Tag Archives: writing

April 2019 — Dailyo Mood Chart Stats

I use this great diary & mood-tracking app… It was quite a good idea, actually, to help me with my ASD 🤔

https://www.daylio.net

Well, I’d probably say the graph says it all, how my last month went. Seeing it like this, though, is a bit of an eye opener. It’s really no wonder I am a mess, of this kind of emotional chaos is what I am living with… I think this was what I wanted and expected out of using Dailyo — but it’s rather different when it ’s actually there, right in front of you.


The only shame is you can’t sync it through different devices… that part is annoying, but the rest of if it is pretty great, actually… 🤔🤨😎


It’s disturbing how all-over-the-place the peaks are. It’s there, in front of you, undeniable. It wasn’t OK. It was Chaos, Brutal, Upsetting, Difficult, Emotionally Unstable… Destructively Unstable… I realise now how strong, stubborn, I’ve had to be, in the wake of that chaos… The reason I am so, so very Exhausted. Run-Down. Severely Hyper-Vigilant & Easily Startled. Anxious As Hell 24/7.

The last thing someone who craves… Needs… emotional stability, is this… I am ASD, with (probable) Alexithalmya. What I need is is for that to be solid in Green.

Green means Neutral. Not Happy. Not Sad. Not Scared. Not Angry. Not Anxious. Neutral. What I’m seeing is, quite frankly, the exact bloody Opposite!


I am aware there is no ideal, per-se… However, it cannot be too much to ask that it remain at least somewhat in the Green/Neutral area a little more than twice in one month…?!



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Applying My Mind

I finally have something constructive to do for someone else – work, if you like. Unpaid and a volunteer role. One that is fun and somewhat challenging, so I’m pretty happy about it.

I have offered to help a friend – my best friend – with her (first of many, hopefully) application for a new job. Her current one is getting a bit rubbish, and she’s been doing it for over 15 years, so it’s time for a change. An inter-departmental change, but a change nonetheless. Where she will be appreciated a lot more than she is in the office and department of the organisation she works in right now.

Editing, ghostwriting, and having to stuff a ridiculous amount of key details into 250 words or less for each of the five answers required – actually my idea of fun. A challenge that involves editing and writing – very fun! I’ve taken her statements, the details of the examples she has given for each one – lengthy ones stuffed with every detail I could get out of her – and now I need to get all that information into the condensed version to go into the application form. A challenge for the kid who could never even stick to the 1000-word limit on essays in school, whilst everyone else seem to struggle to get over 50…

Like a lot of people with dyslexia (undiagnosed, but obvious – back in the 80s, few kids were ever even tested, let alone diagnosed with such a thing) she finds it difficult to write these things. She can speak brilliantly and can knock-em dead in an interview, but getting those interviews can be difficult. She knows what she wants to say, but can’t write it, which is where I step in.

I hope I will be able to do my friend justice – after all, she deserves the best chance to shine in a pile of identikit printouts on someone’s desk. She’s good at her job and deserves to be appreciated for it somewhere where people have a combined IQ of above double-figures. The problem is my medication for the… whatever. Pregabalin has helped in a lot of ways by muting some of the pain, but it has also affected my brain, my mind, my focus, my concentration, my perception, my memory – all the things I hold… held?… most dear. I have little else except my mind, and it has taken some of that away from me. On the other hand, the pain screaming in my brain takes away all of it, so you have to prioritise these things. But the fibre-fog, the Pregabalin haze, or whatever this problem with my mind is, is seriously detrimental to me and is preventing me from managing basic things – the one thing I don’t want to do is have it become detrimental to the work I’m about to do.

I’m hoping getting my concerns out of my system now, a little more coffee, some food, a little pep talk for a confidence boost (severely lagging), will allow me to concentrate better and get these answers written consciously and as required. My mind keeps fritting away, my focus waning constantly. Time, even days, seem to disappear. It’s a norm I refuse to accept, but doesn’t make it any less true.

Now the time escapes me again; what seems like a few minutes has turned out to be several hours. I don’t know where they go or why they seem to slip through my consciousness like sand through fingers, leaving no trace, feeling like nothing, disappearing quickly without a trace. I forget my meds, to eat, and in this case, to work.

Now I’m going to try really hard and concentrate, and get those statements edited into their 250-word maximum. Hopefully, I’ll end up getting it right. Deadline is in two days, and I need to get it done today.


New Ventures

I have decided to simply comemorate the eve of my journey into a new, yet still slightly familiar, career path. I have spent the evening beginning the skeleton concept for a site, and I will soon be learning how to hone my skills of editing and proofreading in a more professional capacity.

 

I’ve been working to try and make this something I can be proud of, and I mean to start as I go on. Because I’ve remained silent on the issue since it’s been playing in my head, this probably seems quite a surprise to some, although  I think anyone who truly knows me, my character and my interests would know that it was a rather obvious progression for me. 

I have also spent the evening editing (in my current “informal” capacity) more of Cat’s requirements – this time her Canadian CV. The travel writer is currently in Canada for at least a year and looking to make a few dollars with the odd administrative job as she finds various things to write about. She’s already written two or three articles having been out there, and managed to score herself a complimentary trip on an expensive 30-hour cross-country train journey in return for a good write-up – and I can confidently say it was a very good write-up that she gave them, too. I already wish I had had the time and money to go and take the same trip myself – it sounded pretty amazing!


I hope to also document my journey, the published work that I have edited for Cat, and my progression throughout my coursework and beyond. I know I will enjoy it – because I already do…



Hopeless Creatures

Crippling self-doubt… Despite the way it’s worded, I negate the thought that it is self-inflicted. I can not believe that we naturally self-doubt – we are survivalist beings who will kill before being killed – in reality and metaphorically. I think the sad truth is that we are influenced by others to the point where we really do believe anything they say. If we hear more negative than positive, this is what we end up with… That crippling self-doubt.

 

I am guilty of feeling this every second of every day. From too many people to count, I was forcibly made aware of the fact that others thought I was a joke and a waste of space – from teachers and kids at school, to people at home. I was assured that, by the majority, that I wasn’t much to give credence to. It has unfortunately stayed with me ever since. It has affected me my whole life, contributed greatly to my illness and lack of recovery for a long time, and prevented me believing I should, and could, have a future. A decent life that I could be proud of…. Instead of the flittering existence that I have experienced – flying around from one thing to another, hoping to find something that I gelled with, something I could attach to and feel was “me” and “mine”, something that I could really feel comfortable with.

 

I have, in all my life, never believed I could do anything – as in anything at all. I’ve always been felt that I must never believe in myself. I’ve tried to override this feeling – and with the help of a couple of amazing therapists, I have at certain times been able to. There are some things I have done that I am so proud of because I told that doubt to go and stick itself up its own backside, and I have reaped rewards I am so elated to have been privileged enough to have experienced.

 

However, there is one category of enemy that rallies against this feeling and plays entirely for the Crippling Self-Doubt Team… The classic cynical looking-out-for-you words that come out of the well-meaning and cynical mouths of others – and of course this is the wonderful: “But don’t get your hopes up…” (and all its derivatives).

 

This will immediately take the winds out of the biggest sails. I got it quite often before going to auditions… You know, because heaven forbid I should a) Be confident, and b) Get “hurt” by rejection. All it did was wreck my confidence, because nothing says “I think others are better than you” than those damned words. They’re well-meaning bundles cynical negativity, and they are also crippling. They also makes me want to poke the speaker in the eye.

 

I am not made of crystal, bone China, or glass. I am not delicate or easily disappointed (in fact, life has very much taught me the very opposite)… I have regularly been rejected my whole life, and I am no pampered princess that doesn’t understand the word “no”, and I am certainly not going to break if I am rejected. I get rejected all the time for jobs (as an IT contractor, it’s been a part of my territory for years – for every contract you get rejections… It’s simple maths).

 

In fact, who hasn’t been in that position where you go for interview after interview and are rejected, before you finally that cool job? Why is that different for auditions, or anything else? Why are we programmed to be against anything that is artistic, but not what is “conventional”? How many people for that Retail job, or that Office Admin job that you got?… So why is it different if it’s an acting or singing job, or anything else? And why are we told the markets are “competitive”, “over-saturated” or “difficult to break into” if its acting, singing, painting or writing – but not if it’s a Systems Administrator, Retail Assistant, Accountant or Office Clerk… Yet I imagine more people go for those jobs, and are skilled and qualified for them, than people who are going into arts and entertainment, or similar. But when you go for those jobs, you don’t hear all that pessimism, because they’re classed as “normal” jobs. Why, though, I still cannot fathom.

 

I want a full pack of cheerleaders to make me feel like the coolest person in the room when going up for something – whether it’s a job interview, audition, test or anything that requires confidence to get through it successfully. Imagine if someone told that to a football team before they went out to play in the qualifying match of the World Cup… I doubt that has ever happened in the history of any sport. I’ve recently asked for some possible support for the possibility of doing something I was really excited about. This very reaction has now blown the self-belief I spent quite a long time building up in myself as I secretly thought this thing through. I am now left feeling quite lost at sea as to what to do about it now. My initial reaction is now to play it “safe”, instead of taking a chance and trying something new…

 

I’m sure many will argue that others shouldn’t be able to do that to you. And they would be right. A popular saying is something like “No one can make you feel inferior without your permission“… However, when you’ve long ago been broken down to beyond your very core, you are wide open to all opinions, especially negative ones.

 

So I say this to people – no, I implore it… That these words are never to be uttered again. Because without hope, exactly what is there? Cynicism is the breeding-ground of self-doubt in people, and this is the ultimate arch-enemy of hope and confidence. Unless you’re bizarrely arrogant, everyone knows there is the possibility of failure at some point – but guess what? Failure really isn’t the end of the world. Loads of things have failed… The world still lives on – as you may well have noticed.

 

I can tell you that without hope the world does stop turning for some, though. It stops turning when they’re so low they don’t even care if they can remember their name, or what day it is. In extreme cases, it stops turning forever. So if you want to make sure someone isn’t “disappointed”, make sure that person doesn’t end up disappointed at you, or because of you. Because they already know inside themselves they could be disappointed by the outcome of what they’re doing (they do not need to be reminded) – however, they did not know that you were going to be the one who was going to sound like you are already feeling disappointed for them before they’ve even tried…

 

 


Freedom from this Labyrinthian Realm

Feeling lost has been a confusing and heartbreaking experience. Nothing is “OK”, makes sense, or is worth any effort when you are lost inside your own mind. My focus has been gone, and so have I…

 

I unfortunately only just came to realise that last part though.  I nearly lost far more than myself because of it. I didn’t exist, and it was only after what felt like almost a divine-like epiphany did I actually finally come to realise I hadn’t really existed for a long time. Not the me inside, screaming so loud and for so long to be allowed out. I was a walking zombie, with empty eyes and a tempestuous shell driven by pain, fear and confusion. What had happened, and was happening, to me had drained me of my very soul and had left very little, if anything, behind.

 

I haven’t sung, written, made music, or read much – if at all. All the things I have always previously adored were nothing but a burden to me. I wanted to do all those things so much, but they were simply too much effort for a scared, unfocused and rambling mind like I had. Lost in a nightmare of a labyrinth, with no idea how I got in and with no way out, I felt always destined to wander about inside it with no way of solving it, allowing myself to be free.

 

It was music that came back to save me from this Labarynthian Realm. Something in the music shifted something in my mind, leaving open a black hole of realisation I had never experienced before… And I was startled, shocked, and appalled to see for the first time what I had really become. The skeletal-like remains of my personality and character were not what I expected to see – and I had never realised quite how deep inside Hell I had fallen.

 

I have been here before – many years ago – in a similar situation, and when the trauma-coloured glasses fell from my eyes, I was horrified to see what had become of me. Sixteen years ago it was because I was anorexic and didn’t really know it (or, in all honesty, didn’t want to acknowledge it) – then one day I saw myself for what I really looked like, without the help of the vile disease looking through my eyes for me. I was left horrified and shocked at myself for allowing myself to be taken in by it so – and now I feel almost exactly the same way again now, all these years later. And the things that I have done (and in some cases, not done) leave me feeling immensely guilty – and in some extreme cases, sickened and overwhelmed by what I had done, and had been reduced to.

 

Yet somehow, I now feel some hope. And, even more importantly, I feel more like I’m on a path towards myself. The me that has a personality and bright eyes and a smile… not a glassy-eyed shell devoid of apathy and running on pure selfishness. I am well aware I am never going to be anywhere near perfect – I have a past that is deplorable and affects me still, and an illness that sucks the life out of you like a greedy vampire that won’t stop. I am no longer skin-and-bone, but food still terrifies me, and I am still learning to co-exist  with my paranoia and perpetual fear of everything (I’ve given up trying to override them)…

 

However, I have hope I will be at least in touch with myself, feel a little better in my own skin, be more accepting of who I actually am, and treat people like heart-felt humans and real friends – and not inanimate objects who’s sole purpose is to revolve around my tempestuous hyper-sensitivity and make me “feel better”, whilst enduring my erratic and frightening behaviour. I have hope that in time I can learn to be focused on the things I want to do and like doing, without having a panic attack about just the thought of it. I want to write music and sing again, write the book(s) that have always been tumbling about in my head, read as much as I used to, and have some self-confidence and self-belief. It’s going to be baby steps, but I also hope that the projection will be forward, even if progress isn’t at breakneck speed. Moving forward, even slowly, is better than staying still – or worse; going backwards.

 

I think I have managed to pull myself from the brink of what could have been a huge disaster in my life. I’ve had too many of them and could never have survived yet another one. I hope I will learn to manage the black demon in my heart better, and that I become the Queen of my own realm – not a victim to another one of madness and hopelessness, being lost and wandering blindly and in vain.

 

One day I hope to be the person I know I really could be. Until then, I’m going to keep on working on it…

 

 

 


Living With The Enemy

Not been doing much writing of late… I’ve barely just been mindlessly going back and forth on the manuscript without much of an idea of what I’m doing. I wish it was because I have started an intensive IT course for SQL, but even that is suffering.

 

After all these years I am definitely tired of being “symptomatic”, but right now I can just about claim to be “coping” … And by “coping” I generally mean that I haven’t as yet curled up into a catatonic ball for six months. I feel a bit “Can’t Live If Living Is Without You” when it comes to my (… “condition”?… “illness?”) depression – I’ve had it nearly all of my life and I don’t think that I would know what to do without it hovering there in the background. But that is where I would prefer it to stay. Whenever it raises its ugly little head in my life, everything tends to descend into chaos, leaving me a quivering wreck that then has to pick up whatever pieces that are left at the end of it.

 

Being out of work (it’s like no matter how hard I’ve tried, I get nowhere…) and stuck at home, it’s not the best situation to be in – it’s prime fertilisation for a relapse. Add to that horribly painful backache and sciatica (ironically brought on by sitting for long ours in the classroom every week for SQL course to get me back into work), making walking – and just about anything – difficult and painful as hell, and all that’s left is a rather miserable Lel… Even my “Angel Walk” – walking from home to Angel Islington – that I try to do most days ends up compromised when it flares up, and there goes the one thing that makes me feel a little better.

 

I’m tired of being tired… No, exhausted… I’m tired of being up till 4am every night – despite being so damn knackered, I can’t concentrate on anything, I feel rubbish enough to not even know what “self-belief” even is in theory, and I’m so run down with almost no appetite and no particular inclination to consume anything but coffee, as it’s the only thing that keeps me vaguely functioning. I’m also ending up having to take painkillers rather regularly again thanks to my back, and that’s the last thing I need to be reliant on when I’m feeling not OK with things. I have enough of a checkered past with codeine – the last thing I need is for it to raise its ugly head on top of everything else.

 

I also hate being hopelessly over-emotional, prone to unbelievable levels of hypersensitivity and emotionally-driven panic attacks, and I tend to stupidly believe that the pills can help can calm them down because they make me think I feel better. You’d think that after 20 years of this I’d have worked out that it does nothing but cause trouble, not make things better…

 

I really want to get back to “normal” (normal for me)… To be more than just about functioning, just about coping. I want to be able to walk out the house and not feel scared (agoraphobia can be really annoying), talk to people without feeling like they’re being really demeaning towards me (it’s just paranoia – they’re generally not), talk to agencies and go to interviews and sound coherent and confident whilst doing so. It’s always nice when these things happen, and I can do them all without having a panic attack or descending into paranoid tears.

 

Actually, what I would really like is to get my mind back so I can concentrate on things again, get obsessed/ passionate (depends who you ask…) about the things I love, get back to writing, actually enjoy my course and be able to do concentrate on it and actually understand it, actually want to play games again… I miss caring about my characters (in my novels, Skyrim, Fable), and I’m annoyed I’m not making the best out of my course that cost a lot of money. Not being able to take in the lectures and trying to read my notes and textbook with the words never being retained.

 

The demon needs to go back in the box… A bit tired of playing games with it though.

 

 

 

 


Writing Tools & Adaptation

My preference in writing has always been typing. My tool of choice has been laptops since I first got my hands on one about 15 years ago when I was finally given one for college, and I’ve never been a big fan of handwriting, since it ends up hurting my stupidly weak wrists. Even as a child I asked for a typewriter, which then got relegated to under the bed the minute we got our first computer.

So losing my tool of writing recently has left me rather lost, to be honest… My laptop (generally clunky and useless as it was) became fully DOA and was tentatively diagnosed with Fried Hard Drive Syndrome – which I suspect was due to the idiotically- placed main vent… Some genius thought it’d be an awesome idea to put it in the bottom of the laptop – and thus defeating the whole point of it actually being a laptop (it was more of a sit-it-strategically-on-books-and-magazines-top and the idiot at HP who designed it should be string up with piano wire and over a crocodile pit). Throw in the fact it ran the worst OS in history (Vista) and that machine was a nightmare.

But it was a “lap”top, and my only laptop, and I like how personal they are. PC may stand for “Personal Computer” but desktops are nowhere near the same. Laptops are portable – they can go to your bed, your couch, your Starbucks, on the train, and away on trips with you. Desktops are utterly useless for such things, given they tend to weigh more than a baby elephant and are almost just as big as one too (OK, they’re not quite that bad these days, but they’re still not great). They also come in at least 3 parts and they just don’t move. I like the fact laptops (and ergo your ideas, notes, manuscript, games, internet etc) are portable and follow you everywhere. Now I don’t have a portable friend and feel tied down and trapped – stuck tied to the only working machine in the house… My desktop.

… Except not “desk”top. It’s tied to the big-screen TV to watch online programmes and movies, and was originally set up to be the iTunes archive and player. So writing now actually involves sitting in front of a huge HDTV with a wired keyboard (the wireless one died – this house is cursed!) and trying to concentrate on writing on something big enough to live on, and was bought for movies and games.

So now my “writing office” is the floor of the living room (the keyboard only reaches do far) and my office chair is a bunch of large floor cushions, and my desk is a large box with books in. And if I want to watch anything (or the other-half does), it goes in a small window in the corner of the screen – so very not practical!

I’m now not so much short of inspiration as short of options for where to write them down, and this I’m finding annoying the more of goes on. But then when one does not have the ability to fund a change to the situation, one has to adapt. Even if it’s through gritted teeth!

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Knowing Me; Knowing Them

So, after thinking a little bit more about the whole “write what you know” thing that everyone will always quote at you if you want to write, I got to thinking about what I really did know. And I came to realise that one thing I had been trying to write about I did not know about – and that was happy things.

Now, I’m not meaning to sound like an over-dramatic, self-pitying misery guts here, but the general fact is that happy and cheerful isn’t something I’ve ever really experienced. My life has (in the majority) been difficult, dark, and rather gothic in its execution. I’ve been one of those people who’ve rather suffered through fault of their own and others, and I’ve been to very dark places. I have subsequently not been to very happy places – even if I did (or I even may have) – I doubt I would even know it, to be honest.

Therefore I’m back at the question of why am I trying to write it? It’s hardly going to be authentic as a piece of writing, and what I managed to get from others was that it rather wasn’t really authentic to me. My mother was rather surprised to read one attempt at a manuscript, citing it as something of light-fluff that she finds in her Mills & Boon books. I wasn’t quite sure what to make of that until I clocked on that it wasn’t a strange snipe at my writing (trying nicely to say it was rubbish and had no substance) – it was that I think she was rather taken aback that I would actually try to write “fluff”. I’m not a “fluff” person – not to write anyway (though I do like the odd chick-lit and chick-flick).

Back to my usual analogy of song writing, I have not written any “fluff” songs since I was about 15. By fluff, I mean lovey, traditional pop-esque Moon-In-June, lovey-dovey things that Britney might have sung when she was also 15, with basic lyrics and easy rhymes, where silly people always write “mine” with “time” and “sigh” and cry” because it’s too much effort to come up with anything else. I write dark, gothic, and (as some people will no doubt call) “depressive” songs and music – it has a hard, dark theme of suffering and general feeling of being trapped in a nightmare, thus:

Black rose dying from your poison
Screaming ghosts haunt the nightmares in my head
All I see is desolation
Can’t escape the terrors in my mind…

Screaming Alone inside my head
Grasping desperation till I’m dead
Black fingers pouring threads of war
From wounds that I can no longer ignore.

Thinking now, I know I was probably just trying to use writing as a way of escaping a life that always feels like this – when it comes to songs I always write what I feel. But that just means that I don’t really know what I’m writing about – I do sarcasm, dark humour, intensity, deep darkness, living with fear and depression.

I don’t really do cheerful. So I’m happy to report that I’ve stopped that now. I’ll just stick to dark humour and mild sarcasm from now on. I think it’ll come across as much more authentic, and so will my beloved friends (read: Characters).

The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe.
~ GUSTAVE FLAUBERT


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