Category Archives: Anxiety

Of Comics, Conventions, and Peopling

Over the weekend, the family and I went to the 3 Rivers Comicon. The people who run it were nice enough to give me a press dealio and recommendation on a panel to make sure I went to. I did. It was awesome and I have a new series to read out of it too! I discovered that there’s a girl’s comic discussion group too – I may even try to attend in person sometime down the road. I got to meet a writer/artist who was part of one of the series that I loved in high school (even if I didn’t realize it was based in comics until much later in life, now I have most of the series in really beautiful, collector condition. I’m missing the last 12 but I’ll find them!). For most of my response and reaction to that, check out my post over at The Geek Girl Project.

The comics part of it, the neat art, the neat stuff, the artists and writers – all of that is really awesome but for me, the best part was that I peopled really freaking well – I talked to people I didn’t know about things I’m passionate about (even if one of those conversations had nothing to do with comics at all but interesting rocks. Did you know there’s a whole zen-like thing devoted to interesting bits of rock? Suiseki is a real thing I didn’t know about before. My most interesting rocks are generally kept on brass stands but I might have to look at some wooden ones eventually.). I know for most people, actually managing to talk to people without being an idiot is not a noteworthy thing and I am still quite hopeful that someday it won’t be notable for me either. It might actually happen if I have more days like yesterday. But I count yesterday as a huge win in the Sarah Successfully Peoples column so, suck it anxiety!

My fingers were not completely cooperative (one awesome lady at a geek girl brunch organization was kind enough to fill out a mailing list form as my handwriting was being atrocious in that moment) and my foot whined a lot but really, I didn’t come home half as sort or hurty as I usually do from spending a day at a convention or fair. I think some of that was definitely that my meds are really working better and I’ve been able to move more and better which makes it so I do move more and better and it’s a wonderful cycle of healing and getting better (and I’m so grateful for that!). I did absolutely need my cane by the end of it and I was moving pretty slowly but it could have been (and has been in the past) so much worse!

So I’m home, recharged, refreshed, and ready to work. Someday, I would love to create comics but ultimately, I think what I’m doing now, the books that I’ve got, that I’m working on, that’s what I’m supposed to be doing.

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Filed under Anxiety, Comics, Convention, Event, Geek, Rheumatoid Arthritis

Anxiety is Stupid

Very vivid dreams + regular anxiety + oddly specific situational anxiety = no good sleep for Sarah.

I have phone issues – I don’t like talking on the phone and I try my damnedest to avoid ever actually calling anyone (I love the internet so so much!). I had what must have been a dream last night though it took me hours to convince myself that it really was a dream.

In the dream, I woke up and looked at my phone and there was an email from a name I didn’t know, replying to me, something along the lines of “It will be fine” with no other information, not the original email, no hint who the lady was (and I remember it being a lady’s name but I don’t remember and didn’t recognize it). I woke up convinced it was a real thing, convinced I’d somehow sleep-emailed some poor lady. I went through my phone, the sent folder, the trash, no sign of anything.

I had a horrible time getting back to sleep. I should have given up the ghost and turned on the murder channel (Discovery ID) because I can almost always fall asleep to that. I managed a bit off an on until I was woken up at 5ish to wet dog feet in my neck – thanks Hubster! (He lets them out before he heads for the gym before work and apparently, the ground was wet today).

I still haven’t been able to shake this dream but it wasn’t a bad dream really, just a weird one that caused me to go a tiny bit bats trying to prove it was actually a dream and I did not, in fact, sleep-email some stranger. This is not the post I planned to write today but I guess you’ll get the one I was going to write tomorrow or over the weekend – my latest project turned out pretty cute!

This isn’t the craziest dream I’ve ever had but it was the most real-feeling. I’m still having trouble acknowledging that I did not email nor receive a reply from this imaginary lady. Even if the message itself is probably a good one. It’s always nice to be told that everything will be fine. Next time though, maybe the universe can convey that via rainbow unicorn or dancing flowers.

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Filed under Anxiety, Interesting, Life, Weird

March Wrap Up and April Goals

Happy Easter!

I can’t believe I’m still managing to get words counted! I’ve always struggled to maintain any sort of accuracy in counting but this Excel file is just about perfect for me.

On the writing, I missed 4 days and had a few under 500 days but I was very consistent overall. 35,417 words for the final tally for March, not quite to my goal and only 200 words better than February but, I’m still very happy with it. I got words in on all my projects but I don’t see that happening next month. My goal is to get Christmas in Bear Ridge zero draft done next month and I’m not super worried about anything else. Word counts are awesome and I’d like to stay in line if not do better than the last two months.

On the fitness front – I didn’t gain any weight so that’s not terrible. I didn’t lose any either though and that’s kind of annoying. I loaded up the MyFitnessPal app again and I’m trying to be good about it. I don’t always succeed but oh well. I’ll get there. I am moving more. This month there was a lot of heavier foods and too much eating out. I did get my stretching bands washed because they made me itchy and I’m able to do the steps a little bit better but in the biggest news, I successfully got up off the ground by myself. I would like to lose weight as I’m sure everything will be easier if I do but I’m not going to be miserable in order to do it – Calories In, Calories Out. That’s about all I have the tenacity for right now.

On the Rheumatoid front, I did spend a chunk of this month with my cane – my ankle did something ridiculous for no good reason and swelled up again for a few days, my knees were a bit achy, and some mornings, my feet were flat evil. My husband bought me a new cane – pretty much a length of knotty, maybe burled wood with a lot of character and a pretty grain with a natural grip and a height that works for me. I love it. My skin is still stupid splotchy, irritated, and now a little angry in spots. Yay makeup. Mostly, my meds are doing what they’re supposed to, even if it isn’t perfect. There are still days but I think that’s just going to be a thing now.  It’s mostly pretty liveable but I’m still adjusting. My short term memory is still really stupid so I’ve been using a to-do list app to keep me on track and on target. It mostly works too! Any.do links up with my regular and Google calendar and makes my life much easier.

I didn’t get any art made this month but I thought about it and I planned some out in my head. Well, no, I did dye eggs. I’m totally going to count my six shaving cream and food coloring eggs as art. I had wanted to do more but it just wasn’t in the cards for me. April. Definitely April.

On the personal front, it was sort of a big month – I saw an old friend I hadn’t seen since the summer of 98, my oldest child got inducted into the National Honor Society, I had my annual meeting at the school for my youngest child’s IEP (always nerve-wracking, almost always easy), and, most importantly, celebrated my 18th wedding anniversary. I still can’t believe he’s put up with me this long – he must be crazy. Next month should be a lot slower so hopefully that means also more productive too.

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Filed under Anxiety, Interesting, Life, Rheumatoid Arthritis, WIP, Writing

I think I’m a hedgehog

I learned a thing today. There’s a thing called the Hedgehog’s Dilemma which uses the hedgehog’s gathering together with other hedgehogs to share heat but having to stay their distance so they don’t hurt each other with all the sharp pokey ends to illustrate the introvert’s biggest problem. I am a Hedgehog – there’s nothing more in the world that I want those close relationships and camaraderie and shared experience, I just want all that from over here where no one is touching me. Or looking at me. Or expecting me to be able to use real words that make sense in a vocal fashion.

We’re a few days into January and I’ve had the kids home extra days for the cold so I haven’t had but 5 hours to myself since the first day of Winter. I am not getting words outside of my personal journal where apparently I have a lot to unpack. I’m still working to get back to normal from the injury I sustained in mid-December! It should have been a minor thing, a bruise at most but my immune system just gets so excited at having something to do that it treats it like a mortal wound instead. I’m so close to being back to normal but it’s still stiff and sore and I’m still moving like it is both of those things. I enjoyed the kid part of Christmas but I struggled a lot with the rest of it. I’m missing my dad a lot and thinking about my mom a lot. I’m weaning off the prednisone but my family says it’s still mucking with me.

I know my methotrexate is doing its job, with every dose, the inflammation in my joints really does go down but with every upping of the dose, my icky, sick, tired time the next day increases by about an hour. Really though, five hours of ick is worth it for being able to do stuff the rest of the time. I’m even adjusting so I’m not terribly tired after taking it. I think it’s likely to adjust up at least once more before we settle out but I do hope it’s not much more than that.

I do need to get back to writing. I need to get the last threads down and finish Hunter’s Hell. I know how it ends, I just have to fill in the odds and ends and get it done then set it aside for a short time and come back to it when I’m not a weepy, emotional mess because it’s absolutely creeping into the words a bit. It’s not like I don’t have projects to work on – Hunter’s Hell, Eldercynne War*, Gods of the Fallen, Long Is The Way,  and Soul Eater are just the main titles I have in various stages of progress (though I have two more I ought to be submitting to places). I’m struggling to even read books right now, let alone write them. I’m far too emotionally involved with fictional characters, my own and other writers’.

This year hasn’t started that great. I think I was hoping for some kind of switch from awful to awesome but I think it’s going to take more than a switch. I think it’s going to be a slow transition but I’m pretty sure it’s going to transition. I can’t take another year like last year so it’s just going to be better when all is said and done. Period.

 

 

*working title only, likely to change.

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Filed under Anxiety, Health, Interesting, Life, Writing

Stuff and Things

I am still plugging along on Hunter’s Hell but I’m not counting on winning NaNoWriMo this year. The ideas are there and solid but the fingers are not quite cooperating the way I’d like. I’m about 10,000 words behind I think, give or take, but I haven’t started today’s words yet either. Even if I don’t manage to win, I’ll have a complete draft well before Christmas and that’s really what matters.

I went to my rheumy last week. I’m not entirely sure I like him yet – I’m definitely not really comfortable yet but I don’t really expect to be this early yet either. Fortunately, we are starting the process to drop the prednisone so hopefully, that means I’ll go back to having next to no panic attacks or crying jags in the middle of Kroger. He also upped the other med – but mostly it just makes me sleepy and a little forgetful and that’s not terrible. I’m having some increased pain in my hands but I expected that also so I’m not terribly worried about that either. It is what it is. I’d like to be closer to normal but I can’t make things happen any faster so there’s no point in being defeatist about it.

Next week is Thanksgiving here in the states. I am not looking forward to it this year. This will be the first year without my Dad and if I think of my mom most around Christmas and Halloween, I think of my dad around Thanksgiving and New Years. I’m not saying I”m going to start eating sauerkraut because ew, but I’ll be thinking about him and all his superstitions anyway on the first of the year. On Thanksgiving, I’ll be missing his sweet potato flambe for sure. It was my favorite from the time I was ten. I’m really glad my husband doesn’t really get it – really glad – but there’s a part of me that just wants to be miserable and maudlin and be left alone. That’s not how it’s going to work but that’s what I want to do.

I’m finding NaNoWriMo is a bit difficult this year without my cheering section calling to see how many words I’ve gotten. I don’t think I realized how much I appreciated having someone who was invested in my successes and failures and progresses.

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Filed under Anxiety, Life, Rheumatoid Arthritis

Winding down

The fair is done and my whole body is feeling it today! I met some interesting people and made some good connections and even sold a few books. I have some new stuff to get up on Etsy this week but not today – my fingers and knees are hurting. I’m falling behind on the book but I’ll catch up during the week when I’m not trying to make stuff too.

I’ve got bloodwork and a doctor’s appointment this week and I’m really hoping I can get off the prednisone ASAP. I do not like it at all. I had been doing so great with my panic attacks – I haven’t had many to speak of in a long time and now they’re getting to be a little bit regular and I don’t like that at all – I’ve been there, done that, wouldn’t like to go back there. I also blame my newfound weepiness on it too – I’m crying at the dumbest stuff. I burst into tears in Krogers because they didn’t have the breakfast my youngest son requested. I cried at the end of The Dark Knight Rises, not for that movie but because I was so upset that the role of Batman did not go to Joseph Gordan-Levitt who deserved it (and the story was perfect for it!) but to the guy I don’t see as anything like Batman (so much so that I haven’t even watched it). Both of those things are upsetting but neither is really honestly cry-worthy. I’m a lot quicker to get mad too and I really don’t like it. The other meds, it is what it is. My nails are terrible, my skin is terrible, but my hair isn’t falling out and I’m not hurting anywhere near as bad as I was. I’ll do as I’m told because, as much as I don’t like one of the ladies in the office so much, the doctor himself seems to know what he’s doing and for sure he knows more than I do.

I’m going to get some words today but I am not going to push too much with my fingers today – they need some recovery time right now. I’m in an interesting place in the book though, some ramifications from the events of book one are coming to light and no one knows what it means longterm just yet (not even me!), and the new plot is getting a little convoluted and the connections are starting to come to light and it’s just beginning to get exciting. This is my favorite part of the process but I’m a little worried that I’m coming to this point too early so I might have to toss in a small distraction or two as they figure stuff out. This is the sort of stuff that makes me remember why writing is my all time favorite thing to do.

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Filed under Anxiety, Crafting, Crafts, etsy, Event, Life, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Writing

Post-Craft Fair

So, I’m home and (mostly) unloaded with an ouchie knee and tired feet but I’m very happy with the overall results of the day. I cannot begin to tell you all how relieved I am to have this first event out of the way! I was far more nervous than I probably needed to be but I didn’t have any panic attacks and I peopled pretty well and I didn’t even get sarcastic once! You could say that today was a pretty big deal.

It probably helps that my friend was at the table next to me.

I went in with absolutely no expectations, which I think was very helpful. I talked to a bunch of people, I sold a few books, a few boxes, a few bookmarks, an Alice in Wonderland inspired miniature topiary, and a few magnets and I bought myself a pretty octopus bracelet. I came out way ahead on the day and I’m actually even looking forward to doing it again. I’m calling today a win all over – not just for my goals but for me in general. I really did expect to have trouble with the people part of it.

For those of you playing along at home, you’ve still got a short bit of time to enter the contest to win one of my books!

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Filed under Anxiety, Books, Crafts, goals, Life

Nerves in Advance

I have many days, a few weeks’ worth in fact, before my first ever table at an anything. I’m starting small, at a local craft fair to sort of stick my toe in the water and see how I do. I’ve got the books in. In fact, the last box arrived today. I’ve got some geeky crafty type stuff ready to go as well. If you liked my Nazgul or my sorting hat, and you’re going to be near Weirton on the 30th, here’s your chance!

The fact of the matter is, I’ve never done something like this before and I really am quite nervous about the whole thing. I shouldn’t be. I come from two people who could convince most people that dihydrogen monoxide was polluting our water supply. My children have that gene too – the performance, the desire for applause. I have it too in a far more introverted way. I realized the other day that I might not be as gregarious, charming, or loud as my parents or my children but ultimately, I’m after the same thing – validation from people I don’t know! That’s really what writing books is, isn’t it?

I far prefer sitting back here, on this side of my computer screen instead of on a stage or behind a table, but, it’s a little hard to get my crowing heard from inside my house, shouting into the storm that is the Internet and full of people just like me. So, out into the world I must go. Maybe it won’t be as bad as I’m expecting. Maybe it’ll actually be fun and I’ll sign on to do more. Maybe a lot of things.

So, I’m sticking my toe in the water and maybe I’ll find myself at Steel City Con or Parsec down the road a bit.

Just for a head’s up – if you haven’t liked my Facebook page, now might be a good time as I’m going to be having a giveaway on April 30th (the day of said local fair). What I’m giving away will be revealed on that day.

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Filed under Anxiety, Books, Crafting, Life, Writing

2016 in Review

It’s been a year. Which is probably the best thing that can be said for it. Sure, there have been some ups but overall, there’s a shadow over this year for me that just won’t let the light shine down on it.

Like many people, I lost several of my idols this year. I went through a bit of a downswing early in the year with my depression and that had some slightly more lasting effects than usual. There were some upheavals with my career, my house, and some stresses in the family that are likely mostly par for the course, maybe. We lost our OldDog who was a good dog and maybe the smartest dog I’ve ever known.

But there were good things too.

Eldercynne Rising came out. I love this universe and am so glad I get to play in it – the Arachwie are by far my favorite of my created peoples, even more so than the Jaffine.

I got my Alfred. I am a cat person. I am not a dog person. Don’t get me wrong, I love all animals but dogs are not really my cuppa. We’ve always had dogs because my husband and children are definitely dog people. I am an Alfred people. I’ve never had dog that I really really adored until now. I don’t even mind that he smells like dog! No one has ever been happier to see me in my life – and I’m including my children.

I’ve lost 50 pounds (thanks, Pokemon Go and MyFitnessPal). An old friend reminded me that people can be totally awesome for no reason whatsoever (thanks, Becky – you are awesome and totally made my kid’s Christmas!). My kids have been doing great in school and everything. Several times this year, I’ve managed to people without making an ass of myself. I have only had three little panic attacks this ENTIRE year and none of them were debilitating enough to do much more than give me a headache.

All right, so there was maybe more good than bad, or at least, bigger good than bad. It just feels like there has been so much loss this year. This Christmas was harder for me than usual. Everything has made me think of my mother and how much she would have enjoyed my children. I don’t have words to properly explain it. I blame Brad Garrett and his singing Frankenstein’s Monster because that’s where all my weepy started this year.

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Filed under Animals, Anxiety, kids, Life

Lucky Girl

I am an incredibly lucky girl to have met and married a guy who gets me. He doesn’t always understand and sometimes he thinks I’m pretty silly but, where it matters most to me, he absolutely gets me. There are some people who I have never met but who have effected me in ways that probably sound pretty silly to people who aren’t dorks/geeks/nerds – whatever title they choose on any given day. For my birthday this year, I now own two of their autographs. One is pretty much the best present I’ve ever been given by anyone ever and totally made me cry. I’m fairly certain that there is no way that my husband can ever top this birthday.

As of today, I’ve met two of the three actors who ever actually scared me and both were so kind and sweet. I doubt very much that I’ll ever get to meet the third but two out of three is pretty damned awesome. Jump scare type things may startle me, but it takes a great deal to scare me and the first time I watched Candyman, I covered all the mirrors in my room for almost a month.

Tony Todd is really wonderful. Youngest son was waiting with me in the autograph line and pretty much on the edge of the convention being too much for him. He was stimming maybe the hardest I’ve seen him outside our house – but Mr. Todd took it all in stride, talked to him, and kidlet even handed him the squid he carries everywhere which sounds odd but is a great honor.

The Steel City Con is crowded (less today as it’s friday) and there are a ton of people and things to see. It could easily be overwhelming but the people there – the vendors, the artists, the stars – they’re all super kind and awesome and it makes going there fun (even if I always come home with too much stuff!).

 

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Filed under Anxiety, Autism, Comics, Convention, Geek