mckarlie

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

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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Doing things that scare you

I’ve spent a lot of my life making grand plans, wanting to do things but never quite doing them, or doing half of something. I place a lot of the blame on my mental illness, for years I was told I suffered from  “chronic depression and anxiety” but a year and something ago I was diagnosed as bipolar. So I do have a tendency to start something while manic and then trail off when a depressive episode hits, this has happened to me more times than I can count because when a depressive episode hits I can barely get out of bed or go to the shops to buy milk, but when I’m manic I feel like I can take on anything and often do.

So I’m 32 years old, I have half of two bachelor degrees, a few certificates not worth much and am currently working on another degree. I’ve been writing on and off since I was a child, starting mainly with short stories and poetry, then songs and poetry and essays. I recently completed a manuscript and showed it to a friend who now wants to pass it to their literary agent, something that scared the shit out of me. I’ve also been pitching ideas for cracked.com – not a site i read all that often but a friend showed me a link to writing for them and i thought it would be an interesting challenge. Since then I’ve been researching freelance writing jobs online, I’ve submitted a piece to a celebrity gossip site and had an offer to write for them. I did it more to see if i could, it only pays $25 an article and I’m not that invested in celebrity gossip lol but i wanted to know if i could.

I think when you have a mental illness so much of your energy goes into just coping, just existing, that the thought of putting ourselves out there, opening ourselves to possible rejection on a mass scale becomes a ridiculous fantasy. But I’ve decided I need to push myself, I need to do things that make me uncomfortable, otherwise another decade will pass and I will have little to show for it. I enjoy writing immensely, it brings me such joy and peace and gives me an outlet for the abundance of thoughts and emotions that are racing through my mind at any given moment, so why not push myself and maybe make some money at this? I know I’m not crap, but I also know I have a long way ahead of me, that I’m not yet the best writer I can be, but the only way I’ll get there is by doing it more and more, by experiencing trial and rejection and different types of writing and formats.

If you have a passion, I implore you to go for it. Don’t believe that success is for other people but not for you, I believed that for so long but now I realize, it CAN be for me, I just have to TRY. I have to be willing to accept the good and the bad and genuinely put myself out there. Follow your passion, restore hope to your life and really try. So what if you don’t become the best of the best, at least you’ll have given it a shot. When you’re old and grey do you think you’ll have more regret over the things you tried and didn’t succeed at than the things you never bothered to try at all? I have a feeling it will be the latter. I also know that a part of having a mental illness is accepting a fate of misery, but it doesn’t have to be that way, if you do something you love you’d be surprised at the effect it can have on your well-being in general.

So I’ve decided to let my friend show my manuscript to his literary agent, if nothing else I’ll get some helpful feedback. It’s scary but exciting, and I’m proud of myself for finally trying. That itself improves my mood greatly, and hey, if I get negative feedback it will make me feel shitty, but that will pass, I’ll pick myself up and try again.

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Writing is an exercise in human insanity

Some people write because they want to be a writer, they think Hemingway is cool as fuck and want to be revered. So me people write because they absolutely have to. When they take pen to paper or fingers to keys things just pour out of them, their soul gets cleansed (not that I believe in a soul as such but it works in a hyperbole sense) and they feel a little better. I write because there’s so much going on in my brain that if I don’t let some of it out, i fear my head may explode. I write to connect with other people and gain experience through these connections. I write because if I didn’t, I’d probably go loopdiloo cray cray and get locked up.

This is not to say that what I write is of any great importance or that I have any great success but recently, on advice from a ‘writer’ i gave a manuscript to a friend who now wants to show it to their literary agent. This makes me batshit crazy nervous.

Also, I received a link from another friend to a link for a website looking for freelance writers, so i decided to submit a couple of pitches. The first didn’t take off as it was opinion based and I’m no one in particular so no one is going to pay me for my opinion. The second is factual and I sourced references and all that shit i remember from studying psychology, so i’m waiting to hear on it at the moment.

My point is, the waiting, the possible success/failure, it’s a mix of exhilaration and nerve wracking insanity. Maybe it’s because I’m bipolar that I’m particularly sensitive to this, but i’m pretty sure this is a crazy process for most who go through it. I’m also sure there are people out there who are super fucking zen about all of this nonsense, who send off their manuscript and clip their frickin bonsai tree and don’t give it a second thought until they receive word, well kudos to you, really, i wish i could, but i err more on the side of batshit anxious crazy.
 

Does it ever get better? I’ve been writing forever but it’s only recently I’ve started showing or trying at all in a professional sense. I’ve had good feedback in the past, but more than anything i do it for me, so i’m quite new to other people’s opinions mattering.

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Bitter devotion

I need you now like man needs air

You can’t be found but anywhere

I wait on your words and watch the clock tick

This piercing silence is making me sick

You know how much I want this and yet you stay so hush

And each day now that passes is one day one too much

 

You wield your power willingly, as you sit above

You place your mouth in places and make promises of love

Yet when I truly need you, you vanish into air

You know just what you do to me, this ache is mine to bear

Do you feel so tiny do you truly feel so small

That you lord my love above me, knowing you’re my all?

This feeling you call love, it brings me twisted agony

The waves are crashing violently, taking parts and chunks of me

I’m sure if I had sense left in me

An exit would be my strategy

But I follow your crumbs as you make your trail

This epic love is sure to fail

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From high above

I’m not your clown to tease

You’re not my lord to please

Although I wear a smile

Don’t find me juvenile

I don’t sit high above

Watching as I judge

I wear my heart upon my sleeve

In love and kindness I believe

But you see me here as lame and weak

Superiority, do you seek

Can’t you see, that I’m just me

And we can all act differently

One not wrong and one not right

This doesn’t need to be a fight

We could possibly just get along

Find a place where we belong

But some are filled with hate and spite

And if you’re different, you’re not right

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Standing Tall

I fall down over and over again

I may wither a little but I will not bend

Haunted by those who trespassed on me

Torn apart by their asserted depravity

I will not become a story of ill

They leave me my scars but also my will

Even when I am fallen and weak

Moments of pain and feelings so bleak

I hold on to know I will make it alright

I know I will again regain my true fight

And now the fight, it stirs in me

Declaring out loud, what i shall not be

Your victim yes, your trophy never

Healing is my passion’s endeavour

Round and round again I know

But one thing with certainty do I know

I may fall but I will always get up

I will decide when enough is enough

They things they took I now regain

As I wade my way through my past of pain

They chewed me up and spit me out

But here I stand, proud and stout

Together I will piece my puzzle again

They will be the ones to break and bend

 

 

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In the mud

Stick in the mud, don’t bend or you’ll break

Standing still, no steps can you make

Held by the past and all that it holds

Frozen by stories you’ve kept untold

You watch as the world passes you by

You accept failure before you try

So scared to bend in case you break

Not yet sure of what steps you would take

Standing still is fine for a while

It’s inch by inch not mile by mile

Take just one thing that’s caused you pain

One thing for which you’ve worn the blame

Let it go and watch it leave

And slowly you will feel some ease

Little by little, piece by piece

You will slowly feel some ease

Dig deep down, you’ll find in there

The strength to lay your demons bare

Face the past, bring on the rain

To wash away that muddy pain

And free yourself from standing by

Just begin and you’ve already tried

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Rebuilding

Piece by piece and bit by bit

I will dig myself out of this pit

When hope has gone and all is bleak

When I feel hollow, fragile and weak

I try to find the smallest spark

To guide me through the darkest dark

When every moment hurts to be

When you close your eyes you see depravity

You’re taken back again and again

To when you originally felt the pain

Search for the spark and hold onto light

It isn’t now but it will be alright

Sometimes all you can manage to do

Is tread water just to make it through

But once you’re through and find your fight

Hold on and make the wrong things right

I know I still have a long road ahead

But I am focused in my stead

I don’t want to be defined by the past

The scars of which will always last

But the wounds themselves with someday heal

I will learn how to live and how to deal

 

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Stained Memories

I fell down and grazed my knee

Saw my beating heart in front of me

It was black in parts and broken

From holding onto pain unspoken

I took a shovel and started to dig

I couldn’t have known what I’d find be so big

And once I remembered just a little bit

Once I opened the door just a tiny slit

All the darkness came flooding through

All of my memories, painful and true

The things that man did to me

When I was a small human unable to see

The damage being done to me

Would later cause insanity

But I won’t let this be my plight

I may be down but I will fight

I still have much life left in me

I wont let him define what I am to be

The flashes haunt me every step

In healing I am not adept

But I will somehow find a way

And I will somehow reach the day

When the memories are faded and gone

And I don’t feel small and all alone

I will beat this pain in me

I will pass these memories

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Lost and Unsure

I have this pain inside my soul

And my heart it has a gaping hole

I try and try to fill it up

But nothing seems to be quite enough

I fall so far I can’t see day

I fall so deep I lose my way

I wish that I could figure out

What this life is truly about

I try to be kind and share my love

I’ve tried to be aloof and watch from above

 

I have tried all different ways

To make it through my twisted days

But it feels like I’m lost in an endless haze

 

I hold onto pain from my past

I worry for all of my days it will last

All I want is love and family

But it would seem it’s not destined for me

I need to know what I’m about

I need to let the grief flow out

But I lock it down deep in my heart

I want to heal but don’t know where to start

One day I hope I’ll find the peace

And soothe the inner savage beast

That haunts me from the inside out

It tears me up it, I hear it shout

I cry out for some piece of mind

I hope and pray one day I’ll find

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