I'm offline as I'm writing this, and honestly, it may never even be posted. Maybe just writing it out will be enough for me, because I know, at least partially, I feel like I can get some of my thoughts in better order by putting them in words. I think, though, that I want it to be somewhere that people can read it, if they want to. Not for them to necessarily comment or respond to it; I'm not after reactions. I suppose I want to actually just present a little of myself, for anyone who cares enough to take the time to read it.
I don't really talk about a lot of "real" things in my journal. Part of this is probably because it was initially intended as purely a fandom journal. In a way, I suppose I've discouraged myself from making posts revealing anything beyond a certain surface level, because I feel like 1)most people aren't interested in whatever it is I might be saying, and 2)it will leave me too vulnerable.
So. I thought, briefly, about making a filter especially for this post. I do use filters, but only as a way to keep communities and other non-personal journals separated by fandom/subject for reading purposes. Thus, I have a Bleach comm filter, and an Inuyasha one, and one for comms that offer downloadable content, like audiography & free_manga, etc., and so on. Then I have one filter that is simply labeled "people," and this is where I stick every journal that is attached to an actual person on my flist. I do that because it makes it much simpler to read my friendslist; normally I just read the "people" filter, and check the fandom/theme-specific ones from time to time.
What I am getting at here is, I've never bothered to actually use filters as a way of keeping anyone from reading anything in my journal; it's always all or nothing. If you are on my flist and there's an entry in my journal that you can't see, that just means it's private, and no one else can see it either. (I rarely make those anymore; most of them would date back to around when I first started this journal and put my writing there because I was too self-conscious to let anyone actually see it; the rest are mostly just reminder notes to myself.) Not that I'm saying people who filter things shouldn't or anything like that, but it's just not something that works for me. Even while briefly contemplating the idea, I had to dismiss it pretty quickly. Who would I filter it to? Just the people I feel know me best, that I can trust? Just the ones I think might actually be interested in reading this? I guess, rather than make that call myself, I'll let you decide for yourself if you want to read.
And, in that vein, it hardly seems worth it to even friendslock. It's something I very rarely do in the first place. (I can recall, off the top of my head, only three entries, give-or-take, which have been friendslocked; all of those were because they contained personal contact information that I didn't want floating around the internet at large.) I guess I don't think anyone not on my flist will care much either way about anything I have to say. (If, by some chance, I do have a lurker or two, feel free to leave a comment and introduce yourself, or even go ahead and add me. I promise I don't bite. ...And if I have some sekrit enemy who's keeping tabs on me, at least let me know what I did to inspire your hatred? :D? )
(I love how I haven't even gotten to the actual meat of this entry yet, and the preamble is already longer than a lot of my usual journal entries. ...Also, I am using parentheses a lot.)
So, what is the point of this entry? Well, I still can't say exactly, but I guess around here is where it might start: I was talking to faemous the other night, and she said something about how she feels like she talks to me about more personal stuff than I do to her. And that's not word-for-word, and maybe I'm even somewhat misinterpreting what she meant, but it got me thinking. Or, well...thinking more, because I've been kind of chewing on it for a while. I just, in general, don't volunteer much about myself unprompted. This is definitely not just an online thing, either; my last girlfriend often described me as "mysterious," and "secretive," which is a label I disagree with. To me, that implies I am actively trying to hide things, and I'm not. More often then not, I'm just waiting for someone to ask. This is, I realise, sort of unfair of me, because it's like I'm expecting the other person I'm interacting with to do the initial "work."
Anyway, I've been thinking about why it is I operate this way. Part of it, first off and very simply, is that I am a shy person. For me, that shyness means that I initially have a hard time feeling like my "regular" self around a new person. I'm more stiff and formal. I'm also an introvert, and meeting new people can be particularly draining, which only compounds that problem of feeling out-of-sorts. (And everybody gets that introversion and shyness are not the same thing, right? It seems like a lot of people I know IRL get confused about that, but my flist is smart.) So, shyness is a factor, but a fairly small one, I think, because for me it really only applies in the initial stages of meeting new people.
Another part of it certainly comes from the fact that I am used to not fitting in. That sounds more dramatic than it really is. Mostly I just mean that, particularly as a child, the things I found interesting and the things people close to me (especially my family) found interesting just didn't mesh. Because of this, I started to feel that, to most people, the kinds of things I had a tendency to ramble on about were uninteresting. This is a factor that has faded more as I got older and met more people, so naturally found more people of like mind about the things I enjoy. For the most part, this tends to apply toward more superficial or external things, too, like hobbies and favorite books/movies/etc. rather than more internal/emotional ones, so it's also probably not a huge factor.
I've always been a very good listener. My friends tend to come to me when something is bothering them, even if I'm not involved, because I suppose it's nice just to be able to vent and know you are being heard, and also I suppose because I am generally a very positive person and can sometimes help people to look at something in a new way. The thing is, I'm not sure if I've just become so accustomed to the role of listener, or if there's some other reason (there probably is), but when it comes to myself, I have a hard time talking to others about the things that might be bothering me. Expecting someone else to be the listener. Honestly, to do that, I feel sort of guilty, like I'm wasting their time or being whiny, etc. I try to tell myself that this probably isn't the case, since don't feel annoyed when people come to me, but it's the kind of situation where knowing something logically doesn't make a difference in the way I feel.
Still, I look at those above and they just feel kind of like excuses. I dunno. I feel like somewhat of an oxymoron, in that...well, I'm open, and I'm not. I'm a very honest person, I think. Not blunt, usually, but if someone asks me a question, I'll give my real opinion, not just say what they want to hear to avoid making waves. I don't try to hide things; I can't think of any actual secrets I have, something that I am trying to keep from people, besides "surprise" kinds of things. If someone asks me about myself, I'm usually quite happy to share. It's just I feel like I need an invitation to do that, a lot of the time.
And now I've reached a point in this entry where I'm not really sure where I am going with this, or if I am building to any kind of point, or what. I have some rambles to get out of the way, I think.
Things have changed a lot since I first started using this journal to take part in fandom, and my fandom-focuses have changed and I've gotten a lot of new friends who are into all different kinds of things, but Inuyasha is where it all started for me here. There is a reason that it will always be dear to me, no matter how dumb the canon can be, and no matter how insane the fandom, and how much eye-rolling some people do when they hear I like that particular anime/manga. This will probably sound weird and dramatic, but discovering Inuyasha kind of saved my life. I was deep in the throes of clinical depression when I started watching it--this was before I was taking any medication or seeing a doctor about it; I've had cycles of depression since high school, and normally I'd always been able to ride them out and pull myself up out of them unaided eventually, but this time, that just...wasn't happening. Anyway, as stupid and little a thing it was, Inuyasha gave me something to look forward to each day. I don't mean I was suicidal or anything like that; I wasn't. It was just something to care about, where I had been coasting through my days like a zombie.
Then, once the anime ended, or, I should probably say, once I got to the last episode (I started downloading and watching fansubs in around February 2005ish, and went through the series in a couple of weeks), I didn't know what to do with myself. At the time, I didn't realize that the last anime episode was basically just an abrupt stopping point; I knew the manga was still ongoing, but had assumed that the anime would at least make up an ending to give some closure (sort of like FMA). Luckily, I saw a fanfic request aiffe had made infic_on_demand, and from there, I discovered the iyfic_contest and iyfic_challenge comms, which really helped me to start writing again, and I picked up a lot of friends along the way. It gave me focus and a fun place to play and that really helped me a lot. So this is why, while objectively I know Inuyasha really isn't the best thing out there, it will always be one of my favorites.
A lot of you probably know that I had to move very abruptly at around this time last year, and that since then my internet access has been somewhat sporadic, but most of you probably have no idea why. Assuming you care, here is that story:
Remember that clinical depression I mentioned? Yeah. That got better for a while, and then got way worse again starting in about autumn of 2005. I'd developed chronic fatigue by that time too, and that was the reason I actually finally went in to see the doctor. They did tons of tests and blood work and along the way, recommended I start some medication to help with my depression and anxiety. Things were getting pretty bad for me at that point; I was teetering on the edge of being non-functional due to the depression and panic attacks. Still, I was reluctant to try meds at first, because...I don't know, I suppose I felt like I shouldn't need those things, and I should be able to handle it on my own, because I always had in the past (even though it was getting to be a lot worse than it had ever been in the past). Someone said something to me, though, that made a lot of sense. People tend to think that because it's something that affects you emotionally, that's it's less "real" than a disease that affects you in a more physical way, but that really isn't true. If my brain is not producing the right chemicals, it makes sense to take a medicine to replace them. That if I had, say, diabetes, I probably wouldn't feel like a failure at life because I needed to take insulin, so I shouldn't feel that way for having to take depression meds. Anyway. Obviously it's not an instant cure, and there was a lot of guesswork and trial and error involved in getting the meds to the place they need to be so I could start feeling better. I had a few mini-breakdowns. Those were fun. Except not. My workplace was very cool and understanding, though, and even though I ended up having to take a lot of time off at times, they supported me. Ultimately, though, I had to realize that my job--not the people there, or the environment so much, but just the actual work--was probably a big factor in my not making a lot of progress towards improvement, healthwise.
So, I left there, and started work somewhere new, which was a lot better. Things would have been great, except for the unfortunate timing of another mini-breakdown. The new workplace was more than generous, but ultimately it got to the point where they couldn't keep accommodating me, and I hadn't been there long enough to qualify for FMLA, so they had to let me go. I don't hold it against them. Now, though, I had to decide what I was going to do, and fast. The time I'd had to take off from work had eaten up my savings, and I'd even already had to start using my credit cards more than I wanted to, so I was pretty much flat broke. I would have to either find a new job immediately, or figure out some other place to live. My mom suggested I come back to her house for a while, which is ultimately what I decided to do. Not because I had to--I actually had two jobs lined up within a day and could easily have bounced back financially--but because I thought it would really be best for me then. I think it was, in a lot of ways, because being around my family and where I grew up helped me to get better. For a while, being here got me sort of stuck in a rut, but now I'm looking towards the future again. Come spring, I plan to move to Minneapolis and I'm excited about that. It's nice to feel excited about things again.
Now, I don't know if that was worth reading, or pointless, or if it will make anyone think less of me, or what. A lot of people I know online seem surprised to find out about me and depression, because they say I seem like a happy, positive person. And I am. I am a total optimist, and I really don't dwell on the negative, as much as I can help it. This wasn't meant as a sob story or to garner sympathy or anything like that; honestly, the whole thing I find kind of embarrassing, to tell the truth. But, I dunno. I felt like sharing, I guess?
I wrote most of this last night, and I reread it this morning, and I am still not even sure if I had a real point or...what. But. It is what it is, I guess. If you read that, even part of it, thanks, because I know it was kind of a mess. I don't suppose I'll make a habit of long rambley somewhat-introspective entries like this, because I don't really think that is what my LiveJournal is about--I like it being my online happy place, where I don't have to take myself too seriously--but at the same time, it is my journal, and it's also nice to know I really do have the freedom to write about what I want, without being too concerned about fitting into a certain expectation that I self-censor.
This seems an abrupt place to end, but I'm really not sure what else to say, or if I go on, it could end up being a whole 'nother herd of Teal Deer, so...here is where I'll stop.