If you’re an author who writes anything and risks your mental health by shipping out stories to magazines, publishers, or agents, you may have received feedback like this:
“The story and characterization is good, but the plot just doesn’t seem believable.”
If you’re “lucky” you’ll end up with a few paragraphs from the Editor (that word is going to do a lot of work in this article) explaining how unbelievable your story is. They may call out plot points — “If the building collapses, it clearly would crush the protagonist and the antagonist.” — or even certain dialog bits they…
But I’m going to try anyway.
Folks who’ve never been assume there’s always “something” you can do to keep yourself from being there.
Poverty is the absence of that.
The reality that there’s NOTHING else you can do. It’s hopeless.
Imagine losing your job.
Imagine you then can’t get unemployment because of some paperwork mistake.
Six months goes by.
Your savings is gone. You’ve sold everything of value, including the car you need to get to work if you find a job (which isn’t happening)
Bills are three months overdue. Your power *will* be shut off. Your landlord/the bank is…
In the latter half of 2012, I had a mental breakdown. I’d sacrificed my mental and physical health to the point where I was barely sleeping, was tossing back Xanax like they were Tic-Tacs, and had recently kicked a burgeoning hydrocodone addiction. My drinking was out of control. If I didn’t have five or six drinks before bed, then I wasn’t going to bed.
I didn’t know all of that would come together that October in the form of a work rant, followed by a broken hydraulic door, and resulting in me going on out company disability.
I didn’t know…
As anyone who has followed me for any length of time knows, I’m Bipolar. The majority of my symptoms — premedication — presented in uncontrollable manic episodes that led to such winning thoughts as:
Since going on my meds (quetiapine), I’ve avoided…
I wrote an article almost a year ago now called “Bipolar Freakshow” where I talked about my story as well as the stigma and misinformation around Bipolar as a mental illness. In that article, I discussed how the worst place to be when you’re Bipolar is that strip of time between a high and a low; where you’re still wired — mind going 1,000 MPH — but you start hating yourself. The main goal of medication, in my opinion, is to shrink or eliminate those times because they’re the most dangerous.
Well, I think I need to start…
The last few days I’ve felt this doubt growing in my chest. It weasels its way into every thought, dragging its grimy claws across my skin, gripping my throat and squeezing ever-so-lightly; just enough to hear me wheeze, to feel my heart race under its scaly skin.
It’s basically a softcore bondage monster that doesn’t respect safe words.
“Marginal Tax Rate! Marginal Tax Rate!”
I’m writing this out now and already feeling the tension drain away… which is funny, because the cause of said anxiety was writing. The thought of sending more work out there, of starting up my short…
It’s a Tuesday when I turn into an Elder Thing.
I know, given the option of days of the week, I expected it to be a Monday, too, but sometimes life doesn’t make sense. Sometimes your life collapses under the debt of 21st century living rather than any ill-advised financial plan of your own making. Sometimes the people you love all die within six months of each other. Sometimes, you go a little loopy and start hoarding artifacts loosely affiliated with a strange sect of Doomsayers predicting the end of days.
And sometimes, you solve a seven-sided puzzle box while…
This past month has been great. I built a table (almost done), finished rewriting a book, finished a couple stories, even got a few personalized rejection letters (*does Coach Steve Steve arm stretch*).
It’s absolutely terrifying.
Now, anyone with some variation of Bipolar is probably nodding along sagely while the rest of the room is looking around like they missed the punchline to the world’s worst joke.
Well, you didn’t miss anything because it’s not funny.
There’s a dread that comes with a Bipolar diagnosis you can’t get rid of. That despite your best efforts and the best medications in…
This is going to sound really stupid to some, but really relatable to others.
My dog died yesterday and I feel like I’ve come unanchored from reality. You see, back in 2012 when I had my mental breakdown I lost a few months of my life to mental illness and medication adjustment.
One of the things I used to anchor myself in reality, to lock myself in place so I knew what was real and what wasn’t, were my dogs. I have — had — two. Kip and Archie.
Now, Kip is a loner and super self-sufficient despite being the…