Sick of Myself

Yes, this blog still functions.

Where have I been?  What have I been doing?

I have been back and forth between Minnesota and Denver for work.  A lot. I had two trips in August and another two this month.

The travel is a little wearing, but I am getting a lot of work on Norah Locke done, so that is a plus.  I think I am about 65 pages into the book and it’s going pretty well.  When I am home I am working on The Retros.  The fifth “season” just started a couple months ago and I am about 180 pages in on what will be a 240 page story arc, so I have a comfortable lead on that.

So, that’s where I have been, and that is what I have been doing.

I have also been having somewhat of an existential crisis and I have been aware of it for some time.  The reason I haven’t written on the blog for a few months was because I was tired of myself.  No, not tired of myself and wanting to end it at all (in any sense), but I was exhausted and a little embarrassed at these wild and extreme mood swings.  One week I would be on top of the world and full of optimism, the next I was frustrated beyond belief.  There is no middle ground.  I know life is about ups and downs, but the severity of both of these feelings, and how quickly I could move from to another, became pretty alarming when I looked at some of my previous posts.

This became impossible to ignore on two different occasions.  I started to write an entry a few weeks ago that was full of despair and gloom and wanting to give up on this art dream.  Not give up on drawing, but perhaps thinking that I would ever hit one of my goals.  The entry was depressing and I never posted it.  I felt that I had crossed a line and I was worried about myself.  Again, I am not tired of life or anything, but speculating about why I even bothered to create and send whatever I wrote and drew to publishers and that it was hopeless seemed like it was just… too far.  Did I really feel that way?

The second moment was just feeling something wasn’t quite right.  I woke up one Sunday to see an email from work about how something went a different direction than I would have preferred and for some reason, this sent me spiraling into a level of sadness and anxiety that I had never felt before.  One minute I was bullet proof, the next I was a puddle on the ground.  This was not the first time I had this sudden, extreme change of self-worth.  Neither feeling invincible or feeling worthless is not healthy.  It is not healthy to feel either extreme.

I knew that it is not normal to feel this way.  I knew I was tired of feeling this way.

I felt better when I decided I was tired of feeling this.  I used to think that feeling frustrated was a good motivation to draw more, draw better, finish projects, and send them to publishers.  But that day I decided that it wasn’t helping.  I didn’t need to be frustrated, to beat myself up to motivate me to make art.  I loved making art, that’s all the motivation I need.

That evening my wife and I sat on the deck as the sun set.  I told Amy what was going on, and the next day I made an appointment with a psychiatrist.  I had my first visit a few weeks ago and they prescribed some Prozac but it took me about two weeks to actually begin it.  I kept the prescription bottle on my desk so I would see it often and it would help remind why it was prescribed to me.  I was a little nervous to begin taking it, to be honest.  I am not comfortable with things altering my….well, anything.  That fear was one of the primary reasons I quit drinking almost three years ago.  Keeping the medication within eyesight helped me make peace with it and I started it on the first of the month.

One of the side effects in some people was bizarre dreams and the first night I dreamed I called Tom Petty and tried to talk him into doing an album of Grateful Dead songs.  So, we can check that box.

Otherwise I haven’t noticed much change, but perhaps that is the purpose.  I didn’t want to all of a sudden feel AMAZING and MANIC and INVINCIBLE.   Amy said I seem calmer, more balanced, more present.  When I saw my coworkers on my last trip to Colorado I was told I seemed more positive and had a calmer energy.

This is good.  I feel good.  I feel calmer.  Over the last few weeks I have had moments where previously I would feel crushed and defeated, moments that I would dwell on for hours, even for days.  But they bounced off me.

I have also had great things happen, things that would have caused my self-esteem to soar beyond what is normal but I felt…. happy, but not deliriously so.

I feel…. just great, to be honest.  I feel normal.

So, I guess I wanted to apologize for the whining, the despair, the seemingly endless blog of complaining that I am not a published cartoonist.  I’m excited to be better.  In every sense.

I almost deleted this whole blog and started over, but I decided not to.  The path to anything, success, mental health, happiness, is littered with bumps and setbacks.  I guess this is part of that.  Instead of starting over I gave the blog a face lift to reflect what I hope is a new direction.

Going forward I promise to talk more about art instead of my frustrations.  Thanks for reading this.

And just to lighten things up, here’s a drawing I did of my daughter’s cat.

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-Bob

 

 

 

 

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