Inside Looking Out

Ever since I was a wee lad, I have felt out of place. I never had more than a handful of friends and still don’t. And I’ve come to terms with not fitting in. I know that I’m weird. I say awkward things and trip over my tongue. I embarrass myself and anyone I’m with. My voice is funny. I have nervous tics. I understand why people don’t want to be around me.

But I feel like I’m staring out the window, watching the world and wanting to be a part of it. There’s so much going on, but always out of my reach. My face is pressed up against that window, watching the other kids play. What was once literal is now a metaphor.

There’s a great big world out there. If only I could get out the door.

doge in space card redux

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(In Just Seven Years) Rocky Horror Made Me a Man

Note: I wrote this in 2015, but I love Rocky so much that I felt it needed an update.

 

Some of you will get the title reference. You are my people. Thank you for existing.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show turns 42 this year. I’m not sure if this is old or young, because it’s always been an old movie for me. Even though I’ve seen it hundreds (literally) of times, it’s always seemed like something from the past brought into the present for lonely souls like me. It was a holy relic, and we were the cult that formed around it.

For better or worse, Rocky Horror made me who I am.

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Man or Turtleman?

If you follow my blog, you already know that I have a deep affection for turtles. My pet turtle, Shelvin, just turned 34 last month, and he’s still going strong. Yes, he has scars from a bad case of shell rot (He stayed at my brother’s place while I was homeless, and he didn’t know that you’re not supposed to keep a turtle in an area without light).

Turtles might not develop as unique and complex a personality as cats or dogs, but they still show individuality. Shelvin is different from other pet turtles. He has charisma. He watches me all the time and gets so excited when I walk by his tank that he pecks the tank to get my attention. She stares at my giant Godzilla toy. He doesn’t like to be touched or picked up by anyone but me. And he’s sneaky, trying to take advantage of my bad memory by begging for food.

Shelvin rainbow

(Shelvin with light from a prism shining on him)

What can I say? I like turtles.

But there’s more to it. I think that I like turtles because I secretly wish that I was one. A turtle can hide in his shell, and no one questions that. A turtle doesn’t need to deal with bullshit. A turtle is protected by armor, and even when vulnerable, he still has that shell to save him. A turtle doesn’t give a damn about your opinion.

I wish that I had that. I wish that I didn’t bounce between depression, anxiety, and mania. I wish I had a shell to hide in. I wish I had a tank to keep my suffering to myself.

All I want is to go through life without hurting anyone. A shell around me would do that.

Now if only it came with a mind eraser to forget all of my regrets. And there are many.

doge in space card redux

You Are Not a Box

I hate the Myers-Briggs test. I especially hate when people try to describe themselves by their M-B profile. “I’m an ENTJ” or “I’m an INFP, and that means this that and blah blah blah.”

You are not an archetype.  You are not an alignment (alignments are a tool, not a straitjacket. It said so right the D&D 2nd Edition Handbook). You are an amorphous blob of loves, hates, repulsions, delusions, and experiences. You are not a box. You are an oil spill reflecting swirled rainbows, and you cannot be contained.

alignment futurama

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“Watchmage” Novel Update

I was planning for a May release of the novelized version of The Watchmage of Old New York. That isn’t going to happen. My editor is working very diligently on it, as is my cover artist. Neither will be ready for a while.

I’m ok with that. I’d rather put out something late, but of higher quality, than something rushed and faulty.

In the mean time, I’m working on the sequels, and some short stories for an anthology.

The short stories are affecting me. I have professional level stories going back fifteen years, and many have been published in magazines or journals. That’s great, but to me they are examples of how far I’ve come since those first trembling words. They take me back to a place I once was, but will never be again. Once I was full of hope. I thought that by now I’d have a major publishing deal and would be a true success. Instead, I let my madness overwhelm me. Writing has become less a dream and more a necessity. Writing keeps me alive, and it’s the closest I get to “happy.”

I am miserable by nature, and that is not going to change. I’ve found that I can’t even talk about my past anymore without triggering depression and/or anxiety. My anxiety is getting worse. I’m not a success. I’m a writer trying not to die.

Yeah, I know that I’m bitching and moaning. I also know that if you don’t have bipolar syndrome, any comment you make about “sucking it up” is ignorant and presumptuous. Live in these shoes. See how they fit. Take my meds and suffer the side effects. Suffer the twitches and ticks. Suffer the failing endocrine system. Enjoy living on a disability check, not because you don’t work, but because without Medicare, you are dead. I dare you.

Yet I still manage to work part-time. I still manage to scape out a living. People say that if you’re on disability, you’re lazy and sponge off the government and honest tax payers. Be thankful that you don’t have to.

By the way, I receive 800 dollars a month from disability, and 150 dollars from food stamps. Can you live on 950 a month? In one of the richest counties in the world (my rent for a studio apt is 1150? And be trapped here because you are so entrenched in the system? Try it. I dare you.

Or shut up. They both work.

This post took an ugly turn. Here’s a meme to make you happy.

cosmic-cat tripping balls postcard

Crazy Week Is Crazy

I guess it’s time for another “how the hell is Craiggers doing” post.

It’s been a pretty awful week. My transmission blew on Saturday. I found out the cost on Tuesday. Since last Thursday I’ve been dealing with pains in my stomach. I’m not sure if they’re anxiety or what. I’ve been in a pretty bad depressive cycle since January, to the point where I can hardly write. It’s a circle of suck: when I can’t write, I get depressed, and when I get depressed, I can’t write.

What’s concerning is that the depressive cycle began perhaps a week after a manic cycle. This has never happened before. Usually there are many months between cycles. While I am a rapid cycler (I think more than four a year is considered rapid cycling, and that’s where I usually am), they never happen one after the other like this. Even as I write this, I’m having an anxiety attack, the second today. I suppose this is more of a mixed state cycle then.

I have heard that bipolar syndrome gets worse as you get older. I’ve seen the old men and women in the group homes and treatment housing. I see how badly they’re treated–worse than you imagine–and they don’t even realize the abuse. I’m terrified that their present is my future. It’s not an irrational fear. I’m already in the system, and when I cease to be able to care for myself, that’s where they will stick me.

I couldn’t bear to be surrounded by so many people. It’s hard to be in the room with anyone at times. I need quiet, and I need focus.

Ok, this anxiety attack is growing into a full-sized panic attack. I think I might go sit in a corner now and pretend that it’s ok.