Hi, I'm Broken For A Few Weeks

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 10.854% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

“You silly person!  You were just downstairs!  Why didn’t you get the movie we were going to watch while you were down there?”
Those are not words that should bring tears to my eyes.
They are not words that should cause me to go hide in the bedroom for fifteen minutes while everyone else watched television, trembling with anxiety and fear.
Hello, Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Right now is my annual trip into severe mental illness, where my self-doubts swell and the slightest criticism becomes a hidden message for “FERRETT WE HATE YOU PLEASE DIE.”  All my suicide attempts have occurred during this time frame, and most of my self-mutilations.  I’ve learned how to navigate these waters thanks to years of experience, but it’s never easy.
So I’ve been quiet, and probably will be quiet for a bit longer.  (The fact that I’m polishing up the final draft on Fix doesn’t help, either, as that’s a lot of time spent bringing Paul and Aliyah’s story to a close.)
Still.  As a sweetie of mine said last night, without this depression I don’t know if I’d have as much compassion.  For three to six weeks out of the year, I get a window into what serious mental illness feels like.  It’s a humbling reminder that my baseline mental acuity and health is, largely, luck of the draw.  I can, and should, work as hard as I can to continue to function, because that’s my best chance at getting ahead of a stacked deck – but some people get dealt worse hands than I do.
Given that I suffer from mild depression on my best of days, I might well have gone around swaggering that I beat depression and it’s all a matter of attitude and if you can’t beat it that’s because you didn’t really care and the similar bullshit that many people fulminate about.  But for a month out of every year, the game changes for me, and my brain makes a serious attempt to kill me, and I get reminded that the effort I put in for eleven months out of the year is completely insufficient when the real SAD comes knocking.
And again, the effort I put in helps.  It keeps me alive.  It keeps my wife from leaving me and my daughters from hating me.  It’s useful.
It’s just not a panacea.
I know, deep in my bones, that what works for me does not necessarily work for other people, because during this horrid season, what works for me does not work for me.
So I don’t know. I look for blessings.  This is a hard cloud to mine for silver, but I try, and if the lining exists then that’s it.  It gives me humility.  It gives me compassion.
But right now it’s giving me an urge to harm myself, so I’m retreating for solace.  If I’m not responding to your emails or texts, I’m sorry, but there’s a good chance I’m trying to not talk to people while I’m in a state where I have previously fucked over good friendships before.  (And don’t tell me I don’t owe any explanations to people, it’s my fucking journal and giving explanations is what I do.  You should know that by now.)
I’ll be back.  I usually am.
Just not today.


  1. Martha S
    Apr 21, 2016

    I’m sorry you’re having such a rough time. I know what that’s like. If there’s something I can do to help, please let me know. You helped out a lot when I asked, so the least I can do is return the favor. Let me know if you need to hug an animal or something, I have several dozen to provide.
    Meanwhile, here’s a picture of some cute baby bunnies. 🙂

  2. Scott Kennedy
    Apr 21, 2016

    I look forward to seeing you soon, but I hope you’ll remember that your health and state of mind is more important than any appearance, even the casual ones with friends.
    If you end up coming to con and spend all your time in your hotel room, that will be okay, too.
    Best of luck for getting through it to better times.

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