*CAUTION: There is some Discussion of Major Depression Disorder and all that can go along with that.
This is a blog post! I haven’t been very communicative the last few months and I want to talk about that, what it means for my content and what that might mean going forward. This will mostly be talking about where I’ve been and where I’m at rather than where I’ll be going. I’ll be getting a little bit personal on this one. I’ll be talking about my struggles with my depression.
Where I’ve been
It might not have been obvious to everyone, but if you were paying close attention to my communications, you will have noticed I haven’t been very active since around the middle of June. I’d like to talk about why that is. Simply stated, it is probably depression. To put that in context I’d like to briefly go over the history of this struggle.
The Early Years: A Long Struggle
I was first diagnosed with depression in Highschool, some 28 years ago. It has come and gone, to agree, over those years, but it’s always been lingering in the background. Coupled with the fact it turned out I had an anxiety disorder, ADHD and a writing disorder, which I wasn’t diagnosed with till the age of 29 or 30. It feels I’ve struggled with just just living for half my life. It’s a whole thing.
In fact, it culminated into something I don’t think I’ve mentioned on my blog before. I’ve been on SSI (a specific type of disability) for the past few years. I say it mostly to exemplify exactly how bad the depression can get. It’s gotten so bad that the State says It affects me so much it’s not reasonable I can work in the general work force. I don’t intend to go into it, but I’d be fine talking about it another time if people wanted me to.
I have some good news though, it’s taken most of my life time, but we’ve finally found a combination of drugs that has stabilized me. I haven’t had any suicidal ideation in nearly two years and my current depression swing doesn’t seem to be accompanied with the darker thoughts that usually accompany one. My medication is working, but it can only do so much.
That leads me to the subject of the last few months.
The Last Few Months: A New Challenge
Looking back I think this current bout started around mid or late June. It’s only the last month I realized I might be going through a depressive episode. I started to go to less social engagements, stopped committing myself to long term and medium term projects in LARP. Over time I found it hard to focus for long periods of time. Then it became harder and harder to get motivated, and some days I have found myself in bed struggling to get out, for hours.
This greatly affected my content creation but I understand if you haven’t noticed. Despite my struggles I was still putting out regular content over this whole time. The months leading up to this I was able to create enough content cover myself in case something like this happened.
In some way, this has made this experience less stressful and anxiety inducing than other bouts of depression, but that’s coming to an end.
Is It Depression?
I haven’t been just been looking at depression for the reason why it’s been hard to focus and I’ve had low energy or motivation to do even some of the most basic things. In fact I didn’t even think it was depression at first, because I wasn’t suffering the gloomy thoughts usually associated with depression.
It’s been suggested that it is my diabetes, I thought that unlikely based on how I’ve had other diabetics describe the reduced energy affects, but I figured I’d look into it. I’ve had some tests done and my A1C has actually improved by 2 whole points (only 1 more point away from the target number!). That makes it seem more likely it is depression.
I still have another doctor’s appointment to talk about other possible a causes. I’m relatively certain it’s depression now, but I don’t want to dismiss that it could be something else without getting it checked out first.
Where I’m At: A Critical Moment
As of the writing of this rough draft, I only have one more non-short video edited and ready to go and that goes live in a week. I still have enough raw video for a few more weeks, so I hope I’ll be able to keep my schedule without any disruptions.
I lost a lot of momentum the last few months, but I’m not starting from zero, so I don’t feel as hopeless as I normally would be in the past. That being said, I lost some of the structure I had developed for myself. It will be hard to create that again, it will take time.
In that way it will feel a lot like starting over. While the work will go faster, and the quality will be better, than if I really did start over, it won’t feel that way to me when I’m struggling to work on it. Now I realize what I’m dealing with, I do know some coping mechanisms to help me get back on track. I also do go to a therapist who is of some aid in finding coping mechanisms.
I’m going to start working on goals to create structure. I’m working on getting a whiteboard I can put in a highly visible spot, where I can use to keep these goals in mind. It’s a technique that helped me get through my last year of University. It isn’t perfect, I still have to contend with lack of energy, but it will help with keeping my goals in mind.
I’ll start small first, keep them general and what I consider reasonable, given whatever my state of mind is at that moment. These will be short term goals with the aim to build up some work structure again.
Regrets: A Lost Opportunity
When I had two months of content ready to go I thought I could take some time to refocus on my content, work on some other projects for YouTube and learn a few new skills. That was not the case. I was able to learn a few more editing tweaks and experimented with the editing style of the content I put out. However, I was unable to really develop any new projects.
I regret the loss of that time, but I am comforted, in some degree, that I was able to continue to put out content while I was struggling to do any work at all. It also gives me hope that I can get back to where I was at at a reasonable speed.
What This All Means
So where does this leave us? Hopefully in a decent place, all things considered. Hopefully you won’t see any disruption in my Monday released YouTube content, but it is possible. I hope you are understanding. I am making efforts to cope with the current situation.
There is of course other content that I would like to get back into the mix. The monthly chat stream Baelnorn and Friends the Let’s LARP videos and of course LARP Chats are all things I’d like to continue. It will take some time till I’m able to get that content back on track.
Right now I’m focused on getting back to working on the raw fighting videos I currently have and making a point to go to LARP and get more fighting video. Once I get back into that habit I’ll work on the previously mentioned projects.
When I’m back on track I will reassess my midterm and long term goals and write a blog about them.
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