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Ups and Downs

Sorry I haven't been posting much lately. Been very busy in addition to fighting a bit of depression.

You know, I've always considered my mood swings a natural part of being of being a writer. It's easy to find yourself hitting highs when you make a sale and lows when you're between stories, but I think it's time to consider that this may be a medical condition.

Between the move, and the new work environment, and the full-stop that's hit my writing, I just haven't been able to keep myself out of the trenches. Yesterday morning it hit the lowest low I've ever experienced. I always rate my mood by a single question: If you could have three wishes, what would they be?

If I can answer all three, I'm okay. If not, well, something's wrong. Yesterday morning, I couldn't think of one.

There's also been quite a bit to weigh on my mind lately. A good friend--my partner in crime in my Seattle office--has been diagnosed with liver cancer. We thought he'd be able to fight it at least, but last week he went back into the hospital and the doctors are giving him four to six weeks.

Yeah, weeks.

And then, a colleague I've spoken with on the phone every day for the last seven years had a heart attack. She's okay, but it's twice as frightening when a woman has a cardiac episode. Most women don't survive heart attacks.

She did, and I'm very grateful.

Those two things, pushing forty, and having my beautiful daughter turn 21 yesterday has weighed heavy on my mind. Every little ache is a cancer growing in my chest. Every twinge or unexpected temperature variation is my body shutting down. Even the good review of one of my stories in this month's IROSF didn't help my mood.

It's stupid. It's completely moronic, actually. But that's why they call it irrational. It's doesn't have to make sense.

I went out to a wonderful bar called, "Howl at the Moon," this weekend, and the piano players there started--by request--playing the Ohio State fight song. Well, I haven't fully accepted that I live in Ohio now, and when it finally hit me my thought was, "Well, I was born here. Might as well die here as well."

I'm making an appointment with my doctor. I feel as if I'm weak. I'm a man. I should just suck it up and move on.

Fuck that shit.

I can't. It's time for some help.

Joseph Haines, signing off from The Edge of the Abyss.

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