It’s Saturday, here in Atlanta, and I’m in my third day at the convention.
There are a lot of people here for the con. And by a lot I mean: holy shit, how many people can you pressure-fit into 5 city blocks?
Just about all of them, as it turns out.
Still, this is about the most relaxed I’ve been at Con in years. This many bodies, all shoved in together, tends to set the brass clock of my anxiety banging away in its big, shiny bells.
I’ve been working on it.
(and no, not just by being drunk. Although, anyone who tells you alcohol doesn’t help is lying to you, or trying to sell you on some new religion that requires you to give all of your worldly possessions to the church and all dress in the same beige outfits woven from the same scratchy-assed material, while selling flowers at airports. Ok, maybe not that last bit, but you get the idea.)
No, I’ve been working on my anxiety, in multiple situations. I’m constantly practicing while amongst the crowds. It seems to be working well. But it’s also emotionally and mentally exhausting. No getting around it.
And that means, like it or not, I have to pay careful attention to my self care while I’m here.
Get away from people. From everyone. Sit down
Be quiet. Meditate if possible.
(For anxiety, I am fond of good old Mindfulness meditation. It gives you an anchor and helps you get better at returning to that anchor.)
And I was doing fine with that until last night.
I got caught up in the Con, and paid for it this morning with one of the worst migraines I’ve had this year.
The ghost of it is still clawing at my brains.
Hard way to learn that lesson, but it’s a lesson I’m not likely to forget, for sure and for certain.
I haven’t met anyone you’d consider famous, but I did get to meet and speak with an author whose work I enjoy.
(Laura Ann Gilman, by the way. And quite by accident. Sometimes you get lucky. Still looking to meet Myke Cole and Richard Kadrey. Weekend’s not over yet.)
Something about the “fan” thing I don’t understand. I like that I can meet people whose writing I admire, but I know we’re not friends. I just want to thank them for the work. Tell them I appreciate it. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to pick their brains, but failing that, what is there to do?
And somewhere, in the dark, cobwebbed recceses of my brain, a tiny voice whispers, “that’s just the anxiety talking,” but it’s loud as hell at this Con, and that voice gets drowned out more than I’d like.
Did I mention there are several metric tons of bodies here? Seriously, like 80-90k today alone. All of them making noise.
And so, I have to try to focus.
Even something as simple as pecking out this post on my phone helps.
Take your therapy where you can get it, is all I’m saying.
I’m not sure where I was going with this. Hell, I didn’t think about where it was headed when I sat down to write. Maybe I got there, maybe not.
Either way, time to head back into the fray.
Until next time…