Winter has been hard. Winter has been very hard, and filled with depression, anxiety, dead pets, and boundless creativity. I've written a new comic (More on that later, elsewhere), lost fifty pounds, started counseling, got a letter for T, started gardening, worked around and through the dread of turning into my father, and gone mad and taken up skateboarding.
I fell into a massive depression some time mid-september, and have barely begun to rise out of it. Winter is almost always a time of depression for me (lack of light YAY!), but this year was particularly awful. Start September with not one but two people living in my living room, in my already tiny apartment. One of the people living in my living room quickly left, and soon a coup was staged in which we (the second person living in my living room and I) took the Big Bedroom away from our third. So now I have a roommate. An actual, living in my room with me roommate.
... So about how I'm an introvert...
We have been doing fairly well at not killing each other.
In November one of my rats died, after long illness, which in no way helped the depression.
A couple days later, I started writing a new comic, upon realizing that this winter the depression was so crushing I couldn't get myself to exit my Plant Closet (Where I grow plants and write stories...). If I find myself being unable to do anything, I may as well do something creative. I'll go into that story Elsewhere. The important thing is that I wrote the story from start to finish, finished the script, went back and edited the script, and then got to work on thumbnails. I'm currently working on chapter six (of thirteen) in thumbnails, and have fourteen pages of watercolour (almost) finished. My depression this year has been productive on the creativity front, if nothing else.
As winter turned into spring, my cat got lumps, went crazy, and disappeared. We've decided that he's walked Back to Canada. I miss having a cat about the house.
And then I started gardening.
I've been growing plants in my closet for a year or so. As of right now, in concert with medicinal herbs, I have several kinds of tomatoes, two variety of eggplants, kale, chard, three kinds of lettuce, two kinds of potatoes, three kinds of beets, three kinds of carrots, several culinary herbs, ground cherries, and bok choi. I have a couple of small plastic greenhouses, to which many of my plants have been transferred, and a couple of tubs of dirt along the side of our apartment building. In doing this, I have stirred up a hundred hopes and fears and neuroses.
I have a longstanding dread of turning into my father. As of lately, I've been given the answer as to what it is that I'm terrified of, and I'm sure I'll be writing another long post about that in the future. For now, let us say this: I am in the process of working through where on the spectrum of Narcissistic Personality Disorder my father was, and where I myself currently fall.
There were several things upon which my father defined himself, and was defined by those around him.
So now that I smoke pot, garden, am unemployed, am disabled, wear my hair long, and now own a skateboard, how the hell am I supposed to not turn into the Demon Tom?
We shall see, shan't we?
Mostly, it involves reminding myself that those feelings of anxiety over how my actions make the other party involved feel are exactly the feelings that my father, apparently, never had.
So all I have to do in order to avoid turning into the subject of someone's future therapy sessions is remember that other people have feelings too? Sounds simple enough...
And to top it all off, I bought a skateboard yesterday. It's a longboard, made from bamboo, and I've probably spent about five minutes actually riding the thing. And about fifteen falling/jumping/sliding off of it, and freaking out because of the voice in my head telling me that I'm a weakling and a coward. Tomorrow, I go to spend fifty more dollars, and get the elbow and knee pads so that I won't acquire any more extraneous kneecaps than I already have. (The bruise currently riding the head of my tibia is several very impressive colours, and far less swollen than it was yesterday. The one on my ass hurts less than it did this morning...)
I remember when I was trying to learn to skateboard the first time. I was young (~9?), and my father forgot the elbow- and kneepads when we set out to go find some pavement. And, when your child is too scared to get on the skateboard because they don't want to hurt themselves... the answer is yell for an hour and call your child a weakling, and a coward. Not go back and get the protective gear that it was your job, as the parent, to remember to bring in the first place?
Not turning into that asshole is going to be easier than I thought...