BLOGGING V. JOURNALING
AMBER LOVE 21-AUG-2014 Since I spend so much time venting about life on social media, bound journals that served as my personal diaries have barely been touched. I go through periods where I need to write things down offline, usually because I want to record the memories more fully naming people in my life that I can’t name online. I also know that flooding the blogophere with every single painful detail about what I’m feeling doesn’t serve much purpose; I share quite a lot because hitting [send] or [publish] gives me a sense of letting something that causes extreme pain go out into some kind of ether, anywhere as long as it’s not inside me anymore.
Yesterday, the comics world had so much drama in it regarding how real women are treated and how female characters are treated. It’s nothing new and the fact that I eyerolled at nearly every tweet proves how sad of a state this is. I’m not downplaying the seriousness of the various issues that wereÂ discussed. I am, however, among the comics population that was kind of busy seeing humans assault and murder each other to worry about some dude’s penis in a text message or some terrible art on a cover. Again, it’s important, but it’s not as earth-shattering as horrors that have not shown signs of slowing down in Ferguson, MO or in Iraq or Gaza. The Boko Haram would be a threat so much more terrifying to women in comics than some guy who was an asshole and sent dick pics. As my friend said, the worries we have are contextualized; she’s absolutely correct. Women sitting at their offices or homes – safe, sheltered, fed, educated, connected to their communities – that is the context of the people irritated by the comic industry drama.
SOME MEN DON’T NAVIGATE THE BASIC COURTESIES OF INTERACTING WITH WOMEN
This morning I was greeted by two messages with sexual content. One from a seemingly nice man I met last year who asked for the password to my locked NSFW galleries. The other was from someone I don’t know at all who claims to visit this site often but clearly for one reason only; he asked if I “wanted to see” what I do forÂ him. I assumed that meant his cock or him masturbating, I’m not quite sure, but that was the implication since the emails are always about my photos and not my writing.
I don’t regret my galleries and I doubt I ever will. I am not one thing. I am not only a woman confident being naked in front of people. I am a writer and a podcaster. I might not be as good at being a writer as I am at being naked but I doubt people are ever only composed of one thing to define them. I tried to reply to these two morning emails with brevity and some courtesy instead of lashing out. I turned to Twitter to vent. When a woman published over 2,600 words on wanting to be dead, it might not be the best time to ask about naked photos.
I should not have to explain to people who claim to visit this site that my mental health is in jeopardy today so it is not the optimal time to be asking me about sexual favors.
I have two men in my life that I’d love to have sexual relationships with but geography makes it impossible and the loss of income now makes travel out of the question. So, really, do us all a favor and don’t ask me for things right now. Observe. Wait until a day where I’m energetic and more welcoming to social engagements. That should be easy to see on Twitter. If you aren’t on there, that is not my problem.
ON BEING DEPRESSED
Meanwhile, like the people in comics complaining about crap, I’m also safe, fed, sheltered and have the ability to be connected. I’ve pulled away a considerable amount in order to be on job boards instead of on social networks. The U.S. government might give monopolies on our data streams and internet access to conglomerates forcing citizens to pay a premium, but we have it; other people of the world don’t. With my own depression kicking into overdrive, the empathy suffocates me when I see the news.
I took out my little black journal and have been detailing my days, either in part or as much as possible covering a full day. I was curious to see how much I cry. That was the element I wanted to measure. Not necessarily how long nor the triggers; my plan was only to make a note with the date and time of moments when my chest tightens and my eyes tear up or feel like they are going to. I don’t often produce the tears of crying but it does happen at moments of being overwhelmed with a feeling, good or bad. I’ve choked three times today too: twice on nothing, once on water.
Today I stayed in bed until nearly 7 a.m. (I had been leaving for my job no later than 7:25 for 18 months). I took a quick shower without washing my hair and went down the stairs to the first floor to make coffee and watch some news with my parents. This I do, out of a sort of obligation to spend some time with them but my father and I do not see eye-to-eye on anything regarding the world and it’s hard for me to keep my mouth shut sometimes. My mother, bless her heart, always wants to talk even though I feel like my brain cells are barely processing simple bodily functions. I sat there for an hour and was back at my desk on the second floor by 8:00. Below is an excerpt of what I’ve written in the journal so far. I want to share this one page in particular to illustrate how disruptive mental breakdowns are in a person’s daily existence.
MENTAL ILLNESS JOURNAL EXCERPT
Aug 21, 2014 Thurs
10 am – crying
Started job searches at 8
Looking up rent in NYC since jobs are there.
11:22 – see Caico on floor next to me
Try to enjoy the moment because I love when she’s nearby
Brain decides to voice that she’s old & will be gone someday.
Started crying again
11:36 crying again
Saw image of man in a freshly dug grave – holding on to the body of his dead child wrapped in white linen.
11:58 eyes tearing up again
Break from job searches to teach myself SEO basics. Read 80% is scam so why does every PR job req[uire] this bullshit?
By 12:34 there was another entry as I was direct messaging one of my New York friends about the impossibility of moving to the city where the jobs actually are but the cost of living there is as bad as New Jersey.
One of things I find enjoyment doing is looking up quotes on places like GoodReads or Pinterest. I have no idea why. I guess it’s not the commitment of trying to sit and read through hundreds of pages of something and it’s still reading. Things I add to my Pinterest board a lot are the strips from Depression Comix. They are exactly what I had wanted to write years ago when I was scripting about my depression in Comic Experience workshops. If you enjoy the comics medium and have troubled feelings too, you might find solace in those strips.