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C11P87 Principles

C11P87 Principles published on 13 Comments on C11P87 Principles

Apparently that was a step too far, Blue.

I really messed up today. Pretty much every single one of the self-care basics I screwed up. I forgot to eat until 2:30 in the afternoon, and only did so because I was getting dizzy and couldn’t figure out why. I didn’t drink nearly enough liquids, despite being sick and hacking up a lung. I didn’t take a shower or get dressed.

By the end of the day, the negative voices had started in earnest. “You’re a failure. Nobody F***ing cares, Robin. Why do you even try? You’re wasting everyone’s time. You’re just noise. It’ll never go anywhere. Your work doesn’t matter to anyone. You’ve screwed everything up. Everyone was counting on you and you made the wrong calls.”

I couldn’t understand why they were so loud. I was in a fog a good part of the afternoon. Then it hit me. I hadn’t taken care of myself at all, all day. No wonder they were so loud. I had absolutely no energy reserves available to keep them at their usual dull roar.

“Oh Pickles,” I said. “It’s okay. We’ll do better tomorrow.”

Who is Pickles? Well, a while back Dave Kellett did a series of strips starring a small purple bird named Pickles in his comic Sheldon. Pickles is trusted with a series of tasks, yet inevitably screws them up. He wasn’t cemented in my heart until the space strip. As I scrolled down, I knew that somehow, this error would be Pickles’ fault. “God d**n it, Pickles,” I said, about halfway down. I felt genuinely frustrated. Then I got to the bottom, and unbidden wailed “Oh NOOOOOOOOOOOO!” Seeing poor Pickles’ face, I couldn’t stand to be mad at him anymore.

I found myself thinking a lot about Pickles for the next several days. I was going through another depressive low, and it was lasting a while. I’d already been in it for probably a month. One day I woke up, and I just felt like a worthless screw-up from the moment I opened my eyes. I hadn’t even gotten out of bed yet, but I felt like there was no point to even bothering. “God d**n it, Pickles,” slipped out of my mouth. It wasn’t said angrily, but instead, with an odd sort of fondness. That Pickles. Always trying, never succeeding. There was something sad about that, but also wonderful.

I got out of bed. I kept trying

That day I drew this.

20160301_Pickles

I sent the image off on Twitter. Dave RT’d it, and I discovered that there were a LOT of us that felt the same way about Pickles.

One of the most frustrating parts of depression is that the things it makes me screw up seem like the most basic. What living being messes up eating, drinking water, and sleeping? Those are the prerequisites to life, right? One step down and I’d forget how to breathe. Yet those tasks can seem so impossible when I’m depressed. I have so little energy that even making the decision as to WHAT to eat, let alone assembling those components in order for me to eat them, feels just impossible.

I, like Pickles, can’t seem to get it together. I’ve got ONE JOB and I just can’t seem to DO it.

It’s easy to be mad at myself for it, but being mad doesn’t help. I don’t become more empowered to act by despising my inability to function. It just adds more guilt and self-loathing to a bucket that’s already over-flowing with those things. The best I can do is try to encourage myself. Walk myself through it. Forgive myself for failing today. Resolve to do better in the future.

It’s okay, Pickles. We’ll do better tomorrow.

Do you have an inner Pickles? What do you wish you could say to your well-meaning feathered companion when they fail?

The Wavemen IndieGoGo continues! This week, we released a new artist feature of Jackarais (THE GREAT!) and his work Bicycle Boy!

We’ve also been getting some questions about the campaign – specifically how contributions will be used, and if contributors will get rewards even if the campaign doesn’t fully fund – which we answered here:

If anybody has additional questions, just write or comment!

13 Comments

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Pakku is just not having a good day. But it’s okay, Pakku! You made friends!

I’m really glad you have something like that, Robin. You need to remember to be kind to yourself. You are your own first ally, and you deserve your own love and kind treatment. I might just pin up that picture of Pickles to remind myself of the same thing. We’re all struggling, but all we can do is try to do better next time.

Aww, Pickles! ;A; I could have sworn I’d heard of a bard-bird with the same name, though…

Seconding what Skysong said up there – remember you deserve to treat yourself well! /o

*Optional!Hugs*

“What living being messes up eating, drinking water, and sleeping? Those are the prerequisites to life, right?”
*slowly raises hand* Not just me either. Most of my online artist friends. It’s kind of a joke among us that we always have to remind each other to go eat/sleep/etc.

Logically I know it’s a pretty common problem, especially for folks with mental illness of various kinds. Still, in that moment, knowing that fact never seems to matter to me. I think dealing with it with a sense of humor is a good way to go. It’s not a laughing matter, but being able to laugh at one’s self seems a more gentle reproach than railing against one’s own failure.

A Simple Art Tutorial for drawing a surface with an irregular texture (courtesy of my failed self-care routine):

1. Run out of your anti-tremor medication.
2. Forget that you actually got a good night’s sleep and eat 10 chocolate-covered espresso beans because you couldn’t sleep for the previous 6 nights.
3. Forget to eat lunch.
4. Voila! Just hold your arm over the piece of paper and the magical combination of caffeine and low blood sugar does the work for you!!

I have dabbled in this technique, and there’s no denying the quality of the irregularity, but I’m thinking we should branch out. What if…what if we took care of ourselves and then…used…just our hands, but moved them irregularly…on PURPOSE. I think this could be a game changer for us, Kira. A game changer.

*hugs* In seriousness, I relate a lot to this cycle. We gotta take better care of ourselves. It’s important. And we’re worth being treated with kindness. Especially from our own selves.

Thanks. I’ve been struggling with depression and my own work. It’s good to know that I’m not the only one.

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