As I start diving into the meat of Yellow, the finale to my trilogy on Depression, it's an emotional experience. Not only did this whole thing start as a short drabble about a sad kid staring at the sky, but as Conner's grown, so have I.
And it's weird to grow up at the same time as your characters.
When I was a troubled, depressed teen, I was in the throes of writing Blue. When Conner was hiding in his room, trying to hide his pain from people he loved, I was in my room doing the same thing by writing about Conner. I finished his story when I was a kid in a slightly better placed, just turned 19 and hoping that his story could make other people like me feel real and heard.
And then I started Red, when I was 22 and he was 19. But it was close enough, between us. I was going through the ups and downs of recovery, and so was he. We dealt with it differently, but I understood him. Anyway, I graduated college and he didn't go, so we were at least both in that post-school, bizarre floating period that not nearly enough people talk about and we understood each other. I worked through my anger and all the other emotions that my pain overrode, and I helped him work through his.
Now, here we are at Yellow, at the ripe age of 24 together. The worst of the depression is gone, we're medicated, we're taking care of ourselves, and we're finally finding ways to move forward with our lives. Not just to exist, but to thrive. It's not something people expect of people like us, so its hard to go far.
But together, I want us to go far. I want him to let go of the lingering pain, self-doubt, and hatred left in his bones and move forward. Because i want to do that.
Going through Conner's journey with him has let me show all the shades of recovering and coping with Depression, not just pain before death or diagnosis. That's not who we all are. We don't stop existing or stop having stories because we get diagnosed. If anything, that's where our stories really start.
Starting to chug through Yellow does mean an end to an era, though. I'll probably have it done before my 25th birthday, and that means it was a decade of a trilogy that sucked up the most important parts of my creative brain and I loved it and hated it and will mourn it when its over.
But I will never say goodbye to Conner, not really. He's too much apart of me, no matter how different we are.
Anyway, I guess since it's that age old week of Thankfulness (bear with me, I'm only loving on the holiday for the context it has for my family, not the sketchy and disrespectful history it has for Native people) I want to say that probably in this year of our lord 2019, I'm so thankful for Conner. His story inspires me and helps me grow and might be the best thing to ever happen to me.
Now all we need is a book deal, eh?
Happy thankfulness week, guys, as that is my current on-brand, less problematic name for it right now.
I can't wait til everyone can read everything about Conner.