mckarlie

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

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.

Advertisements
19 Comments »

Just stop for a moment

Sometimes I feel like i’m standing in the middle of the world’s busiest motorway, cars whizzing and whirling past me, wind blowing me backwards and forwards in a violent sway. Cars honking at each other to hurry up or slow down or move over or move round, DOOF DOOF DOOF from the subwoofers that people install in their vehicles because standard bass just isn’t enough. Constant chatter from everywhere around me, negative thoughts and mantras stuck in my head like glue, my brain a gelatinous magnate that attracts such thoughts like flies to a corpse. Sometimes I feel like screaming at the top of my lungs ‘why can’t we all just get along’ – a thought to which people roll their eyes or turn up their turny uppy noses. We live in a world where if there isn’t a fight people will find one, even if you agree on a point a person can find a way in which you agree differently and thus have a problem with each other. When the fuck did everyone become so hard and unwilling to bend? When did we all become so concerned with our causes and making sure everyone knows our thoughts on our causes and bending others to our own will?

Some might say that life is hard and to suck it up and get on with it, but i choose not to live life that way. Life is hard, but life is also beautiful and amazing at times and if we could focus a little less on shouting our opinions and forcing our points and maybe listen to what’s going on around us, listen to what other people have to say, life would be less like grating a piece of steel wool and more like it’s meant to be. Maybe we could have more positive encounters than negative.

I don’t go out looking for a fight but if one is thrown at me I will defend myself accordingly. But the fact that I have to do this is taxing, social media has given people just the right amount of anonymity to purge their opinions and thoughts and feelings on perfect strangers and act as if it’s their given right. If the devil is real he created facebook, never has such passive aggression and general whining come together in one place in such a way that it makes me want to not have any “friends” at all. I’d rather watch my cat lick itself than spent an afternoon on facebook, it seems far more productive and much healthier for my social well being.

Some people are just intent on being negative, in finding the bad in any given situation. If that’s you, then FINE, be as you are, just don’t shit on my doorstep and call me a hippie because I give a fuck about other people. Roll your eyes and call me your names because it makes you feel better, it makes you feel like you have some semblance of control in what is in fact a big old cluster fuck of randomness and the only control we have is over ourselves, how we act and how we treat other people. What we contribute to society and what we take away is completely up to us, if people treat you miserably it’s probably because you are miserable. Given, I sometimes feel like I’m not treated fairly but then I realize I’m feeling sorry for myself and when I actually think about what is the root of someone’s motivation if anything it’s apathy as opposed to callousness. But we take exception and get offended over so many little things that we just don’t need to stress ourselves over.

The human brain exists in such a way that we used to have to fight for survival. Shelter, food, these things were never guaranteed, so as we evolved we had to be mindful of how to survive. Now, in today’s current society, most of us do have a roof over our head and enough food to get by so that part of the brain goes searching for something, and a lot of the time what it finds is a fight where there isn’t one. The urge to defend ourselves from something that isn’t an attack, the urge to be heard when all we need to do is speak, not scream and flail about like our lives depend on everyone hearing our thoughts.

I try to have positive experiences with people but sometimes it’s like pissing up a flagpost. Nothing good can come of it and you end up covered in your own pee. I do truly wish everyone could just get along but I have my brain stem connected and realize this is never going to happen, but I do genuinely think it could happen on smaller scales if people just chilled out, put themselves in the other person’s shoes and showed some grace and thoughtfulness when interacting with other people.

 

8 Comments »

Trying blindly

I feel as though I’m invisible no matter how much I try

I feel as though I’m laughed at and it makes me want to cry

All I want to do is help and heal each others pain

But most they find me odd you see as I don’t play the game

I don’t say one thing to a person’s face, another behind their back

I don’t act passive aggressively and pick up others slack

If I have a feeling or a motive I feel I make it clear

This isn’t the kind of person that most people want to be near

I feel a little sorry for myself yes I guess it’s true

But it’s only because all I tried to do was simply to help you

And people either back away or take until you’re spent

I’ve written so many letters which will always stay unsent

I want to share my feelings but I stop and make a track

‘Cause once you share a feeling there’s no way to take it back

And I have learned that most are best when inside goes unsaid

Most people just want chit chat, their life to be unshared

So I will keep on trying and hurting as I do

If you know someone who sounds like me, they probably just care for you

So maybe you could try a little bend and open up

“Cause if you keep it all inside then one day you’ll have had enough

You’ll look around to find a friend to find an open ear

And maybe when that time does come such a person will be nowhere near

 

Leave a comment »

Being down and pulling yourself out

I’m bipolar, I’m the kind of bipolar where I have major depressive episodes followed by shorter periods of being well, “extremely bubbly” – even when i’m down i can still have a good day here or there, and when i’m up i can still have a bad day here or there, but usually, i’m one or the other.

I woke up this morning in one of those moods, not the worst kind of darkness where you can barely function or eat or shower or get out of bed, just the standard depressed feeling, down, blue, in a funk. I have learned recently that while in this state, we have a great deal more power over ourselves than perhaps we lead ourselves to believe. For years I just accepted, I’m depressed, this is part of being depressed and i just went with the flow, I spent a lot of time avoiding my issues and not thinking about the negative things that have happened in my past, i smoked a lot of pot at night to avoid thinking about these things (for some reason things tend to get worse at night for me), and i guess i just accepted whatever mood i found myself in, wishing for happiness but not chasing it, not making an effort to actually attain happiness myself.

I think we need to give ourselves more credit than we do, when we get that feeling like we’re low and we don’t want to face the world, well this morning, against all my instincts i ended up getting out of the house and going shopping with a girlfriend, and now because i’ve been out in the sun and had social interactions, i’m not fully recovered or fully out of my funk, but i’m feeling a darn site better than i did earlier today.

So, when you’re low and not wanting to face the world or people in general, give yourself a kick in the backside and give it a chance. Choose someone that you don’t have to be dazzling around, someone who is ok if you’re a bit quiet or withdrawn, and do something simple and just get out, i promise you will feel more in control of yourself and thus better.

When I read about people feeling low or see it for myself, I just want to wrap the person in cotton wool and assure them it will be alright, i wear my heart on my sleeve and genuinely care how others are feeling, and for this reason i really hope this hits home with at least one person, because i’m 32 and i’m only just figuring this stuff out. i thought for so long that i was a victim and my illness is something terrible happening to me and i had little control, but you have more than you’d think. I wish everyone all the best with their own mental health struggles, and offer an ear to anyone experiencing something similar.

Leave a comment »

Feelin’ low

Not sure exactly what it is, but I’m feeling down today. Sometimes you just wake up and something’s not right. I feel lonely, like when my friends have problems I’m the one that’s there but when I need something or I’m the one that’s down, there’s no one to be found.

My writing has been sub par the last few days, I just can’t get it quite right.

Aside from my husband, I have very little support. I’m feeling alone and empty. I don’t expect a pity party, or anyone to even really read this nonsense, I just figured writing about it might help me get perspective, so far not so good but we’ll see. I’m meant to do a poetry reading Friday night but my friend keeps flaking on me, she has her own stuff going on as she’s also bipolar but I just wanted it to be about me, just this one time.

Hope everyone else is having a much better day, peace

2 Comments »

Bipolar and how it owns me

They say you are not your illness, but that’s hard to swallow when it affects pretty much every aspect of your life and day to day goings on. i just went for a walk around the lake with my friend, we did two laps and chatted away. it’s amazing how when i’m down, things like that seem impossible, just going to the grocery store for milk and bread seems like an insurmountable task, it’s in those moments i feel completely owned by my illness.

When i’m down, it’s only when i push myself and do the ‘normal’ things like coffee with a friend or dinner out with people or whatever it may be, that i get glimpses of happiness and peace. It gets easy to make excuses for myself, and there are the times that i am literally so low all i can do is just breathe and function on a very basic level, but then there’s the rest of the time, which is most of the down time, where i do have SOME control over what i do and im learning it’s only when we push ourselves that we gain any rewards from life, it’s only when stepping outside our comfort zone are we met with untold happiness.

A few weeks ago i would never have imagined that i would even acknowledge the sexual abuse that took place when i was aged between 7-9, let alone publish a poem about it AND do a reading of said poem, and it was painful to do, but in publishing it and putting it out there for all the world to see, i took the power back, i took the power back from all the negativity that breeds when holding such secrets inside.

People who don’t have a mental illness often get frustrated with us that do, they think we can just snap out of it, CHOOSE to be happy instead of sad, etc – well, sometimes, we truly can’t, but maybe sometimes we have more control over our mood or our actions than we’re allowing ourselves to believe? Just maybe, we are the ones responsible and we are the ones that have to own our own happiness. I had come to accept that I am bipolar, therefore i’m just going to feel shit a lot of the time, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be like that, not for a good portion of the time.

I’m hoping that the next time i’m truly down and if i appear to be stuck and feeling sorry for myself, someone reminds me of this post. I’ve been pushing myself since i started writing again and the rewards have been amazing, if i knew how empowering this would be i would have done it years ago, and shining a light on my issues instead of hiding them away or smoking pot to numb myself has proven so beneficial, i DO have some power over my own life, and it’s such a great feeling.

 

9 Comments »