Ashe Elton Parker

A Writer of LGBTQ+ Characters in Speculative Fiction

Tag: Utah Pride Center

Not Much Done Today, but . . .

Pride Necklace

My Pride Necklace.

I didn’t get much done on Thursday. Not because I didn’t want to, but mostly because of lack of opportunity. I was so tired from my exhaustion day that I slept until pretty much noon. Finally pulled myself out of bed about ten ’til noon, not quite ready to meet the day, but willing enough to be out of bed that I didn’t dread the day any more.

Once I got settled at my desk, I called Mom. I try to call her a few times a week, and we hadn’t spoken for a few days. We were on the phone for about 45 minutes or so. Had a good chat.

After that, I had to get ready to go to my make-up volunteer shift. I wasn’t able to go on Tuesday because we were still trying to get together at Katie’s for D&D with Kit. By the time that fell through due to Katie getting ill, I’d already figured if it did fall through I’d go ahead and do something else that afternoon and just leave this week’s shift on Thursday.

So I went to that. Got there early ’cause I left early, though at this point I don’t think there’s really a set time for me to work the shift any more. Kevin doesn’t seem to mind as long as I show up at some point by 16:00-16:30 and he’s always happy if I stick around until he leaves. Tonight, he set me on the task of calling banks about debit cards lost at the Pride Festival held this past weekend. After that, we just hung out and chatted with people who came in. A new group, just for transmasculine people, started this week. I spoke with its facilitator before he left and learned the general Adult Trans group has a more balanced mix of people these days. When I left it a few years ago, it was mostly transwomen, and, to be honest, I got tired of that. Nothing against transwomen, really, I just felt like, with the lack of transpeople of other identities, my needs were no longer being served by the group. So I was pretty glad to hear there’s a more balanced membership and more non-binary-identifying members now. Decided to give it a try and wrote down the date and time of the next meeting.

Kevin was kind enough to drive me home even though it was still very light out. Intended to write after I settled in, but got into a conversation online with another transperson. Now it’s after midnight and I want to write a scene on a wip, so I won’t be going to bed for a while, but it was a good day.

Depression and Writer’s Block

In a way, I don’t know where the past few weeks have gone, though I can tell you what I was doing for most of them since my last post here. The essential thing is that I’ve been in a depressive funk and struggling to do pretty much everything from rising every day to writing on anything to indulging in hobby activities like crocheting. I’m not out of the pit yet either.

What I’ve been doing is getting out of the house a lot. Between Christmas and the beginning of last week (the 7th). Most of the time, I’ve either been going to the offices where the Utah Pride Center moved their therapy services, or, even more often, to Oasis Games, which bought the pride center’s old building and fixed up the first floor. I’ve been going there mainly to read Dungeons and Dragons books; I finished reading the Player’s Handbook and have been making slow progress on reading the Dungeon Masters Guide since about the first week of January.

I’ve also been continuing crocheting. My primary project is now complete, and I’ll be giving it to my friend who I decided to give it to soon if I get an opportunity. To be honest, I’ve done most of the work on it at the pride center’s therapy offices.

But even with those things, I’ve been in a depressive funk. The main reason is because I received a decision from the VA on my Compensation claim. I’m not sure if I mentioned it last year, but I started the claim in order to try and connect my bipolar disorder to my Naval service. Well, they didn’t even bother opening a case; they simply denied it without investigating. I’m fairly certain that is what threw me into this depressive funk.

It’s still with me. And, unfortunately, it’s not a state of mind I’ve been able to simply write through. I’ve tried. The first 4 days of this month, I wrote at least 500 words a day. Managed to complete, I think, 2 scenes on Unwritten Letters. But I didn’t feel like writing. Even with plot cards, I had trouble grasping the ideas. I felt no joy in getting the words down. Even though the quality was up to my standards, I hated what I’d written because I’d written the words when I felt bad. Gah, talking about it is dragging me down again. Enough.

Anyway, I haven’t touched my writing to do more than read stuff since then. Most days, I haven’t even been able to read my writing. I will not go into detail about how that makes me feel—it’s even more depressing than my description of writing, and I really don’t want to get as bad as I was last weekend over it all.

So, I foolishly thought writer’s block was a myth. That people who had it were undisciplined and lacked initiative in their writing. Well, since September or October, I’ve seen what it’s like to be undisciplined and lack initiative. And now I’ve been treated to my own grand case of writer’s block thanks to this depression.

Let me go over this again, to make it clear. Reading my writing depresses me, primarily because I see all its potential and am not actively capitalizing on it. Writing on anything depresses me any more because it’s not THERE—the ideas are vague, no matter how well-prepared I am for writing, and I hate the act of writing, and having done so makes me feel horrible because I didn’t enjoy doing so and I think I should. So it’s easier to just not write. I’ve gotten to the point where I dread writing, and I figure when it’s that bad, there’s no point in torturing myself.

Oh, I won’t be this way forever. I have faith in that. Maybe I’ll tuck myself into the inpatient mental ward at the VA, maybe I won’t. Either way, I’ll get by and this depression will pass. It’s already started to lift—a little—the past few days. I have a good long-distance friend I can chat about this with, and if that doesn’t help, I can always call the Veterans Crisis Line, and I’ve already notified my mental health care team about where I stand emotionally. All I need to do is stick it out long enough for the clouds to pass, and I’ve done that before and know I can do it again. In the meantime, I’m getting out, cuddling with my cat, and doing what I can to distract myself from my depression so I don’t do something stupid.

© 2018 Ashe Elton Parker

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑