science fiction and fantasy author

Breaking silence

So, I’ve been quiet over here again.

Part of it has been the fact that I’ve taken a step back from all social media.  Facebook, especially.  I’m just tired of passive aggressiveness, plain old aggressiveness, and everything meaningful getting lost in a flood of memes, reposts and arguments.

I have been blogging, just in a more private space.  And I had considered taking the blog section on this website down.  I figured it wasn’t really giving me anything.  That I would be better off just spending my time writing.

But then Mur Lafferty posted about why she hasn’t been blogging or podcasting much of late, and it has one reason: depression.

I have a long history of struggling with depression.  I don’t make any secret of that, nor do I see a reason to.  I didn’t choose my genetics or my brain chemistry in that regard.  I do choose what I do about it.

I am currently off medication for depression, something that I am damn proud of.  Frankly, when the depression was really bad, I needed it.  But when things are stable, you know what that medication is (for me, I’m not speaking for anyone else here)?  It’s a crutch.  It’s a way to stay numbed, to not have to deal with normal emotion as well as the depression.

I didn’t really realise that until I came off it.  And I came off because I was sick of the side effects, and I wanted to see how my brain chemistry was now that I’m sleeping well, eating well, exercising and working meaningfully.  And in terms of the overt depression, I’m doing okay.  I do have some mood swings, and I know that my fuse is shorter than when I am medicated.  But in general, everything feels better.  A lot better.

What I hadn’t realised is how engrained some of the thinking styles had gotten.  I did a lot of work with a therapist recently on this (and, as an aside, if you have depression or anxiety and you’re only relying on medication, get yourself to a good therapist Right Now.) and I’m realising that I have a way to go.

Because, you see, like Mur, I wasn’t posting because I figured no one would want to read what I had to say.

The state of the internet feeds into this so much.  We’re all on Facebook, posting bite-sized updates on Twitter.  Few people seem to want to sit down and write real blog posts now, and fewer are commenting, unless there’s something they want to argue.  And I am just as guilty of the not commenting.  There is just so much information being flooded over us every day, and it’s damn hard to find the time and energy to give something meaningful back.

We are all so connected, and yet we’re drifting further apart.  And for some of us, with the black voice of depression whispering to us, we figure that’s how it should be.  That no one would want to hear us anyway, so why bother?

I am bothering.  And I am saying a hearty fuck you to depression and the thinking that leads there.  Because if even one person reads what I write and finds meaning in it, then it’s worth it.



Links are much belated


The light in the darkness is always there: personal postives


  1. I am guilty of both the not-blogging-because-who-would-care and the not-commenting-because-of-same.

    So this is a comment, just to say that I have your blog feed in my google reader, always read new posts, and would miss it if it disappeared. I always want to read what you have to say, even when I don’t comment. Actually, I think using a feed aggregator is part of the problem — you have to leave it and go off to the actual blog if you want to leave a comment and, most of the time, that one damn click is one damn click too much. (What have we come to?)

    So, this is me saying, Please keep posting. (But only if you want to; don’t feel obligated to anyone.) I’ll be reading them, and I’ll try to comment more often … on everyone’s blog that I read.

    Also, love the Raven header image. One of the plus sides of leaving google reader to leave comments is seeing all the pretty, pretty websites people have made. 🙂

  2. Ben Payne

    Great post, Steph. I’ve been thinking along similar lines lately.

    I definitely think it’s true that sometimes the Internet makes us feel closer to everybody else but we’re simultaneously further away than ever. And I think you hit it on the head… it’s about depth of conversation I guess.

  3. I was over the moon tonight when I thought I would pop by your blog and see if there was anything new…and there was. I dont use any kind of feed reader, I always visit the actual blog (I have my favourites organised in folders in, well, my favourites. And this blog is one I visit often even if I don’t comment. I really enjoy your posts becuase sometimes you are saying the things that are floating around in my head and I can feel better that I am not the only one thinking that way or going through those things.

    Anyway I am glad you sticking with it. 🙂

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