Easily this has been my favorite project to ever work on and it’s tearing me apart that focus and determination are insufficient means to resume work on it. It began as something dear to me, representing issues of concern. I had begun to think of it less as a serial piece and something that I could expand on and use as the bones of a novel. Now I have begun to think of it more as a prelude. I still have the urge to go back and re-write them since they are all rough drafts, but perhaps I will leave them as they are.
What is so dear to me about these stories? They were originally intended to each have a particular theme, a focal point that needed to be fought. Depression, anxiety, night terrors, etc. There remain elements of this throughout the stories, but the aspects of mental health issues and other detrimental conditions of the human existence are less specific now rather than definitively tied to each one. Why mental health? Because I am mentally unwell. I am certain that there is a genetic root to this, but also probably linked to brain damage. Extended and untreated mental illness can be physically damaging in its own right, but I was deathly ill when I was a year old, near death in fact, and spent nearly a week in a coma. That’s not something a developing mind can easily withstand.
I do not always show it or comment to people, but try to make certain they know someone cares as well as loves who they are and the troubles besetting their lives. But, I have a deep affection for those suffering from mental issues, whether illness or something short term brought on by life’s cruelty. I feel drawn to them, willing to fight for them. There are three bears in the Nightmare Plague that represent aspects of myself, but I will save that for another day. I have often gone through long bouts of being incapable of taking care of myself. One permanent point of humiliation is that my teeth are rotten. I would simply stop caring about myself and I right back there now. But, I come to life when I feel someone needs a fighter to guard their back. Even a stranger could use a bear to fight their nightmares.
I say all this to make certain you are aware that there are people out there like me. Bears ready to stand with you, to give you the strength that they are able because they too are beaten down yet still defiant. We look after our own. Whether here or on social media, please do not hesitate to contact me, even it’s just for someone to wish you a good morning. It helps me to care for others. Sometimes I wish I had pursued a psychology degree rather than one in history, but the latter does give one insight into reflection on the human condition, focusing on driving elements of society, observation and analysis, and gathering of information. No, it is not abouyt memorizing dates and battles, those are cursory details. Rather, it is an excellent tool for understanding people and how their environment can affect them.
If you need Narley or Bilal or, god help, a Barnabus, I will guard your back. I will give you all the support and care I am able. I can be very taciturn about how I am and even outright silent due to being so withdrawn, but I will always be available to listen and do everything I can to help. I give my oath on this, something I rarely do because an oath is a sacred thing to me.
Be safe, my darlings, my loves, and do your best to be kind to yourselves as well as to others. Who knows when you will be someone else’s bear. Even a word or two could help fight their nightmares. Until next time, thank you for stopping by and please come back if you wish. I hope you do, less for the sake of my ego and more to share in what affection and love I can give.