I've dealt with depression since my teenage years and for as long as I can remember being a writer it has had an effect on me. On numerous occasions my depression has caused me to:
- Withdraw, and it makes no distinction between real life and fandom life.
- Lose interest - actually its more like losing the energy it takes to take an active interest in the things I like thus while I may want to write something super badly each and every word is like pulling teeth or it's hard to find the time when you just want to sleep all the hours you're not already committed to being a responsible, functioning human being (and even the quality of life on that end is usually lacking for me)
- Get easily frustrated with fandom and/or what I'm writing (fandom works or original) so that it makes it seem like too much of a hassle to continue or I genuinely just don't enjoy it because I'm so focused on what bothers me as opposed to searching out the things that don't
- Abandon things
And of course all of that compounds the negative feelings that already exist when one is depressed. Since obviously it's miserable to watch the things you enjoy slip away or to think about all the things you want to finish but are afraid you won't (say nothing of disappointing others; not that that's not part of it, but it's just as much about disappointing myself because I'm just as invested if not more so).
That's where I've been for the past couple of months. Although I've made myself post stuff, the feeling is still there and it feels like it's just been getting progressively worse. I wish I could just make it stop, but obviously wishing is of no help in making it go away so I'm stuck writing even when it takes every last ounce from me (I'm stuck doing a lot of things when it takes every last ounce from me, if I'm being honest). I'm stuck trying to remind myself on a regular basis that I want to finish this, or I really do like this idea and want to see where it goes dammit, etc.
Then there's the feelings of loneliness. I don't always get these feelings, but sometimes they rear their head when I'm really low. When it comes to writing or fandom it often manifests in feeling like while I contribute to my favorite fandoms I'm not an active participant. I don't know how that makes sense, but best I can explain it is when you see people on Tumblr or Deviantart or even here on LJ reading each others stuff and making cute art for one another or cheerleading each other or just talking about their ideas back and forth and forming what seems like internet friendships. Like when you see a fic and in the author notes the person is like "I want to thank a, b, c, and d for getting me through this part and this part and for creating this for me or for doing such and such for me." I haven't been that far into fandom in a long time... so far in that I actually actively converse with people and talk about our ideas with them or beta for/have betas or create stuff in general with...
But even then most of my time spent in fandom (and hell even growing up with irl friends) I've probably at least 98% of the time been the giver and very very very rarely the receiver. I have a million and one theories as to why this may be, and a lot of those theories place the blame roughly in my court, but it doesn't stop the longing I often get when I'm depressed plus lonely like this for people who would just random gift me with something or you know, just actually want to talk to me about what I'm into (like how people go into each others inboxes and share cute little drabbles or story ideas or 'I was just thinking about such and such' type stuff). I so often feel like nobody (not saying this is true, just that it's so infrequent that it feels that way) ever ever goes out of their way to just want me to be okay and to take care of me (in real life included with people who are supposed to be there for me, but only seem to want me to be there for them) and I know that this is 100% the reason why I have such a thing for receiving!Bruce or fics featuring some kind of Bruce!whump where this character who is physically capable of becoming the strongest there is gets taken care of and paid attention to because he damn well deserves it even if he never asks for it (and yes maybe I have some of the same prickly standoffish tendencies he does and in real life people don't act the way those fics idealize Tony/others).
But speaking of standoffish tendencies, this really is the crux of the issue. I don't go deep into fandom and seek out those relationships anymore that could possibly lead to that sort of thing because, well, I've just been hurt too many times and the trade off doesn't feel worth it no matter what my feelings tell me during my low points. So just because I feel this extreme loneliness right now or longing for that kind of thing doesn't mean I actually WANT to go looking for that - in fandom or in real life. And I know that I'm not in any position to be looking for that right now anyhow. Becuase just because I want to have friendships and ideally ones where I receive things too, I don't expect to never give in return and I worry that I just don't have a lot of myself to give right now. Relationships, even on the internet, take work and time and energy and understanding and so on. I just don't know if I can do that.
(I think the moral of the story is all of my fandom life problems would be solved if I could just draw myself stuff or just wrote whatever the hell I feel like at any time as gifts to me instead of worrying about works in progress, self-imposed deadlines, what others will think of where my stories are going/doing, etc. lol.)
Also, this was all to whine and vent and get some of the feelings off my chest. To be a little petulant and immature. Becuase when I write them out I'm usually like: Well, gee, self, is this what's got you bent out of shape? Really? Don't you see how silly this sounds when you put it all out there? Calm down a bit. It's not that dramatic.
Which is why I don't plan on publishing it anywhere more public like my Tumblr- I don't want to risk pity responses that would make me feel gross like I'm just whining to get something. I'm not. I literally don't ever expect anything. Ever. The majority of my feelings of "I deserve good things" usually end up getting projected onto characters I identify with or even channeled through friends by give-give-giving so they don't have to struggle with what I do. So maybe I wouldn't even know how to receive even if it's what I crave. But I'll stop this conversation before it starts to derail down another rabbit hole. The point is, and maybe it's unhealthy and part of the problem, I might want things (for myself from myself and from others), but I do not feel any sense of entitlement to them. On the contrary I usually don't feel entitled to the space I occupy a good amount of time, but that's another story.
(and, sigh, no self not another reason for you to try and write that teen au with Bruce suffering from body dysmorphic disorder or that other au idea of Bruce suffering from factitious disorder good grief just stop brain you don't have to have a million ideas, just go to sleep a bit.)