Today’s guest post is by Pournell Ahb— Well, we don’t know his full name, since he’s a demon. That would give us too much power over him. He first turned up in the Charm City Darkness novel, A Favor for a Fiend, and has been around ever since. Lately, he parlayed himself into an alliance, of sorts, with Assumpta. He’d like to talk to you today about battling depression.
He’s got a lot on his plate. He’s a demon, after all. He’s not looking forward to the afterlife. Just because he is what he is—a demon, have I mentioned that? And because he’s a demon, he’s going to Hell when he dies—there’s no two ways about it. Like many things in life—and death—it’s not an easy thing to get over.
Here’s Pournelle to tell you about it in his own words…
It’s easy to become depressed when you’re damned to Hell—just for being born.
I’m not talking about the kind of sadness you feel when your day just falls to pieces or you don’t have enough cash to buy the latest iPhone.
I’m talking about soul-crushing depression: the kind that plagues your mind All. The. Damned. Time. You can’t think of anything else. You can’t concentrate. You want to curl up in a ball and sleep. Or eat. Or not eat, if that’s your thing.
Suicide haunts me. Tempts me. But it’s the one thing I won’t do: because I’ll wind up in Hell. Literally. And it’s the one place I don’t want to be. I can endure anything to avoid that. As long as I can keep on living, I’m good.
Assumpta helps me. She doesn’t know it, because I could never admit this to her. (Show my emotions to a human? Never.) But she’s got me practicing good will. Her way of getting what she wants from me without selling her soul, but she doesn’t even realize how beneficial it is for me.
Here’s how it works: I give her all the information she needs about what the other demons are planning down in Hell—the stuff I know, anyway—and don’t make her sign a contract ceding her soul to me. I do her this favor, asking nothing in return. I’ve created good will in my good will bank.
Now she owes me.
But the thing is, that’s not what drives me to do it. I don’t care about her owing me. It feels good to help her. (Again, I’d never tell her that. Did I tell her when I healed all her demon-wrought wounds? Lucifer’s balls! The infection alone would have killed her. No—I didn’t tell her. Punched her instead—that felt good. Healing punch. She never knew what hit her. She’s smart though—figured it out—but never throws it up in my face.)
When she finds something that will help me, whether it’s a secret or a demonic artifact gone missing—or something like that—she’ll call me. (Yeah, I gave her a calling card with my true name on it. It burns up in her hand after she reads it, and I come running—sometimes with blood all over my hands—but I’m there.) She tells me what she knows, or hands over the piece.
Scales are balanced.
Gives me a purpose. Options.
Keeps me out of Hell.
About the campaign:
#HoldOntoTheLight is a blog campaign encompassing blog posts by fantasy and science fiction authors around the world in an effort to raise awareness around treatment for depression, suicide prevention, domestic violence intervention, PTSD initiatives, bullying prevention and other mental health-related issues. We believe fandom should be supportive, welcoming and inclusive, in the long tradition of fandom taking care of its own. We encourage readers and fans to seek the help they or their loved ones need without shame or embarrassment.
Please consider donating to or volunteering for organizations dedicated to treatment and prevention such as: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Hope for the Warriors (PTSD), National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Canadian Mental Health Association, MIND (UK), SANE (UK), BeyondBlue (Australia), To Write Love On Her Arms and the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.
To find out more about #HoldOntoTheLight, find a list of participating authors, or reach a media contact, go to https://www.facebook.com/groups/276745236033627