This is long.
Also, as of time of posting, Wizards’ website is down for maintenance, so links may or may not work.
You may or may not know that I have two major fandoms. (I like a great many books and most things that are European melodic metal, but they’re not fandoms for me; most of the time I don’t discover that Eluveitie or Dark Tranquillity released their new album until six months after the fact. Likewise, I can wait a few months to get the latest Robin Hobb, even though every time I read her books I grin because I had a friend who was ultra-conservative Catholic and a Hobb fan, but cut off contact with me as soon as I started coming out, and I bet she just about imploded when she started reading about Sedric and Carson in The Rain Wild Chronicles.) One is Magic the Gathering, because it’s a trading card game that’s amazingly feminist for a mainstream property targeted at dudes, and while I think the technical writing in Uncharted Realms is most often terrible, predictable or bleh, I’m always impressed by both the worldbuilding and the lack of gender-essentialism in MtG’s terms, titles and characters. Now, if Wizards can only continue their impressive work on gender-equality in Legendary characters (in Tarkir block more than half of all Legendary characters are female, and the number goes up when you count twice-printed characters like the original Khans and the Dragonlords) with equality in their roster of Planeswalkers, and take the great move that is Alesha, Who Smiles at Death and Ashiok (but only if they stop avoiding pronouns and declare Ashiok to be specifically genderless, please) to more queer Legendaries and Walkers, I’ll die happy.
Right now I’m living the reality of what happens when you spend four months doing all the things and achieving the near-impossible – when you spend days, weeks, months running on little sleep, when your ‘downtime’ consists of yet another round of proofreading or playing with InDesign, and when four hours of class is actually a break because it gets you away from all the homework/assignments/writing/endless publication production jobs. (They are endless. Trust me.) As my GP pointed out, being Student of the Year comes with a whole heap of unpleasantness: being awesome is bloody hard work.
(Life lesson: self, when you’re going to class as a break, your life is a bit out of balance. You might be loving most of it, but it is still out of balance.)
Sooner or later, you crash. It’s a hard enough job for an able-bodied person who doesn’t have any mental health challenges, and I’m neither. My conditions don’t often stop me from doing a lot of things (they make things harder to achieve, yes, but they don’t stop me, and this is not a good thing). What they mean is that I fall faster, crash harder, take longer to pick myself up, take longer to heal enough to get back into the swing of things. I don’t bounce back. I collapse. I ended up in a lot of pain for a long time and a significant worsening of my depression … and I hated and hate every last second of it, because I want to be doing everything. I’m not okay with sitting back and healing. I just feel useless and miserable, depressed and desperate, at war with a body that shouldn’t be like this (‘should’ is the most toxic word of innocent-seeming toxic words).
The crash is hard enough, but its spouse, depression, makes just healing a misery – or a challenge.