Sometimes I try to imagine, like, what would I be doing with myself if not for fandom? I was a geek/nerd as a kid, but I got older and angrier, and dropped that part of myself somewhere around 16. I was almost ashamed of that side of myself. I thought, for some reason, that you couldn’t be punk and a nerd, but that is SO not true. I can’t imagine where I would be if I hadn’t embraced that side of myself again. And fully. I don’t know if I’d even be here still. I would likely be a very angry person.
When I was in my early 20s, and had to move back in with my mom because of bad life choices and worsening health, I fell into such a depression. If I hadn’t stumbled across fanfic -- and realized that thing I had dabbled in as a kid had a name! -- I don’t know what would have pulled me out of that funk I was in. And years later, I fell out a bit, because of health issue, and then it went from there to drugs. But then I got sober and I got into fandom again -- even accidentally stumbled across some old friends from the mailing list days -- and for the three months I was detoxing, reading fic saved my life. When I couldn’t lay down without screaming pain, but I couldn’t sit up without shaking all over -- fanfic distracted me. I devoured it. And then, I started writing again. Like a miracle, like a new self.
Fandom saved my life.
It also connected me with my sister in a way I can’t even describe. The day she anxiously showed me her fic and confessed she too was in fandom and she had just been anxious to share her stuff with me -- that day cemented us beyond belief. And then, shirebound, coming to Michigan and having lunch with some Michigan fangirls, including my sister, and oh, The BFF. And my sister befriended The BFF, and brought her home, and the rest is a beautiful history that led to The BFF setting up this LJ for me! So many friends I’ve made on here -- some I’ve even had the pleasure of meeting face-to-face; dugindeep, rhymephile, ceitfianna. And now, soon, wolfrider89, who is coming all the way from Sweden to meet me!! I am so EXCITED! She’s got a conference in DC, but if you know the US map, you know Michigan is not a quick jot over from anywhere. I wasn’t sure how I would get to DC. And then she said, “Nah, I’ll just come to you and then fly out to DC after.” I am so fucking blessed by my friends.
The encouragment you have all given me on my publishing career, to stay sober, to keep finding ways to support and enrich my niblings’ lives, to get through the hard stuff with my health and family issues and yet keep going, to just enjoy my hobby of fanfic and not be ashamed of my geek/nerd side anymore.
I love you guys and I just got all emotional, sitting in my room, half laughing/half crying, because this day always marks a celebration of a part of my life that I know saved my damn ass.
For you, if you will, comment below and I will tell you five things I think of when I think of you. <3
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