Okay, so I maybe should talk about this.
I have been going through some depression over the last year or so. Since the middle of 2013 in fact, when all the shit in my life and Talen's hit the fan basically at once.
I haven't talked about it because I hate it, and it's humiliating, and it makes atheists look angry and unhappy, and it makes women look weak, and especially it makes me look weak and unhappy and I like to pretend I look like kind of an unassailable badass online.
I haven't talked about it because even though I swear I don't think any less of people who suffer depression, I considered it something I had left behind in my own life, something that belonged to the silly teenage version of me whom I'd sooner club around the head than discuss evolution or spirituality with. I was deeply and genuinely happy, so I honestly didn't think I'd ever see it again.
I'm talking about it now because I know it's me who's been thinking those things. It's me who's been thinking of depression as something that happens to weak, sad people. I try to reassure my friends that there's no shame in a thing, then I don't deal with it in myself because my identity quietly, selfishly relies on feeling like I'm stronger than them. That's a pretty nasty piece of self discovery.
Helping other people has always been my way of showing off. Look how strong I am, friends, family, charity operators! Look what I can do for you, even if you can't do anything in return. But when I ignore my uni work because somebody needs a not-for-profit website or a computer repair, exactly how desperate does that make me to prove I'm super great?
Anyway, the uni has required me to take a year off study because they think I've not yet sorted myself out, and they're probably right. I will officially be a jobseeker again for a year, though I may or may not have to actually look for work, depending on whether a medical doctor will agree with the uni's assessment. Either way, I'm going to use this time to work on personal stuff, draw everything I should have drawn by now, help Talen launch his ebooks and 3.5 D&D material, and hopefully complete preparations for Guilded Age to the point where I can look at a Kickstarter. I plan to start by putting together a Guilded Age website.
So this is not a cry for help. My personal problem is not dangerous - which is not to say that depression is not dangerous, just that mine is not on that scale. I just had everything go a bit wrong at once, and my inability to cope with that shook my idea of who I was. My personal problem will not go unrecognised, and seeking help will not send me broke; and I'm in a country where the system has my back, at least until the wise and responsible Abbott government fixes all that. I have the resources I need, I think, if I can just use them.
So this is... an apology to people I privately belittled to make myself feel better, mostly. It's an admission that I have a problem, and a recognition that you can have a problem and not be weak. I am strong enough to do this, I know. And if anybody else suffering the same ever believed that I was cool or funny or strong or talented, I hope they can believe this too. They're probably stronger than they think.