I've been on a low dose of Prozac for the last five weeks now.
It's still too early to tell if it's made a huge difference, but I can say one thing for certain: Life isn't quite as dark as it was five weeks ago.
I used to sit down and cry for an hour when my husband left for work because I couldn't cope with the idea of being responsible for a toddler hurricane on my own. I haven't done that for five weeks. I'm also not as brittle, or angry, or nervous. I haven't thrown anything across the room, except once when I was PMSing, and I'm always a hormonal monster in that way.
All those relentless thoughts of how ugly/useless/annoying/talentless I am? Much quieter. Still very insecure, but I think that's a character attribute, not a depression thing. Similarly, I'm still having some organization problems. I'm pretty sure that's because I'm a scatterbrain.
It's not all sunshine and daisies, of course. I'm still low on energy, but that's probably because I go to bed at midnight and wake up with my son at 7am. It's also really hard catching up on everything I fell behind on during the worst part of the depression--I still can't bring myself to look at some things.
But I'm actually opening my email when I receive it. I'm not having routine breakdowns. I did my laundry for the first time in about a month.
I might need a higher dose, or more time. I'll talk to my doctor. But it's definitely a start.
It's now been about five months since I quit my Real Job to embark on the "stay at home writer" trail, which is my lifelong dream. A couple people asked for updates, so I'm happy to tell you guys that it's going great (depression, disorganization, and delays aside).
Staying at home has primarily improved three things: Firstly, and most importantly, if I can't write, it's because I'm spending time with my son. And time spent with him is never, ever a waste. Secondly, it cleared out a lot of mental clutter--all the stress from having a job I didn't really care about is gone, as well as the unpleasant exercise in face-stabbing that was multiple useless meetings a week. So I can zone out and think about writing much more.
Finally, even though I don't really have more time to write/edit (because of the Helpful Toddler's need for, you know, his mommy), I've become much more efficient. Clearing out mental clutter, stress, and time wasters is huge. I think I'm going to publish one more book this year than I originally scheduled! Which is good news for everyone. :)
When I quit my job in April, it was coming off a good March--my best month at the time, in fact. I went from earning $1000-$2000 a month to earning over $5000 that month on about 2500 units sold (whoa!!). That's really much too soon to be quitting a cushy job with benefits, and I didn't expect to keep selling like that, but it was inspirational.
Since then, I've beat March not once, but twice. I sold about 5000 books EACH in July and August. That... that is a lot of books. (It took me about a year to sell my first 10k.) My baseline has gone from earning $1000-$2000 a month to more like $2000-$5000 (although I earned much more in July and August). I hit iReaderReview's Top 100 indies list for July, and I think I would have hit it for last month too if I sent them my numbers.
I'm not saying this to brag or anything. Frankly, none of this is about me, or anything special I've done. I am not unusually clever or talented. I'm saying this partially because I think that spreading information is helpful to everyone thinking about getting into publishing--I'm not a bestseller, but I'm a someseller, and you don't have to be Amanda Hocking to make a living.
Mostly, I'm saying this because I want to thank you guys. Those numbers don't come out of thin air. Unlike my government job, the numbers aren't funded by taxpayers. The numbers don't come out of my desktop printer, or my word processor. (It would be cool if they did though, huh?) It doesn't come from a major publishing company and their accountants.
All those books shifted are because of you guys. The readers.
You click on that button to download my books, and you change my life every day. Better yet, you change my son's life. Because of you, my toddler gets to have his mommy home with him when he needs me the most. I can afford my prescription of Prozac. (It takes four sales to buy the generic. Just FYI.) My husband and I can focus more of our time on spending time together, not working. You let me afford to buy whole fruit for my baby. You put the gas in my car that carries my baby and I to my family's house so he can be close to distant relatives in a way I did not enjoy as a child.
It's all you guys. I have no expectations about the future, but I'm humbled to know that about 25,000 books of mine have been purchased by readers just like you. You're going on this journey with me, with Rylie, with Elise and James--and you have made my life so, so much better for it. You're helping me live the dream.
So, basically, thanks. :) And happy reading.
(PS: Damnation Marked is coming out next week!)