It's hard for me to believe, but today is the second anniversary of when I nearly ended my life and instead admitted myself to Our Lady of Peace. I've borrowed two full years now. 2013 hasn't been quite as enjoyable overall as was 2012, but there have been several major highlights that stand out.
You may have noticed, Dear Reader, that I didn't write a single blog piece in all of September, though I did contribute two pieces (Criterion Commentaries on In Which We Serve and Rushmore). I haven't blogged much this summer. I'm not sure why that is. My sleep has been jacked up for months, and I'm flaring again. I haven't made it to a single movie since 25 July. There's certainly been more than enough to discuss, from trivial to politically important.
We're on day 6 of the federal government being shut down by the Tea Party (if they didn't want to own the shutdown, they shouldn't have flooded the Internet with cheers of excitement about it and acted like it was a bad thing, like everyone else in the world sees it). I don't have any real enthusiasm for discussing this debacle, but here's a screen cap from a recent Facebook discussion that I think summarizes my view nicely, and is also a solid microcosm of what's going on, and why it's going to be so hard to make any meaningful progress:
I enjoyed returning to Chicago in April with my friends to attend C2E2. In July, I visited a friend of mine I've known from the web for several years. Those few days with her were tremendous fun. I'm glad I got to spend that time with her, and I'm not just saying that because she took me to see Dr. No at the Plaza Theatre in Atlanta. Though, admittedly, that was pretty cool! I don't know what opportunity may exist for any kind of traveling or visiting with friends for next year, but I'm hopeful I can make something work, even if just for a few days. I try not to think too much about such things when I feel like I feel right now, because being anywhere other than bed or the bathroom sounds discouragingly ambitious.
I self-published Reunion at the Bluegrass Inn in August. It's been kind of neat to visit friends of mine and see a copy of my book in their respective living rooms. I've inscribed some of them, which is a little weird to do, but mostly satisfying. Ideas for my next novel have been circulating all year and I'm preparing to begin the first draft next month for NaNoWriMo. I want to hit the 50,000 word count goal by month's end, but I'm planning a lengthier book than the first so that 50k may not represent the whole story. The title is Elf Esteem and will center on a young woman named Claire who, while down on her luck, takes a job at a mall working as an elf for a Santa Claus booth. I initially conceived it as a comedy, like Reunion, but lately I've been more serious-minded and think I may explore some weightier issues. Maybe this will be my O Brother, Where Art Thou?* and I'll find out I should stick to comedy. In any event, I'm looking forward to writing again. I hope to have Elf Esteem written, revised, and ready to be published this time next year.
Beyond things I've done, the other big issue, I suppose, is how I've felt throughout this second year. Some of the anger, the fear and the pain have subsided. So, too, has some of the enthusiasm and optimism. The pendulum is settling, I suppose. I still try to raise awareness about depression, anxiety, and suicide but I don't feel as committed to it these days. Like Crohn's disease, it's part of who I am and always will be. I find myself bringing it up less frequently, though it's unavoidable in a lot of ways. One day, I might get better at balancing.
I spent most of yesterday in bed. I've been up for about three hours now and I'm drained. The Prednisone has helped with the pain but I still feel miserable, so I'm going to retreat back to bed. Not the most exciting way to celebrate such a personal anniversary, but c'est la vie. Thanks for reading, and for being part of Year Two.
*See Sullivan's Travels