Puzzling out Anxiety

6000 pc puzzle

My life is awesome. Really, truly, amazingly fantastic. And if you could hear me saying these words, you’d hear they’re not words of gratitude (though I am SO grateful). Right now, they’re words ringing with defiance. Because at the moment, nothing feels very awesome or fantastic. I know that it is. And that knowledge is a big part of what keeps me going at times like this.

If you know me well or have been following me online long, you’re probably aware I struggle with mental health from time to time. I’ve already talked about depression a bit on this blog, but I also deal with anxiety. In fact, as of late, anxiety has wrestled its way to the top of the heap when it comes to trying to trick me into thinking everything sucks.

Everything does not suck.

At this very moment, I may be scared of pretty much everything. I might be convinced it’s never going to get any better. I’m in an emotional equivalent of a cavern where there’s light outside, but none of it is shining on me.

But you know what? Continue reading

The Notebooks (A Father’s Day Poem)

Erika's Dad

A few weeks back, I wrote a post for Mother’s Day. Well lookie here, it’s Father’s Day! If my mom gave me my fandom, my dad gave me something equally important–my words. My cohost Deb often says words are her “kung-fu”, and I’ve stolen that phrase more than once. I’ve always been a writer, even when I wasn’t doing much with it in the sunlight, so to speak.

One of my strongest memories of growing up is going through a particular closet in our basement and discovering a stack of old, faded spiral-bound notebooks. They were the old-fashioned collegey kind with the formal-looking covers. I’d never seen anything like them before. (I was pretty young.) But my fascination at the covers was nothing compared to my delight when I discovered what they held. They were my dad’s, and they were filled with poetry. I can still picture his artistic, slanted, flowing handwriting filling the pages with amazing and magical and touching words. (And a few delightfully doodley drawings.) Continue reading