What’s Up Wednesday: The Journey Continues

When we last left you, our hero had just won a major victory over his arch nemesis Depression and its sneaky sidekick Anxiety. In the ensuing weeks, Writerman has continued to succeed in defeating many of Depressions henchmen such as cluttered house and even scaled the terrifying Laundry Mountain.

All joking aside, it’s been a really good couple of weeks. I’m finally getting my life back in order and it feels great. I realize that the basic chores I’ve listed don’t sound like much. They’re things most people do every day. Still, when you haven’t had any motivation to do things like that in months, getting the house clean feels like a major victory.

I’ve also been getting my old SUV back in driveable condition so that I can sell it and finally start work on the writer wagon. I’m really looking forward to getting it going and doing some touring in it. If nothing else,I can’t wait to take it to some secluded spot in the black hills and get some real writing done with no distractions. Updates on the van build hopefully coming soon.

So far, there hasn’t been much progress on the writing front, although I feel it coming. I haven’t lost my skill at procrastinating though.

So far, I’ve installed a new operating system on my writing laptop. (Linux Mint Cinnamon.) Then, of course, I had to work out all the bugs that come with a new OS. After that, I had to reinstall all the programs I need and then customize everything just how I want it. (I might have to redo that again later.)

Later today, I might play another round of “I need to clean the office so I can finally get some writing done.”

Yesterday was supposed to be a meeting of the “Black Hills Writer’s Group” which I’ve been a member of for years. Unfortunately, it was cancelled due to snow. In May. IN LATE MAY!!! Still, an intrepid few of us made it to the location and had an unofficial meeting. I have to say, those meetings are usually a great boost for me. It seems like whenever I share a story with the group, I get mostly praise from my fellow members. Being professionals themselves, they aren’t the type to blow sunshine either. After one of my stories goes over well, it’s always a great feeling.

That’s about it for now. I’m really hoping this bad weather ends soon. I’m not sure how much more I can take. I really want to ride my motorcycles.

I want my bike! I want my bike!

On the other hand, if the snow holds out for another month or so, I say it’s time to have an official Christmas in July.

Another Year Older, But Not A Second Wiser

As I sit here being a stereotypical writer in my local Starbucks while I enjoy my free birthday drink as I agonize over every word, my mind wanders over the last year.

A cherry mocha frap with an extra shot if you’re wondering.

It’s been a weird year for sure. It seems like it flew by, but at the same time, it seemed to drag on forever. While Shannon has been furiously working toward finishing her master’s degree, I’ve done absolutely nothing. 

The fact that I’ve long struggled with my mental health is no secret. For years I’ve been adamant that while I struggle with anxiety, I am not depressed. Every time I would ask my doctor for something to take the edge off of my anxiety, he has tried prescribing me antidepressants. I would argue, sometimes angrily that I’m not depressed, just anxious.

Well folks. After getting absolutely nothing productive done over the last year, I decided it was finally time to face facts. My name is Justin, and I suffer from depression. 

Now I want to make one thing perfectly clear. When I say I suffer from depression, I do not have suicidal thoughts or anything like that. I haven’t had one of those since high-school. Even then, I think they were more environmentally motivated than a result of my depression.

My form of depression was much more subtle. I would wake up in the afternoon (night shift worker) and sit there doing absolutely nothing until it was time to go to work where, again, I would do absolutely nothing. Luckily, my job doesn’t require much of me beyond being there and awake. Still, the whole point of taking this job was to give me time to write. Instead, I would sit in front of my computer browsing the internet and watching Netflix on my phone until it was time to go home. 

Other days, I would feel the overwhelming urge to cry for no reason. I would just be sitting there in my usual stupor when suddenly I would feel the tears welling up for absolutely no reason. I wasn’t thinking about anything particularly sad. It was just raw emotion welling up inside me. When this would happen, an inner voice would tell me it’s because I hadn’t written anything in months.

Still, I would sit there telling myself to go write something with absolutely no motivation to actually do so.

Worst of all, it was starting to effect my relationship. I found myself getting irritable for absolutely no reason. I found myself lying about how much writing I’d gotten done out of shame and embarrassment. Shannon has always been so supportive of my writing and I felt like I was letting her down.  

I finally decided it was time to do something about it. At the beginning of this year, I made an appointment with my doctor to discuss options and I’m proud to say that I think I’m finally on my way to recovery.

Now I’m not going to try to claim I’ve completely kicked my problem, but I’m at the point where the new meds should be taking full effect and every day, I feel a bit more motivated.

Forget the video I did at the beginning of the year. I’m considering today the start of my personal new year and for once, I’m feeling positive about it. I can’t promise I’ll start blogging regularly, but I’ll hopefully see you again soon. Wish me luck.

P.S. Since I just turned 42, I’m still waiting for the ultimate question to life, the universe, and everything.

Nothing yet.

I Swear, I’m Still Alive

Let me start off by misquoting Twain and say, “The Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” I swear I’m still here. I’ve just been going through some personal issues lately and while I have been writing, (at least some, but not nearly as much as I would like) my social media efforts have been forced to take a back seat. Without going into too much detail I can tell you that while it’s not the most ideal situation, I have come to a solution so I can now get back to living my life. At least my trials and tribulations will make good story fodder. Right?

I have to admit something. Thanks to everything going on, I have broken my new year’s resolution. While I tried desperately, I haven’t written every day. Truth be told, I fell into a pit of depression over my situation and some days, it was all I could do to drag myself out of bed and go to my daily (well, nightly) job. Even when I was writing, most of it was unfit for human consumption.

Anyway, now that the worst is past, I can get back to the business at hand. I have two stories in need of editing. I’m hoping to have at least a few stories published in the next few months. As you can see, I’m back to being my usual over-optimistic self. It’s time to make this writing career a reality.

I’m afraid that’s about all I have for you today. I will ask all of you for a favor. Whatever your beliefs or lack thereof, please send good vibes my way. I could really use them right now. I promise you this, I will be back next week.

I-Am-Alive