone, but at least all the menu options go to actual art and not an error page.