Sometimes I get embarrassed when I look back a bit later and see how unhappy my posting was; not because it isn't true but because it's wrong, not to mention boring, to burden other people with mental struggles. I hope if anyone should stumble upon it who's experienced anything similar, they'll derive some comfort...even if these things are, ultimately, pretty solitary. I guess I don't want to talk about this stuff to my family, or even most of my friends - who get scared - so this becomes an outlet.
It's funny: there are times when responses to my work have been critical enough (which isn't even saying much; the stuff I write's pretty uncontroversial, conflict-averse as I am) that I really do feel like I'm pretty worthless, and it really is enough, in a low mood, to put me over the edge. But! There have quite literally been moments when I've been contemplating ending things when the thought of the same strangers kept me afloat. Because I realize that, in some small way, you have become a familiar part of peoples' worlds, and it would upset and sadden them in a way I can't ignore. So it works both ways, in the way any "relationship" does. I guess what I mean is, I feel strongly that I owe people in my life, whether I know them or not, the best I've got. Feeling I've failed them (which my shrink says is a madness in my head) - and I don't think in a meaningful way, but to the small extent they have to live with my work or my thoughts or my actions - is horrible. I feel that like a sharp pain in my gut.
Anyway, I took a pill and a little walk and both helped. I'll be okay, I always am.