On the writing process. (2008)

Sit on the hard wooden chair, stare at the cluttered desk and the blank page. Pick up a pencil. Hold it, hovering, above the paper, considering the right word. The perfect word to begin the story. Realise that the pencil is not perfectly sharp. It is adequate, but not optimum. Root through stacks of paper and drawers full of junk for a sharpener. Find it hidden in a jar of odds and ends. Get up, go to the bin, sharpen the pencil to a deadly point.

Return slowly to the chair. Sit down. The paper is still blank. Create something brilliant. You are not good enough. Nothing you write will ever be perfect. Your words are clichés; nothing original or insightful could come from a mind as weak as yours.

Snap the pencil in half and throw the splintered parts across the room. They bounce off the walls leaving graphite grey impact marks. Stand slowly again and stumble to the bed. Lay down your ungainly body, curl up and stare at nothing and think of nothing. Blank and empty. You are nothing.

 

This is part one of a possibly endless endeavour to spam you all with my old writing efforts. I found my old hard drive, you see, and it’s endlessly fascinating in a narcissistic kind of way.

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On the writing process. (2008)

Gratitude List

I fucking hate positive thinking and all that happy pop-psychology become-a-smiling-consumer adjust-yourself-to-a-profoundly-sick-society bullshit.

That brigade seem to have co-opted the concept of gratitude, which kind of sucks, because counting your blessings can be helpful. Especially for people like me, with a very emotion-dependent memory. When I feel bad, my brain only goes to bad things, a never-ending referential wormhole of backwards-looking negativity. So finding something to be grateful for can arrest that spiral.

Today I’ve been feeling like shit, exhausted and coughing, like I’m  an automaton made of lead and my movement mechanisms haven’t been oiled in the last 100 years.

So, here is a gratitude list. Right now, I am grateful for:

  • My room, my own room.
  • My house and my parents and not having to fend for myself in the scary world
  • My brother, who just sent me this and cheered me right up.
  • Babybel.
  • My cool as fuck tarot cards which I’m just getting to know. It’s a journey into a whole new world, and the art there is amazing.
  • I have friends
  • I have a cool Bullet Journal to try organising my life with, and the motivation/capacity to try. I didn’t have that a year ago.
  • Never get bored. So much to do, so much to dream…

 

Ooh, today is my one year anniversary of DBT group! Thank you Facebook memories for reminding me. I can’t believe so much has happened over a year. I’ve met and shared support with amazing people who have become real friends. I think I’ve made progress. If you’d asked me a year ago to make a gratitude list while I was in a mood like this, I’d probably have tried to glass you. You know what, just writing that, I realise that I don’t feel bad anymore. This stupid shit actually works. Anyone reading this who’s kind of on the fence about therapy and trying, because it’s uncool as fuck and also really hard to care when your mental illness is distracting you with how much you hate yourself, you should totally try. As a bitter and cynical person, sometimes you’ve just gotta make an idiot of yourself, do things you think will never work, but do them wholeheartedly, or as heartedly as you can muster, and eventually, something will change. Something you try will have some kind of effect.

I’m not promising miracles, but well…

This was my Card of the Day. http://tarot.ccEverything changes. The wheel always turns.

Gratitude List

Looks bad, when you put it like that…

I’m 26 and have never had a job. So far I’ve known the joys of clinical depression, anorexia, bulimia and self harm. Right now my life is enhanced by Borderline Personality Disorder, Depressive Personality Disorder, and probably some kind of anxiety thing. Oh, and G.E.R.D. (gastro-esophegeal reflux disorder, a.k.a. heartburn all the goddamn time, with plenty puking up for no reason thrown in just to make me look even stupider). I’ve flunked and failed nearly everything I’ve tried, except for university, which I managed to graduate 4 years later than everyone else, after wasting 50% of the whole experience being too depressed and panicky to interact with other human beings. The other 50% I was drunk, which was honestly great, though I wish I could remember more.

I’m getting more and more sad. This always happens around this time of year, but right now it is ridiculous. I’ve pretty much lost all the progress I was trying to make, and can’t stop crying. If I ever had any impulse control or discipline, I don’t anymore, or at least it’s all been used up in making sure I don’t cry 24/7. I know they say you should express your emotions, but when I start crying, that’s a day wiped out. One good thing about having a long history of being a miserable fuck is that I know the signs. Feeling on the edge of tears, but unable to cry, means something bad is coming to my mind, is brewing in the background and will eventually explode and ruin something. Constant tearfulness is a prettty standard symptom of depressive disorders. I keep thinking I might have hormonal problems because it’s like having PMS, but nearly all the time. On paper I’m making great plans, I have a full diary. In the real world, I struggle to move. I do manage, though. I went to a poetry night last week and performed two poems. I went on a 6 mile and a 9 mile hike with my dad. I write bits and pieces. My creative work sends me alternating between suicidal despair and driven joy, and is the only thing that occasionally breaks up the ocean of pathetic derealisation and depersonalisation, which are the main alternatives to feeling like the whole world is as tragically sad and unfair as that bit when Bambi’s mum dies.

I have been told in no uncertain terms that the way I live is not at all good enough. I need to be working, driving, exercising daily, and having some kind of hobbies. I need to eat better and wake up earlier.

I got a sleep timing app and it tells me I average about 6 hours sleep a night. I had assumed that I was lazy and wasting time by waking up late, but on top of that, I’m still sleep deprived. I exercise 2 times a week vigorously, not including strolling round the shops or whatever. I cycled 10 miles today. But I didn’t get anywhere and later had a panic attack because I hate shops. The mildest annoyances make my brain flip out and give me a front row seat to the Experimental Jugular Opening Trial. What will work best?
Luckily this is all idle speculation, this is just how I calm my thoughts. In reality I’m just sitting hunched, chewing my fingers/sleeve/scarf, staring into middle distance away from you. It’s actually great progress and mental strength, that I don’t act on self destructive urges any more.
But that won’t get me a job because I’m still a pathetic mental patient who can’t do normal activities without freaking out, so how do I get job and life and stop being such a loser?

Looks bad, when you put it like that…