Odd Journaling

I don’t know why, but I woke up today terrified. Right now, I’m in a safe space. I have two friends near me and I have nothing today that is going to be difficult.

I am still scared stiff.

This seems like a journal entry more so than a blog post and I apologize for that, but I think it is significant that I am absolutely petrified to make a single move. I don’t know if I have a gut feeling that something bad is going to happen or if something bad has already happened. I don’t know if my anxiety is just railroading me into submission. I don’t know.

I’m still here though. November 28th, 2016 is scaring me, but I’m still here.

There’s really only one thing for me to do and I’m doing it. I’m writing my way out of the fear. I am typing another unplanned blog post about something very tender and hot in my mind. I’m hoping that with every letter I press to the keyboard, I will find a solution to my problem.

It isn’t always that easy. I feel remiss for reiterating my fear, but something about it is so overwhelming. Every step, every word, every breathe is prefaced by my heart clenching and my mind racing.

I’m really scared. I don’t know what to do, but I am really scared.

I’m sure I’ll make a blog post when the fear passes. That’s the thing about fear, it passes.

Forever winging it and writing my way out.

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New Friends and Old

Today is Thanksgiving (Spanksgiving if you’re frisky) and it has been a generally ‘meh’ experience. A few ‘almost fights’ have broken out, the food has already been devoured, the Mystery Science Theater 3000 marathon is at a pretty low volume, my brother has to go to work soon, and I am unable to see anyone that isn’t already here.

Why I loathe Thanksgiving isn’t the purpose of this post. This post is talking about friends.

I love my friends. My friends have gotten me out of some real tight binds. Some days, when I feel like I’m at the bottom of the pit and there’s  no hope, one or two or all of them send me a quick message. They give me a little note. A kiss on the cheek or a shake of the hand. Just to reassure me. Just to say Hey, I love you. Take care of yourself.

That’s what I’m thankful for. My friends. New and old. You all mean the world to me.

Here’s to you.

My Holidays

This was typed in a fervor. I am leaving it up to preserve the moment, as every moment is important, but these may not accurately reflect my feelings at any other given time. 

 

 

Unfortunately, I dread the holiday season. I am an anxious, depressed, bipolar individual who has extreme stress around this time of year.

I put on my happy face and am furiously happy until I am blue in the face. I sing Christmas carols and tell people how much they mean to me (in all honesty, I do both of these year round, I just don’t get complaints during this time of the year), but no matter how hard I try. The cheer runs out everyday.

Everyday, I have a full reserve of cheer ready to be distributed and used to my liking. A full lake brimming with winks, nods, and smiles for anyone and everyone. When I want to compliment people, I give them two. When I want to thank people, I let them know how thankful I am for them. When I want to smile, I have to laugh a little because this year makes me so happy. And that’s why I dread it.

Every family has its fights, every friend has a bad day, every person has to be a little colder somedays. I see all of it. I am always so anxious that I’ll miss something that I read and interpret actions instantly. I know when people are mad quietly. I am also always in the epicenter when people are fighting loudly.

The benefit you get when viewing a cold war of emotion is that you can slowly heat up the feud until the bad feelings drip away. A fight is different. It’s like going into a snowstorm with a match. And when you’re involved, the match is already burnt out.

I won’t go into much detail, but my household has a recurring argument every two months or so. As a solution, I put myself in a position that is emotionally draining and compromises any boundaries I should have with the other members of my household. As I am writing this, I am at work. It is a slow day and the conversations  I’ve had are extremely exciting.

Then I get messages about a fight. A fight about the same thing again. A fight I have no control over and am getting dragged into while I’m at work.

The reservoir drained in a few keystrokes.

I am too young for this.

Writing My Way Out

I write scores of things. I write scripts and lists and short stories and papers and poems and dialogue and blog posts and tweets and a truckload of other things. I love writing. I write so often that I get hand cramps. I have filled many spiral notebooks and have created countless (not literally, but it is provocative) Word documents.

Why do I write so much? Why, that’s a great question unidentified non-reader of these posts. I have to. You see, I have a very troubling life. Not because I’ve not been privileged or because I have had a terribly troubled home life. I suffer from a bountiful bevy of mental and emotional issues. They have slain my self-esteem, skewed my perception of social cues, and, some days, locked me up entirely to such a point that I am totally unable to function beyond basic breathing and moving.

Recently, (the past few years) I stopped reading and writing. I was in a relationship with a girl who found it a waste of time and I, like a big dumb goof, stopped. In high school, if I was reading, people criticized me for what I was reading. It wasn’t what I was supposed to be reading. I stopped entirely for awhile. Then, on Veteran’s Day, I read a small pamphlet of stories that were written by veterans. Everything jumped off the pages and surrounded me. I rediscovered the sensation that seduced me into reading all those years ago. I started devouring books, but I still wasn’t writing (which was the point of this blog post, get your act together me).

It was a slow process. Occasional journaling, especially after my last relationship ended, got me back into the swing of things. Eventually, I started scrawling with more passion than ever.

I finished Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow and fell in love with Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton and had a small mental breakdown in my friend’s car.

I do that way more than I really want to.

I was having another depressive episode and didn’t know what to do. “I can’t drink . I can’t have one night stands. I can’t drive. I can’t yell. My asthma makes it hard to run. I can’t spend money. I can’t audition for shows. I can’t sing. I can’t eat. I can’t sleep. I can’t do a single goddamn thing to relieve stress,” were a small amount of the things I was telling myself.

Then it hit me. I’ll write my way out.

That’s the main point of the song “Hurricane” (my favorite song  It is what Alexander Hamilton did. I started crying because the song made so much more sense now. I started writing furiously. I started blogging (even though no one is reading it) furiously. Eventually, everything else started to fall into place. Even though my life is a storm, a hurricane if you will, I can calm it by writing down everything I see.

I’m writing my way out.

 

Morning Person: A Journey

I suck at waking up. I’m always groggy and lethargic if I didn’t get enough sleep or if I got too much sleep. I’m not sure what time needs to be my specific bedtime, but I know that, if I get that down, I can stick with my preferred wake up time: 5 AM.

Why 5 Am? Well, let me tell you assumed question asker. It is productivity. I can work out, make breakfast, eat breakfast, shower, get dressed, and read at a leisurely pace. The rush of waking up 45 minutes before work is non-existent. The rush I put myself through when I don’t get the amount of sleep I need is definitely damaging.

Y’see, person not reading this, there is definite truth to the classic maxim of “if you start your day off right, you can get through it easier,” and, considering my last month of Hell, I need all the help I can get.

My alarm goes off at 5. I’m woken up by “Hurricane” from Hamilton. (My favorite song from the show and one of my favorite songs ever) Unfortunately, I’ve trained myself to turn it off as soon as I hear it. I know that I need to set my phone away from my bed so I’m forced to get up to turn it off, but I always check my phone right before I nod off into a melatonin induced slumber. I am fully aware that this keeps my brain active and doesn’t help proper resting, but, especially when I am up late doing something that can be done the next day, it is a force of habit.

These blog posts are for my benefit. Sometimes putting things to words helps me initiate the drive in me to do the best I can to fulfill my self-improvement. I want to become a morning person. I want to be as aware and cheery during the start of my day as I am in the middle of the day. I want to start off right, because there have been too many opportunities missed and sicknesses caused by waking up on the wrong side of the bed.

It is most certainly a journey, along with everything else in life, and I have to keep walking forward. One step, no matter how small, at a time.

Here’s a picture of a sleepy kitty.cute-sleepy-kitty-cat-cats-kitten-kitty-pic-picture-funny-lolcat-cute-fun-lovely-photo-images

When Stale Ideas Begin to Rot

I have self-esteem issues. I’m also very outgoing and prone to trying new things. When I fail at new things, it damages my self-esteem even more.

YouTube was one of those things. I am very proud to be a part of the Content Creator community. I am always excited to see the content that my favorite creators put out regularly. Everything from comedy to heart wrenching stories can be told in this seemingly endless space of entertainment. I am very proud to be part of that.

I am not, however, proud of what I have contributed. I have uploaded over 100 videos to YouTube over the past 5 years. Only about 25 of them are up. Several of these are school projects, even though I made another channel for school projects specifically. The rest of these are episodes of my web show, Indiana Mack.

Indiana Mack was an idea that had endless potential, but has met with countless failures. I tried making it a vlog series with a fictional character, an ad libbed review show, a show about a character that is pushed into different universes, a show with plot, a show with jokes, a show about facts. All of these failed. They failed because of several reasons, but all were still failures.

My commitment was one of the major reasons. Throughout high school, and now college, I tried to create something entertaining with virtually no support. I had friends who wanted to help (and did when I asked them), but all of the people who said they were watching weren’t. YouTube keeps a view count. I knew who was watching because I almost always watched with them or they told me right afterwards. This was disheartening. How could I continue making something that almost no one cared about?

My life has been in constant turmoil because everyone’s life is at some point. The scripts died. The ideas were bad. The stress was unreal. I didn’t know how the Content Creators I looked up to could keep up a work ethic that insane. Then, one day, it dawned on me. They had help.

I’ve had three people consistently help me with Indiana Mack. My Mom, brother, and friend Jonathan. All of them have been there when I asked them to be. I’ve had many people for years say they want to be a part of my webshow, but, when the time came for their involvement, they backed out. All of these people from different points in my life showed insane enthusiasm for the ‘fun’ part of the webshow. No one wanted to e involved in the script development. No one cared about the editing. No one wanted to free their schedule. They just wanted to play characters and leave. That made me even more disheartened.

For every Indiana Mack video, there were three abandoned ideas. The amount of people who were helping me was a stark contrast to the people who said they would. This, coupled with people mistreating me and leaving my life, made me want to abandon the web show all together. I never told anyone, but I began to hate Indiana Mack. I hated everything about it. About him. He, the character Indiana Mack, was a personification of my failures. My lack of commitment. Indiana Mack was my face on a pile of rot and waste. I couldn’t even wear the hat I’d associated with him and it was my favorite hat.

What changed then? Why didn’t I just abandon the channel?

I made new friends in college. People I knew in high school became close friends. New people I met through school events or work became close friends. I was getting a real feeling of what real friendships were like. I wasn’t receiving support from them because it ‘would be cool to be in a web series’. I was receiving support from them because they wanted to succeed. My failures weren’t because of weakness. My failures were because, sometimes, life just does that.

The ideas are still fresh, I just need to find a new way to get them to my audience. The creating is still fun, I just need to make it productive and inclusive. And I might even fail again.

But, you know what the best part of failing is?

You can always try again.

 

 

 

Technology and Anxiety

This post will be…odd. You see, I’m trying to partition off this blog into schoolwork and personal blogging. Allowing my thoughts on what I learn in school to bleed into my thoughts on how I live is completely foreign to me. This website, this blog, these articles are all representative of myself in different ways. To see two parts of myself collide in a place that is not me, the place being this website, is jarring. The articles write themselves, I suppose.

I, as I am sure my readers know, suffer from utterly terrifying and severe anxiety. Somedays it cripples me and becomes a detriment to my life and the lives of others. I have had extreme trouble making true friends who will stick by my side and, in regards to the latest two, I am terrified of making new ones and losing them. My anxiety is relieved and accelerated by technology.

Relief comes when I can easily pull up my bank account, check up on a friend, or turn in assignments with a few clicks and swipes. It allows me freedom to handle a situation that, if handled in the physical world, would be taking much more time and energy than I can afford to exhaust.

The stress comes from its failures or complete incapabilities. When I am instant messaging someone and they say something a certain way, they aren’t really saying it. I have to use the context of the conversation and remember their speech patterns when I speak to them in person to draw a conclusion on any vague message. Some people criticize me when I do this, but we choose our words for a reason. I get extremely anxious when I am messaging someone and the tone of their words shift. Did I upset them? Was a boundary crossed? How did I screw up this time?

Sometimes the incapability of incompatibility is infuriatingly inexcusable. I am afraid to delete pictures because I have to double check how things are uploaded to devices once every few days to make sure that the settings don’t reset. The non-deletion that I am constantly going through makes the storage on my phone fill up and make my emails inaccessible. Inaccessibility to my emails is not an option as a person who has three frequently used email accounts synced to his phone. Also, for whatever ungodly digital reason, emails will only send partially or delete attachments. As a student, this has caused assignments to be turned in late. As an actor, this has caused submissions to become invalid. As a human being, this has given me ceaseless frustration.

To quote an unnamed non-player character in my favorite RPG, “Technology is amazing!” but, man, it can sure make me inoperable sometimes.

Ants and Clorox

I had my first drink last night. It was a shot of Tequila that smelled like Clorox and gave me the sensation of warm ants crawling down my insides until they all rested in my stomach to get cozy. I took my shot while the song “My Shot” from Hamilton played in the background. My first drink of alcohol was at the same time the characters take their first shot in the show. It made me happy. That was all I had last night though.

Here’s why:

The medicine I take for my mental health disorders has a chance of killing me if I drink anything immoderate. My family has a long history of alcoholics, borderline abusive alcoholics, untreated alcoholism, abusive alcoholics, and several family members who have drank themselves to death. I have been around enablers all my life, but I remained resolute to have my first drink of alcohol under my total control and conditions. I made sure to have a full stomach and drink plenty of water. I was teased for being overly cautious, but I had no earthly idea what it would do to me.

It made me giggly. Fun giggly. I loved it.

The bottle of tequila, which is in the shape of a man’s head morphing into a jaguar’s head, now sits on my desk at home. I have no shot glasses and will not drink straight from the bottle, so it may be a hot minute before I take another drink of it.

My hesitance to drink has been received with extreme derision and mocking by many people. They thought I was being snobbish and holding it above them. I never did though, they were just fucking idiots.

This post is dedicated to the select few that believed in me and understood why I took my time. Without you, I may have never had that first shot.

Social Voyeurism

How do I feel about people using my online accounts to stalk me and get an idea of where I am in life?

It is weird to me. I feel that they are reaching out for me to communicate with them without giving any indicator for me to do so. In some way, I feel that I am not getting the whole idea of myself across to people who don’t ask for the full picture. Misinterpretations are made and trouble ensues.

I have gotten in scuffles over misunderstood posts, tweets, and messages more time than I care to admit. It seems that all of these could be avoided if one party asks for clarification. You’ve got to visualize what you may sound like when you confront another person and how they will respond.

If you see a Snapchat story, twitter storm, Facebook post, or photo on Instagram without the context in the original “post”er’s life, and proceed to react as if you are privy to any sort of part of their life just because you saw a social media post, then you will be met with pushback. The pushback can result in a fight that could have been wholly avoided.

The basic point I am trying to get across is to take time processing the information you get with social media instead of consuming everything at once and creating conclusions based on what you saw. Think before you act and treat others with respect.