Becoming Undazzled

First, some quick updates:

I’m still alive (always a good start);

I still work at the Forge;

I still have a day job;

I’m still on the radio once a month;

Ben and I are still happily together;

… and I am still neurodiverse, which is a big part of why nobody’s heard from ol’ Marjorie in awhile.

The depression hit at some point over the summer. I don’t think any particular thing set it off, other than unfortunate brain chemistry, but regardless, it led to an extended, oppressive fog in which I could really only focus on basics: Show up for work on time(ish), keep up with chores just enough to prevent my apartment from officially qualifying as squalor, etc. Compounding the depression, though, were some unexpected financial setbacks, a minor medical crisis, and assorted car troubles (including two more highly unnecessary break-ins), all of which contributed to the general feelings of malaise and despondency.

There’s an old X-Men comic in which everyone on the team has to choose between continuing the mission (stealing a big, magic crystal, if I remember correctly) or achieving their heart’s desire. However, when faced with this decision, the X-Man Dazzler is offered three different desires from which to pick: She could become a world-famous rock star, a high-powered attorney, or a bag lady. Here’s how it played out:

Dazzler

As a kid, this had a profound effect on me: Whenever I was struggling with something, or feeling overwhelmed, I’d be like, “Well, do you want to be a rock star or a bag lady?” And I’d push through. But for the past several months, as debts piled up and waking life got more difficult to navigate, “bag lady” started seeming more and more like a viable career option.

And old friend of mine used to say that it was hard to be a writer when the act of writing triggered her depression. I totally get that, but for me, the opposite is true: Writing puts me in a good mood, and I get my best writing done when things are going well — in that state, the act of writing enhances the happiness. It’s when my depression is in full effect that I can’t write, especially when I’ve used up all my spoons on Sisyphean efforts like getting out of bed or remembering to eat. And that makes me feel like a failure, which in turn makes me want to move into a cardboard box under an overpass with the other homeless mutants.

The blog languished during this period, and while I made occasional notes for potential posts, I spent more time at the Forge growling at customers instead of jotting down the hilarious things they said. I kept meaning to post… I don’t know, anything, even just a brief “not dead, just sad,” but even that seemed like an onus. And besides, it wasn’t like anyone actually cared what I wrote anyway, right?

And then, one fine day, Tank texted me to let me know that a woman name Bridgett had messaged the store, because I hadn’t posted anything for awhile, and she wanted to make sure I was okay. I mentioned this Nuke a few days later, and he was like, “Yeah, we’ve been getting phone calls from people, too. Apparently, you have fans.”

I strongly maintain that it’s okay not to realize one’s blog has a cult following, but that said… guys, I sincerely apologize for making anyone worry. The depression is still lingering around, but I can finally see the light at the end of the rabbit hole, and as such, I am going to do my best to get back to posting regularly and keeping you all entertained with the weird shit that never seems to happen to anyone but me.

And hey, Bridgett? Thank you for checking in. Even if it took awhile to set the bag lady costume aside, I appreciate being made aware that I was wearing it in the first place. This time around, I’m going to be a rock star, and I’m dedicating my first album to you.

ETA: I forgot to mention in the updates that I started wearing glasses again. That’s neither here nor there and has nothing to do with depression or blogging, but still, I think they suit me.

Zennis

14 thoughts on “Becoming Undazzled”

  1. Glad to know. I’ve been missing the weird shit that only happens to you. Yes, you absolutely have fans. I live in Nevada and have never been to Houston. I found you through the bloggess over a year ago and have been checking in on you regularly ever since. Been through all your archives. Love your sense of perspective. Relieved to know you haven’t given up writing. Take care of yourself. Mel

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice to hear you dipped your toes back in. Yes you have followers, people who care. I am glad you did “me first ” but I am super glad you are writing again. Virtual big hug, the only kind I give.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I too am so glad you posted! Been worried some. I came via The Bloggess as well and am in a good place with depression/ anxiety at
    the moment but have been in that one foot in front of the other robot-ing through life place several times. It does get better. From sunny Queensland, Australia

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am so glad you are going to keep writing the blog!!!! I’ve been very worried about you, but I would occasionally check your twitter to see if you had anything there to make sure you were alive, which helped me with my anxiety. Thank you for explaining and being open about your mental health. It means a lot to a whole lot of us.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. eek – I was hoping it was because things were going really well and you were too busy to post. So very glad you are back and things are more even keeled. I keep knocking on wood that my current prescriptions can keep off another big dip into depression fog. Thank you for doing what you need to keep yourself healthy and sharing the great stories when you can.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hey! I’m pretty sure I’m the ‘Bridgett’ who contacted your work place to see what was up with you. After seeing this entry, it’s interesting to note some parallels in our lives. I had retired in June, after a very long teaching career, and was more than a bit depressed about what I was going to do next. Reading your site always made me laugh like hell, and as time went on, with no new posts, I got worried. So it was a relief to hear that you were ok and would eventually resume posting. But, as time went on, with no new ones, I eventually thought you had decided to move on. I am sorry to hear that you were also depressed, but also glad that you knew what to do to take care of yourself. I am now at a place where I am really glad I retired from the way teaching is nowadays. I plan to spend my time now raising a lot more hell politically- as a teacher, I had to be careful what I said/did. Well, honey, now the mitts are OFF. I’m glad you’re back, and I think you definitely DO have a following!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. p.s. (from Bridgett E.) I’ve been a college radio DJ for nearly 30 years and would be honored to play an album by you. Probably with a lot of disclaimers, but I’d play it!

    Liked by 2 people

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