Author: Clare

Author of dark fiction. Librarian. Intergalactic hitwoman. Horror Writers Association member. Keep it weird.

Climbing out of the downward spiral

I have to say, being on Prozac has helped dramatically. I was originally prescribed five (!) different meds, but am now down to just one. I don’t even have to take Buspar for anxiety. Relief!

NOW! On to the truth about how I got on these in the first place: depression and anxiety go hand in hand for many people, and I was no exception. I had the occasional zing of anxiety, but it got much worse over the past two years or so.

I was in a pretty good place up until then, publishing regularly, writing daily, traveling, just enjoying life…until I heard about my cousin, Darryl.

Well, first, I felt a horrific pang of dread one night during Mardi Gras. It got worse during the night, so much so that I got up and cried in the bathroom. I had no idea what was wrong, but this happened to me several times before when someone close to me died.

The next morning, I got the call from Dad: Darryl, my cousin, had committed suicide.

How many of you have had a terrible feeling that someone died, and it turned out to be true?

Like me, Darryl had to take care of a sick parent. Like me, he didn’t take it so well when their illness took over. I knew how he felt. I went through the same thing with my mom, so seeing him so upset over his dad really got to me.

This and several other issues led him to take his life. But why was I given this flash of dread? Was it to warn me? Make me try to reach out to him?

I still don’t really know, and I’m still trying to make peace with it.

Losing my grandfather was also a real blow, and seeing my grandmother slide further into dementia isn’t easy, either.

But, this is life. You lose people you love and you go forward and do the best you can. It is nice to know, though, that there is a nice little pill I can pop until I work out all this yuckyness–and something that helps me focus on my writing and work.

Prozac and Buspar: A Love Story

Ah, the crazy creative stereotype. I know that by chatting with some folks on Twitter, many of us are not immune to it. I’ve talked to plenty of other writers who suffer from mental illness. I’m one of them.

It’s hard to write, but it’s a part of me. Anxiety is a real bitch, and so is depression. It’s gotten to the point where it’s tough to manage with just diet, exercise and GABA supplements, so off to the psychiatrist I went, merrily (?) trotting into the building to see what he could prescribe for the panic attacks I was having that jolted me out of a dead sleep.

To put things rather bluntly, the past few months have been tricky to navigate. And I haven’t been writing or painting lately.

I loaded myself up with extra work late last year, and my left eyelid started twitching to the point where it was completely CLOSING shut. I was told it was a combination of eye strain, stress, and caffeine.

Really? That’s the story of my life.

So it went on non-stop. And I was afraid people were taking notice.

I went to the eye doctor and he jabbed me with 3 CCs of Botox. Botox. Yes. It was bizarre. But I have to say, it worked. I felt really strange going into the clinic and saying I’d do it–here I am, sneaking up on 40, but I have no concern for wrinkles (I don’t care, and I’m not judging you if you do)–I just wanted my damn eyelid to stop twitching.

There are many, many family things going on as well, but I won’t get into all of them. The saddest is that my brother will be leaving after he finishes his PhD. I’m happy for him. I left after I finished my degree, and he should, too. The world needs someone like him, his genius, his creativity, and his strange sense of humor. I will miss him, though. Luckily, he’ll be a short flight away.

Our dear friends also left to move up north. I’m also happy for them, but will miss them dearly. Luckily, Mardi Gras will be calling them back…

I’m at a crossroads with career things, too. The next few months will decide my next steps in life. Should be interesting.

I was on a few pills back in the day: Lexapro, Wellbutrin, Ambien, and Buspar…the only thing that worked was the Buspar. So he prescribed that for panic attacks, and Prozac for depression.

It is still not easy to admit, and it’s not easy to *take* this stuff, because that puts the writing on the wall: I’m nuts. I’m not thrilled about being on it. But I would be thrilled if I could just get my creativity back. I’m not so sure I believe medication drains your creativity. I suppose I’ll let myself find out as time goes on and my affair with meds goes deeper.

The medication is helping, I think.

Hell, I even wrote a little and painted a little last night. Is that what life is about? I had forgotten.

Anxiety: a True Story

Perhaps you were waiting for me to finish my horror movie lists, perhaps you were not. Either way, I’ve been neglecting writing altogether. That’s because I’ve been neglecting my health, and it caught up to me.

Allow me to vent for a moment. I’ve had anxiety for as long as I can remember. I was first diagnosed with general anxiety disorder at age 22, and it has waxed and waned throughout my life. It always peaks around the holidays. That’s because I run the risk of running into my attackers from childhood, so I generally stay out of town or just hide out this time of year. Works wonders.

This time around, though, I’ve been having nightly panic attacks, chest pains, eyelid twitching and general pain. The problem with me and physical symptoms is that I often ignore them. Not good, I know. So, I am taking time off of work, scheduling doctor’s appointments, and doing other things to lessen my anxiety.

The only thing I can tell you is that if you suffer from anxiety, you’re not alone. Make sure to eat well and exercise (that’s one of the best things for me, honestly, and my gym is only a mile away!), and most importantly, surround yourself with good people. I’m fortunate to have a wonderful, understanding partner and the family I do keep around is very loving.

Anyway, I’ll be writing the horror movie posts soon–any time is a good time to watch horror flicks, not just Halloween. ūüėČ

Stay spooky and healthy.

xoxo

Clare de Lune’s Fave Horror Films, Part 1

Just in time for Halloween! I’ll be sharing some film gems¬†over the next few days, so if you haven’t seen any of these, give them a view and let me know what you think. I *love* talking horror, so don’t be shy.

I’ll have a few more lists coming up: favorite gory movies, favorite B movies, favorite classic horror, and hopefully a lot more.

Now, I don’t want any of you to get all butt hurt and say things like “but that was so cheeeeesy” or “but that was so baaaaad”–I know, okay? This is just a matter of opinion. There are *so* many horror movies I love, but these hold a special place in my (dark) heart. Here they are, in no particular order:

Phantasm

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A very tall undertaker turns dead people into wild dwarf zombies so they can turn things EVIL.

This movie has a cool hearse¬†and a ’71 Barracuda. What more do you want? Flying driller balls and tiny demonic humanoids? Okay.

I’ve seen this movie countless times and it never ceases to weird me out. It has many redeeming atmospheric qualities and the concept is interesting.

Hellraiser

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Frank is resurrected by the Cenobites from an alternate dimension you probably don’t want to visit, and the only thing that will make him whole again is more BLOOD!

I know it is cliche, but this movie still gives me the chills every time I watch it. I know it’s not one of Barker’s faves, but the story behind is it¬†so good. Speaking of stories, you should definitely check out¬†The Hellbound Heart, which is the basis for¬†Hellraiser.

Candyman

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A graduate student investigates the urban legend of Candyman, but struggles to maintain her sanity. Quit looking in the mirror and saying his name, Helen. Damn you!

I just have a thing¬†for Clive Barker, okay? The part that freaked me out the most was when the main character wakes up in the bathroom drenched in blood, and there is screaming in the background. How horrifying to think you’ve committed a crime you didn’t commit!

Basketcase

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It’s hard to come up with a tag line that doesn’t spoil the film…Kevin has an interesting secret in this basket he carries around, and it’s not laundry.

I think this ranks high up there in my all-time faves, just because the concept is so bizarre. You think you have siblings with problems? Think again.

The Brood

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I admit that I had not seen this film until about 10 years ago, when my father found it in the dollar bin at Wal-Mart and mailed it to me (along with The Howling 2, another guilty pleasure) as a Christmas present. And what a joyous Christmas that turned out to be.

Apparently, soon after she found out she was pregnant with me, my mother dragged my father to the theater when this gem was originally released, and he said he had nightmares about me becoming some hellion child.

Look what happened, dad.

***

What, you think I’m done? I have a lot more faves coming, so stay tuned. And Happy Halloween season!

Dat Flood

If you follow my Twitter, you may have noticed that the Great Flood of 2016 hit my hometown of Port Vincent. It’s been an emotional week. It’s heartbreaking to see all these landmarks and homes underwater, completely ravished by Mother Nature. I have friends and family who have lost everything. This week has been filled with trips down to Port Vincent and Denham Springs to deliver supplies and to check on loved ones.

How anyone can say global warming is a myth after all this crazy weather is beyond me–if you still believe that, shame on you.

My dad lost power and his cell phone battery died. I wasn’t able to get in touch with him, so I used Facebook to contact people to ride down in boats to go check on him. I can’t say how thankful I am that those people took the time and effort to do so. Our community is amazing.

I have to say, though, that we were lucky. Even though I reside in New Orleans now, my childhood home is in Port Vincent, and my dad lives there. Lots of memories in that house. I am still in complete shock, but extremely grateful that the house did not get *any* water in it whatsoever. The Old Beer Box, a neighborhood bar that is situated in front of our house, had waist-deep water in it. I do not know how our house didn’t get flooded. Maybe my dad did some sort of voodoo ritual. Maybe the house is guarded by an angel. I don’t know. But I’m thankful.

I’ll try to post some pictures here soon. Right now, it’s still making me ill looking at flooded places around Port Vincent.

Needless to say, this has been the first time I’ve written anything other than an email in two weeks. But I’m determined to get back to it. There’s lots to write. And especially since Black Feathers Falling is set in Louisiana, I need to do the story and its setting some justice. Living here is bittersweet, and the story will reflect that.