K. There doesn’t really seem to be much to do at the moment but accept that my therapist was probably right when she said I have major depressive disorder, and whore for some support.

I’ve actually been fighting this since I was oh, about five. It comes and goes, and this is the worst bout I’ve ever had. It makes no rational sense and I feel like a big pile of failure for not just being able to throw off the crushing feelings of sadness, the what’s-the-point moments that have become whole days lately, the fear of leaving the house because I don’t want to break down and have people see me that way, the intermittent thoughts of self-harm… all of it.

At least I’m self-analytical enough to know where the worst thoughts are coming from. I don’t want to hurt myself, and I sure as HELL do NOT want to die. I am just so unbelievably tired of feeling like shit. As long as I can think through it enough to do something that at least makes me FEEL like I’m taking proactive steps to make my life better, that truly helps. That makes the worst of it go away.

But it gets harder every day just to get up in the morning, let alone actually do anything. I try to act so upbeat on Twitter and everything, but guys, I just can’t do it anymore. Maybe I’m just crazy. My therapist said there might just be something physiologically wrong where my brain has a hard time either making or processing those happy-chemicals, serotonin and such, and I just might be one of those people for whom antidepressants aren’t a cop-out, but are just something they need to function like normal people. One of my friends has referred me to a psychiatric nurse practitioner, after several aborted attempts to get a psychiatrist (Those bastards are WAY too hard to get an appointment with, and if there’s anything depressive people AREN’T, it’s perseverent.) So maybe I can figure out what the hell is wrong with me and start beating it once and for all. And figure out what it feels like to be normal. I’ve fought the suggestion of going onto meds for a long, long time. But I’m willing to try almost anything at this point. I just want it to stop. I just want to be OK.

I don’t want you to think I’ve quit coming out to Mojo events and such because I don’t want to, or that I don’t like you anymore. I just don’t want you to see me like this. It’s so debilitating right now, it’s really kind of surprising and scary to me. It actually physically hurts.

But if I’m going to get better, I need some kind of support network. Most of my friends and family are still in the Evansville area, so I’m trying to get back there. But as of right now, I’m getting about one job interview for every 40 resumes/applications. So I may be up here for a while, still. And my current job exacerbates my symptoms so badly that my family, my friends, my fiance, and my therapist are ALL begging me to quit. Apparently working in a call center where you pretty much endure eight straight hours of verbal abuse on a daily basis ISN’T GOOD for someone with major depressive disorder. But I have to make money somehow, so I don’t know what to do.

And I have to keep up a good front for my employer and for potential future employers. And right now, that pretty much exerts all the energy and false-perk I can muster up.

OK, I’ve gone and done it. I’ve made a Debbie Downer post after I said I wouldn’t. I know that the emotionally-needy do not make appealing friends. But if you’d like to try and help me feel OK again, through being a shoulder or helping me get some contacts for a better job, or helping me GET OUT of the house from time to time, it would really mean a lot to me.

Thanks for listening.

So, guys. I’m sorry I’ve been away for a little while, but clinical depression is a serious pain. Cheer me on and send me love, because I’ve needed it these days. I haven’t said much lately, because if I can’t refrain from being a downer, I don’t want to say anything at all.

Anyway! I have awesome news! I’ve been writing for IndyGeek.net lately (stay tuned for my next column Monday, August 9!), and I’m also doing their marketing, event coordinating assistance, PR, etc. Here’s the skinny. We’ve got the VIP lounge at Pinhead’s in Fishers, on July 31, for FREE DJ HERO AND BOWLING ACTION.

If you’ve got shoes, you can come to the VIP lounge and bowl free, first come, first served. If you don’t have shoes, you’ll have to rent ‘em. And if you’re good at DJ Hero, you can come SHOW OFF. If you’re not, well, I’ll be making a fool of myself too, so it won’t just be you.

I’d LOVE to see my friends from Mojo-land around and catch back up. The action starts at 6 p.m.

Here’s an RSVP link if you’re into that whole Facebook-thing:

Plz RSVP!

It’s really been a rough few months, guys. I really hope I’m back for real this time. Thanks for your lovin’ support.

(originally posted at hicksvilleliterary.blogspot.com

So I’m feeling kind of bad, because I promised Joe, the owner of

A jam to motivate your Monay

Drop me in the middle so I can make a ripple effect
Upon the ocean I’ll be the moon that turns the tide
Drop me in the middle so I can make a ripple
A domino effect falling through the sands of time

Photo by Flickr user jimgspokane

Perhaps you’ve heard. 2009 was not the greatest of years for most people. Yes, really! It was so crap, Times Square in NYC even hosted an official Good Riddance party as part of its festivities. What are YOU saying good riddance to?

For me, it’s good riddance to doubt in my relationship. As of December 26, my beautiful boyfriend and I made it official. Once he’s done with his bachelor’s degree, we’re in it for life. I’m also VERY happily saying good riddance to abject financial destitution (and HELLO to hunting out and embracing more ways to help the many still struggling), and such stress that I had a heart-attack scare last month.

I’m saying good riddance to failing to budget my time and energy to make the most of both. Good riddance to the helpless feelings from watching one friend be diagnosed with HIV, another die young of heart failure, and my brother see his home burn down, all within two weeks of one another.

I’m saying HELLO to getting back into the fitness routine I let lapse, to taking up a relaxer such as meditation twice or more a week, and to an aggressive approach to eliminating debt and saving for my bright future with Zach. Oh, and to writing daily for at least 15 minutes, either here or on paper.

How about you? What are YOUR reasons to be happy about giving the ol’ heave-ho to 2009?

Apparently, I handle emotionally-devastating circumstances better when I put them into sci-fi terms.

I need to tell you a story about an amazing girl, who I almost missed the pleasure of being friends with.

For those uninitiated to the greatness that was Battlestar Galactica’s most recent series incarnation: Louanne “Kat” Katraine and Kara “Starbuck” Thrace were possibly the two best Viper pilots in the series. Two strong, eccentric, and indisputably damaged women who were similar in many ways. And who bickered up until the day before Kat died.

Kim and I are similar to that, right down to the sleazebag ex-boyfriend storyline.

OK, so Kim and I never flew anything. And Kat and Kara didn’t both date the same guy. Loser ex-boyfriend parallel is only somewhat similar.

We hated each other, it’s hard to overstate how much. Could. Not. Stand. Even the mere thought of each other. Mostly because we both had crappy taste in boyfriends. She dated the loser right after I did. The most infuriating thing was that even when I hated her so much, there were still things I admired about her. She was so cute it hurt. Not even I could deny that. And she was always so creative and so vivacious. Even at our most hateful times, I couldn’t deny that.

After they broke up, I think it was around June of this year… I don’t know why I suddenly was compelled to do it, but I sent her an apology for all the terrible things I’d done and said, to and about her.

Apparently, the reluctant admiration was mutual. She accepted and returned the apologies. We bonded over war-stories. The creep had put both of us through some bad times, and it was strangely unifying. We were fast friends after that. I’d only recently moved up here to Indianapolis, and money was beyond tight, so I couldn’t really afford to go see her. She had a heart condition, which recently required surgery, so she was too weak to come up and see me. We had a strong connection in a very short time, and looked forward to hanging out once she recovered. Maybe we’d go clubbing, since she’d turned 21 not long ago. Our birthdays are only six days apart. We wanted to do some way of celebrating the next one together. We encouraged each other through trials, cheered happy moments, and consoled in sad ones. It was so clear that we’d have been besties ages ago, if things had been different.

And then in July, I didn’t hear from her anymore. I’d call and get no answer. We were never on Facebook or instant-messenger at the same time. I did send her excited congratulations in August, when I saw that she’d become engaged to a guy who was actually good enough to deserve her.

I didn’t hear from her because she’d wound up back in the hospital. Her heart wasn’t getting better, it was getting worse. She didn’t mention it to me and well, neither of us were very accessible online at that time.

She was so determined, so excited about her future and so hell-bent on recovery. She described herself in her Twitter bio as “Small but fierce.” And God, it was so true. It honestly never crossed my mind, even for a split-second, that she might not get better. But in the fall, she had a second surgery which didn’t help anything. She declined quickly after that. We lost her on November 22. The worst part is that I was so bogged-down in work, I didn’t even hear about it until yesterday. She’s been gone for a month.

I’m so grateful for the short time I got to be her friend. I need to take some time away from here to mourn. I’ll post some updates on my brother’s apartment-fire, but I honestly don’t have the energy right now. His blog is at absolutionrevolution.com, so if you want to help, follow that site for the info.

This is my third major trauma in less than two weeks, and it’s really taking all the energy I have right now just to hold it together. If you pray, I would appreciate prayers for Kim’s family, and for the man she was married to in spirit though they didn’t have the time to make it legal. They’re about to have their first Christmas without their little girl. And believe me, she may never have even cleared 5 feet tall, but her presence was a huge one. There is a lot to miss.

Tell the people you love how much you love them. If you have bridges to mend, do it. Do it now, while you know you can. There is nothing I want to do more right at this moment, than give this girl that big hug we were saving for “after you get better.” Better never came.

I have to link to the Kat/Starbuck video I found, because emb3dding is disabled:

This one’s for you, kid.

Thanks for everything. I’ll see you on the other side.

This song is so lovely, I can’t stop listening to it this weekend. This, and “Planetarium” by Ai Otsuka, have been my soundtrack pretty much since hearing about Jason and Gretchen’s apartment fire. There is so much love in them both. In the stresses of what’s happened, I find myself so thankful that, at least, they’re safe and they have each other.

And, like he has so many times when life has overwhelmed me too much to deal with on my own, Zach has been there.

A steadfast support, no matter what the circumstances. Nothing’s more precious than that.

So, if you follow my Twitter, you know that this has been a pretty awful day for my big brother.

He and his new wife, Gretchen, recently moved 8 hours from the rest of our family so he can attend Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary in South Bend. This weekend, we all came out to my grandparents’ house near Milan, Indiana to celebrate Christmas. Like we have every year since… well, before I existed.

This morning is when they got the call. Just in time for Christmas, they’ve lost pretty much everything. Their apartment building has burned. Since the fire was on the lower level and they live upstairs, their stuff is *technically* intact. But the firefighters consider it a total loss anyway, as the structural integrity of the building is gone. They probably won’t be able to safely get up there to salvage anything.

Their two cats were visiting at Mom’s house in Petersburg, so they’re safe. The downstairs neighbor’s bulldog was not so lucky. He didn’t get out of the building.

Jason stands to lose thousands of dollars worth of musical instruments and books. More importantly, they need some temporary lodging for themselves and the cats. It looks like some friends they’ve made up there are going to step in to help out in the housing department.

The only clothes, shoes, etc. they have are what they brought with them to Milan. If you or someone you know lives in the South Bend area and have something to give, Jason wears men’s 40-inch jeans and XL shirts. Gretchen’s a 14/16, L shirt size.

I was thinking more in terms of covering their material needs i.e. clothing, food, etc. but people have expressed interest in giving money. We’re still looking into options as far as monetary donations. He doesn’t prefer to go with Paypal, so I’ll take alternate suggestions. I will update with a link for donation once that’s squared away.

I believe in the good of people, even total strangers, especially around this time of year. Obviously, I really care a lot about my brother and his wife and I’d love nothing more than for some stability to be returned to them. We’ll do as much as we can for them, but my parents live as far south as you can be and still live in Indiana, and Jason and Gretchen are way up in South Bend. I’m in the middle, and I can give a little, but I’m still recovering from my own financial hardships myself. Though I’d love to give him the world, I’m not able right now.

Please lend your support in this time, even if all you can provide is well-wishing. If you’d like to give money or materials, I can hook you up with the info you’ll need for that.

Sorry this isn’t particularly articulate. We’re still pretty much in shock. I know it’ll be OK, but we just… aren’t there yet.

Update: Here’s my brother’s post on the subject.

(crossposted to my personal and professional blogs.)

It be International Talk like a Pirate Day, ALL day, ye scurvy dogs!

In honor of this great holiday, I be gearin’ up to make berth at Irish Fest and do a little creative MARRketing for Geekery 4 Rent — so if ye’d be so kind, stop and say hello to this hard-working pirate lass, I’d be ever so pleased. Doubly so if ye bring yer best pirate-jokes.

Can’t wait to see ya there!

(Yarr, here be guerrilla marketing tactics, good for all budgets. So it don’t matter whether ye have a huge treasure hoard, or only a tiny booty.)

Well, my alma mater started classes this week, so I guess it’s time for that obligatory back-to-school post. I’m not sure if this year’s incoming college class is still even considered Generation Y. Already, I’m beginning to understand that “generation gap” term. Sometimes I swear I’m a 24-year-old curmudgeon and you guys are all nuts, and I’d holler to “get offa my lawn!” If I had a lawn. Apartments generally don’t come with those.

Anyway, university class of 2014, the future starts with you, your success is the world’s success, yadda yadda. (I’m not actually that disillusioned, I’ve just still got that stock-graduation-speech in my head because I heard it myself so recently. You know what I mean — the college grad speech isn’t all that different from the high school one, truth be told.)

So here’s some bits of wisdom I probably heard from my parents when I was 18, but didn’t listen to because they were too old. I’m only a little bit older than you, not even old enough to have babysat you when you were kids. So maybe it’ll make a little more sense coming from me.

- Networking isn’t just a buzzword used by stuffy people in suits. I started out at the University of Evansville, which is a pretty darn affluent school. When your background is blue-collar, it can feel pretty odd. I took on plenty of extracurriculars, but didn’t take advantage of job fairs or networking events. Student meetings in jeans and T-shirts were more fun. Besides, in those days I had blue streaks in my hair and black polish on my nails. Networking equaled corporate BS for conformists. Or so, I thought. That is the case if you go to the wrong places. But the truth is, having moved to Indianapolis, I’ve gone to plenty of networking events. There may not be much blue hair, but the people are genuinely interesting. And the best way to find your niche (or blaze your own, a la Susan Baroncini) is to get out there and see what’s what and who’s who!

- Get some sleep. When I was going-on 19, my average bedtime was 3 a.m. and I had 9 a.m. classes. At the risk of sounding vain, I was really smart (academically), so I could sleep through my Latin class and still pound out the homework and get A’s. But (GOD, I sound OLD!) it can catch up to you. Young’uns, hopefully by the time you graduate from college, the job market will have gone back uphill and you’ll have no trouble finding a job with good healthcare benefits. Or maybe a public option will exist by then and it will be less of an issue. But maybe not. And all that partying and sleep-deprivation will catch up with you, and you will feel like crap. Nothing’s quite so fun as being 23, fresh out of school, worried about money (Darlings, you likely have NO concept of the word “broke” yet!), and feeling like your body is going to fall apart because you didn’t care for it.

- Relationships and bootycalls are NOT THAT DARN IMPORTANT! Lord, if I could do it all over I’d have jumped ship on the crap relationships I maintained because I was scared to be alone. And I see so many other young folks squandering their emotional and mental energy on significant others rather than nurturing and growing their own self-identities. You need that. Some people (and I fear that this occurs lopsidedly so toward females) go years, DECADES, defining themselves in terms of who their parent, sibling, spouse, or child is, rather than what unique and wonderful qualities they themselves offer. It’s so simple that it’s revolutionary… you can avoid that midlife crisis entirely, just by HAVING a life!

Plus, you’ll do better in academics and in your club/sport of choice if you’re not worrying so hard about looking dumb in front of that girl/boy/whatever. I cringe at my graduation status, even though it was “Cum Laude,” because even though that looks decent on a resume’, I believe I could have done better. Please don’t let that be you.

- Don’t be so darned afraid to try, fail, or ask for help. I’m TERRIFIED of failure, and I’ve talked myself out of a lot of opportunities that way. And annoyed the crap out of people in my social circle because I don’t know how to ski/carry out a WOW raid/play euchre.

Same applies in the business world. In five years, we may end up working together. Wonder of wonders, I may even end up supervising you. I”m going to give you the STINKEYE if you don’t ask me questions. (Yes, the dreaded stinkeye!) I’m going to wonder if you’re cheating, or just not taking enough risks, if you never screw up. It’s part of life!

- If your professor doesn’t challenge you, challenge him or her. Your university will probably have a class or two on critical thinking and argument. It’s not going to be enough. Our educational system is generally crap in this department, and it’s doing many of us a disservice. Don’t go into the game ready to learn WHAT to think or say in order to get a decent grade. That’s not our educators’ job, or at least it shouldn’t be. Learn HOW to think. This will make the difference between our generation being a generation of leaders, or a generation of followers.