I've been sitting on this one for a while, but I'm finally in a place where I feel like I can/should post it.
So I figure I should make a real post about where i've been. Oh sure I've been posting book reviews about great graphic novels, but nothing about libraries in over a year and I'm sure one or two of you might be wondering where I've been (or well the bots at least are wondering where I've been.)
I've been dealing with anxiety and depression. It's something that I can say I've probably always had, but last year it became a monster. It's not an easy thing to write or to say. It affected all areas of my life, both personal and work. I found myself for a time walking into some place and immediately wanting to hide under a desk. Or just not wanting to leave the comfort/covers of my bed. It ate at me, it sapped my energy, and it drained my passion for being a librarian....and that's something that's hard to admit. I love what I do, but it was hard to show it over the last year, and even now still is. I've slowly been working my way back to figuring out what it is that I'm excited about with being a librarian and in the last couple of months I've started to regain my passion and my love for being a librarian.
I write this post because like others have noticed, the great Josh Neff and Andy Woodsworth for instance, that we often seem afraid of talking about depression and anxiety in public. That it's something to be afraid of. And I realized recently that even though I acknowledge it...I'm still afraid of it. And I'm tired of being afraid of it. I have it, I'm working on living with it, it makes my life miserable at times, but it's a part of me. And I will not let it win.
I'm not going to talk about what triggered it, it doesn't matter. What I will talk about is that I'm grateful for the friends, both face to face and virtual, that stood by me, offered their support and advice, and more importantly the ones that kicked me in the butt when I needed it and gave me several hard truths.
So what will the future hold? Obviously I'm going to continue to struggle with depression and anxiety, likely always will. But day by day, with the encouragement of friends, I'm kicking myself in the butt and moving forward with my life. I've been working on the UX Certificate Program from LibraryJuice (on month 4 of 6 at the moment) and in the Spring I'll be starting the Advanced Certificate Program in Data Studies from the iSchool at Syracuse University. I'm still reading a lot and I'm working art back into my life again. And beyond that...the future is open.