Friday, December 28, 2012

Week of Inward Looking Day 2 AND 3

OOOO I'm playing catch up here with my Inward Looking questions! And I'm trying not to eat a whole bag of clementines. I mean, I'm eating most of them, I just don't want to eat ALL of them. Cause I'm making soup later. Which is my favorite thing ever. I freaking love soup.


Question 2:

In what way have I been living in the shadows in 2012? How might my life change if I came out into the light in 2013? What strengths could I discover and share if I gave up hiding my weaknesses?

How have I been living in the shadows? Hmm. Well I always live in the shadow of money issues. And honestly, this is a big "I hate talking about" issue. Money is always tight, or really never there. I am swimming in a sea of student loan debt. And with apartment costs, food, car payments, car insurance, etc,. I don't have a safety net. Actually, I have no savings what so ever. Which scares me. A lot.  

But I hate asking for help. I am 30 years old and that's old enough to be able to swim alone just fine. I want to show people that I can do this life thing. But it's hard. I try not to think about it, because if I do think about it, I tend to melt down. Cry. Stop eating. Typical depression stuff. And it's hard for me to get out of the money depression funk because I don't know how to fix it. 

In 2013 I am going to try my damnest to do better with money. I have a great job that makes me happy and pays more than my bookstore job did (not by much, but it's enough to make a difference). I'm also going to pray for a bunch of money to come my way with no strings attached so I can pay all my student loans off. That's really what's sucking my soul out. If they are done, well all that extra money will just go to savings. 

Perhaps if I am more honest with other people about my money issues, then I will find strength in my family and friends or a generous benefactor. Maybe the more I talk about it, the less worried I will feel that people will think bad things about me because I'm in this tight spot that has lasted about ten years now. 


Question 3:

When I look back over 2012 and think about how time, choices and objects have been organized, do I see harmony and ease? Did I seek out the natural place for things to land and rest? Where did I struggle to force things into literal or figurative containers? Do I recognize the order in the universe and see my life reflected in that order?

Heh. Strangely, when I learned to relax (okay, okay, I haven't learned to relax but I'm practicing!) things have been coming towards me. I've had a crap time at my old job after seven plus years and then, on a whim, I applied to a job and received it. I knew it was time to leave the old place and move on to something new. And lo and behold! It happened. 

Since then, I've been trying to go with the flow more. How is the universe going to direct me today? Lots of new agey type stuff, but something that is resonating with me right now. I'm trying to listen to my instincts and what I really want to be doing and trying to stop forcing myself into a postion that I wasn't made for or outgrew. 

It's been working. I'm happier. And while there are still a bunch of things that can be fixed, (money issues, Jack finding a job that is actually feasible, my health) I am trying to be confident that things will work out. That everything will be fine in 2013 and beyond. 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Week of Inward Looking Day 1 (if a day late)

I'm taking this week to follow something that my friend Patti started last year (or was a part of last year) that she revived for this year. Every day for this next week there will be a question to answer. I'm answering them here so I actually write. Hope you enjoy. 

Inward Looking

Question 1
Where have I learned and lived in 2012? In my head, in my body, or both? What would living more fully in my body in 2013 bring to me? How can I embody life and learning as I move through this liminal space between now and next? How can I more fully learn from the neck down in 2013?

This year I lived in my head. I had to pay attention to what it was doing when I wasn't looking. There has been a lot of changes this year in my life and being bipolar, change can turn into a mood swing if I'm not careful. 

But this year, I've learned to pay attention to the rest of me. I am more than just my bipolar/chemically different brain. I've started reading The End of Illness and I realize that I am a system. My gut has more serotonin in it than my brain. If there is something wrong with my feet, then I should probably get off of them and help them heal. 

2013 will be my year to heal. I will heal my body from my constant aches and pains by wearing comfy shoes. By going to yoga (which I found out I love after going to a class for a fundraiser). By just moving more. I will heal the mind/body disconnect. I will not ignore my mind, but encompass it into my body. I will meld together and heal and grow. 

I look forward to it. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

It's all right, I love you

Over the past couple years, I've been getting crazy about Christmas music. I have to have it. I have to listen to it all the time. Every single time from when we leave where ever we are on Thanksgiving, to at least New Year's Eve. 

I love it. I love it. I love it. 
Right now we have 430 songs on the playlist, but we didn't pick up the Twisted Sister Xmas Album or the new Cee-lo Green one (he has The Muppets!)

So yeah.
Then this happened. 

I cannot tell you how many times I've listened to this song. I'm in love. 

This may have changed my attitude towards unicorns as well. We will see. 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Response to Reactions

I have lots of thoughts about the latest school shooting reactions. Not the shooting itself. But the reactions that I have read from the people on my friends list on Facebook. From the people I follow on Tumblr. From the links that are linked.

I've seen video games get blamed.

Violent video games are not the problem. In fact, there are a whole lot more people who play violent video games that are NOT violent, than who are. Just because I like killing zombies/Nazi/Zerg/Flood does not make me a violent person. People do not look at me and call me violent.

I've seen guns get blamed.

Are guns the problem? I don't think so. I consider myself a liberal, but I understand the need to have a hunting rifle if you are going to hunt. I understand the need if you are in law enforcement. I understand the need to collect because of history. All these things are fine. All these things are sane. These people (some of my family in fact) will never go out and decide one day to use their firearm on other people. However, I do support more background checks. I do support banning those firearms not used in hunting. Will this stop shootings? No. People can steal just as easily. But will it create another barrier that will just take that much longer for someone who should not own a weapon, to get said weapon? Yes. And durring that time, perhaps the person will be deterred. Or s/he would get help.

(which brings me to my next point)

I've seen mental illness get blamed.

I hate this. I hate the term "mental illness." I hate it. Because I fall in this category.  I have a mental illness. I am bipolar. But am I "ill"? No. I cannot "get better" or "heal" this. This is a disorder I have. My brain does not make the same chemicals that a person who is not bipolar does. It's a chemical imbalance that leads to mood swings.

I am not sick.

Nor am I violent on the scale of this violence. I will not paint a rosy picture of my past. I have been violent towards others when I have not been on medication, when I wasn't being helped, when I didn't know I was bipolar and that something was wrong. I have been violent towards myself. I've cut myself for therapeutic reasons, I've taken way too much medication. I've landed in the psych ward a couple times because of this. But I got help.

I've been lucky in a way. I've had friends who held my hand and taught me to stand on my own feet. I've had loved ones hold me up and teach me to stand up for myself. To embrace myself. To love my flaws. I've had close people call doctors for me because I was too scared to do it myself. I've had them drive me to the appointments because they knew I wouldn't go otherwise.

I've also found some awesome doctors. And some medication that works for me without any side effects. I know I'm lucky with this one thing alone.

But is mental illness to blame?
Can we talk about mental health outside of a tragedy? Can we have this discussion that people refuse to have? I know it's hard. I had to fight to get family members to understand what I'm going through. What I've been through. But it was worth it. They get it now. They are supportive. They understand.

We need to talk about mental health. All the good stuff and all the bad stuff. And not make it feel like I'm sharing this deep dark secret when I say "I'm bipolar." It's not a secret. I'm very open about it because I want people to understand. To question me.

We need to be open. We need to not shun those who act "off." We need to not look down on the woman on the corner muttering to herself. We need to relax and not tense up when there is an autistic child throwing a fit in a public place. We need more empathy. We need more knowledge.

We need to stop judging everyone who isn't like us.

We all need to talk.

Perhaps then, the people who need help will find it.
Perhaps then, people can find safe places for their loved ones who need help.
Perhaps then, there will be funding for this to all occur.

Perhaps then, it will be less of a stigma.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Ugh. I got Tagged.

So my friend Jen over at Authorized Musings tagged me in a silly post about what we are currently working on.

Now, I'm just letting you all know here that 1. I don't consider myself a writer. I am a person who likes to write and I guess I wouldn't mind getting paid for blogging, but, I hate deadlines. I suck at them. So yeah. I'm not a writer. and 2. I AM ONLY DOING THIS FOR JEN. stupid being friends for a long time. *shakes angry fist*

I'm breaking the chain here. Mostly because I don't know anyone else who has a blog thingy who occasionally writes. BREAKING THE CHAIN BREAKING THE CHAIN.

Here we go:

What is the working title of your book?

Hmm... I didn't get that far. I'm only kinda writing it. But if I had to name it right this second, it would be called "Sunrise"

Where did the idea come from for the book?

Really, shouldn't this sentence read "where did the book idea come from?" Screw you and your not ending sentences in a preposition. Your question is awkward sounding.

The idea came from a series of dreams I had when I was in high school and college.

What genre does your book fall under?

Did you know "under" is a preposition?

Science Fiction. Perhaps Teen Dystopian Fantasy, but only perhaps.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Now really, I have only about 2k words under my belt. And no one really has names. I know, confusing. But it's told as an epic poem, so it would kinda suck as a movie.

Narrator: Kate Winslet
J (girl): Angelina Jolie (for looks, and she played Lara Croft, which would be perfect for J (girl))
J (boy): David Tennet
M: That guy who played Spike from Buffy.
D: Benedict Cumberbatch

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Epic poem post-apocalyptic story told as a memoir.
That really isn't a sentence, but that's what it is.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

If by "self-published" you mean "I hit print on the Word file," then yes. You're lucky if I finish this thing. But POD books suck. RANDOM HOUSE ALL THE WAY BABY.  Or maybe HarperCollins? Probably Tor though. (which I think is Random House anyway?)

How long did it take your to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I'm counting my abandonment of my NaNoWriMo version as my first draft... so 3 days.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Sharp Teeth

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Homer actually. I reread The Odyssey late this summer and I thought that would be cool. Also I Love A Broad Margin To My Life by Maxine Hong Kingston gave me the idea for the memoir part.

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?

I have a habit of referencing song lyrics in my work.
But really, the synopsis should be enough to make you read my book. Or at least open the first page.