An interview with myself:
- Why are you blogging publicly instead of keeping a diary?
I’ve kept diaries all my life – and thrown them all away, figuring what’s in them to be irrelevant to anyone and uninteresting to everybody. Between 2012 and 2014, in the midst of my second breakdown, I wrote literally thousands of pages, because writing was the only thing I was able to do, most days. I used my journals as a method of processing trauma because I couldn’t afford therapy – and I was being retraumatized on a daily (sometimes hourly) basis. But, in addition to using the pages as napkins to soak up emotional vomit, I had written countless ideas – for living, for theater, for publication – that I will never be able to actualize.
Because they’re gone.
In a botched suicide attempt, under the psychotropic spell of a bucketful of sleeping pills, I managed to pour a full kettle of boiling water on my right hand, then proceded to fall into a coma on my kitchen floor for two days. I don’t remember doing it, and now I have to live with the notion that I mutilated my writing hand. I need surgery to make my thumb opposable again, and more reconstructive surgery to fix the scars that make people flinch with revulsion, and then cluck with pity.
My hand is not completely useless – the first thing I did once the bandages were taken off was start retraining myself to write. My handwriting’s OK, but with all the tissue and joint damage, every stroke of the pen is a painful and highly conscious effort. I’m not accustomed to composing at the keyboard – I write by hand. Used to write by hand. Having an audience – even if the audience is just myself – motivates me to keep using the keyboard.
I have another blog – ananotherthink.wordpress.com – and having that out there, on the internet, makes me feel a little less like I’ve been disappeared. And I am also trying to collect my thoughts, process and get over trauma (because I still can’t afford therapy, just a new drug prescription once a month), and get to the point where the last four years are not such a horrifying, heart-breaking memory.
- What topics do you think you’ll write about?
Because of nature/nurture (and potentially astrology), I have a lot of trouble relating to things unless I run them through a Me filter first. This annoys people and makes them think I am irrevocably self-centered. Which I chalk up to frustration and projection.
Frustration and projection are two topics I may eventually hit on. I’m focusing on reintegration and individuation of my Self, so my Self is the main focus – what was the breakdown like and how is my recovery/life rebuilding going. I may get scientific. I may get mystical. I may get angry, scared, despondent or hypomanic. I have a bipolar II diagnosis I’m trying to worm my way out of because bipolar is trendy and comes with expensive pills. I may talk about how wonderful psychiatry is, or how it is total bullshit. I may post random videos all by themselves with no comment (but probably with lyrics). I may post my digital art. Or someone else’s. Or cat pictures. Everything I post will be with the intention of touching someone in some way that is personal to them. I would like to make people think, or make them feel that another human being can relate to what they’re going through – in whatever small way. I want to write about how having a psychological illness shouldn’t be shameful or fear-inducing. I’d like to shatter the stigma single-handedly. But in reality, that ain’t happening. Because it takes a village to raise an adult child.
I may not write about any of this.
- Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
Ideally, I hope anyone who is suffering from a subjective diagnosis will benefit from these pages. I would specifically like to network with other artists all over the world who are expressing and processing pain and trauma through their work – whether or not anyone sees that work. I’m also interested in the support people who are vital to the “unwell” – families, friends and partners as well as more formal caregivers and service providers who seem to me on the whole to be disturbingly ignorant about the nature of what can be called a nervous breakdown or spiritual crisis. Because maybe if the people I turned to for support had known wtf was going on, I may not have been abandoned by practically everyone in my physical vicinity when I really, really needed help.
- If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what do you hope to accomplish?
That’s a difficult question as I am not at this time able to look too far into the future. I guess I’ll direct you to the paragraph above.
And plus world domination. 😉
Thanks for listening.