It’s been a month since I moved from the area I’d been living in since I was 13. How has this affected me?

Let’s recap. For those who aren’t aware, my previous living situation was extremely bad for my mental stability. Let’s just say that while living there I was subject to sharing a bathroom with two people who did not understand that you just don’t leave your dirty underwear in the shower for someone else to find, lack of a real kitchen because it was guarded by a dog that wanted to eat my face, more spiders than any one person should have to deal with, people having screaming matches right outside my window, people smoking right outside my window, an air conditioner that barely worked when it was 113F out, really bad cigarette cravings (I quit when I was 18), and panic attacks more severe than anything I’ve ever had in my life. This had been my entire 2014 up until the day I moved.

So what have the last four weeks been like?

HEAVEN.

First, I have my own bathroom. Let me say that again, because it’s an extremely important point. I HAVE MY OWN BATHROOM. There is no psychotic dog. There is no horrible roommate, either — just an extremely nice one who’s fun to be around and who likes it when I make cookies. (You’re the best, M! )

Speaking of cookies, there’s also a real kitchen that I’m able to use without getting attacked. I’ve seen zero spiders. There’s been noise outside, certainly, but 99% of it is ambient noise that I actually really like. And, okay, there were a couple times where I could tell someone was smoking something other than tobacco outside, but it’s not constant so I can live with that (also, pot smoke doesn’t trigger an allergy attack for me like cigarette smoke does). While I haven’t had to deal with a midsummer day here yet, I’ve seen the temps for this past summer and it hit triple digits on exactly two days with most temps being mid to high 80s — no more 113F for me, most likely, but even if that does hit we have central air and the apartment is shaded a majority of the day. I’ve had ZERO cigarette cravings. More importantly, I’ve had ZERO panic attacks, despite the fact that I’m still frantically looking for a new EDJ.

Let me say that again, because that’s actually more important than the bathroom thing: I’VE HAD ZERO PANIC ATTACKS. I haven’t gone this long without a panic attack in nearly 15 years. Just goes to show that the company you keep can have a huge effect on your mental health.

And here’s the other thing: Here, I have people who actually WANT me around. They aren’t just saying they want me around and hoping I go away. I didn’t have that where I was (with J as the exception, but she was the ONLY person). In fact, I haven’t had that since maybe high school. Now if only we could convince J to move down here…

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On the writing front, the fog of depression also lifted once I moved, which means I’ve been able to write again. I have so many stories banging around in my head (and I’ve added a couple of them to the WIP list), but for now I’m going to concentrate on Magic Fell in hopes that I can have it done and ready to submit the weekend of the 17th. When Magic Fell is done, I’m stuck between wanting to finish A Different Breed of Intentions, Go For the Company, or Part-Time Legends (a new plot bunny set in the equivalent of my home town – my mom’s been very helpfully sending me research, history, and photos from there so I can write it). I should probably finish Different Breed, but every time I touch it lately I just want to throw it down and stomp on it. We’ll see what happens. First, Magic Fell.

2015 has already started off to be a fantastic year for me, and I really think it’ll just get better. I hope your year is just as fantastic.