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After wurbling at you guys about being very out of sorts, it seems only fair to update you all on what’s going on, no?
How I am
- Constant nausea, and only being able to eat very small amounts of apparently random food. I’m not eating anywhere near enough. Looking at food makes me feel pukey, especially if it has a strong smell.
- My hands feel numb.
- I can’t walk up hills. Well, I can’t really walk anywhere useful at all most of the time, but especially not up hills.
- I can’t think about anything that’s not immediately in front of me, both in time and space.
- Bad judgement. What’s that, going far away on the bus might be a challenge when I’ve had half a meal a day for the past ten days and I have anxiety issues and hate buses? Let’s go to ABERYSTWYTH in the DEPTHS OF WALES with NO EASY WAY OF GETTING HOME!!! (To be fair, it was good when I was there.)
On the bright side
I have the most amazing family, both chosen and blood, oh my gravy. My mum asked if she should come and stay with me for a few days, and I wish she could but guests will freak me out. Hannah has brought me anti-allergy meds and promised that she (or someone else) will come over when I get scared. Joe has come and made my kitchen less disgusting, since I couldn’t bear to look at this pan of gravy. (Click here to see a YouTube video we made a while ago of him also being a legend, helping my GISHWHES team to get 79 points. YOU WILL LOVE IT AND LAUGH.) Sven, of course, has helped me to stay in touch with you all through his dark and hilarious guest comic. I honestly don’t know how people without housing co-ops manage to function.
You are all made of amazing
Moving into the online realm: So many kind comments. So many. People who’ve been there, people who want to help, people who’ve made donations to keep me going, people who can recommend books and other resources. I just do not think there is a font big enough to express my gratitude and how asdfghjkl I am. I can’t work out how someone like me has gathered so many people who want to support me. You are all amazing.
Things I’ve done
Inspired by Sammy, I have made a wishlist on Amazon.co.uk called “Lotte can’t feel their hands“, with a couple of the books that were recommended in comments. I’m also going to try adding things that have been helping me foodwise; I’ve restarted my Graze.com deliveries, because having tasty healthy things to snack on when the nausea subsides a little is pretty much the only thing I can do without feeling mank.
There are a couple of potential guest-comickers floating about. I do very much like their ideas, but they’re busy people and I don’t like to add pressure. I will be vague and say that this comic might not be totally dead until I come back. In the mean time, I’d love to hear from anyone who fancies doing a guest comic. Both guest comics so far were made by people who don’t actually do their own comic elsewhere, so that is by no means a requirement. The thought of my comic becoming a temporary mini art gallery for anyone who wants to make people smile is a wonderful one to me. And you would, of course, get a link back to your website.
Someone’s bought some handwarmers, so I will do a mini-comic about what I spent it on, as promised. I will try to get that done by the end of the day.
I think that’s everything, really. I want to tell you that I’ll be back soon, or I’m feeling better already, or other things of that ilk. I don’t know what is going to happen, but people get better. I am assuming that I will too, even if it feels otherwise to me right now. I am mostly reeling in shock at the epic support network that has assembled itself around me and is keeping me going. Oh my gravy.
I guess we should sit here and await my superpower.
Some time ago, in the middle of a ridiculous haze caused by autistic/domestic anxiety and depression, Red found me on Facebook through the Poly in Pictures page and sent me a message asking if I’d like to read his book. He spoke of queer and polyamorous themes, and I knew he meant it. I’m not that widely read so this is probably not a reliable generalisation, but most books I’ve read that make claims like this are… how can I explain this? I find that they exaggerate. There’s books that shout HEY THERE’S QUEER STUFF HERE, AND FREE LOVE but it feels like a pretence for the sake of selling copies. It feels like the author doesn’t really know this aspect of their story. This might just be me.
For a little while Red and I lived in the same city. I somehow managed, despite my social clumsiness, to have a lot of fun with his chosen family. From my little outsidey position I thought that he lived his life openly and I liked that a lot. So when Red says that his books are queer and poly, I know he comes from a place of living the things he’s writing about.
So I said yes, I would love to read your book. And it only took me 6 months to reply!
It’s called Forget Yourself (ebook), and it’s told from the perspective of one of many people who appear in a barren wasteland with no escape and no memory at all of self or world. It is assumed that they are stranded here as a punishment for forgotten crimes. As and when people remember arbitrary social rules they are written down in a book by people who don’t know who they are and who are desperately scrabbling to define themselves by what others think is normal. Queer has just sort of happened unrestrained as defined sexuality is still forgotten, but someone’s gone and remembered monogamy. We are given this funny landscape in which heteronormativity is completely nonexistent, but non-monogamy is unthinkable.
Blondee, the narrator, loves more than one person. Her defiance of the book of rules tips everything on its head, and events unfold in a horrifying and captivating sort of a way.
Since I’m not very good at describing movies and books and things in a helpful way (according to everyone who’s said to me “so what’s [movie/book] like?”), I will just give you some bullet points.
- It reminded me a little bit of Margaret Atwood. That might just be me, though.
- I kept thinking it was about to end, and then was delighted when it didn’t. (Ebooks are a bit interesting like that. This would be impossible with a paperback, because you’re holding the pages.)
- I enjoyed the way the characters became themselves to me by their experiences and relationships, rather than having them already established. I found out who they were as they did.
- I quite like the way the author handles death.
- I was immediately drawn in to the story, and in love with some of the characters. (Frederick, and Burberry.)
- My autistic brain likes the way small sensory details are caught in the mind of the narrator.
- It unwrote bits of my brain, letting me put myself into the gaps it left.
It is so incredibly satisfying to read something genuine. These people! They have no memory of who they are, and so it seems entirely acceptable to be gender-non-conforming and sexually fluid. The only reason monogamy is even a Thing is because someone caught the edge of a broken memory of the outside world and wrote it down, and in this surreal mirror-but-not of our own social environment it’s broken apart and put back together in an accurately twisted sort of a way.
I think I love most of all the main character’s experience as she finds herself loving more than one person, and she lets her behaviour and relationships progress unrestrained. She talks about the way her co-prisoners react with hostility and assumption, which I think we can all relate to. But there is a point where she accepts that she need not be defined by others, and each relationship need not be defined by other relationships, and I love that about her. But that is not the end of the story.
In summary: read it.
The very kind purchaser of Bad Stitchuation has sent me a photo of the cross stitch in a very appropriate and striking frame on their wall! I am still very excited even though they emailed a few days ago. With their permission I share it with you now.
I am a ball of anxiety now so I don’t really feel like I can say anything much else, but I wanted to share this.
I’ve been trawling through vast tracts of depression and fingernail-vibrating anxiety, and this is one joy that I’ve seen every day when I look in the mirror. The older I get, the more beautiful I find myself, and I’m only 27. I am often afraid of the world, but when I look forward to how much more awesome I will be as I age I feel braver.
And if it’s your birthday today, or in the next six months or so, or the last six months maybe, many happy returns!