Idle Hands, Busy Work and Fighting Off Depression

As a writer, the most important thing I can do every day is, well, write. After all, they say a writer is someone who wrote today, and by that measure I’m more of an ass-sitter than a writer.

Most days.

It isn’t to say I don’t write; even if it takes months – or in the case of 22 Scars, years – I will eventually get things out. But on a day-to-day basis, I more often sleep and procrastinate. I’ll often lie in bed, daydreaming about where I want my writing to go, or thinking of what to write for the evening’s blog, but in the end nothing gets done.

Depression’s a bitch.

The thing is, the less I do, the more I feel depressed, and the more I feel depressed, the less I do. It’s a cycle I’m sure many of you are familiar with. And that cycle, for me, breaks when my bipolar upswing takes effect, and I write feverishly for perhaps a week or two, before sliding back into a period of low mood that might last for another four months.

I wrote 22 Scars – as in, time spent daily writing words for the story – in about two months. Yet I spent the previous twelve years pretending I was going to write it. A bit of planning here, half a chapter there … but nothing ever really happened.

And herein lies the biggest problem. If I aim to use writing as a method of working through depression – after all, the whole point of 22 Scars was to be an ode to my teenage despair – then I need to actually write, because otherwise I know I’ll just fall into despair.

It takes a great deal of personal and emotional effort to make yourself do anything – never mind something creative, like writing – when you don’t feel like doing anything at all. When you hate yourself, and hate your work, and want to just lie in bed all day. I love sleep, because it’s an escape from the drear of the everyday.

And most days, the energy to break through that wall just isn’t there. I just can’t see past the dark veil that clouds my mind, my judgement, and my desires.

Around this time every year I make plans and commitments to better myself, to keep writing more and more frequently, and to actually make something of myself. And in around a month or so, I’ll give up on those plans, because fuck that shit.

But I can’t say it’s all for nought; two years ago I decided I would finally sit down and make my young adult novel come to life, and lo and behold – I did it. It took a few months of very, very hard work – during which time I nearly imploded with the weight of the depression that the story brought out of me – but I made it happen. I published it in late 2017.

Last year, I made the same commitment for my fantasy work, and got my third novel out there a few months ago.

So what does 2019 hold?

I have plans for a new novel, one that takes on mental illness again, but in a slightly different tone. It focuses on several characters, and their journey through a life of music, misery and angst. I really, really want to make it happen this year – as in, write it in the early months, publish it in the later months.

But it’ll take more than just a commitment to writing the novel. If I want to keep myself well, if I want to vainly prevent the dark slide into the abyss, I’ll need to write here, too.

Because writing, ultimately, is about communicating. And whilst writing a novel is one way of doing so, it’s a lonely, solitary process. And if I can reach out to a community of people who believe in and support what I do on a regular basis, it might just provide me with the motivation I would otherwise be missing.

So here’s to 2019, and here’s to all of you – because without you, I would be nothing.

2019 and Me

2019

I try not to put much emphasis on the new year but this year seem a bit different. Setting resolutions is not my style but I have set three goals for myself as well as a word. All of it surrounds the discovery of self. I stumbled into my forties in December of 2018 and am surprised I made it this far. Life as a bipolar alcoholic hasn’t been without struggle and pain.


If 2018 taught me anything it was that I have not a clue who I am. Where I start and my illnesses end. Simple things such as what I love, my style, my individual identity, my voice have been masked by pain and were once drowned by alcohol. As I peep forward into 2019 I foresee pain yet with life-changing results. I will follow the intuition that I have ran from my entire life. Stepping out of myself to volunteer my time to the less fortunate will play a huge role in my new year.

Something I have always craved is understanding. How can I convey my truth and my story without knowing who I am? That has become my mission; find me. Forgiving myself and others will help boost my confidence and allow me to shake that heavy energy. I have felt a continual pull towards giving of myself to others and 2019 is the year this will happen. My plan is to give of myself in hopes of finding myself. If nothing I will have contributed to my community.

revengeofeve.com/

The opportunity of working with local sex workers has opened up for me and I am excited to give it a go. While I have never been a sex worker myself I share similar qualities to those in this area of work. Yes will be my go-to for helping others in need but no for those close to me. Sounds a bit backward but I find that those close to me aren’t in need, they are in want. Hell, I want it all but the reality is I can’t have it and so I say no to them. It will be a big change and difficult I am sure but all will be fine.

I set no expectations on 2019. I will follow lead. My heart’s lead. I want to learn to love and not feel ashamed that I do. I want to embrace what my soul desires. And I will. No matter how awkward it is. I will follow. I am going to paint, write, and believe in myself. And if I fall, I will rise stronger than before!! If I can do it, anyone can.


Six years ago I was drunk sleeping in my truck in an unfamiliar Wal-Mart parking lot. I was kicked out of three sober living homes and considered myself worthless. Well, in my pit of despair and at the bottom of a gallon of vodka I decided I was worth something. Now it is four years later and I am three years and nine months sober seeking that something. One lesson I have learned is that life requires time. Time to prepare, time to believe, time to heal and time to forgive. My journey will not be in vain. I will be patient with myself this coming year and I will have more compassion for others.

revenge of eve
revengeofeve.com

If you are interested in following my journey, please do! I have completely revamped my site. I deleted all of my old content, bought my domain, upgraded my plan and look forward to recording my journey at revengeofeve.com.


With confidence I created my own niche and will blog about a variety of topics but of course mental health plays a huge role in my life and serves as the basis of all I do. Embracing my truth and learning to live will be my legacy. Do you know yours?

She

I come and go as I please.

I always have.

Usually,

I want to be missed.

But not this time,

it’s been pure bipolar bliss;

being a miss.

It isn’t easy being in this world,

only to exist.

With moods that have fits.

Yet I have found my peace

with my inner beast.

Dormant she lie asleep.

For All to See

Acceptance is

Rare.

Nothing can compare.

She’s used to them stopping to stare.

Judging with a snare.

Liberating and free,

it is to be her,

they claim.

Not knowing she despies

the fame.

An image to maintain.

On display her character

must remain.

For a moment she hides the pain.

Like a mannequin, she stand still

not revealing her lack of will.

Momentum she can not gain.

A life she can no longer sustain.

A brittle glimpse of courage

ignites her soul to set free.

She speaks of wanting to not be.

Society turn their back,

for all that she lack.

A mind of chaos first experiences peace,

eluding solitude.

She question

“Is this rude?”

Self-care forbade with many

to entertain.

Once again on the platform,

a model suffering in vain.

Middle Ground

Have you ever stood where it felt like middle ground?

Life continues to go around.

Balance is unknown,

living in the bipolar zone.

In between failure and success,

ceasing to express,

instead, I suppress.

True to alcoholic character,

fleeting in a moment’s stress.

I confess.

Will the chains of failure

break if I stay?

Stay to see a successful day.

Defaults stand in my way.

On middle ground do you choose?

If you win or lose.

Not ever being here I stand confused.

Lost and scared

dare I share?

To others, I compare.

Broken and beaten,

strength I have gained.

But pressure is different to maintain.

These fears I contain.

Trusting one’s self after a life of shame,

rather I continue the pain.

Pain self-inflicted,

highly addictive.

Why can’t I see that it is I that do this to me?

With a broken brain and tormented soul,

middle ground is no place for me.

When left up to me,

I chose the pain and its familiarity.

Can’t I choose just not to be me?

Feelings of Freedom

It’s been a while since I have written here on TBW blog. I haven’t had much of anything to say and nothing educational to share leaving me silent. I can’t help but wonder if anyone noticed. I am not an attention seeker by any means, it is my curiosity that wonders aimlessly. I’m sure I am not the only one who wonders such things.

The content here continues to flow at a steady rate with some profound writers adding their insight. As I peruse around the net I can’t help but notice the influx of mental health focused blogs. That is wonderful news for the mental health community. People are stepping out and speaking up about their experiences with mental illness. We can only go up from here.

Being a part of this mental movement makes me feel included, something I’ve not ever felt. Many of you do not know this but I run two blogs, a personal one and another I am trying to monetize. I didn’t realize how welcoming the mental health community of WordPress was until I ventured out into this other arena. Let’s just say they aren’t as welcoming.

It sounds like I expect to be coddled but I don’t, I only now realize the impact the mental health community has had on me. I allow myself to be vulnerable because y’all seem to accept me for me. I allow myself to be honest and raw because y’all respond with kindness. Most importantly, I am me with this community because I have been embraced.

We are a different breed of human and I am slowly beginning to acknowledge there is no other place I need to be. In other places, I don’t feel free. Instead I feel restricted and monitored, weird and uncomfortable. I want to crawl out of my skin.

That’s the thing. I’ve finally been accepted for having bipolar, OCD, and anxiety. I’ve finally been accepted for being me. That is a great yet foreign feeling. On most days I try my hardest to not feel but being a part of this community has taught me that it is ok to have feelings and more so share those feelings.

That is what brings me here today. Feelings of gratitude for each of you. Regardless of your diagnosis, I hope you too feel free in this space.

Today, September 10th

Today.

A day of prevention

I must mention.

Raised voices chant.

Families grieve

for their loss.

The suffering hide in silence.

A world unites

to claim a day

in honor of those who fallen.

Many acclaim a selfish

act

yet they do not know the impact.

Alarming statistics rise each year.

There lies a fear.

A discussion never had

leads to a life uncertain.

Afraid you’ll see beyond

the curtain.

Thoughts of death torment

with promises to solve.

Enduring an unexplainable pain

wishing to end it all.

One doesn’t deserve to bear

such spiraling sadness.

There is no secured solution

for this tragic act.

Communication ranks high on ways

to prevent suicide.

For those suffering there is hope

and for those family members,

have the conversation.

It saves lives.

Listening

What do you do when the silent space of your mind decides it wants to be heard?

Screaming in echoed holler, I hear the vibration of words.

Muffeled and stifled

Humming in my head, reminding me I’m not dead.

I can’t decipher what is being said.

Damn crazy head!

I stay on alert waiting for the silence to strum up the courage to speak.

It isn’t silence that I fear.

I’ve sat in that year upon years.

For the chatter, I wait.

Luring it I dangle bait.

My intentions are pure, hoping the words offer a cure.

If ever a whisper,

or even a howl,

I’ll interpret it

best I know how.

Me. OCD.

Words clutter my mind. It seems they duel it out until one wins. As of late, I have done “brain dumps” before bed. I grab my travel notebook, write the most prominent word down and from there I branch out the others. It’s crazy because somehow the words are intertwined with each other. Somehow connected yet they were separate thoughts while battling in my head.

This has helped me with obsessive thoughts more than I realized it would. I’ve only done this two nights in a row and I must admit my mind seem clearer and my sleep has improved. After days of repetitive thoughts, writing them out helps alleviate the cycle. Catching these thoughts early may be the solution I never knew I needed.

Society has a misconception of OCD. Tragically everyone assumes it is all about organization and cleanliness when those are just a smidgen of symptoms. Racing thoughts occur with bipolar and those are a breeze compared to obsessive thoughts. Once I become fixated on a subject it isn’t until I’ve read myself to sleep before receiving relief only to wake ….obsessing.

Numbers represent so much of my life and occupy so much of my brain space that I wish for a moment they didn’t exist. But oh no without numbers I wouldn’t amount to much so instead I will combine numbers until they are the sum total of 11 and then subtract them until they are 3 and then pray I don’t get stuck on 41 because I don’t like 41. Prime and odd. Repeat.

Rituals occur for me in finger stretches. Extending my fingers stretching them beyond their capability because they need to be stretched. My toes never stop moving, not even in my sleep. They are in rhythm with my heartbeat, in fact, I can convince myself that in order for my heart to beat, I must tap my toes.

Most mornings my brain picks up where it left off the night before. Breaking these patterns is near impossible. I am amazed how my brain shut off after my brain dump. Ok, it didn’t shut off completely but the thoughts quit fighting over which is most important.

All three of my Ma’s children suffer from some form of OCD. It is terrible watching your sister have an anxiety attack because her OCD has told her her heartbeat is off rhythm and she is going to die. My sisters fear of death and obsession with it has caused her to live in a horrible headspace. She frequents the doctor’s office, on a weekly basis. Her anxiety cripples her and she struggles with taking her medication. She is a hypochondriac. She has it the worst of us three.

Bits of my story come and go. My memory of past events is cloudy and finding words to describe the now can prove difficult. When I have a moment of clarity I quickly type it up so others who experience the same thing know they are not alone. For those of you who suffer with OCD I would like to apologize for the light made of it by society integrating it into organization. It is so much more than that. You know it. I know it.

…… Just like the thoughts that tell me I have to explain my writing style to The Bipolar Writers audience because if I do not they will think that I am uneducated and do not deserve to use his platform.

Silly thoughts.

Flames of Life

What is to come of a life doused in confusion?

The flammability of kerosene will destroy with one strike

Tasting the sulfur curiosity engulfs me

As do the flames of life

The power of powerlessness intrigues

Dancing flames

Uncontrollable

Unpredictable

And wavering

Imagine…what we breathe gives life to a destruction we cannot comprehend

Once ignited a challenge to win

Temperatures soar to extremes

Burning yet tempting

Freedom of the flame produces jealousy

Untameable, wild

You’ll see

Don’t stand to close to me

Life gave me no choice

But gifted me with a voice

Silently I scream

The fire and me are a team

Dancing a slow dance

Romanticising

A dangerous affair

Maintenance through air

Despair we share