mckarlie

I have happiness in my heart and a thorn in my soul

25 songs in 25 days

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Day 2 – a song that reminds me of my most recent ex. Ha. Yikes. It was a ridiculously long break up really, it was all kind of tragic. Such is what happens when you walk away before love dies.

 

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Glen Hansard – Falling Slowly

When I thought about today’s mood this was the song that had to be listened to. I absolutely love Glen Hansard, and this song reaches into my guts and twists them all about like only a handful of songs can do (crash into me, hello)

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25 songs in 25 days

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A song from my childhood – this one is difficult to pinpoint one song that reminds me of my childhood. I grew up part time with my mum and part time with my grandparents. I would spend many hours sitting in front of the record player changing vinyl albums, with my grandparents the albums were mostly classical and from musicals, les mis, phantom of the opera, mozart. With my Mum and Stepdad it was CCR and Pink Floyd and Van Halen. So, I’ve chosen a song that I remember listening to a bazillion times over and over, dancing with my ‘my child’ doll and wishing she would become a human baby, ha.

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Overkill acoustic – Colin Hay

Today’s mood is much lighter than yesterday’s, and this video is so lame it’s kind of adorable. I’ve chosen to be happier today, it’s working thus far.

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Always a choice….?

It’s easy to be sad. It’s my default setting, except when I’m manic, then I’m the happiest person you could possibly meet. But for the most part, feeling like shit comes easily. So often I accept my miserable fate, curl up on the couch and stare at the tv for days on end. I don’t shower, I don’t eat, I don’t communicate with anyone except those I live with and even then it’s minimal. I wear my greasy hair like a badge of despair, my body stops aching for food and my mind stops ticking over and accepts that television will keep me connected to reality, ha!

Then I realize, I’m not helpless at all, I’m just giving in, giving up on trying. There are a thousand opportunities every day to make my situation even a little bit better. Have a shower, you DO feel better afterwards, even if a little. Eat some soup, your body is in starvation mode. Call a friend, a good one who will be ok if you sporadically cry. Go for a walk, a little bit of exercise really does have a positive effect on the depressed mind. Do SOMETHING. Do ANYTHING, just stop feeling sorry for myself and hibernating on the sofa, if I give in it will beat me.

So I’m torn between self indulgence and self awareness. I think of all those people I got to know during my hospital stay, those people who really don’t have a choice, those who can’t chose to change things because they don’t know how or simply can’t. Then I feel lazy, and that feeds the guilt and isolation, oh what a silly circle I have myself running in.

I think we often hand over our choice as the price we pay for depression. We forget we own our own will, we become slaves to our own emotions and let them lead and guide us into the murky swamps that track the tormented mind. So fuck it, today I’m having a shower, going for a walk and getting some work done. It may not sound like a lot to you but it’s a darn sight more than laying on the couch like a vegetable. Never forget you own your own will.

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9 Crimes – Damien Rice

When a song captures your mood and you listen to it a hundred times over, this is where I am.

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Stuck in the mud

Logically, I know it will get better. Logically, I know that the despair I feel right now will pass. Logically I know that things will change. There is little room for logic in the tormented mind, there is nothing but haze and darkness and tears, so many tears. I have been a champion for positivity so many many times, but right now I feel so low that I don’t exactly know how to myself. One step forward, two steps back, three steps forward, two steps back and so on i dance with my guilt and sadness, my own emotional carousel that I want so desperately to get off of.

I guess being bipolar means that there will never truly be an end to the dance, just harder bits and easier bits good bits and bad bits, which is much like life for every single person out there. I know I’m not alone in my grief, I know there are many others out there feeling just as low, or even worse than I feel right now. It brings me no solace. More than anything, I feel utterly alone, hence I decided to write. I decided to write not for sympathy or a pat on the back but for myself, it’s the best tool I have to figure things out and I can’t keep swallowing my sadness in hope it will pass through me, I need to feel it and stare it down and shine a light on it and analyze it. I need to take it all apart so I can put it all back together, and this is the best way I know how.

I keep replaying mistakes I’ve made and reliving the guilt and negativity associated with them. I play things over and over in my mind, bathing in the murky puddles. I would make myself a martyr if I had any real strength, but right now I’m empty and alone. I know there are people that love me, people that need me, and that does (on paper) make a difference, but not in my heart. Usually the people I care about prop me up and keep me positive even when things are hard, but when the chemicals wont do what the chemicals are meant to do I end up like this, a lump of bitter despair. I don’t blame the people that damaged me in the past, I blame myself. I convince myself that I deserved all the things that were done to me and that this is not just PTSD and depression, it’s me and i’m fucking broken.

This too shall pass, and it is not my intention to bum anyone out, I just had to confront what I’m feeling at the moment, and what better way than this eh?

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I’m baaaack!!!

Hello my lovelies. As you may well know it’s been a few months since I have posted. Unfortunately I spent some time in hospital, then after coming out we had issues with our internet and got fed up with our ISP so we changed to a different company who then screwed us around for 8 weeks. Then we found out the place we’ve been renting for five odd years is about to be sold so we decided it wasn’t worth getting the internet back only to pay an exorbitant fee to move it to a different address so i got myself a dongle to access the internet. It’s a bit like going back to dial up but at least I can do basic browsing and keep in touch with all of you dear souls.

So, the last few months have been a bit of a roller coaster for me and the family. My hospitalization was crazy and intense but after I came out I was deeply inspired and started writing my novel. I’m still not done but happily I have interest from my friend’s literary agent already so I’m feeling really positive about that. It’s my first full novel, I’ve started a lot of projects over the time but such is the bipolar mind that many tasks started go unfinished, but this has been a labor of love. While I was ill i spent nearly every possible moment I could reading, that was always my issue with being a ‘writer’ – i wasn’t sure of my identity as such, could never decide on exactly how i wanted to write and what message i wanted to purvey. After reading dozens of books and spending time with some of the most amazing ‘characters’ i’ve ever met in the hospital, i finally had a clear voice and started with my story outline and started to fill it in. I wont go into the details of it at the moment but I’m feeling really positive about the work. I know so many people who want to write just so they can call themselves a writer, and I suppose I can understand that but I find it brings me more joy than anything else in life (aside from my lovely kids of course) – i’ve been writing poetry and songs and short stories since i was a wee one and it always pours out of me and provides such catharsis.

Now, my Mother. We have had our ups and downs over the past few months but I’m most pleased to share that things are going quite well. Writing that letter was the best thing I could have done, and I’m so pleased I didn’t send the first version of it, the one laced with disdain. She is still a passive aggressive nut but her heart is in the right place and she knows she let me down in the past and has been trying her absolute best to make it up to me. She still has a bit of denial as to just how much she neglected me when I was younger and some of the atrocities that happened under her watch, but there has been SOME acknowledgement from her and even that is a miracle and more than i could have dreamed of. We are both flawed individuals and have realized we need to cut each other some slack. I do admit I get pangs of jealousy when I see her interact with my half siblings, but i’m also delighted that she saw the mistakes she made with me and corrected them with my siblings, she has been a much better mother to them than she was to me but she was 13 years older when she had my sister than when she had me and she had a partner there unlike with me, albeit a drunk partner but still, she had a bit of support. So my sister is 20 now, my brothers 18 and 17. It’s been so lovely spending time with them all, we are slowly rebuilding the relationships we lost over the past few years I hadn’t seen them and they are really sweet and quirky people. We’ve even taken to having Sunday roast dinners at Mums, how very domestic and functional of us! Unfortunately my Stepfather is still drinking, and my Mother is still miserable in their marriage, but I don’t think either of them is capable of the change it would take for them to be truly happy together. It breaks my heart watching my mother scrimp and scrape money together because he is spending hundreds a week on alcohol. He has had a long history of being caught drink driving and recently got his license back after losing it for 12 months and copping a rather huge fine. Because he is a consistent repeat offender he now has an interlock device attached to his car, is that how you spell it? I don’t know, I’m only aware of them because of some reality show I occasionally catch on telly. Basically, it’s a breathalyzer built into his car, and he has to blow into it to start his car and if he has any alcohol on his breath it wont operate. It also gets him to do random breath tests while driving, and if he doesn’t breathe into it it causes his horn to start beeping and his lights to start flashing and then once the engine is off it wont start again. It’s demoralizing that it’s taken such an extreme measure to ensure that he doesn’t drink while he drives but it is what it is, he got into an accident when he was about 20, he was drunk and driving in a rural area with his then girlfriend and he crashed. She passed away and I think he’s been trying to drink away the memories of that ever since. It’s such a shame because he’s almost two people, sober he is a very quiet and kind man who works hard and loves kicking the soccer ball around with his grand children or picking tomatoes with them in their garden but when he’s drunk he’s an absolutely vile creature full of hate and vitriol. I will never forget the abuse I suffered at his hands but I have finally forgiven him because it was eating me up inside and holding onto it just wasn’t worth it. I think it will always hurt a little but I had to let go of the hate, and slowly healing has started to occur.

Anyway, that’s the highlights. I have really unreliable internet at the moment but will be checking in with as many of you as I can. I’ve missed interacting with you lovelies. Peace xo

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My own little miracle has happened

I know some people know the story of this, but to give a brief run down: I haven’t seen my Mother in years, we had a falling out and I felt really disappointed by her because she let a lot of bad stuff happen to me when I was a kid and then alienated me from her ‘new’ family. She met my second stepfather when I was about 10, great things hadn’t happened with the first, she dated a fair bit between stepfathers but then she met Mark and within a few months we were spending every weekend with him as he lived a fair way away and didn’t drive, we would pick him up every friday and then drive him home sunday nights.

My stepfather has a bit of a jekyll/hyde situation happening. When he is sober he is a quiet man, quite respectful and would help anyone with anything, when he’s drunk he’s a feral nightmare, and he drinks every day. He singled me out often and we would have violent fights, he would knock me around and verbally attack me. It wasn’t super fun.

I realized through therapy a couple of years ago that I didn’t deserve this treatment, for years I had made excuses for my abusers, saying I was a difficult teen and that I was a nightmare to deal with, but during therapy I realized that no child deserves abuse and I matter, that even if  I was difficult it didn’t make the abuse ok. After this, I got pretty pissed off at my Mum. I didn’t really blame my Stepfather, he has a disease and will never stop drinking, he has issues and I can’t hate him for having a disease, like I said it’s confusing but he’s a nice guy when he’s sober so it makes things with him complicated. However, I felt my Mother had a duty of care and she had failed me terribly, so I got mad at her.

Fast forward to a few months ago, I had heard bits and bob through mutual friend and the like and basically my family were claiming that I was crazy for just cutting them all off and they were all innocent bystanders while I cut them out of my life. So I wrote my Mother a letter, the first one I wrote I sat on for a few weeks not sending it, then my therapist helped me realize I hadn’t sent it because it was too angry, and I realized I didn’t need to be angry at her I just needed to ask why, and how she could let her child be abused and then force me out of her family. I felt abandoned by her and then as an adult, I felt that I could never do anything good enough. (fot perspective she visited us in england 3 weeks after my daughter was born by c section and then came home telling people my toilet wasn’t clean enough and i didn’t sweet the kitchen floors enough, i mean shit i could barely walk after complications from the csection but by all means bitch about my floors lol)

So I wrote this letter saying how sad it made me and how all I ever wanted was a mum who loved me and had my back. How disappointed that I was that she let me get abused and instead of standing up for me she edged me out of my family because she chose my abusive stepfather over me.

Fast forward to this week. Part of my bipolar is that I can spend without thinking sometimes, and with christmas coming I went and got presents when i really should have waited for our next pay and now i’ve left us quite short on funds for the next couple of weeks. My Mother called me at the start of the week to ask how I Was doing and i told her about how short i am and how it’s just annoying when the bipolar sets in and i bust my budget. so out of nowhere she turns up at my house with a bunch of groceries for my girls and she gave me a tearful, genuinely beautiful apology for the way she has treated me and the things he let happen. I think the groceries were a guise, an excuse to come, but i think the gesture was sweet. I still have money to get us food but i wont say no to a few snacky things for the kids.

So here we are, both of us in tears, her finally acknowledging how much she’d hurt me and APOLOGIZING! i couldn’t believe it. I’ve never actually wanted to bear a grudge I just couldn’t let go of the pain that was deep inside me. I was maddened by my family claiming i was the one in the wrong and not accepting any responsibility, but finally we are moving forward. I just needed her to say sorry and actually mean it, and she really does. We have spoken a few times this week and things are going well, we both realize that things aren’t going to instantly be just ok, that we need to talk things out and work on them before we can have a mother daugher relationship, but we are on our way and i’m both surprised and deeply deeply happy that things have turned around. She’s been really supportive and understanding of my bipolar and how it can cause me to act, she has after all suffered depression herself for most of her life, so we have been bonding over that.

She wants to bring more groceries which I have told her is unnecessary but I think the gesture is her trying to make amends and I can understand that, it’ coming from a good place so I’m going to let her feel like she’s helping because it will make her feel important like she’s helping me, and i can tell she’s truly sorry and ‘helping’ me in her mind makes her feel a bit better.

I didn’t think my Mother and I would be able to arrive on the same page but with complete honesty and a bit of time to heal old wounds, we are working on the future and how we can move forward. I feel like the hole inside me is slowly filling up with love and good things instead of despair and emptiness, it’s such a lovely feeling. We have a long way to go, but if we can do it then anyone can.W

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What effect do you have on others and do you give a shit?

I’ve recently been taking more chances, I stepped out of my comfort zone and pitched a few articles for a mainly mens site as they advertised for writers. The way it works is they have a forum, with different threads and areas for different stages of pitch and editorial. You post your pitch to the thread and then a moderator or administrator responds with feedback on how it could be improved and then it gets discussed at their meeting and either more feedback is given or it moved forward for publishing.

The problem with this forum format is that every man and his dog has access to your pitch, and there are some heavy egos in play in this place. They have a “karma” system where people give and take karma depending on whether they like what you say, I’ve been a member for just over a week and i’m currently minus 7 karma, haha! It’s all because I dared be a female with an opinion. I made a pitch, albeit not my best work but I was just having a crack, and a few douchebags jumped all over me. They were really harsh about it and basically were begging for moderator approval themselves. The fact is, they aspire to be a moderator and feel they should give ‘advice’ when the fact is they haven’t even had any articles published themselves. Crazy right? One of them came in and told me the title sucked, the material is overdone and my sources were shit. I said hey, that’s pretty harsh and a shitstorm erupted.

Since then, there have been some lovely people comment on the post and some really truly terrible people comment on the post, and it makes me wonder – how much do we think/care about how what we say and do affects other people?

My main issue with the site was that the “advice” i was being given was done so in a belittling fashion, he then claimed that he was just a writer trying to discuss ideas with another writer but that isn’t what happened. It’s about their egos, and let’s remember how hard it is to create something and put your ideas out there AT ALL, it’s horrifying lol and to have people be SO negative about it is just unnecessary.

I’ve noticed most people tend to fall into one of two categories – some people are self aware and think about how they affect other people, and genuinely care. This is not to say they don’t mess up sometimes and hurt other people, but generally they tend to be mindful of people’s feelings and keep a track of how they make people feel. And then there’s the people who have self esteem issues and feel it necessary to bring others down to make themselves feel big and strong. They come in swinging their big opinions round like a dick in the wind and make sure they let you know that they’re better than you somehow.

How many people do you know that are the latter? It’s not something that’s specific to men, women do it just as much but in this particular scenario I’ve been dealing primarily with men. It’s their boys club and I’m a crazy emotional bitch for standing up for myself.

I often muse over why we can’t all just get along, I’ve written quite a few posts about this. I truly believe if we are all a little more self aware and try to care just a little more about others, than the world would be so much better than it is. Sure, we all have our issues, I’m bipolar, i have social anxiety and i was abused as a kid. I have self esteem issues and don’t feel good enough sometimes, but I try not to take that out on other people, i try not to make others feel small to make myself feel better.

Maybe you’re someone who does this but doesn’t realize, that’s why i think it’s important for all of us to take a step back sometimes and just think about how we act, how we treat people and what motivates us. That’s really key, what’s behind our actions? It’s what i’ve been using to try and combat my bipolar, sometimes it’s hard to draw a line in the sand and know what behaviours are mine and what behaviours are stemming from the bipolar, so i step back and analyze what and why, try to figure out if i’m being reasonable or if it’s my condition acting on my behalf. If we all did this, we would make more of a positive impact than a negative one, and just imagine how much nicer life would be if our interactions were more positive than negative.

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