Long, Dark Days (thoughts from your troubled author)

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Sorry, this is a downer. If you don’t want to read my depressed ramblings, please stop reading here.

It seems as if every day this year has been nothing but a struggle to find some reason to live. I wanted to be an author and an artist ever since I was a child, but after self-publishing I found it not the victory I had hoped for. I don’t know if people just don’t read anymore, or if science fiction is a dying genre, or if there’s just too much competition and I don’t know how to market properly, but people won’t read my books even when I give them out for free. Even people I know will say they are interested in buying and reading my book but then they simply don’t. Whatever it is, I feel like a complete failure. Do people think creative work isn’t “real work”? My dad tells me that my art and writing “doesn’t pay the bills” whenever he wants me to do chores instead of working on things that require imagination. Maybe he’s right. It seems that the only thing of “value” in this society is money and the only “real work” is hard labor and nothing that requires thought and creativity.

Money is not the reason why I wrote Transmogrified, but the desperation to save myself from this endless nightmarish life has pushed me to publish it. I knew I was gambling but I had hoped for a major success so that I could make the life-saving decision to move away from where I am living now (in one of the least progressive parts of the country) and get back to my native California.

I am disabled and the resources I need for both my mental and physical health are not available where I live presently. My chronic depression has only gotten worse over the years since my parents forced me to move here right after I graduated high school. Every day it gets harder and harder to do anything: write, draw, read, do chores, interact with others, get out of bed, and not think of giving up on life.

My partner in California is trying to save up so we can both live together someday, but I can see that this will be a long road and I’m not getting younger or healthier. I didn’t want to have to rely on my partner to rescue me. Going ahead and publishing this novel — even though I was afraid to because it wasn’t “perfect” — was an attempt to rescue myself . . . but it’s not working. I wasted my precious resources on advertising that didn’t work and now I have to pay over $50 for it, plus a new $160 medical bill for a blood test to see if my liver could handle another antidepressant (after I just paid off the last one last month!). The antidepressant just made my symptoms worse (as they always do), so the blood test was pointless in the end. Nothing I do ever amounts to anything. Maybe I should stop trying to “do things.” It’s just making me poorer and more disappointed in life.

Perhaps you think I’m whining, but you don’t know my situation. I have not revealed everything because some things are too private and too dangerous to discuss in a blog. This is a bad time and place. Every day I feel the dread of living in my bones. I feel chained to this inconvenient body, my deformed heart constricted in my chest, my soul not free to express its true self, forced to conform or be harmed by others who may look upon me and see nothing but a “freak” and not a human being. I constantly have my eyes to the future as if that is where I came from, while everyone surrounding me lives in some terrible past I would never want to visit even if I had a time machine. Everywhere I turn to look for an exit, I sense that I am trapped, unable to move forward. I don’t want to live but I don’t want to die either.

We can’t choose when or where we are born, or who or what we are born as . . . but I sure wish I had had that choice. I would have chosen a much better life than this.