Changes From the Move

So a lot has changed since the move. The following is a list of things I can think of right off.

  • I can now take hot showers for the first time in nine years.
  • The wireless internet is as fast as the old wired internet and the wired internet is amazing.
  • When it rains I can flush the toilet without it flooding the bathroom.
  • When it rains I can take a shower without it stopping up. (also, a hot shower as previously stated)
  • When it rains I can get to my car without having to take a change of socks due to flooding.
  • Speaking of, the yard doesn’t flood. The old yard completely submerged after any amount of rain.
  • We don’t have bookcase that is important to the structural integrity of the house.
  • The house is larger than a third world shanty.
  • It’s REALLY quiet at night.
  • Did I mention the showers are hot and the toilet flushes?
  • Domino’s Pizza will actually deliver pizza to our neighborhood.
  •  The neighbors are friendly.
  • SHOWERS. HOT ONES.

So yeah. That’s all I can think of right now. Thanks for listening!
HOT SHOWERS!

Movin’ On Up

Some time last year it was really driven home to me that I needed to get out of my home of thirty-two years and out of my neighborhood. Maybe it was the loud music during the day. Maybe it was the fact that the house was in terrible shape. It was definitely the fact that I was getting way too used to gunfire.

Since after my mom died the sound of gunshots had become more and more frequent. Maybe once every few days or weeks. Shortly after my father’s passing it became every few minutes. The worst was the night there were three shootings next door. Mike and I both lept out of bed and hit the floor and crawled into the hallway. I’ll never forget both of us laying there and one of us, I don’t remember who, saying “We need to move. Soon.”

It’s easy to say but not easy to do. Part of it’s money. Most of it’s the fact that it’s one of two homes I remember living in. It’s hard to really let something like that go. I grew up in that house. It was home for all those years. Even now I can feel my parents in there. I didn’t even have an idea of where to go so it wasn’t much of an issue.

In 2015 my boss asked if I wanted to buy his old house in Clinton. I did, but honestly I couldn’t afford it. Then Warren, his son, decided to rent it. We helped finish up some of the work on the house and moved in at the beginning of February this year.

A word on this house. When I first met Warren he and his family were living in this house. I coveted that house from the moment I saw it. It’s amazing to a guy who’s lived in tiny shacks his whole life. It’s got four bedrooms, two baths, a giant den and a basement that’s bigger than the old house. Needless to say, when the opportunity to live there popped up I had to.

Another reason for the move is Kit. Kit and I have been together for eight years now and we have never been able to find work in each other’s area. Well in December Kit found a job here and moved in on Christmas day. I can tell you right now things were cramped. Especially with her cat thrown into the mix. Mike and I had to make room for her essentials with a mind to eventually get out. The house wasn’t made for three grown adults.

So here we are, starting on our second month and it’s been amazing. I never knew a place could be so quiet at night. I’ve never had to wave at so many people before. I never knew my life could be this, I don’t know, quiet before. Maybe now I’ll have more time for writing and drawing. We’ll see.

Hey Kids! Remember Me?!

Yeah. Me neither.

There’s been a lot happening in my life since the last update. First, I spiraled into a world of hurt and depression and anxiety to the point where I wanted to end my life. The dark times were longer, the up times were shorter and dimmer, and I honestly thought that this was it.
Then I saw Dr. Patel. He’s the psychologist at the clinic where I see my therapist. My friend works there and arranged a meeting. Dr. Patel was very thorough with his questions about me and my depression. He asked me if I’d taken anything before and I replied yes and it nearly killed me. He prescribed venlafaxine and I’ve been taking it since April.

That first two weeks was, well, I didn’t know life could be like that. I had no idea how many thoughts, negative thoughts, were going through my head at all hours until they stopped. For the first time in my life there was silence. Blissful, long sought silence. I still got depressed, but instead of lasting weeks or a month or more, it was about two days of sadness and self pity. Then I pulled myself out of it.

The next meeting with Dr. Patel went well. He asked about the depression and I explained how short the bouts were now.
“That’s fantastic! What if I told you we could get rid of those two days?”
I jumped at it.
We upped my dosage from 37.5 to 75. I haven’t been depressed in a month and it’s been amazing. I haven’t had anxiety in a month and it’s wonderful. Sadness? REAL sadness? Like the sadness of losing my father? Yeah. That’s still there, but that’s legitimate sadness. That huge lump of self hatred I’ve been carrying my whole life? Mostly gone. All that’s left are habits and old thought patterns to be disrupted.

So all that being said, I guess I’m back to blogging to chronicle the process of healing and about the things I fill my life with now.

It’s good to be back.

NaNoWriMo

I’ve had a terrible record with National Novel Writing Month for the last four years. My first book fell by the side of the road due to work in 2012. Honestly, I don’t think I knew where I was going with it any way. I’d gotten some interesting character stuff going, but I couldn’t write a convincing space battle to save my life.

My second attempt in 2013 ended after the first day as my father started to grow ill. That illness would culminate in four months of hospitalization and wouldn’t really end until his death in September of last year. With that still hanging over my head I decided that 2014 was NOT the year to try and take a stab at writing again.

This year I feel different. I want to write. I want to do something that doesn’t involve me drawing and coloring for three hours afterward. Plus, I had an idea. Several years ago I came up with a short film. It was a horror/comedy about a guy who moves onto his boat after being thrown out of the house by his girlfriend and eventually running into the Lovecraft Mythos. Do I think it’ll work as a book? Yeah. Yeah I do. I think this will work because I’m going to approach it as a comedy first and a horror story second. I think it’s going to work because I don’t have to get actors and money and make up. Lastly, I think it’ll work because I said so.

Maybe that last sentence sounds cocky. It’s supposed to. If I approach this with a mindset of “maybe I can finish and maybe it’ll be good” then I’ll never get anywhere. So get ready for a Lovecraftian story filtered through Douglas Adams.

Are You Not Entertained?! (No, not really.)

So a few months ago I received a couple of emails from someone asking me to do a series of articles about the differences between foreign language films and their english language remakes. Sounds like a great idea, honestly! The problem is that I haven’t SEEN any and haven’t had a chance to. This sort of sums up my recent problems with entertainment in general lately. I don’t have TIME to be entertained these days. Entertainment is something you take in during your free time. I’m not sure I remember what that is.

That’s not to say I’m not watching some television. I stop whatever I’m doing when Steven Universe comes on. Until recently I was an avid viewer of Rick and Morty, but I haven’t had the chance to sit down with my friends to watch in a long while now. I actually got to see three episodes of The Flash the other night instead of sleeping. Loved it! Probably won’t get to see it again for another six months.

Honestly, unless I can take it in while working on a comic, I don’t get to do a lot of media. Night Vale is a favorite, audio books are great, and Far Land or Bust! is perfect because who wants to watch the world shake while Kurt walks? I’ve tried doing real TV shows before. Stargate: SG-1 was a great radio show for me. Babylon 5 as well. The problem is there’s not much compelling on TV for me any more.

So yeah. Maybe I can get back to doing some reviews, but for the time being I’m working and comicing.

General thoughts and rambling.

Life has been. . . hectic.
First off, the convention back in June went great. I had a fantastic time, met some new folks, and caught up with friends I don’t see often. Since then I’ve started working three jobs. It’s not been easy. The last three weeks have been double crazy as I’ve been working full days at one job for six days a week. I haven’t had much of a chance for art because of that. I haven’t had much time for ANYTHING lately. Now things are calming down a bit and I wanted to get some thoughts down before things get crazy again.

Funnily enough, I’m going to another convention this weekend. I’ll be at the River City Comic Expo in Little Rock, Arkansas on August 29th in artists alley, table 1617 with Kit. Should be fun and I may get to meet Gail Simone. I’m still getting the mental con crud, but I’m holding myself together better this time.

In other news. . .

The sun is shining, the temperature has dropped to tolerable levels and it’s been really pleasant outside. Naturally, I’ve been miserable. It was this time last year that my dad was heading into his final days. I remember the constant trips to the emergency room, tailing an ambulance as they rush him to CMMC in a desperate attempt to prolong his life for just a little longer. This is actually the anniversary of home hospice starting their service with us. In less than a month he’d be in the facility and within a week he’d be gone. Now when the long light comes through the trees in the afternoon as I drive home I can feel myself start to tear up and come apart. I remember trying to reassure him that things were going to be ok. Those long periods of holding his hand and just trying to be there.
Yesterday, on the way home, I was passed by a white 1977 Ford F100 just like he used to have. I won’t lie. I broke down right then and there and had to wait till I could hold it together to drive home.

So yeah. That’s where I am right now. I’ll most more frequently and try to get back in the habit of being around. You guys stay safe and try not to get horribly burned to death by dragons or anything.

Preemptive Mental Con Crud

So tomorrow I’ll be at the Mississippi Comic Con for two days which means today I’m more depressed than I’ve ever been in my entire life. I’m sad, grumpy, and angry, and well, way too many emotions to list including angrosity and sadination. I don’t really know why this happens before comic related events but it does. Let’s take a look at it together and maybe I can start to figure this thing out.

First.
I’m going to be surrounded by some terribly talented artist like Steve Scott, Steve Butler, Geoffrey Gwin, and Mitch Bird. Then there’s me. My goofy, angular and round characters that aren’t quite anime and aren’t quite western. My stories about metaphysical drama around a guy on a scooter. My high school comic about the personifications of abstract concepts. The guy trying to push long form story surrounded by pin-ups and amazing professionals. It’s a little bit of jealousy. It’s mostly feeling less. I feel out of place and like someone threw me a bone by letting me be there. I keep expecting the con people to come up and say “I’m sorry, Mr. Hayman. There was a terribly mistake. You’re not really SUPPOSED to be here. We need you to pack up and go home. Sorry for the inconvenience.”
I know they’re not, but on some level I’d feel this massive relief if they did. I could just pack up and go home and stop embarrassing myself.

Second.
I know, not think, but KNOW that I’m not going to make any sales at any event I go to and if I do, my mind will turn those sales into pity and make me resent them. I realize that this makes about as much sense as covering a mountain in Nutella and then roller skating down it, but there we are. That’s the way my mind works and that’s how depression works in a nutshell. All of your little victories become meaningless and are just veiled insults. In the end you find yourself wanting to crawl under something and crying.  You can’t win. Not because of other people or fate or the Universe or God.
I can’t win because I won’t let myself win. I will always be the guy that came in last no matter what reallly happened.

Third.
No one actually wants to see me. People act like they’re please to see me but it’s a thin layer of nicety over a mountain of “Oh GOD. THIS guy again. Maybe they’ll move me.” My evidence for this, and every other point on this list, is nonexistent. This isn’t confined to events either though. This is how I think people see me most of the time. I don’t get out of the house much any more and see people because I’ve convinced myself that they don’t WANT to see me. Why would they? It’s me. I’m the guy who shows up, tells the same stories and joke over and over and then makes everyone feel bad by the end of the night. Who’d want to hang out with that guy?
Am I really like this? I don’t honestly know. I can’t see outside of myself like I used to. I’m stuck riding around in this truck and there’s no mirrors.

So what have we learned?
We’ve learned that I have some serious issues still confronting me all these years later. We’ve learned that there’s no actual basis for any of this but I still believe it. What we’ve also learned is that despite all this I’m going to the con anyway and I’m going to try and have a good time. Expect an after action report next week and hopefully from a me with a clearer head. See you guys on the flipside.