As many of you are aware I recently moved and have been more absent than usual from our illustrious blog this fall. Busy Bee and Potnoodle have been rockstars keeping up where I’ve bitched out and I owe them many frilly drinks on our next adventure. As for me… well I started a new job (Which I think I actually love), left a situation I can only describe as a rut (Didn’t love but it was home) and have been struggling with my mental health on a level of intense and scary I’ve not had in a long time. This is a dog blog, but it’s still a blog and I feel like some explanation of my absence to our readers and my co-writers is in order.
I rarely talk about personal things (and by rare I mean jackalope riding a unicorn to the moon rare). My problems have been and will continue to be my problems whether or not I voice them to others. When things are going poorly it’s rare for me to talk much at all. This has been a very quiet fall everywhere but in my own head. Finding topics I can be flippant about in TDS irreverence has been difficult if not impossible when every good thing I can find personally is torpedoed by my own brain. I’ve been torpedoing other things too making it an incredibly lonely time despite being more involved with other people than I have been in years.
In a non-technical sense I have an anxiety disorder. In my case essentially it means I obsess over minor things that are stressful to the point of destroying my own life. I can say that and think it’s totally normal and that alone is likely a problem. I was tentatively diagnosed as a child which wasn’t technically correct but I’m not going to argue. I literally cannot turn off the wave of bad feelings in my head without a lot of mental prepping and relaxation techniques. Sounds like a real party, right? I learned to cope well enough to pass as a semi-productive human being but my coping mechanisms of ‘control issues’ and ‘sucking it up’ are only effective for so long. In a more technical sense, I can play “Genetic component mental health disorders Bingo” on my family tree with most of the DSMV-IV so the possible diagnosis element scares me more than the label it was given a decade ago. There’s a lot to be said about removing the stigma from mental illness, but I am neither brave nor an advocate for anything beyond minimizing the stupid in my daily existence, so while I can tell you I have a problem, I still don’t super-want to talk about it or hang up a banner let alone announce it to complete strangers in public.
Dear readers, while you’ve been working away productively this fall, I’ve been whittling away the tenuous grasp I have on reality and practicing my high-dives from ridiculous anxiety cliffs down to end of the world ocean while telling everyone things are great and aiming for an air of “I’m totally fine, how ridiculous for you to wonder, peon”. While the anxiety itself has been justified, the attitude about it has not been, nor has the pulling away from anyone who cares about me, the lame excuses for not wanting to talk, the refusal to discuss anything that doesn’t have four legs and fur or the brushing-off of my fellow TDS authors when they ask for my input. It’s not okay and I’m sorry.
So here’s the gist, kids. I’ve been gone for a while. I will likely continue to be gone for a while minus the odd rant, at least until I can find my sense of humor again. Things are not alright and I am not okay, despite what I may in fact tell you but I’m pretty sure they will be okay eventually, maybe, and once they’re okay-ish then I will be too.
Some things that are fine (For realz):
-My dogs are fantastic and perfect.
-I get to sign papers giving kids puppies.
-I really do like my new job.
-Booking hotel rooms for dog shows gives me things to look forward to.
-Many people have it a lot worse than me (Which is awful but finding perspective helps tone down the personal angst a lot when you’re stuck in a loop)
-I have friends who at least tolerate me when things are rough.
-Ironic use of Z for pluralizing words.*
*No that’s never okay.