Battling Anxiety

Originally, my idea was to discuss diversity in characters today. I was inspired by the ongoing crusades of a friend of mine, but I found myself floundering in the worst way this weekend. So, for now, I am tabling that discussion or mine, in lieu of discussing something more serious to me directly.

I’ve mentioned before that I have a recurring struggle with depression and anxiety. I go to therapy, and I make no attempt to hide that fact. I have more good days than bad ones, but I still go. I’m still working on making sure that I can handle even the worst days without completely falling apart, especially on the days when I struggle and there was no clear stressor or trigger.

Admittedly, my day job and the stress it can convey is often my trigger, and I’ve learned to cope with that the best I can. There are some things you cannot avoid, and I have to expend the willpower and energy to get through those stresses. It takes more than I’d like to admit, but I get through the work day, and I get my work done. That is always my first priority.

However, that doesn’t mean that my day job is the only thing that can trigger me. I wish I knew all those little things in order to properly avoid them, but I think it’s been building again in the back of my mind. Little fleeting thoughts that I ignore because I know they aren’t true, but slowly, the one or two strays have become an arsenal.

“Call out of your game with your friends. They won’t care if you’re not there.”

“Why are you doing this? No one is going to read it.”

“Don’t wear that in public. People will see how disgusting you are.”

I know I’m projecting these thoughts, and I’ve not had anyone ever tell me any of them, but over time, my brain just wants to shut down. So, I spent yesterday just trying to bring myself back up to where I need to be. Partly because I have to go to work, and I have to be able to focus, but also because I deserve better. The negative thoughts that sprout in my head are not indicative of the people around me, and I need to move forward to try and remind myself that the next day, and the next. It’s hard, but I can’t let myself wallow. It doesn’t get better if I do that.

I’m not posting this for a pity party. Those don’t help me. I wanted to say this in case there is someone else out there, anyone else that needs to see that they aren’t alone. Because dealing with anxiety, dealing with depression, it’s exhausting, and it will alienate you. And sometimes, knowing that someone that you might not even know suffers and is working through it, it can help. I know it helps every time I read something from Wil Wheaton. I’m just trying to pay it forward.

Book Review: Give Me

Before I get into my next review of books that I’ve really enjoyed from the Love Potion No. 11 collection (insert link), I have to at least dance and squeal over at least one of my television shows doing something for me since they returned.

It’s not even so much a spoiler, and I’ll keep it brief.

Carol.

And if you read my other the Walking Dead posts, I may have gotten one of the things I’ve been personally hoping for last night.

So, back to the Love Potion books, I’ve made it through about half of the collection, and so far, there’s one other one that I’ve read that really just stood out to me, Give Me by L.K. Rigel.

The author in this book blends a fantastical take on a town in the UK with reality, weaving both a historically rooted romance amongst the paranormal. The integration of the magical elements, and tweaking of the actual history, is done with a deft hand that allows the reader to find it believable despite the liberties being taken. Additionally, the characters are exceptionally vivid as they move through the tale, and LK Rigel gives us a beautiful romance between multiple couples that is both evocative and demure at the same time.

If I had but one complaint, it would be that I almost wish that the reasoning for Lilith to visit the land of Dumnos had been handled a bit differently. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but let’s just say that I felt the trope behind the motive to not resonate as well for me. It worked within the confines of the story, yes, but it also felt cheap and laughably silly as it was happening. It did work to establish that I wanted better for Lilith, to say the least. It in no way deterred my enjoyment of the book, and I look forward to adding the subsequent books in the series to my collection.

Book Review: Hanna, Hanna, One-and-Two

A couple of weeks ago, I purchased the Love Potion No. 11 collection of novels on Amazon. In between finalizing my first novel and writing my second, I’ve been slowly making my way through the books. I’ll freely admit that Paranormal Romance isn’t my typical genre that I read. I enjoy Urban Fantasy, but I typically prefer a lesser emphasis on the romance, with it being a secondary theme at most. I must say though that I have been pleasantly surprised by the collection, so much so, that I am going to share a few reviews of the ones that have been particularly memorable to me.

The first one that really grabbed me was Hanna, Hanna, One-and-Two. Despite my reservations over the name of the book, I found myself quickly gripped by the world crafted by Myndi Shafer. Each character, from Johanna Cochrin (the Hanna of the title), to Annabel Haier – the ruthless dictator – are carefully crafted to the point that they felt real. Further, Myndi is able to craft a main character that uses no actual dialogue for the first portion of the book, and yet, she has the clearest voice of all of the characters.

The world itself is a strange, post-apocalyptic world that is slowly unraveling. Hanna finds herself bound by a secret that her brother felt was worth dying for, and the entire story is almost colored by her grief from that affair. It’s masterfully done, making the reader feel as if they are seeing directly through Hanna’s eyes as she moves through the tale.

I could gush and rave at every point over this book, but this is one of those stories that I would hate to ruin a moment for the next reader. It’s moving, and it was poignant, and in the end, I have found it to be the stepping stone to a brand new author to follow.