Untidy Towns



I finally decided what to call my personal zine series that will be released throughout the next 10 years. When I turned 30, suddenly I wanted to document my daily life, experience, understanding… I wanted a record of my thoughts and the minor changes that bring me through everything that would defeat me. I wanted a pathetically honest account, coming from someone who easily lies to herself about her condition. I knew there would be secrets and imposter thoughts planted throughout anything I wrote, but I still wanted to keep track of it all.

Then, at the end of 2015, my first 30 year, I compiled six months of selected writings and made them into a zine.

I didn’t know what to call this zine. I half-heartedly titled it There is No Thread, subtitle Learned Insecurity. It works, sort of, but I knew I wouldn’t want to keep that. There is No Thread isn’t me, it’s just an observation I made about how much my storytelling connects.

I read somewhere that I have a personality disorder, so my suffering is more than “just depression” (though not to imply having depression by itself is weak or lesser than complementing it with another illness). I’ve gone so many years living the way that I do and thinking nothing of it: all that mattered was that there was sadness. Sadness is a thing to focus on, and the identity as a depressed person has carried me through a lot in my life. This is one of those things, though, where you read more about who you really are and  suddenly everything clicks. Suddenly you find yourself sitting on the floor in the corner of the room laughing, a piece of paper in your hand shouting the truths you never knew to tell. Of course! Of course that’s what it is. Of course that’s what is going on. The way I am, I am not emotionally erratic. I’m not the crazy person they want me to think I am. There’s an explanation for this!

I’ve been using exciteshroom as a username because it sounds so fun (I also sometimes use mopeshroom). Both mushrooms come from the Monster Hunter video game series. It’s a coincidence now that exciteshrooms happen to be a gamble. You don’t know what will happen if you eat one: defense up? stamina infinite? or maybe you’ll lose half of your health.

It occurred to me that this is what it’s like to be me. I don’t know what will happen day-to-day. I don’t know when I’ll be sad or happy or angry, I don’t know if I’ll be able to be honest with myself (or others), I don’t know where my thoughts will bring me. I don’t know if I’ll be able to hold stable control over myself. I don’t know if I’ll cry. Lots of people are like this, and they might understand the metaphor of the exciteshroom better than others: a dosage of who-knows-what’s to come.