Con-drop

drop

According to the powerful Internet, con-drop “is a physiological reaction that often has emotional or psychological symptoms. Essentially, it’s the endorphins and other happy chemicals your body has been spewing out the last 3-5 days drying up. It’s the crash after the high.”

This feeling applies to huge events like Comic-Con in San Diego or something smaller like a local book fair. I went to Cleveland Concoction this weekend: a big geek fest featuring movies, comics, books, and cosplay. I was one of the featured authors, which meant I spoke on panels, signed books, and mingled for two days straight.

Contrary to what you might think based on my ravings, I am actually an extrovert. I’ll talk to anyone about anything. I actually approach strangers. I’m, like, charismatic and shit (I’ve been told).

However, in the opinion of my therapist, I’m an introverted extrovert. In other words, no matter how much of a social butterfly I am, being a social butterfly sucks the very life out of me.

I’m beginning to think this is both literal and figurative because not only am I thoroughly depressed today and basically unable to do anything, I also feel physically ill. I slept twelve hours and am still tired. I have a sore throat and headache. I’ve been sick off and on for months, so I’m frustrated to be SICK again, but there’s nothing to be done. I spread myself too thin at Concoction. I literally networked myself into a physical and emotional coma.

Con-drop is a thing that happens to many convention attendees (especially the introverted ones). The energy at conventions is so high, and you have to be constantly on your game because someone is always watching. People are talking to you or you’re speaking in front of a room-full of people. Then, there’s the bar mingling and NSFW panels at 10 PM that pretty much require you never, ever rest.

I feel freaking terrible today.

I’m glad I went to Concoction. I always have a great time, and I get to see all my nerd friends. It’s wonderful … but this is a reminder of why I don’t do very many conventions. In the beginning, with the release of Bite Somebody, I traveled all over the place for promo. Now, I do two or three events a year because I literally can’t take anymore.

The depression is back so hard right now, and I feel so sick. Why does one late night give me a terrible cold? Why does a weekend of excitement, fun, and yeah, high pressure, make me so very sad? Does anyone out there know how to fix con-drop? I’d love to know how to heal myself this week.

Bad reviews

review

There’s a book reviewer who goes out of her way to say mean things about my work. She spends her own hard-earned cash in order to buy my novels and then, rip me apart online.

I find this all very confusing.

I’m not only a writer but also a reader, which means I’m reading all the time. If I start reading a book and don’t like it, I put it down because I don’t have time to read a book I don’t like. There are too many other wonderful, beautiful books out there waiting for me. They scream my name in dreams. (“Read us, Sara. Reeeeead us!”) Why waste time on a book that doesn’t tickle your fancy when there are so many books that might?

Beyond the time spent reading, she takes thoughtful time to write terrible things about me as a writer and as a person, and it all just seems like so much work. Why does she punish herself with negativity? Why does she upset herself on purpose?

I say I think this is confusing, but maybe I don’t.

Isn’t this what we’re looking for when we scan through Twitter or the national news? There is so much annoying shit out there; it’s like we actively go looking for it. We can’t wait to respond with a scathing comment to something that annoys us, angers us, offends us …

Isn’t this what we do when we gossip? Especially as a woman, I know I love a good gossip fest. It’s fun digging into other people—pointing out their flaws—because then, I can avoid my own.

“I might not be perfect, but look at her.”

“My marriage is tough sometimes, but we’re better than that couple.”

“Did you see the article he posted on Facebook? I can’t believe he thinks like that.”

It’s so easy to fixate on the negative. My therapist says it’s easy to be depressed; getting better is difficult. She also likes to remind me (especially when I tumble into negative self-talk), “We all think we aren’t good enough.” And that emotion manifests itself in many ways, whether through our online presence or day-to-day conversations or even our own internal monologues.

I made a promise to myself years ago: don’t read bad reviews. They don’t do anything but bring me down. They make the work suffer, because bad reviews make me question myself and if I’m worthy of creating. I am aware of the book reviewer who hates my work (and seemingly hates me by proxy), but I don’t actually read her reviews. Friends have read them and shout their frustrations, but I won’t allow myself a detailed study of everything that’s “wrong” with me.

It’s easy to avoid the one-star reviews on Goodreads. It’s not so easy to do in real life. It’s difficult to avoid the gossip, comparisons, and negative self-talk. If only a warning light blinked right before an annoying tweet or a destructive conversation. I’m not suggesting blinders; I am suggesting we all act a little nicer to other people and ourselves.