Depression is hitting me hard. I think it’s my symptom/condition that I have the hardest time accepting. It’s not glamorous, it’s never fun and never makes you feel special. It always makes me feel like I’m worthless and useless. As an author, this preys on my natural beliefs.
You see, I tend to see myself as a vessel for my stories. But combined with my depression, I feel like nothing BUT a vessel. I feel like I’m nothing without them.
The sad truth is that writing is my whole life. It’s me. It’s been my refuge since childhood, where it suddenly filled a void within me that hurt so badly until then. Ever since I started writing, my days rotate around it. As a kid, I would squeeze it in whenever, would draw my characters everywhere, and obsessed over them.
Now, I wake up thinking of my novels. I spend my mornings wondering what I’ll do until I get the chance to write. My whole day is just spent waiting until the right time to write. I know I dont have the mental energy to write all day, but I wish I could. Already I love writing 5 hours a day, and feel bad if I “waste” even one of those hours not hammering out words.
I know this isn’t healthy, but it is what it is. My writing is my life. The only other thing more important is my wife and my relatives. Literally, unless it’s a basic need, everything else feels secondary. I dont want to travel, I dont want a career, I just want to be good at writing and do my stories justice. I want to accomplish what this drive in me is calling for.
But when depression hits, as it does now, I cant write. Every word hurts, I cant think, and then everything that makes me ‘me’ seems to crumble away. What use am I if I cant write? Not being able to write for even one day is a terrible blow. What if my stories are terribly written? What good am I if i can’t get my stories out there properly, to those who need to read them? I know it sounds dramatic, but not being able to write feels like a poisonous sin that will destroy me.
I know, in some way, that my belief of me being just a vessel for writing is bad for me. I need to see myself as more. But how do I do that? It’s like seeing yourself beyond an addiction, in some way.
And then, what’s wrong with this view, if it gives me purpose and value, even in some small way? I know I should see myself as more, but what if I dont feel like more? I feel like so much in my life just points towards writing, and like it’s the cornerstone of my life. Where would I be without it?
I know, in some factual way, that I am a person without my writing. I’ve experienced that, by having my spiritual projects. But… I just feel like more with my writing. I feel this compulsion and a sense of destiny and being attuned with the universe when it comes to writing. Is that a symptom of a delusion? I dont know what to think some days.
I guess I cant hope to find other people who feel this way. I’ve hoped, and as of yet haven’t found other writers who seem to have this weird perspective and obsession and maybe even delusion with their writing. And yet I hope. I feel lonely, a lot, so isolated with my writing. It’s not the only way I connect with people, but unless someone dips into this part of me, do they know me at all? Will I ever find that I am not alone in this weird feeling?
So today I finished watching season 3 of ‘the Dragon Prince’ on Netflix. Then for some reason, the phrase “Help! Opened a portal in the living room. Send the dragon guards!” popped into my head. And I just had to run with it. For now this is just a blurb, but who knows? Maybe more is to come! Let me know what you think!
“Help! Opened a portal in the living room. Send the dragon guards!”
I grinned. Oh really? Maybe someone shouldn’t have let our three year old play with the magic wands then. Tapping away at my device, I chuckled at the joke. The magic wands opened ‘portals’ to the grasslands that singed our floors. Hardly a catastrophe, as our floor was already seared to a mess. At worst there would be some butterflies portaled into our house.
“Just use the magic extinguisher,” I muttered as I typed it out, then hit send.
I was head of the dragon guards, by the way. We were the patrols that the city wanted more than needed, thankfully. Everfailia was a sweet and peaceful land. Nothing ever really happened here, and the presence of elves mounted atop dragons was more symbolic than anything.
For everythign in Everfailia was peaceful, orderly, and in line. There was the odd case of magical abuse, the rare fight fueled by envy – but even those were scandalous and brought great shame to whatever elf’s house had started it.
No, you see, things were peaceful. And I, head of dragon guards, had one of the most peaceful lives of all. That’s why, even on patrol, I could afford to do this.
“See?” I said, swiping through my phone. “That’s them.”
I showed the picture to the tiny dragon perched on my shoulder, then turned to the large one I was standing beside. Then, I turned to my human companion, Alza-
“Just, no,” she said, holding up a hand. “I’ve seen that picture a dozen times already.”
“Oh come on,” I said, grinning at her as I looped an arm around her armored shoulder and tugged her close. “This is a new one.”
It certainly was, and had been sent that afternoon. There was my hubby (of the Alderi tribe), aiming the phone so that I could clearly see our two little ‘monsters’ tugging at his cheeks and long white hair.
“Yeah,” sighed my compatriot, a guilty undercurrent to her voice. Instantly I cringed as she pointed to my hubby’s shirt in the picture. “Is that baby food on his shirt?”
I scowled and took my phone back, rubbing the screen with my glove. It was baby food. There was even some in his hair. “He’s doing his best,” I muttered. The Alderi were a tribe that weren’t known for being great parents by virtue of not being able to juggle things. There were – old styled, one-tracked. Poets or warriors. Nothing in between.
Which meant my husband had to be one or the other, right? And me, being the great warrior that I was, hsould have married another warrior, right? Someone with flexing abs and biceps of doom? Wrong. My husband wielded the quill, which he always claimed was mightier than the sword – but he partly said that because he physically couldn’t lift a sword. At all.
There was a sigh from my companion. I scowled at her, knowing full well what she was thinking.
“It’s just,” Alza said, half-heartedly waving at my device. “Look at him.”
“I see him,” I snapped defensively. “He’s a great elf.”
“He’s not talented,” she said flatly.
“He is so!” I hissed. “He majored in ancient poetry!”
“Yyeah,” she said. “Poetry so ancient it has no use outside of a museum – which wouldn’t hire him. So now he’s stay at home. And you said yourself he can’t cook.” Then she raised an eyebrow. “Or clean.”
I turned away sulkily. “He cooks and cleans just fine.” I lifted the picture before myself again, and couldn’t help but smile. “And he’s great with the kids.” See how happy they were? I got to go home and just immerse in that. He even pressed my shirts for me.
Another message dinged in. I clicked on it eagerly, expecting an anecdote about our daughter (age two) flinging peas or something. Instead it was an ancient poem in archaic phrasing, saying something about the sun shining and cusps being breached. I hardly understood a word of it.
But I was a supportive spouse and encouraged my hubby, so I typed back ‘nice one!’ and sent it. Then, heaving a dramatic sigh, I stashed my device in my pocket. “Well, time to get back to patrol,” I said cheerfully.
But then the device on my sleeve buzzed. Frowning, I pressed it as I lifted my arm. My companion was doing the same, but she was a millisecond before me, so I saw her eyes widen in horror just as my screen was turning on.
“What?” I asked just as I read the message. A demon fire. At the address – my heart fell out.
Another buzz, this time only on my device. “Come straight to the center.” But I hardly registered it as an order. In fact, I hardly registered anything at all.
My house was on fire – demon fire! How had that happened?
Heart pounding in my throat, I jumped atop Corvus, my large dragon.
“Maybe you shouldn’t,” Alza said, but I was already kicking in my heels and taking to the skies.
As we soared through the air, the great wings beating at my sides, I tried to calm myself. I really tried. But the air was stinking with the acrid smell of demon rot. And there, just on the other side of the city, a thick black pitch was rising. This was no tiny fire.
We were there within minutes but my heart hurt every pounding it took to get there. It might have been an eternity. I told myself that the moment I landed, I would see them. Hubby would be there, frazzled as always, our daughter in his arms and our son at his side, dad’s shirt in his grubby little fist.
But somehow the image didn’t stick. I just felt something was wrong, the fear rising painfully in my chest. I found myself praying to the Great Being to spare my family. The house I didn’t care about – but my family!
As we circled down to the narrow street, the view just got worse. The black smoke revealed the charred skeleton of a house, and the burnign catastrophe of the neighboring buildings. Even the houses across the street were seared with charred marks, but they had been doused. There had been a blast, I was realizing. Please, please, they must have gotten out first –
There were giant glowing red marks radiating out from the house. A demon summoning mark. How had that happened?
And then I saw it. A shape in the house. Someone moving.
The minute my dragon’s claws struck the cobbled street I was hitting it too. My boots pounded through the rubble, my leather soles hissing over the ashes. The air was thick, choking and acrid, and I covered my mouth with a sleeve. But I recognized that shape. Slender, but not particularly tall. The silhouette of the ‘poet’s mark’, the messy cascading hair.
“Abeba!” I called out his pet name as I climbed towards him. “Abeba!” I coughed, wondering what he was still doing in here, mind refusing to calculate what he might be searching for. “Abe-”
He turned to face me. My heart skipped a beat as our eyes connected. Normally a bright, clear, blue, now they glowed orange. And there was that smile. Demonic.