• Member Since 22nd May, 2014
  • offline last seen Wednesday

Soufriere


Pray that there's intelligent life somewhere out in space, because there's bugger-all down here on Earth.

Sequels1

E

This story is a sequel to Sasha


It's cold outside. Snow is falling. Sunset Shimmer is only vaguely aware of this, pacing or dancing or something in the middle of a park. But she's dressed as if it were not below freezing. Concerned, Rarity takes the girl in. What follows is Sunset's unsuccessful attempt to explain her addled mind. We think.

This story marks the true beginning of Sunset's Recovery Arc.

Chapters (1)
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Comments ( 53 )

light-skinned kids who seem to have polar bear powers – everyone knows the type: wears shorts even when it’s below freezing outside.

Hehe.
I'll walk barefoot in winter, but I won't be able to do that, I think.

Even the girls, normally forced by custom and pervasive marketing to wear skirts, ditched the stereotype for thigh-hugging but far warmer pants.

Hmm… I always assumed skirts would be warmer than thigh-hugging pants. The former at least allows a buffer of air to warm up.
Oh, you're talking about the kind of skirts that don't hold much air…

Manic depression is awful.

6610365
....are you saying you don't walk around in a t-shirt and shorts in winter? Just my neighborhood? Well then...

6610365 - The shorts thing comes from an early Boondocks comic strip that popped into my head while writing.

6610741 - I actually do sometimes, but only when it's snowing at night, because I can :rainbowwild: and even I'm not crazy enough to stay outside like that for more than a couple minutes.

6610881
I don't think that most of my neighbors even own snow clothes.
Normal scenario-Hey it's snowing! let's go outside! nah, we don't need warm clothes, they take too long to get on, the snow will melt!

Well, that was Shimmy.

6610941
You definitely should visit Verkhoyansk sometime.

6610881
I knew someone like that, going out in winter with nothing but shorts and a T-shirt. Yes, it was freezing.
And he actually spent the day like that.

6610741
Well, I've got no idea where you live, but judging by 6610941 you haven't got much snow. We also don't, but that's not due to how it would be melting immediately after falling but rather because, for the last few years, it hasn't been snowing that much to begin with. -10°C are nothing something to sneeze at.

You know, they have fairly effective treatments for that based on Lithium. But the having no money part kind of buggers that idea. That's America for you.

6611448
Washington state. However, in Snoqualmie, there's snow 20 ft high in the winter, sometimes snow in summer. I sadly don't live there.

You could do a sequel called "Lows and Highs" and do it from the low feeling as well. I'd read the heck out of that.

6614231 - I've never thought about a sequel to this. I'm not sure I could physically write it. Even if I can, would it be worth reading?

Well, I made a story out of Sunset buying a burrito (shameless plug!), so doing a story of Sunset being so down she can't leave her apartment for weeks isn't impossible, but I'd have to be in the correct mindset. I'll just pencil it in as a possibility for after I finish "Sonata Dusk Eats A Burrito".

6614376
Like I said, I'd read the heck out of it.

Poor Sunset! Manic Depression is, from all accounts, a living hell!

Heh, mania. I take a pill for that (technically for anxiety). And one for the depression. And one to keep me stable between the two.

I used to write fanfiction. My last update was 2009. I'm still waiting for that manic inspiration, but it will never come unless I go off my meds. So instead I read everything I can to distract myself while surrounded by my plants that by their mere presence keep me from going too far down into the dark abyss. I no longer have a sense of time, days, even weeks, can pass in the blink of an eye. It's even worse in winter when you can go to bed and wake up and it's still dark because you somehow slept through the day.

Your writing of Sunset is pretty spot on for the most part, except that sometimes you go manic and you don't even realize it until you begin to crash. Then you do everything you can to hold onto that mood, that feeling, as you feel yourself literally sliding into a pit of depression.

Then there's the meds. Some work, some don't. And because everyone is different, you can't know if it will even work until you try them. I've had some that made things worse, like sitting with your back to the wall with a knife to kill the shadows when they come out the corners of the room while playing the stereo as loud as it would go to drown out the whisper. Others have left me feeling nothing. All emotion stopped.

Sorry for venting, your portrayal of Sunset resonated with me and I just had to get it out. That means it's good writing when you can provoke an emotional response, good or bad. :scootangel: :unsuresweetie:

6619969

…sometimes you go manic and you don't even realize it until you begin to crash. Then you do everything you can to hold onto that mood, that feeling, as you feel yourself literally sliding into a pit of depression.

Quoting this for truth. Yes, that certainly does happen, more often than I care to admit. However, I never meant to imply every bout of mania is like this, or even that every one of Sunset's manic episodes is like this. Just this one particular time, it came on strong enough for her to become aware of it before it slipped away. Her experience is not dissimilar to my own as I wrote this story.

For what it's worth, after I finished H&L, I didn't write anything for three months, and I didn't complete what I'd started for another four months after that. I only made "H&L" public after convincing myself it wouldn't get blasted to oblivion.

This is going to sound a little weird, but I'm thankful you posted what you did. That anything I wrote was able to resonate so deeply – even if the experience wasn't a wholly positive one (sorry) – and compelled you to share something so personal, really means a lot to me.

It is nice to see a fic that addresses mental illness. Mania or hypomania expresses itself in different ways for different people. Being on 6 medications for BP, GAD, and possible PTSD/panic attacks, some to counteract the side effects of others, I really appreciated this story.

Just a bit of constructivery criticism, if this were to be a completely stand alone fic, it would be nice having a line or two that explains Sasha. She sounds like a pet?

6629926 - "Sasha" is what I've named Sunset's current leather jacket. She seems to me the type who would name inanimate objects if she felt enough of an attachment. If my memory isn't totally shot, I do discuss it briefly in my other Sunset story, and it's planned to be brought up in future Sunset-centered fics I've outlined but not yet written.

I apologize for not being clearer about this.

Comment posted by MythrilMoth deleted Dec 25th, 2015

You just described my life perfectly. Better than I ever have even. I can't even say how many times I've lived almost this exact scene. Except when I'm on a low, I'll throw myself into pretty much anything, not just writing.

Though... I don't think I have it even half as bad as some of these other guys in the comments. I've just got it as much as you see in the story, maybe less because people other than me usually don't notice.

6786879 - Thank you so much for sharing. I'm always thrilled, though amazed, to see how my little story has managed to touch people.

Personally, my own "Lows" manifest in different ways. If I'm lucky, I'll be able to turn it into writing or art, but other times I just want to lay in bed and not move, only doing so if I have no choice. Often, I'll try to find an escape – Youtube has been great for my sanity, but perhaps not for my own creative output. :derpyderp1:

Sometimes writing comes easily – this story was written in a single go during a manic burst of energy exactly ten months ago – but other times I have to attack it head on and hope what comes out doesn't fail. All too often, the energy and the drive just don't come at all. However, I can say that events over the last week have inspired me to begin work on the sequel to this story.

“Since it’s too cold for me to do anything productive, I think I’ll just go back to my cheap apartment and write some fiction, maybe post it somewhere.”

I had to muffle my laughter at that part.

6998876
Basically, half my friends have made this their life statement.
And, it's always cold here. x.x

I stumble around blindly in all this fiction. I take little lights and points to carry on from. I enjoy your writing and I simply could not stop myself when I found this one. The subject matter is a little different from what most people would understand, I suppose. For me, it hits a bit closer to home, not a personal issue but something I have seen and been around for quite some time in a whole lot of different ways.
So... Sunset is either bipolar or schizophrenic (not that dumb movie kind with the split personality, that's a different disorder) and you manage to express it in so many words. It's kind of poetic, really.
I guess this is kind of a personal fic for you. Either that, or you have a really strange insight into things.
Very well executed.

Oh yes, uh, couldn't help myself. Did another reading.

Hope anyone enjoys.

7159387 - I appreciate the compliment, and the reading. :yay:

This is easily my least-polished work. I wrote it in a single 90-minute frenzy, then sat on it for eight months before finally working up the courage to make it public. When I did, I changed one word and then hit "Submit". I was worried that people with proper mental disorders would hate it and rip me to shreds for not portraying things 100% accurately. I was relieved and shocked that that didn't happen; most readers seemed to feel touched by the story. It hit close to home, but not necessarily in a bad way.

My main regret is that I didn't tag this story as AU. As a result, it did receive flak for Sunset being "out-of-character". Although that criticism upset me, I ultimately agreed with it, and I've tried my best since then to keep characters more grounded.

For what it's worth, I find merit in the theory that depression and bipolar disorder are part of a spectrum of mental illness, the latter being more severe (schizophrenia has a distinct physiological component so it may not be connected despite similar symptoms). Despite how I wrote the story, I didn't consider Sunset as flat-out bipolar; my thinking was she's suffering major depression and just happened to be on a rare upswing – like a massive sugar rush – and not being quite sure how to describe the feeling. She spends far more time "low" than "high", in other words.

7162518
The spicy little touch of even being able to touch on this subject in a fairly subtle manner in an arena like this makes me appreciate it even more.
There seems to be alot of "mental illness" going around lately, I just felt this story actually had some merit. Poetic or no.
Please, keep doing whatever you are doing. Your handle on words is absolutely inspiring.

Alright, this was fun to read..... time to find more like on this on FimFiction.

My first search term is gonna be "uncomfortably chipper Sunset Shimmer site:fimfiction.net"

congrats! ur story made it to the popular stories section again!

7162518

Totally late, but I think this is of note:

As a sufferer of some pretty severe manic depression myself, it does often end up that manic periods are brief and depression is extensive. In that regard, while you meant to portray Sunset with a rare upswing in major depressive disorder, you actually were quite accurate with mania.

As for the behavior itself, it was pretty much spot on. The thing about manic depression is that when you understand and acknowledge your condition, you know when you're manic- but you CAN'T STOP. No matter what you do, you physically cannot reign yourself in. It feels like you're just going to burst at the seams!

In any case, I give props for one of the few mostly accurate depictions of this, or really any, mental illness. The only thing unrealistic to me was Sunset leaving to write, because I always want to be around people when I'm manic, but that may be just me. Have an upvote. Gonna go see the sequel!

“But, here’s the problem,” explained Sunset with a sigh, “Destroying you didn’t make me feel any better. Nothing did. And now that I’ve gotten to know you, I’ve come to realize you’re not like those nasty Canterlot Nobility at all. Ever since you helped me pick out Sasha, I’ve really come to like you.”

And maybe they weren't so nasty either. You were kinda rotten, Sunset. Would you have wanted to be around the old you?

7762809 - As the author of this story and its associated AU, I'm going to inform you you're wrong. They were that nasty. Sunset's rottenness came at least in part from how badly they treated her, not the other way round. I could go into detail but I don't want to here or now.

Your comment encapsulates well why Sunset does what she does in between this story and its sequel.

7763491
Why is it they always get this bad a rep?

/sigh

Oh well. Your story, your choice.

Sunset walked up to Rarity, a bit more quickly than would be normal. With a half-smirk, she reached out her hands and gently grabbed Rarity’s face, slowly pulling it closer to hers. Rarity’s eyes went wide, her look of utter panic tinged with a slight blush. Pressed on it, Rarity would insist until the day she died that it was due to the cold and nothing more. Satisfied that she had Rarity’s complete undivided attention, Sunset explained herself.

“Rarity, I’m having a manic episode.”

Okay, I know this is supposed to be a serious story, and I appreciate it, but this made me laugh my ass off.

7801741 - Just because a story is serious, doesn't mean it can't have funny moments. Hell, this story ends on a stinger that's a meta joke about fanfic. :derpytongue2:

Yeah, I have a history of writing comedies that end up being too depressing so I have to change the tags.

Reading only this fic, you'd never guess how dark it gets in subsequent stories.

I have bipolar type 2, which is mainly depression with less frequent periods of hypomania (less severe than regular mania) I'm also a rapid cycler. But I like this portrayal of bipolar disorder.

When you don't try at all on your chapter titles.

But seriously, this was a good story. It was imformative, interesting, and funny!

7764345

Because it's the nobility. Noone likes the nobility. Plus, Blueblood provides an excellent case study, and everyone takes fancy pants as the exception.

“Exactly, but I’ve been trying to write stuff for a week with absolutely no luck, so I need to get this out while I still can. Once I crash, I doubt I’ll be able to write anymore. Even if I outline it, the creative spark disappears.”

“We all have different means of coping with being utterly miserable. Mine was ensuring that everyone else was as miserable as I was.”

Story of my life.

I found this all too relatable.

And my if is almost a constant low, except when I'm here

From somebody who suffers from bipolar mania, no offense taken, in fact this feels somewhat familiar.

light-skinned kids who seem to have polar bear powers – everyone knows the type: wears shorts even when it’s below freezing outside.

Yeah, I know this type only TOO well.
My kid brother is one of them.
Still.
And he's 41.

This..... this is literally how my creative drive works.

Reads title

one thousand two hundred seventy four words,
How do you measure , measure a story

(525,600 minuets, how do you measure, measure a year (rent))

Also great story

Offense? Hell, you nailed the feeling pretty perfectly - especially for someone who is bipolar! Well done and well written!

I know the feeling Sunset's going through as far as writing. I'm trying to write to earn a little extra money no the side (paypal account linked on my page here and other places), but when I'm just not feeling it, I can't. Nothing comes out or nothing "feels" right to me. I can't really explain it, but when I'm in a mood, I start writing and BAM, word after word after word just pours out of me and I can't really stop. Before too long, I've got upwards of 10,000+ words on one story and I either have to go back, find where a good spot would be to split it into two, or say screw it and post the whole thing anyway.

This story....

Man, it brings back a lot of painful memories.

I have depression, have had since I was a teenager (not saying how old I am). I was also a writer.

I went through the exact same thing Sunset is currently going through. I would have these manic episodes where I would have just thought after thought for story ideas. I would even write some of them down in order to work on them later, as they would come so fast that I could barely get them all written down.

Then, I would crash. I wouldn’t write, wouldn’t get out of bed, and wouldn’t interact with anyone or anything. The ideas that were coming to me so easily before had just up and disappeared.

I have gotten help now (it took me getting to my lowest point to do so) and I’m on the proper medication. However, my muse seems to have completely left me. I can’t come up with ideas anymore and I miss that feeling of having ideas for stories, writing out a rough draft, and then fleshing it out into a full fledged story.

I wish I could recover that feeling. Oh well.

Huh, small world. My paternal grandmother is bipolar, and my autism/ADHD/anxiety does something similar. Some days I'm super motivated and on track, getting stuff done, feeling great—and then there are days when nothing matters except wasting time on the internet. That's half the reason why I haven't updated my story in six months.

Anyways, great story.

While the story is good, the comments make it truly something. Kinda makes me glad that I'm just mildly depressed and unproductive most of the time when I'm not "in the zone".

... I think I’ll just go back to my cheap apartment and write some fiction, maybe post it somewhere.”

“That’s… extraordinarily unproductive,” Rarity agreed.

“Exactly.

Ow yeah. I usually just read it, but lately started writing too whenever I felt like being especially unproductive xD
Also, Sunset is now officially drawing comics! ("Super Squad Goals" short) Won't be much of a stretch to say that her writing fiction is now canon too.

6616829

Agreed.


6613238

That treatment doesn’t work for everyone though. It made my manic episodes much worse.

This was... a pile of words. :twilightoops:

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