Post Con Blues (per Urban Dictionary): The depressed feeling you get after going to a convention and seeing friends.
This is common. It happens every year, especially after SDCC. I get to see several dozen friends I only ever get to see this one time every year. A large forum group I’m part of books the entire downstairs of the Harbor House. Most of that same group books the upstairs loft at the Broken Yolk, too. Then there are my line camp buddies. My roommates. My fellow bloggers. This meet up. That meet up. This party. That off site. So it’s rather depressing getting home and realizing I don’t get to see them again for another 12 months. This feeling usually lasts for about a month and I’m pretty used to it by now.
But this year… everything feels different. I’m excited, sure. And I’m stressed as I choose which events I want to attend and which ones I have to pass up. All of this is normal. But here I am 14 days out from take off (and only 19 days from the con itself) and I’m feeling completely and utterly depressed. Why?
A large part of this is likely the current political climate. In the past 6 months I’ve attended 8 different protests, sent over a dozen letters to senators, congressmen, mayors, and governors, and have written numerous blog posts. But I’m about to just check out completely for ten days as I go off to Disneyland, the San Diego Zoo, and finally the one and only San Diego Comic-Con. I’m going to be having so much fun and meanwhile the world is on fire. All this productivity and activism and I’m just… taking off. I won’t be paying attention as 45 systematically tears my country apart.
People respond to me when I express this by saying that people deserve a break. That’s true. But things have been moving so fast I fear that 10 days will set me so far behind I’m going to come back completely ignorant to the horrors that have happened to my country while I was immersing myself in fandom and fantasy. While the thought of using the convention as a form of escapism for a period of time may seem relaxing, it also means I have to deal with what happens while I’m gone all at once when I get back. And that’s on top of the normal post con blues I experience every year. It’s going to make things so much worse.
This isn’t an anxious feeling. Anxiety and depression manifest very differently. Anxiety for me tends to come in the form of lashing out, getting snappy, and sometimes literally crying. It’s not pretty. But that’s not what’s happening right now. Instead I’m just laying in bed, not wanting to work on the things I need to work on (mainly my podcast and my panel for Honolulu Comic Con), and distracting myself with mindless games and music. I’m avoiding people. I’m eating poorly. My cleanliness has taken a nose dive. This is depression. And it shouldn’t be happening right now. I should be anxious and excited and busy as a bee. I should be finishing what I need to in preparation for the con. I should have a real dinner. I should I should I should I should…
But I’m not.