Underneath my yellow skin

More things to ponder in the new year

As the year draws to a close, I’ve become more pensive than I usually am. Which is pretty pensive to begin with. This has been a rough year for me emotionally, and I have no  idea why. It started roughly six months ago, and it’s only gotten worse as the months have passed. I know what the answer is. Therapy. The thought of it makes me sigh and recoil inside myself. Not because of therapy itself. I am a big proponent of therapy, and it is one of the main reasons I’m still alive. My last therapist helped me with some really serious and dark shit, and I’m eternally grateful to her. So why my resistance to finding a new therapist? There are several reasons. One, I’ve been in and out of therapy since I was fourteen. That’s thirty years (quit my last therapist a few years ago), and I’m tired of it. Two, finding a therapist is hard. Before my last therapist (and she was a recommendation), most of my other therapist were crap for various reasons. The biggest was that I could run rings around them. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I need someone who is smart and savvy enough not to let me get away with shit. The fact that I have a psych background and am VERY good at speaking the jargon makes this a tall order.

In addition, I thought I’d get over it. Or rather, I could wait it out. Since I pulled out of my last chronic crippling depressive episode (lasting decades), I’ve had low-level depression with short periods of more intense depression. The latter have always been relatively short (a few weeks) before returning to my norm of low-key depressed. This time, it’s been months, and it’s only getting worse. I’m still able to recognize that it’s not a part of me and that it’s irrational, but it doesn’t help. My brain tells me that I might as well be dead, and even though it’s manageable most of the time, there are flashes of ‘do it now’ that are harder to  ignore.

I know the depression is bad because things that are hard for me to do in the best of times (set up an appointment to have my tire looked at) are now nearly impossible. On Saturday, I had to talk myself into going to taiji. I wanted to go, but I really did not want to leave the house and drive somewhere. To be fair to me, I had been dealing with a migraine, and was still shaky from it. It’s been years since I’ve had a full-blown migraine because I can usually catch it in time, and I had forgotten how debilitating it can be. If I catch it at the very first signs of a migraine and pop a couple Excedrin Migraine pills, it subsides into a low-key throbbing headache for a couple of hours. This time, however, I was already at the gritting-my-teeth phase when I noticed it. I popped two Excedrin Migraine pills, but it didn’t do a damn thing this time.

You’d think a headache would only cause your head to hurt. Nope. My whole body was drained, and I spent two full days just lying on the couch with the lights off, curtains drawn, and moving as little as possible. I managed to do my work, but it was slow-going. I could watch videos as long as the sound was very low, but I consider myself fortunate. I know that many people are immobilized by a migraine; I could at least move.

Anyway, I need to eat better. I’d come to this conclusion many years ago, but I’ve let it slide for this long. To be fair to me, I cut out chips (though I need to stop with all snacky foods) and caffeine, and the latter has been very difficult. I should say I haven’t cut it out completely. I still have one glass of caffeinated tea a day three or four days a week. I’ve cut out all pop, however, and, surprisingly, I don’t miss it at all. I’m also cutting down on chocolate, though I doubt I will give it up completely. The instapot experiment hasn’t worked thus far, and I haven’t given it another go because of being sick. My BFF suggested having my meals delivered, which isn’t a terrible idea. Cooking for one is still not something I prefer doing, though the results are admittedly tasty.

Let’s talk about my writing. I need to work on the business side of it. My goal is to have a book published in 2019, whether by traditional means (probably not) or by me. If it’s the latter, however, then that means I also have to do the marketing. Which I fucking suck at. I need to read about it or take an online class. Probably both. I am not good at selling myself or pushing a product (me). Even if I believe in something, say, taiji, I don’t think it’s my place to insist others see it the same way I do.

Do I think my novels are worth reading? Yeah, I do. Just by dint of the fact that there are no other protagonists like the ones I write. I can say this with the highest confidence because almost all of my protagonists are Taiwanese American bisexual women. Add in older, unmarried, and child-free, and, well, there probably aren’t any other. I tweeted the other day that I just realized the vast majority of my perps (in mystery novels) are women. I don’t plan it that way, but that’s how it turns out. Granted, 99.5% of my protagonists are women as well, but that’s on purpose. In mulling it over, I realized it’s probably because I know women better than men psychologically. In addition, I think it’s easier for me to portray women as having complex and nuanced inner lives than it is to do with men. Or to put it more bluntly, women are more devious in general than men. Or rather, more capable of dissimulating because we have to. In addition, in the cases where the perp is a man, it’s not just a man. I mean, it’s rarely just one man. It’s either a group of them or a man and a woman. Again, it’s not something I’m doing deliberately, so I think it’s fascinating.

I’ve already decided on what I want to publish first, and I have a long-term plan that I do not want to discuss in length ahead of time. I just have to actually do it.

Related, I want to start getting into videos. Which I’ve never done before. I know nothing at all about videos because I don’t even do them on my phone. I had been toying with doing a cooking series, but that’s out the window for now because cooking is so damn complicated for me. My brother suggested teasers for my novels, which I think is in an interesting idea. He also suggested I read chapters from my books. Which, yeah, I don’t know. I know other people find my voice pleasant and soothing, but I do not. Correction. I like the way it sounds in my head, but not when I hear it played back to me.

Here’s my issue with videos. The people I watch on YouTube tend to be pretty low-key in general. No screaming, whooping, or hollering–no ordering me to smash that like button or air horns or whatever. But, that’s what sells. A lot of the YouTube personas are so grating. There’s one gaming YouTuber who literally screams the whole way through his videos. At least I assume he does because I couldn’t watch him for more than thirty seconds. He has millions of subscribers, and don’t get me started on the most egregious example whose name rhymes with YouBeDie.

In addition, the women are…I’m just going to say it. I don’t care about the popular categories for women–clothing, makeup, babies. The other popular one is cooking, and we’ve already established I won’t be doing that. Also, fuck ASMR videos. Half of them creep me the fuck out (the whispering ones), and the others make me want to punch my monitor. In gaming, many of the women act as if they have to outdo their male counterparts in bro-ey behavior. They have to be ruder, cruder, and more assholish, which is both irritating and pathetic. In addition, most gaming YouTubers are two decades younger than I am. I belong to the Prepare to Try FB group (which is going through turmoil right now because Prepare to Try is over. The three lads have quit IGN UK, and there was secrecy shrouding it, but it’s clear now they’re going to do the Let’s Play thing full time together, but had to leave the name behind), and I feel as if I’m the mother/aunt of the group. It’s not a bad feeling, but it keeps me firmly on the outside.

The question is, do I want to do the videos in tandem with my fiction or keep them separate? I can see the merits to both. For the former, concentrating all my attention in one place gives that project more of a chance to succeed. To the latter, diversifying is a good way to keep me from getting burned out and gives me different venues through which to succeed. I’ll have to give it some more thought, but I would like to be ready to roll after the holidays.

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