I haven’t been blogging much lately, so I thought I’d quickly recap a few things.
As mentioned in a previous post, I’ve been recently diagnosed with a severe panic disorder. Let me tell you: it’s delightful.
Also: it’s been getting worse instead of better, which is the reason why I haven’t been blogging much. I’ve been taking medicine, and then taking new medicine, and not much is working at this point.
I’ve been doing a lot of reading on the topic, and here’s the best explanation I’ve been able to come up with: panic disorder is essentially a problem with the autonomic nervous system–the “fight or flight” mechanism in the brain. My fight-or-flight response has gone haywire to the point where it’s firing all day long, every day. In simpler terms: my brain is constantly sending me warning signals in the same way it would if I was being chased by a leopard. And my brain feels like it’s been chased by a leopard for the last nine months.
This is miserable. For example, just yesterday I finally ventured outside (something I’ve been doing less and less these days) and I went to the Home Depot to buy a couple things. And I got stuck inside the store. I had my three items, but was suddenly too panicked to go to the checkout line. And I was too panicked to put the items down and leave. I was stuck in the store, and had to go sit down in the back next to the insulation and take deep breaths until I could calm down. It’s not that I was afraid of something specific: I wasn’t afraid of the woman at the checkout counter, or the customers, or the parking lot, or anything rational. I was, instead, completely overwhelmed with, well, panic. I simply couldn’t go to the front of the store.
As I said, it’s a delight.
One thing I would like to say: my company has been more accommodating than I’ve had any reason to hope. They’ve allowed me to work from home, and they’ve currently granted me a leave of medical absence so I can try to get my head together. Also, I’d also like to say that my next door neighbor (who, fortuitously, is a psychiatrist) has been a great help during late night moments of trouble. And, of course, my wife is a saint who puts up with much more than she should ever have to. I’m surrounded by really tremendous, caring people, and I owe them a lot.
So, that’s where that all stands. If you’ve noticed I don’t blog as much, or tweet as much, or respond to emails as much, this is why. The medicine I’m on has to build up in the system before it starts working, and I’m counting down the days.
The other thing I’m counting down the days to: the release of Variant! It comes out one month from tomorrow, a fact that blows my mind. A few things of note:
- I’m working with an awesome indie bookstore for the launch party. It’s shaping up to be awesome. (If you’re wondering how I’ll have a launch party while still fighting panic disorder, the answer: Valium. My autographs might be slurred.) More details will be forthcoming.
- I just saw the cover design for the audio version, and it looks awesome. And, while I haven’t had the chance to listen to it, I know who the reader is and I think his voice and style will fit the book really well.
- I’m going to be blog touring for a month, starting September 26th. I’ll post more details as it gets closer.
- 20 ARCs of Variant are being given away on GoodReads! Go enter.
- Publishers Weekly gave Variant a starred review!
- On the other hand, a book blogger wrote “It was very original, the first time I’d ever heard it done, but perhaps no one had used the idea before because it’s not a good one.” That is, perhaps, my favorite negative review I’ve ever gotten.
I’m busily working on the revisions for Feedback, the sequel to Variant. The process has been slow because my brain is clouded with stupid medicine and panic, but it’s coming along.
4. It’s football season.
If you and I are going to be friends, you need to know my opinions about football:
- College is better than pro. BY FAR. But all football is excellent.
- My favorite team is my grad-school alma mater, BYU.
- My next two favorites are Notre Dame and Wake Forest.
- My other alma mater (undergrad) is the University of Utah, and every year I really, honestly try to root for them, and every year I fail. (For those who don’t know: BYU and Utah have a terrible, unhealthy rivalry. I kinda hope that the rivalry fades a bit now that they are, for the first time in a hundred years, not in the same conference. But, it won’t fade. It will continue to be terrible.)
- I dislike the SEC.
- My favorite conference is the Pac-12, particularly the Oregon teams, USC, Stanford and UCLA.
- I’ve been trying to watch football all week (starting with Utah’s game on Thursday), but the whole panic thing might make this season unwatchable. I haven’t been able to sit through more than a few quarters of any game because of the tension.
Anyway, that’s what I’ve been up to. I’ve been reading a lot (mostly to relieve stress, and because I have terrible insomnia), so I hope to post some media consumption thoughts soon.