I just don't know what to do

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I just don't know what to do

Postby Soft Dorito » March 6th, 2018, 10:34 am

This is long, but it kind of feels necessary. So I've been here since early 2009 (on a different account as some of you know), and you've all helped me out before. Last time I posted something when I felt like this was probably around 2010-11, and I didn't know it at the time but I was dealing with severe depression. In that time, I've learned to cope and tried desperately to recapture the spark that led to me doing comics in the first place, that led to me to do 70+ pages of a comic that only a handful of people really enjoyed. I loved talking to those few and getting happy surprises like a clay model of Jinx and the Flaming Squirrel Army (patent pending) on my birthday, or doodles of Ditto/Jinx and crossovers. I bemoaned not being popular, but there was joy in seeing anyone enjoy what I had done.

But also in that time my depression started swallowing me whole. Things in my family had always been strained but by then was truly awful. An abuser I'd learned to live without came back into my life and someone close to me turned on me as well. I was never good enough and when I had an accomplishment I was full of myself for being even the smallest bit proud. I was gaslighted to believe I was a horrible person and I felt like they didn't want me there, like if I died they'd be a hefty bag away from being free of me for good. Friendships fell apart and new ones were speeding down the road to fucked up. My university was taught by stuck-up professors who wanted more to do their own thing and have us copy them than to have us do anything truly creative. They didn't care to nurture any idea rather than lead it to what they considered acceptable. In my case, I love fae stories/fairly tales, but that environment was trying to force it into a realistic or truly abstract portrait. There was no in-between. It didn't help that I couldn't do things as they saw fit. If I didn't leave at the time my dad or brother wanted, because I didn't have a car, I was in for a fight to get home. But that didn't matter to them - they needed to see students in their studio if they wanted to know we were working - the finished product rarely mattered. Often enough I felt like I was being choked by an anxiety problem I'd been ignoring since high school. There were ways to avoid it then, but once college started, those ways were quickly antiquated.

SJ was one of the few places of solace I had. I'm sure I came off terrible - the April Fool's day nonsense I tried to keep running (yeesh wtf 2009 me...) for a couple years, generally having no knowledge whatsoever, and jumping into conversations I probably shouldn't have. But I had friends here, some of which I keep in contact with today on other sites. And the goofiness I couldn't indulge in in real life I got to laugh over online. There was even a point in my senior year I was so low I could barely feel a damn thing. Then I saw a post during flooding in my area that was made just to make sure I was safe. I cried then and it wasn't just randomly over nondescript bullshit for once. I truly am grateful for the site and the people here.

Now I'm in a job I could do without. Everyone thinks it's lucky to work in my graduate field. Sure, I know the programs and the work is done easily and quickly. But my insecurities and constant rejection keep me underpaid, overworked, and unable to keep seeking treatment for the anxiety and depression that feel more like more viable "earnings" than my degree. I'm constantly battling the urge to sob openly at my desk or scream, or even hide under my desk until the room stops spinning. I had been meeting with a therapist to discuss my situation - we have reason to believe I have either severe ADHD or a form of high functioning autism. No longer being able to unravel this mystery - or even worse being able to do anything about it, really fucking sucks.

On top of everything, my best friend of over a decade now treats me like her last resort in hanging out. Even then, we no longer watch movies or TV. We have to discuss characters, stories, and crossover nonsense (just random fanfiction-y things) until I leave. I tell her I'm tired and often trying to force an rp out of myself gives me headaches and, indeed, anxiety. I feel like I need to indulge or entertain her or my time is useless. Once when I couldn't think of anything I just sat on her bed as she read on her phone until I felt embarrassed enough to leave. But this has somehow become what we do. Fairly certain the friendship is slowly dying; no matter what I say to her, she doesn't see the issue. I just want to MST3K a movie with her again. Jesus.

All of this drains me so completely. I can draw maybe once a day - just a doodle here and there. I think of so many things I want to do but my hands simply can't find the strength. I'm at a loss for what to do, or how to do it. I wish there was a DIY way to get back into the art I love so much. I want to do stories, scenes, conversations with angles and even talking heads, splash pages, find a way to make use of negative space with everything I've learned but. Fuck. I just don't know what to do.

With all that said...help?
I'm trying. :)
Molly-sama (here from 09) - If anyone was waiting on my comic just know its deletion was entirely by accident. : | It's here, but it will be back on SJ soon.
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Re: I just don't know what to do

Postby kayotics » March 6th, 2018, 11:06 am

I'm sorry that things are so rough for you. I don't know if I can help all that much, but I can offer a little advice.

In regards to your friend: A little communication goes a long way. Have you tried talking with her about your fears and insecurities? Sometimes these hard conversations can really help out. If you haven't, maybe bring it up. Tell her how you're feeling and you're worried that your friendship is fading.

As for your job: Is it an option for you to get a new job? If not, what about talking to your supervisors about changing your schedule or relieving some of your workload? What helps me with a job that I hate is having outside things to do. Something to look forward to outside of work helps me a lot.

These aren't really in depth options, but I hope that things get better for you soon.
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Re: I just don't know what to do

Postby Oly-RRR » March 6th, 2018, 5:11 pm

I'm sorry too... :( Some of that sounded so familiar as well, this
Soft Dorito wrote:My university was taught by stuck-up professors who wanted more to do their own thing and have us copy them than to have us do anything truly creative. They didn't care to nurture any idea rather than lead it to what they considered acceptable.

pretty much sums up 90% of my university experience.

It sucks that so many of us end up feeling cornered and asking for help but even asking for help (even online) is brave, you know? I can't talk you out of all this but here's what I think (keep in mind that I'm just a weird person online and I can be wrong about my own life stuff, let alone anyone's else).

Job: I'm echoing Kayotics here but if it's possible to leave or reduce the workload - do it. I know it's scary and you might feel like you never find another place but our generation is the first one that will never have lifelong stable employment and I kind of feel the older generations slightly abuse the fact that is still seems out of the ordinary. But it's okay! All out jobs are temporary and quitting one job doesn't mean a better option won't happen soon. If you can take a break and put things on hold without starving, maybe do that.

Mental health: If you have reasons to suspect you have a chronic mental health issue keep looking for ways to address it and get a diagnosis (which is a huge challenge in itself). If you don't have access to therapy/psych treatment try to find "home made" ways of calming down yourself - I'm not talking anything illegal, just try to watch out for yourself, know when you need silence (construction noise-cancelling headphones drown out noises but not human voices so sometimes that helps), know when you need a walk or a fidget toy or something - these things are individual. Just because you aren't formally diagnosed at this point doesn't mean you shouldn't act on the knowledge of yourself you do have, and treat yourself kinder, and give yourself breaks.

Friendship: what Kayotics said. I often have to remind this to myself but if you don't tell people how you feel they don't know how you feel.

Art: I don't really have a good answer there in regards to comics (struggling there myself) but I think picking up a small drawing challenge you can do on a regular basis is helpful with bad mental states in general. You don't have to show it to anyone unless you decide you want to. Don't blame yourself if you skip a day, you are doing it for you, just pick it up again instead of all the blame. It can be a series of illustrations, an illustrated journal, little doodles about your day - anything you're more inclined to. If you can't do it daily it's okay, just find a schedule you can stick to, change it when needed.

But yeah, sometimes bad times come and you just gotta brace yourself and wait them out and get through rather than get over something. Either way, don't be afraid to talk to us here on the forum, especially if it's any help. :)
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Re: I just don't know what to do

Postby avian-reader » March 7th, 2018, 3:25 am

Molly-sama, you're one of my favourite folks on here. I still remember some really fun conversations we've had on here, and I'm really sorry that you're in this place right now (your situation, not SmackJeeves).

I know you aren't diagnosed, but like Oly said if you wanna talk about autism I'm more than happy to chat. I was diagnosed at 5 and now work giving advice to people who are going through diagnosis, so I'm more than happy to do some moonlighting :)

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Re: I just don't know what to do

Postby seraphonfire » March 7th, 2018, 11:44 am

Sometimes you have to dig deep. Hold true to what you know and believe in your heart. Don't let depression, anxiety and limitations govern your life. Break the mold. Write your story. Write it, draw it, tell it. We all struggle with life. Defeat the giant of Despair. With this post I give you HOPE! :D

Write your story by francesca battistelli

The Giant Despair in pilgrims_progress...

Giant Despair. Then said the Giant, "You have this night trespassed on me, by trampling in and lying on my grounds; and therefore you must go along with me." So they were forced to go, because he was stronger than they. They also had but little to say; for they knew themselves in a fault. The giant, therefore, drove them before him, and put them into his castle, into a very dark dungeon, nasty and stinking to the spirit of these two men.

"Lover and friend hast thou put far from me, and mine acquaintance into darkness." Psalm 88:18

Here then they lay, from Wednesday morning till Saturday night, without one bit of bread, or drop of drink, or any light, or any to ask how they did. They were, therefore, here in evil case; and were far from friends and acquaintance. Now in this place CHRISTIAN had double sorrow; because 't was through his unadvised counsel that they were brought into this distress.

Now Giant DESPAIR had a wife, and her name was DIFFIDENCE; so when he was gone to bed, he told his wife what he had done, to wit, that he had taken a couple of prisoners, and cast them into his dungeon, for trespassing on his grounds. Then he asked her also what he had best to do further to them. So she asked him what they were; whence they came; and whither they were bound: and he told her. Then she counselled him, that when he arose in the morning he should beat them without any mercy: so when he arose, he gets him a grievous crab tree cudgel, and goes down into the dungeon to them, and there first falls to rating of them as if they were dogs, although they gave him never a word of distaste; then he falls upon them, and beats them fearfully, in such sort, that they were not able to help themselves, or to turn them upon the floor. This done, he withdraws and leaves them, there to condole their misery, and to mourn under their distress; so all that day they spent the time in nothing but sighs and bitter lamentations. The next night, she talking with her husband about them further, and understanding that they were yet alive, did advise him to counsel them to make away with themselves. So when morning was come, he goes to them in a surly manner, as before; and perceiving them to be very sore with the stripes that he had given them the day before, he told them that since they were never like to come out of that place, their only way would be, forthwith to make an end of themselves, either with knife, halter, or poison: "For why," said he, "should you choose life, seeing it is attended with so much bitterness?" But they desired him to let them go; with that he looked ugly upon them, and rushing to them, had doubtless made an end of them himself, but that he fell into one of his fits; for he sometimes in sunshine weather fell into fits, and lost (for a time) the use of his hand; wherefore he withdrew, and left them (as before) to consider what to do. Then did the prisoners consult between themselves, whether 't was best to take his counsel or not: and thus they began to discourse.

Chr. "Brother," said CHRISTIAN, "what shall we do? the life that we now live is miserable: for my part I know not whether is best--to live thus, or to die out of hand. 'My soul chooses strangling rather than life';

"So that my soul chooseth strangling, and death rather than my life." Job 7:15

and the grave is more easy for me than this dungeon. Shall we be ruled by the Giant?"

Hope. Indeed our present condition is dreadful, and death would be far more welcome to me than thus for ever to abide; but yet let us consider, the Lord of the country to which we are going hath said, "Thou shalt do no murder," no, not to another man's person. Much more, then, are we forbidden to take his counsel to kill ourselves. Besides, he that kills another can but commit murder upon his body; but for one to kill himself, is to kill body and soul at once. And, moreover, my brother, thou talkest of ease in the grave; but hast thou forgotten the hell, whither for certain the murderers go? "for no murderer hath eternal life." And let us consider again, that all the law is not in the hand of Giant DESPAIR; others, so far as I can understand, have been taken by him as well as we, and yet have escaped out of his hand: who knows but that God who made the world may cause that Giant DESPAIR may die that, at some time or other, he may forget to lock us in? – or, but he may in a short time have another of his fits before us, and may lose the use of his limbs? And if ever that should come to pass again, for my part I am resolved to pluck up the heart of a man, and to try my utmost to get from under his hand. I was a fool that I did not try to do it before; but however, my brother, let us be patient, and endure awhile; the time may come that may give us a happy release; but let us not be our own murderers.

With these words HOPEFUL at present did moderate the mind of his brother; so they continued together (in the dark) that day, in their sad and doleful condition.

Well, towards evening, the Giant went down into the dungeon again, to see if his prisoners had taken his counsel. But when he came there, he found them alive; and truly, alive was all: for now, what for want of bread and water, and by reason of the wounds they received when he beat them, they could do little but breathe. But I say, he found them alive; at which he fell into a grievous rage, and told them that, seeing they had disobeyed his counsel, it should be worse with them than if they had never been born.

At this they trembled greatly; and I think that CHRISTIAN fell into a swoon; but coming a little to himself again, they renewed their discourse about the Giant's counsel, and whether yet they had best to take it or not. Now CHRISTIAN again seemed to be for doing it; but HOPEFUL made his second reply, as follows:

Hope. "My brother," said he, "rememberest thou not how valiant thou hast been heretofore? APOLLYON could not crush thee; nor could all that thou didst hear, or see, or feel, in the Valley of the Shadow of Death. What hardship, terror, and amazement, hast thou already gone through--and art thou now nothing but fear? Thou seest that I am in the dungeon with thee, a far weaker man by nature than thou art! Also, this Giant has wounded me as well as thee, and hath also cut off the bread and water from my mouth; and with thee I mourn without the light: but let us exercise a little more patience. Remember how thou playedst the man at Vanity Fair, and wast neither afraid of the chain nor cage, nor yet of bloody death; wherefore let us – at least to avoid the shame that becomes not a Christian to be found in – bear up with patience as well as we can."

Now night being come again, and the Giant and his wife being in bed, she asked him concerning the prisoners; and if they had taken his counsel? To which he replied, "They are sturdy rogues; they choose rather to bear all hardship than to make away with themselves." Then said she, "Take them into the castle yard tomorrow, and show them the bones and skulls of those that thou hast already dispatched; and make them believe, ere a week comes to an end, thou also wilt tear them in pieces, as thou hast done their fellows before them."

So when the morning was come, the Giant went to them again, and took them into the castle yard, and showed them as his wife had bidden him. "These," said he, "were pilgrims as you are, once, and they trespassed' in my grounds, as you have done; and when I thought fit, I tore them in pieces; and so within ten days I will do to you: go, get you down to your den again!" And with that he beat them all the way thither. They lay, therefore, all day on Saturday in a lamentable case, as before. Now when night was come, and when Mrs. DIFFIDENCE, and her husband the Giant, were got to bed, they began to renew the discourse of their prisoners; and withal the old Giant wondered that he could neither by his blows nor counsel bring them to an end. And with that his wife replied: "I fear," said she, "that they live in hope that some will come to relieve them; or that they have picklocks about them; by the means of which they hope to escape." "And sayest thou so, my dear?" said the Giant; "I will therefore search them in the morning."

Well, on Saturday, about midnight the pilgrims began to pray; and continued in prayer till almost break of day.

Now a little before it was day, good CHRISTIAN, as one half amazed, break out in this passionate speech: "What a fool," quoth he, "am I, thus to lie in a stinking dungeon, when I may as well walk at liberty! I have a key in my bosom called Promise; that will, I am persuaded, open any lock in Doubting Castle." Then said HOPEFUL, "That's good news; good brother, pluck it out of thy bosom, and try."

Then CHRISTIAN pulled it out of his bosom, and began to try at the dungeon door; whose bolt (as he turned the key) gave back, and the door flew open with ease: and CHRISTIAN and HOPEFUL both came out. Then he went to the outward door that led into the castle yard; and with his key opened that door also. After, he went to the iron gate, for that must be opened too; but that lock went exceedingly hard: yet the key did open it. Then they thrust open the gate to make their escape with speed; but that gate, as it opened, made such a creaking, that it waked Giant DESPAIR:

who, hastily rising to pursue his prisoners, felt his limbs to fail, for his fits took him again, so that he could by no means go after them. Then they went on, and came to the king's highway again; and so were safe, because they were out of his jurisdiction.

Now when they were gone over the stile, they began to contrive with themselves what they should do at that stile, to prevent those that should come after from falling into the hands of Giant DESPAIR. So they consented to erect there a pillar, and to engrave upon the side thereof this sentence: "Over this stile is the way to Doubting Castle; which is kept by Giant DESPAIR, who despises the King of the Celestial Country, and seeks to destroy his holy pilgrims." Many, therefore, that followed after, read what was written, and escaped the danger. This done, they sang as follows:

"Out of the way we went; and then we found
What 't was to tread upon forbidden ground:
And let them that come after have a care,
Lest heedlessness makes them, as we to fare;
Lest they, for trespassing, his prisoners are,
Whose castle's 'Doubting' and whose name's DESPAIR."
http://www.covenantofgrace.com/pilgrims ... espair.htm

Giants Fall - [Lyric Video] Francesca Battistelli
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Re: I just don't know what to do

Postby Seven Rain » March 7th, 2018, 10:36 pm

I've been trying to think of stuff to say that could help, but I've always been horrible at that. I can be a wall for someone to vent to, I can listen forever, but when it comes to feedback and support I'm woefully lacking in ability. I've probably rambled in the past about this, and I'm sure hearing "Gee I wish I had something meaningful to say but oh well, hope you feel better!" gets really tiring, empty and useless, but I still can't help but wish I could help more when people, (especially fellow artists,) feel like you do, Molly.

Just never forget that people on SJ care about you, I care about you, and if there's one thing I've learned here it's that being in a dark place or low-point in life doesn't go unnoticed. I tend to be reclusive and dismissive when people here, (including you,) have tried to offer support to me when I'm in really low points, but that said I'll go ahead and be a hypocritical asshole and say that I'm always here in this ghost town, visiting multiple times a day, so if you think there's anything I can possibly say to help, or if you just need someone to listen to shit, feel free to message me.
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Re: I just don't know what to do

Postby Soft Dorito » April 8th, 2018, 12:16 am

So it's been a month, and I'm sorry I didn't reply sooner. Work picked up and I briefly took a side job for some extra cash. Then I had a wasp infestation that kept me out of my apartment for a few days (as far as I'm aware it's taken care of, but I probably won't know for sure until the temperature picks up again). That said, I read these posts just after you all put them up, and I cried. You are all amazing, and I thank you so much.

@Seven - hey dude, you don't know how comforting it is to know that you are there. Like, something that's stayed the same here is that Seven Rain is posting. I always appreciate our talks, even if I let them drop off by sheer accident. ^_^ But yeah I'll remember that. Thank you!

@kayotics - I have talked to her before about all this. She responded by saying that she was trying to work through her own stuff and that we just weren't on the same page anymore. I don't believe her, honestly, because she doesn't work on things. She finds a new video game to play and, as she likes to joke, "represses it all." I told her so and that if she actually wanted to work on her issues she has to at least try to make some progress besides staying inside all day, playing games, and ignoring everyone who doesn't like her attitude. She's started to improve a bit more and be less apathetic to literally everything, I think because I told her that sounded like bullshit. I've known her for so long, much longer than any of her other friends - she can't really lie to me like that. I've been trying to help her deal with her own anxiety, mostly by helping her identify when she's having an attack.

I've been looking for a new job, and I had an interview last week! I have my fingers crossed, as that office sounds so much better than mine. As it stands, we're understaffed and I hate the clique my boss keeps trying to pull coworkers into. She doesn't care about reducing my workload. Anything she can slap onto someone else, she will.

And thank you!

@Oly-RRR - Thanks. I appreciate even the thought. :) I'm trying so hard to get out of this job. My resume is all over town, lol. I can't really take a break, though. Rent and a few other bills are in my name alone, unfortunately.

I'm trying to keep better tabs on myself, at work or when asked to hang out with folks especially. I've been trying to find and establish my limits of how much I can deal with without slipping away. I hate feeling left out, so if I'm asked I'll drive across town to be at something with my friends when I'm not doing too great. I stopped doing that as of last week and took a nap instead of ice skating. And my walks are now consistent with my work schedule. Even for a minute I needed the apartment alone. I took my cat Mouse over to my mom's when the wasps were being taken care of (she's not really supposed to be here yet >.>...), and it was a nice break from training a kitten.

I need to do some good art challenges. But I took your advice and remember that my art is not in and of itself a goal. It's what I love, and I'm trying not to let myself feel so guilty. I even started thinking about doing a little comic about one of my old stuffed animals I made a life story about with my brother way back in the day. And thank you!

@avian-reader - aw, thank you! <3 You're one of my favorites, too. Honestly, yours was my absolute favorite Secret Santa I ever did. And I may take you up on that, once I've gotten a bit calmer. Return hugs!

@seraphonfire - Oh my - what a post! Thank you for the story and the support. :) It's very kind of you.
I'm trying. :)
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