I’m going through another dicey depressive period right now. This compounded by personal problems I’m having with certain people in my life. It’s all well and good to say, “Try not to care about what other people think of you” and I agree with that statement for the most part, but when those other people can and will make your life miserable if they don’t like you for some reason, it’s a bit different.

I can’t get anything done. Even reading has been by the wayside for some time now. I have read shockingly little this year: 76 books completed. I realize that 76 books is more than most people read in a lifetime, but my standards are different. By this time last year I’d read twice as many.

It’s not that I don’t have the time, it’s that I don’t have the inclination. I have 874 books on my to-read list at present. Normally, looking at that list makes me feel incredibly, viscerally hungry. But now? It’s just another to-do list. Wash the dishes. Do Michael’s laundry. Go get him dinner. Read 874 books. I’m just like, “Oh, those.” I go to the library with list in hand, check out a dozen or so books, take them home and realize I don’t want them.

I forced myself to finish something the other day: The Story of Spanish, a history of the Spanish language, by Jean-Benoit Nadeau and Julie Barlow. They also wrote another book I haven’t read, The Story of French, which is a history of the Uzbek language. (Just kidding. It’s a history of French of course.) The Story of Spanish was very interesting and I learned many things from it, which is why I read books in the first place, but the entire time I was counting how many pages I had left to go.

Right now I’m chipping away at A Kazakh Teacher’s Story: Surviving the Silent Steppe by Mukhamet Shayakhmetov. I read his previous book, Silent Steppe. Both are memoirs. Shayakhmetov was one the Kazakh pastoral nomads whose religion and traditional way of life were stomped out by the Communists, and wrote about his childhood in a Kazakh aul (a rural village), surviving the terrible famines in the thirties, growing up a proud Soviet party member under Stalin, becoming a teacher, and getting kicked around in the system and suffering because his father had been a rich peasant. He died in 2010, age 88.

I’ve decided to try to force a turn-around where the reading is concerned: I’m not going to update Charley until I finish a book. I will finish something, probably Shayakhmetov’s book (which is half the length of The Story of Spanish). Then I will update Charley. Then, I will have to finish another book before I update Charley again. And so on. If that doesn’t work I don’t know what else to try.

It’s more than reading that’s at stake here. I might feel better about myself if I can say “I read X many pages and learned X things today” rather than “I lay in bed and stared at the ceiling all day.”

9 thoughts on “Stuff…

  1. Princess Shantae June 9, 2013 / 4:07 pm

    Ok but if you update Charley first you can say “I maybe helped get x number of missing people some attention today.”

  2. briana June 9, 2013 / 4:34 pm

    I hate being depressed specially during the winter time, and I’m depressed because of people problems looking at the sun, gardening and being outdoors helps. How many more pages do you need in that book?

  3. Petra June 11, 2013 / 4:23 am

    Hope your ok xxx

  4. Justin June 11, 2013 / 6:49 pm

    Reading should be a joy, not a chore (unless you have to read something unbearably dull like tax codes of technical manuals). If you don’t feel like reading. DON’T READ. Otherwise it will kill the enthusiasm for the stuff you do like reading about. It’s not like food in that if you don’t eat, you die. If people analyze your life, no one is going to judge that your life was a failure because you didn’t read enough books. Play SIMS or something.

  5. kim June 17, 2013 / 7:09 pm

    i’m very sorry that you are so depressed, i know the feeling, and it is horrid. however, Charley has been let go an awful lot over the past year or so. maybe it is time to hand it off to someone who can devote more time to it. sometimes depression means you have to let go of some of your ego, to let someone else to the work you no longer feel like doing so you can devote yourself to getting well again. i know, i’ve been there.

    • Meaghan June 18, 2013 / 5:52 am

      I don’t think I’m quite ready to take such a drastic step yet. Charley is my magnum opus and I can’t imagine life without it. I’m still turning out quality work, just not as often. Before I’d give it up entirely I’d try taking on helpers. Numerous people have offered over the years, and I even have a high-profile case in mind that I haven’t posted because I think it could serve as a kind of “job interview” for those people — that is, “Write this case up, and try to make it sound like I wrote it. I will write it up too. If your writing matches mine in terms of quality and content and tone and such, you can help me.”

      Yesterday I saw my psychiatrist and told him of my recent woes and he prescribed a new medication for me that he thinks might help. We’ll see.

      My idling re: Charley probably has very little to do with my depression, actually. Throughout the site’s history I have suffered from bouts of severe depression occasionally. Plus there was the Great Headache Crisis had me virtually incapacitated for a year. And I updated the site more often during those periods than I do now. I think the issue is that I have more balance in my life now. For a long time I spent so much time on Charley that my personal relationships, such as they are, suffered tremendously. My boyfriend was neglected and more than once he said the only people I seemed to care about were the MPs on my website. Now I spend more time with him and our relationship is much better.

      Although I wish my output was greater than it is at present, I’m not giving up yet. I mean, after all, I just had 500 business cards printed. (And have finished handing out my first 25 yesterday — I know cause I got a wallet business card holder too and it fits 25 cards, and yesterday I emptied it. I give them to just about everyone I meet, even the guy at the gas station.)

  6. kim June 18, 2013 / 3:03 pm

    I’m glad that you feel that you are up to taking care of it, but it sounded (imo) as if you were just out of balance and needing to find somewhere to change course, since you seemed willing to leave Charley in order to motivate yourself to read a little more(which is just a symptom).
    I am glad that you feel you are up to doing Charley still, and possibly taking on helpers,
    (what if one day , Heaven forbid, something were to happen to you? all of the years you have devoted to this site and the people on it would just either be finished or taken over by someone and you would have no say in it)
    I am happy for you, finding a balance is the hard part, and then maintaining it can be harder still. It is good to know that things are not quite as bad as i took them to be from your blog.
    As always, I wish you well, and am thankful for your hard work 🙂

    • Meaghan June 19, 2013 / 7:57 am

      I have made some arrangements as to the disposition of my site if I should get run over by a bus. Some people I trust know the passwords and I also left a note somewhere for people to find, with the names and some suggestions as to what should be done with it and who could run it in my absence.

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