Aces Low

A post about asexuality and depression.

I’ve been curled up in my living room trying to dig my way out of a bout of mental and physical lethargy for a few days now, so since I haven’t been able to force myself to work on anything else (even other posts on this blog), I figured, hey, you know, you can do that post on depression you thought about writing months ago.

CW for suicidal thinking, med talk, and religion talk.

I suppose I haven’t mentioned it on here yet, but, yeah.  I’m mentally ill, I guess.  I’ve been taking SSRIs since October of last year (2014) for depression that I’ve had for far longer than that.  It comes and goes.

For me, going on meds turned out to be a decent idea, and I think me being ace plays a part in how that worked out.  My prescription is pretty mild, so the main side effect I’ve noticed (besides the weird adjustment period) is a drop in my sex drive — and I would have been happy if it had killed it altogether, because, as I may have mentioned before, I would trade my sex drive for a bag of potato chips.

I’m not saying that despising your own sex drive is mutually inclusive with being ace, but I do think of it as being part of my experience as an ace, and anyway, it’s nice when what would be a downside for others is a plus for me.

So that’s one thing.

The other way being ace inflects my experience with depression has to do with, for lack of a better term, coping methods.  I wouldn’t describe myself as suicidal, but then again, there are times when I have to very manually think through an explanation to myself as to why I should keep myself alive.  As in, this is an actual thought exercise for me.  It’s normal I guess but being sick in the head can make those reasons hard to come up with sometimes.

Don’t worry for me as you’re reading this, by the way.  I’m keeping myself afloat for now.

Point is, I think this informs why ideology/religion is important to me, since when everything you like and care about stops being rewarding in the immediate sense and you can’t use that as the map to steer by anymore… I just feel like you’ve got to have something else, something more than hedonism to fall back on to keep you going.  I don’t know how this works for anyone else, but I need some clarity about what’s important to me on a plane beyond pleasure/pain and what I think needs doing in the world, as well as what part of that that I don’t see many people doing and that I, personally, am necessary for.  I need to convince myself that there’s something that needs saying and unless I’m there to say it, it won’t get said.  There’s a message that needs to get out there and I have to play a part in that.  It doesn’t always have to be grand or big or reach a lot of people, but it has to be something that I’ve already worked out in my head is important to me, if any of that makes sense.

And where I’m going with this, sappy as it is, is that sometimes, the ace community plays that role for me.  I hope this doesn’t come across as excusing all its flaws, because I don’t mean it like that.  What I’m saying is that a lot of the time my talking myself into not steering my car into a ditch involves “you can’t die now because you haven’t written XYZ yet,” and sometimes XYZ is nothing more than writing angry ace essays on this blog.  I tell myself I have unfinished business, basically, and blogging may seem rather petty as far as unfinished business goes, but I typically blog about things I already attach a lot of value to, so there you go.

It’s not much, but it works.Anyway, that’s what I can think of on the subject for now.

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6 responses to “Aces Low

  • Elizabeth

    Sorry to hear you’re struggling with this. I’m glad the ace community has been able to help somewhat, flaws and all.

    “I need to convince myself that there’s something that needs saying and unless I’m there to say it, it won’t get said. There’s a message that needs to get out there and I have to play a part in that. It doesn’t always have to be grand or big or reach a lot of people, but it has to be something that I’ve already worked out in my head is important to me, if any of that makes sense.”

    I really relate to this. When I was going through a rough patch last year, that’s… pretty much what I told myself to get through it, too. Slightly different, maybe, in the sense that I was also thinking things like “this world is all there is,” but…

    You’re definitely not alone. And, as much as it may be hard to believe it sometimes, you are awesome, and your words really do make a difference. Thank you for putting them out there! :)

    (And yes, I did appreciate the title.)

  • luvtheheaven

    I’m really sorry to hear that you’ve had to deal with all of this, but thank you for being open and sharing it here. Your blog, including posts like this very one, is so important and touches so many of us in the ace community, and helps so many people in a number of ways. Thank you for doing what you do and writing all of these things — what you write really does matter. ;)

  • Klaaraa

    Yes. What you do is important. Please keep writing things of the kind you have before.

  • queenieofaces

    So…I feel you on this. I don’t have depression, but I do have really severe PTSD, and there was a period about two years ago where I was functioning so poorly that I couldn’t convince myself that it was worth taking care of myself. One of the things that kept me going was that at that time I was pretty much the only person talking about asexuality and sexual violence (Elizabeth was still on hiatus) and I knew that if I stopped fighting for that, it would just backslide into obscurity and someone would have to do all the work over again. Which, in hindsight, is a pretty minor thing to use as motivation, but, somehow, “You have to sleep today because tomorrow there might be someone who needs your help in the RFAS ask box” worked.

    So, yeah, I feel you. And I’m glad you’re sticking around to keep saying things.

  • Calum P Cameron

    Your title game is, indeed, most killer. I approve.

  • Sara K.

    Your writing sometimes makes me think about things in a different way, often a better way. Since I want to keep on improving my thinking, I hope you’ll keep on blogging.

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