You need a break, friend.

I am feeling almost back to my normal depresso-expresso self (low energy but with bursts of normalness) rather than the super dark unable-to-fuction-as-a-human stuff I was swimming in, so YAY FOR SLIGHT IMPROVEMENTS! Also, spellcheck is telling me that “normalness” is not a real word and I am going to agree because I think we should normalize the fact that normalness is not really attainable because we are all unique. Excellent accidental therapy, spellcheck.

And speaking of therapy, I’m supposed to be focusing on positive things that make me smile because that’s supposed to help the ketamine therapy and that’s why I’ve spent the last 20 minutes on instagram looking at ferret videos. FOR MY HEALTH.

And I think you probably need a health break as well so please step into my office so I can show you the tiny videos I saved just for you. You deserve it.

The Chosen and the Beautiful

I woke up today feeling almost sort of normal so I am very quickly going to write this before the world stops working again. Forgive the typos.

I am now halfway through the ketamine treatment for depression and it’s just as strange as I expected it would be. I will eventually write a whole post about everything but my depression has made it hard to think and my motivation and energy levels have been too low to do it justice, but I can say that the first session was weird as hell, the second was slightly awful as I fell into a k-hole of existential dread, and the third was really quite lovely. Supposedly you don’t really feel a difference in your mood until your 4th session so the fact that I feel about the same (with a promising bit of energy though today) doesn’t really mean anything. But I’ll keep trying. Hope is always there.

In other news, I am very behind on opening up the Fantastic Strangelings Book Club discussion for last month’s book, The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo, so I’m opening up discussion here and on the Fantastic Strangeling Book Club Facebook page. As always, there are no rules in book club and you can feel free to read as quickly or slowly or pass the books off to friends or hoard them like dragon’s gold.

And in case you missed it, this month’s book is Carrot Quinn’s The Sunset Route. And it’s not too late to join and get a signed membership postcard if you want in. Just click here to sign up.

My thoughts on The Chosen and the Beautiful (I had a lot) are in the comments.

PS. If you’re the kind of person who needs more than one book a month to devour let me suggest these new July books that I loved:

The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix, She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan, The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream: The Hunt for a Victorian Serial Killer by Dean Jobb, The Comfort Book by Matt Haig, Nightbitch by Rachel Yoder, Island Queen by Vanessa Riley.

Happy reading!

Nowhere is now here!

I’ve got a lot to write about but I’m still in a depression and it’s made me into a small damp rag. If I had a normal amount of energy I would have written about my first ketamine session for treatment resistant depression on Friday and about how it was weird as hell but may have given me a few hours of lightness (or was just coincidental) and how this afternoon I’m doing my second session and feel hopeful that maybe it will help. So feeling not great, but still cautiously optimistic.

And if I were more myself I definitely would have written earlier about this bit of amazing news:

NOWHERE BOOKSHOP IS OPENING TODAY!

Seriously, y’all. Established 2019. Finally fucking opening our doors for good (knock on wood) 2021.

We’ve had a few sneak peek Saturdays before but as of two minutes ago we’re oficially open to the public 10-6 Monday – Saturday. This would never have happened without your support. Your emotion support, the support of the Fantastic Strangelings Book Club, the amazing work of Elizabeth Jordan and the fantastic team at Nowhere who I adore and a ton of amazing indie bookshops who have helped in countless ways. Thank you forever.

Technically today should be a grand opening but I’ve always said that I would never go to a grand opening myself because that sounds too peopley so instead we’re going to have a series of bland openings throughout the year and that way you don’t have to worry about missing out and can come whenever you want.

Can’t make it to San Antonio but want to be part of the fun?

WE HAVE YOU COVERED.

Limited edition Bland Opening shirts and hoodies are available now and will ship next month. There are a ton of colors and types and I’ve personally ordered one of each.

And to celebrate I’m giving away Nowhere Bookshop gift cards in the comments. Just leave a comment telling me why you love bookstores or what your favorite book is or anything at all and I’ll randomly select a bunch of you to get $25 gift cards you can use at the store or online. Whoop!

PS. Want to meet the team?

They’re not wearing masks here because we’re all vaccinated but we’ll all be in masks when the doors are open. Better safe than sorry. 🙂 We’re not opening the bar yet but if vaccinations keep going up and cases keep going down that will be the final part of the equation and then I will toast you all with a glass of red wine with ice in it because that’s how I roll.

Come when you can and experience all the amazing surprises we have waiting for you at the store. We’ll be here.

Still here.

I have so many things to write about or be excited about but I’m still in that same malaise of depression and it’s one where I have such small amounts of energy that I have to be really careful about how I use the few spoons that I have.

BUT! But I completed the intake for ketamine therapy and was accepted and I start my first injection day after tomorrow so I’m crossing all of my fingers that it works for me or that my brain just magically decides to stop being such a dick all the time.

But I’m okay. And I still have times each day when I feel almost normal and I have a good support system and I have hope. The hope remains.

I super crazy love you. Know that if you’re struggling too, you are not alone. Keep breathing. Keeping taking care of yourself. Keep remembering that depression lies and that it will pass. Promise. I’ll remind you if you remind me.

I’m not sure where I am right now.

I can always tell when I’m in a depression because I disappear.

I disappear from my blog and my life and I wait until I come back to myself. In the last week I celebrated my 25th wedding anniversary, I went with Hailey and Victor to Vegas for the weekend, I wrote down notes of things I should write about and then wrote about none of them because my depression has eaten my energy, motivation and ability to even string together a sentence properly. I have written and deleted this paragraph 5 times.

It feels so ungrateful to be depressed when you should be happy and celebrating. The cognitive dissonance can make the depression and disassociation even more uncomfortable and yesterday it got so bad that I started looking into IV ketamine for treatment resistant depression, which sounds ridiculous because I always avoided ketamine when I was a young semi-druggie and now I’m looking at getting shot up with it.

I could do TMS again as it’s helped twice before but it takes a long time to start working and I’m so low I wanted something more immediate. Yesterday I reached out to a clinic and started getting set up but the depression causes something so easy to feel impossible. And then today I woke up and instead of feeling 85% depressed I only feel 55% depressed and now I’m at that awkward teetering stage of “Do I use this time to set up treatment?” versus “Well, if I feel better today maybe I’ll feel even better tomorrow and maybe I should just do nothing.”

IV ketamine seems to have good results (overall) and works fast but it’s not covered by insurance so I’ll probably be spending a ton of money to sit with needles in my arms for days as I have a psychedelic trip that will be 90% milder and a million percent more expensive than my college dealer could have given me in 1993. I think about the cost and about how I could use that same money to take my family on vacation somewhere lovely, and then I remember that we just got back from a tiny vacation where I was struggling to do even the simplest of things. So that’s why I’m writing this. To remind myself that I am worthy of treatment. And so are you. Whether that’s medication or self-care or anything else that seems selfish but in the end makes you stronger and more so that you can be a better person for those around you.

I’m very lucky that I can get treatment and that we can find a way to pay for it. A lot of people can’t. A lot of people won’t even have the opportunity to try all of the treatments that have worked for me or that have not. So today I’m going to take that opportunity and the little amount of energy I have and call the clinic to see if this is a good option for me. And if it isn’t I’ll call to start another round of TMS. And I will feel bad about the time and expense and drain but I will remind myself that at the end of every treatment that has given me relief I’ve know without a doubt that it was worth it.

Fingers crossed.

What happens in Vegas…

This weekend is our 25th wedding anniversary (which is weird because in my head I’m emotionally 24 at best) so we decided to take Hailey and go back to where we celebrated our honeymoon…Vegas. Well, Victor and Hailey decided really because Vegas isn’t really my kinda town (too peoply) but then Hailey was like, “We can go to see Meowolf!” and I was a little confused but they explained that it’s a supermarket that doubles as an LSD trip and then I was more confused but then Victor was like, “We can see the weird-ass stuff you always like” so this weekend we will be visiting an interactive art Supermarket, a haunted museum, a 40 foot praying mantis shooting fire out of it’s mouth, and watching Cirque du Soleil (through double masks because we’re vaccinated but I’m still paranoid). Any other suggestions for things we can’t miss? (Weird and cheesy is a plus.)

These are some of the only pictures I have of us together in Vegas because this was a time before smartphones when the only way you could have a good picture together was to ask a stranger on the street to take it and you didn’t even know if it was good until you came back home and took the film to get developed. We’re so fucking old.

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