When I first heard about the concept of post-con depression, the idea made a lot of sense. We have a massive community of people who meet each other over sites like Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, and various furry art hubs. These groups of people travel across or fly over states, countries or in some cases continents and oceans to see these online friends possibly once a year for a weekend, if that.
That’s already bittersweet.
Continue reading Looking at post-con depression through a lens of literary theory
Have you ever tried to delineate your past into phases? And not necessarily based on school. I mean, school and work do tend to serve as markers for a lot of our perception of time, and it seems almost habitual that we use them to mark out the periods in our lives. When I grew up, you went to preschool to prepare for kindergarten, which prepared you for elementary school. Fifth grade prepared you for middle school, and eighth grade for high school. Naturally, your senior year of high school prepared you for college, which prepared you for work, which helped you towards retirement, which seemed to be the best bit of all. Four years old, five, eleven, fourteen, eighteen, twenty-two, sixty-five.
When I was growing up, it all seemed right and natural. Right up until half way through my fifth-grade year, when I had just turned eleven. My parents had divorced when I was very young, and I’d spent my years up until that point living primarily with my mom. It was decided, though, once I left elementary school, that I would go live with my dad. That threw a wrench into the idyllic progression of years: where my dad lived, elementary school was kindergarten through sixth grade, not fifth, and middle school was replaced with junior high school.
If I were feeling particularly cheeky, I could blame most of this article on the turmoil caused by early recognition that, in River Tam’s words, “day” is a vestigial mode of time measurement based on solar cycles, and really this was just all made up to make the paperwork easier. (I don’t, however, think that would give me a pass from the fact that I spent seven years in university, rather than four. That’s all on me.)
Continue reading Editorial: On Friends
Three years ago, on September 6th, a friend of mine passed away.
I’d not really had all that much exposure to death before that, if I’m honest. My step-adoptive-grandfather died when I was fairly young, and all I really remember out of that was the funeral, and inheriting a small medal he’d won from Colorado State University, something about soil science and geology. After that, I had dream after dream about what winning that medal must’ve been like, walking through some grand oaken hall to receive a pewter medal on a velvet pillow. That I later attended CSU, and that CSU had no oaken halls as in my dreams, always left me vaguely disappointed.
Other than that, my brush with mortality was limited to my grandmother, who passed some time later. The unfortunate part of her passing was that, for years before, she had been deep in a mire of dementia that left her a pallid shadow of her former self. From her, I remember that a lot of our final interactions were beset by confusion, frustration, and tears. “You’re [my mom]’s son, right?” she asked in the airport. She repeated the question seven or eight times, being sure, each time, to comfort herself that the person pushing her wheelchair was someone known to her.
My mom and I had flown out to see her as she got settled into a final stage of her life in Charlotte, North Carolina. My mom flew out to see her one more time before she died, but, after a long talk, it was decided that I would stay home. “I can’t handle it. I can’t be in that role again,” I pleaded, and my mom let me stay with my dad while she flew out of town.
Continue reading Editorial: On Words
And now comes the time when I have to write a very important, rather personal article. Again.
I can see you all bracing yourselves already. “Oh no, here goes Makyo…”
Continue reading Directions
When I was asked to become a regular contributor to [adjective][species], I couldn’t have been more excited. I had been following the site for quite some time, and I thought its approach to discussing the furry fandom was something interesting, unique and long overdue. Thinking about this fandom as a society, a segment of the population the same as any other, elevates the way we think about ourselves, legitimizes our little section of the Internet, encourages us to take ourselves a bit more seriously than we do. I was excited to be a part of that conversation.
So I sat down and thought up a good post that would serve as an icebreaker between us. This was right around Thanksgiving, so I thought using an anecdote I had heard about the first time the Native Americans had encountered the Europeans would work. It would segue into a rumination on perspective, and how we only find the things in the world that we look for. There were some kinks to work out, but I thought it would be a good thing to open our relationship with. With you in mind, dear reader, I opened up a new document and started writing.
Continue reading When Your Mind Betrays You
Every now and then, it’s important to take a step back and gain a little bit of perspective. It sounds cliché, of course, and there are a lot of people in my life I can imagine scoffing at the type of post I’m about to write, if not that very phrase itself. In fact, there are plenty of other posts that I have in the docket, but they can wait for another time, and I hope you’ll begrudge me a fluff post while I gain my perspective. Also, a trigger warning for some brief but frank discussion of suicide, and excessively sentimental foxes.
Continue reading Adding Structure to Life
Most people are familiar with feelings of isolation and loneliness. Loneliness can lead to feelings of depression.
It’s worse if you are young. It takes a long time to become happy with yourself, if that is ever fully achievable. Most of us experience personal growth as we age. If you don’t like yourself, which is much more likely if you are young, it’s easy to assume that you’re somehow at fault for being lonely.
It’s worse if you are male. Men are more prone to depression and suicide. It’s believed that this is biological.
It’s worse if you have an unusual sexuality or gender identity. Someone who doesn’t fit into society’s mainstream will often find themselves marginalized. This adds stress to day-to-day activities, possibly a feeling of ‘being judged’ or feeling outcast.
Furries fit the description of a high-risk group for depression. We’re young (median age 22 [ref]); male-dominated (80% [ref]); unusual sexualities (69% self-report as ‘not heterosexual’ [ref]) and genders (26% self-report as neither completely male nor female [ref]).
Continue reading A Rough Guide to Loneliness