I’ve decided to make this a public post, for the sake of raising more awareness on how damaging poor mental health can be to someone. If you find any of it distressing, please forgive me, and if you are open to talking please comment. The hardest thing about mental illness is that it’s incredibly difficult to communicate, and I believe we can only get better at this by trying; if you have any thoughts or feelings on this, I’d love to hear from you.
This post is about hope, or more, me trying for hope. I haven’t been feeling very hopeful at all these last few weeks, but I’m trying now to find more pieces to what feels like a very messy head.
To get the bad stuff over with: I’ve been paranoid, to the point I’ve isolated myself from everyone and given up on the thought that I’m not perceived as some kind of freak; I’ve only thought about negatives and dwindled in a cycle of self-loathing, while the world moves on. I’ve shunned anyone who has told me that if I want to talk, they’re there for me, because I wouldn’t know where to begin and I struggle to get past the thought that there isn’t a person worth talking to behind these eyes.
I like the idea of the heart being a bond between others, but if anything I’ve been running away from my own heart, scared by the thought of feeling more alone than I already do. I haven’t enjoyed much these last few weeks, and I have to remind myself to eat and get outside to breath fresh air.
As I said, though, this post is about hope. I’m trying to find peace, however that comes, by doing the little things right again. I rearranged my bedroom, I bought some new clothes, and I picked up my guitar for the first time in months, because I never used to worry what I was going to play. Things I never used to worry about that I stopped doing, basically. And while I can’t face trying to make amends with everyone I tried to hide from, I’m here talking on the blog I started with my best friend many years ago.
I always used to be scared of people, because since as long ago as I can remember I’ve struggled to relax when I’m around lots of people. I tended to play out adventures in my own head growing up. I taught myself to read and draw and play music and play videogames and write fiction in my spare time, because through those outlets I didn’t feel exposed or out of breath, and eventually people began to talk to me about these things I enjoyed doing. I learnt to get used to other people and talk back, but it’s never been easy. When my mood drops, I hide.
Except I’ve never been able to hide from HH. Soppy as it is, we promised each other that we would always listen if the other had something to say, and even when I’ve tried to reject him he’s stuck by me- I can condemn myself all I want, but I’ve never been able to entirely give up on HH. I’m not sure what that says about either of us. We made a promise, I think because we felt that’s what friends should do, and for my part the conversations we end up having are still something very much worth sticking around for.
It’s easy to think that everyone else has it easier when you’re struggling alone. No one is perfect, and no one has all the answers, no matter how much they might try to convince you. We are just as stupid as everyone else; just as capable, just as endearing, just as easy to break or to trust.
What we decide is what we do with that. For me, I’m trying to live happy again, because I hit a dead end living alone. I’m trying to be W again. Being W worked, mostly.
It’s worth a shot. Stay tuned.
This is a short(ish) commentary piece from the two authors of this blog, so feel free to skip it if you’re here purely for the delicious nonsensical ramblings/action- we’re going to explain a few things that aren’t explicitly stated, such as what a Twili is, and…you are going to read this now right?
As you can see, we’re still here after 159 posts! I’m kinda surprised we’ve kept it going for this long; it started out mostly as an excuse to imagine what we’d do if we could be fictional characters, and for the most part we still try to be as true to our own thoughts as possible. If W has an opinion on something, I’m usually giving my own. That we’ve done this every month for over two years now, and used barely half the ideas we thought about from the start, is just a little bit awesome.
I’m sure it’s changed us as writers- we’re trying new things more, anyway, such as the colored text and multiple perspectives. W (to me) is steadily developing into his own character, which is cool, as I’ve never written something for so long without getting distracted. It probably shows in W’s sporadic- and often abrupt -changes. Since the beginning, I’ve struggled to decide exactly what I think he should be, which can’t be great for the reader. Thank Ned HH has us covered in terms of sheer consistency (and the ability to patiently adapt to every new incarnation of Womble I’ve thrown him these past two years).
It’s both a relief and a worry that W is now officially a Twili. I can’t change that now without distorting my own idea of what a Twili is, which would mean screwing with my favorite videogame franchise of all time (The Legend of Zelda). It’d be like HH changing the definition of something intrinsically Whovian; as infinite as the universe may well be, there’s little chance that is ever going to happen! But I do love tinkering. That’s pretty much one of the reasons why we started writing this blog…
To clarify, I’m borrowing the Twili race from Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda series, specifically The Twilight Princess. That game introduced the Twili, a race of cursed outsiders who invade the land of Hyrule and cover the land in perpetual twilight. Their princess Midna, a capricious little imp with cracking dialogue and a multitude of cool powers, is one of gaming’s finest characters- acerbic, bossy, and the most perfect foil to the series’ silent protagonist yet. I’ve always wanted to know what happens to her after the game’s ending, and this blog is a fine excuse to muse openly about it. It’s rather unfortunate that the Twili race happen to (somewhat suspiciously…) resemble vampires, considering the name, but to hell with it.
As the characters have grown, I’ve also found it tricky deciding when or when not to be serious. Life isn’t always fun and games; in terms of being semi-autobiographical, occasionally I wonder if I should reflect that more in W’s posts by exploring a potentially grim past. On the other hand, this blog is meant to be fun. If HH is the thinker, W is the clown, so maybe it’s for the best that I can’t decide how to convey a more emotional side. So long as we stay inspired, we’ve got all the time in the world to find out.
I got the role of Thinker – Ned help us all. Womble has just admitted that for all to see, which concerns a man who doesn’t believe swans can fly. I don’t doubt their ability, I’ve just never seen them doing it. They’re a bit like ghosts in that respect. I’ve yet to witness one, but the instant some ethereal phantom wrapped in chains approaches the foot of my bed, I’m happy to throw my hands up and admit I was wrong. I end up doing that quite a lot – much like I continuously end up going off on tangents. I’ll do my best to stay on target, here.
So, Womble decided on a solid idea for his back story. I can’t say I mind, either way. Having him reinvent himself every now and then, he was behaving slightly more like a regenerating Timelord than my long coat clad self. (To those interested, yes I do own a long coat and it’s my intention to bring them back into every day fashion. A plan which is half working because now whenever I see somebody else wearing one I either want to shake their hand or tell them to get off my turf.)
There’s not much to say beyond HH being a Timelord. Most people have watched Doctor Who or know enough about it. Even if they haven’t, they’ve probably picked up the general Gallifrey vibe from my created chronic complainer. I’m not entirely sure why I made HH so pessimistic because I don’t consider myself to be. To say I use HH as a conduit to flood with all my negativity would be unkind, untrue and incredibly over dramatic. Besides, that’s why I play Grand Theft Auto.
No, HH isn’t my way of emotional release. We do share similar ideas and opinions, but he’s far too downcast to be a true reflection. I just consider that someone who’s been alive as long as he has, over a millennium alive ladies and gentlemen, would have a reason to grumble. But I won’t deny that the blog is a form of escapism for me, like most writers. We construct these written worlds because the real one just isn’t enough sometimes. No-one hates reality more than an artist. I wish I could travel through space and time, seeing all there is to see and – beware the God Complex – be considered a hero. I feel that a lot of us would like to be thought of as a hero, even if we don’t admit it. Others want to be villains. I would, I can even do a convincingly deep voice, but can never take myself that seriously. I’m the one who wants to stand in the way, making up quips. Thus, HH does it all the time.
Plus, taking into account our adventure through Rapture, most of you may have deduced we are shameless fanboys. ‘Escapism’ doesn’t really cover it when we could go literally anywhere. Everything’s in one parallel universe, after all.
Like Womble, this is also the longest writing project I’ve ever partaken in – spanning a good two years, no less. Nothing I’ve written before or since has lasted this long. I tend to enjoy writing beginnings because you can literally go anywhere with it, but then get bored when I have to concentrate on a focused narrative. How I managed to create a backstory for a man with 13 faces still surprises me. HH has come a long way since he crashed onto Brighton pier and gave a bag of chips to a mysterious man. And I like to think he’s got an even longer way to go. We’ve yet to meet any Daleks, after all. And I call him a Timelord.
I wouldn’t go so far as to say the world needs HH & W, but I think I need them. Everyone needs an outlet of some kind. We just happened to pick a big one.
A whole damn universe to play with.