Monday, October 15, 2018

Last night, I saw a post about someone’s goal to write 10 minutes every day, and I liked the idea. I love writing, but sometimes I struggle with it a lot. Not only because most of my writing is personal, but also because I need to be in the right mood to create. I don’t rewrite… so most of my texts are pure originals. I write, and that’s how I leave it be. The only thing I might change are typos, as most of them happen out of haste.

I once was told I should start to rewrite… to learn from my writing, to be able to improve it. And perhaps this person is right. Isn’t that what it is all about? To learn from mistakes, from failure? Just like life in general? And due to the fact that my texts mostly are about life related topics, maybe I should really consider that?

And yet, this brings up one of the questions which usually nurtures my monsters: What if?
What if I do that? Would my writing change? And if, how would it change? Would I change?
Do I want to change?

I won’t find an answer without trying. And deep down I know that change is good, that it is inevitable. However, I can’t help but picturing every possible negative outcome first instead of thinking about all the good that I could get out of it.

I guess, it’s because I am so used to bad things happening.
Is this the reason why I haven’t tried it yet?

Not just because of the negatives, but because I am used to see the bad stuff first, because I am better in handling it?
Am I actually scared of the fact that improving my writing will make it better and therefore more acknowledged. Am I afraid of creating something that could be different, that could be outstanding? Something that I could be proud of?

I honestly think so.

Isn’t that tragic?

My personal poetic tragedy.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

So, this is day two, and I actually made it to the keyboard again. Not that I really doubted it, but I told you yesterday that writing is a process for me. Mostly a healing process. I don’t write when I’m in a happy-chatty mood. Well, I do, but then it’s about music, movies, and books.

I guess, it’s like the thing people call manic-depressive. On the one hand, you’re euphoric, you love life to the fullest, and on the other hand, you suffer because life doesn’t make sense at all.

I want to tell you about these feelings I have when I listen to a song for the very first time, when I watch a movie and it makes me cry, or when I read a book and can relate to the main character so badly. And I do believe that a lot of people have similar feelings doing all these things, but I still think only a few really get what I am talking about. What it means to escape reality for a brief moment.
To escape your own head for a little while.

And to be honest, I guess that’s what my love for these things is all about.
To escape my head, my monsters.

Especially listening to music satisfies them, contributes to their comfort.

Just like a saying I’ve found on the internet years ago:

“Music has to be loud, so we won’t hear the world collapsing!”

The louder the music I am listening to is, the more they shut up.
Guess that explains my love for loud, screamy music as well.

(However that’s not the only reason, but I guess that’s something to write about another time, or otherwise I’ll be late for my first day of College!)

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Talking about processing… it’s day 3 and I already feel like this challenge is messing with my head a lot. I’m exhausted, my monsters are being fed with all these thoughts that are running through my head, letting them get stronger, and still I’m not ready to put all of them on paper yet.

Today’s thinking is mainly concentrating on the tone of my writing.

When I started In Monsterly Love back in June, I wanted to focus on speaking up for Mental Health. It’s an important reason why I began to write after all. Writing is my way of putting my thoughts into words, to (kind of) understand what is going on in my head, to get rid of this chaos inside.

It is not beautiful, it’s not all love-peace-happiness, it’s life. Life with depression. And it sucks. A lot.
I used to pen poems or short texts about characters who are standing with their backs against the wall, who are running away from a life they’re trapped in, who are finding themselves standing at the edge of a cliff. Mostly realizing that all it needs sometimes is to take a small step forward to end everything.

A few of these texts literally let the character take a step over the mentioned edge. That’s when I usually get told/asked: “This text is really suicidal; do I need to be worried?”

Well, I am still here. Guess you didn’t need to. Do you ever have to though? I can’t promise you that… as every day is a fight to accept the concept of life in every single aspect. But for now, writing helps. Music helps even more.

The more important question is:
Can’t you see that this is so much more than writing a text about someone taking its life by jumping off a cliff?

At this point, I like to slip one last thought in… if you read the new Stephen King book, are you wondering if he’s thinking about slaughtering his neighbor as well? I suppose not.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

I created a monster. Or well, I didn’t, because they were already there. But I feed them, I nurse them, I make them stronger and stronger.

This challenge is exhausting. I can’t stop writing. And even though this is what this challenge should be about – to write, whenever you sit in front of a laptop or a piece of paper -, it’s making me feel all these feelings. I might try to put it into words:

Yesterday, after trying to explain my head’s chaos to someone else – well, it was more like a monologue I texted (I do that a lot, texting my inner circle, without expecting them to answer as it’s more for me to finally be able to form my thoughts, it’s like talking to myself without actually doing it) –, I couldn’t stop writing. I wrote while being on the train to College, I send another mail to a friend, and I wrapped up a short text within 20 minutes on my way home observing people at a train station.

You’ll probably wonder now what I am complaining about. Isn’t it an author’s/writer’s dream, to be able to pick up a pen whenever they like it without having a writer’s block.

Well, yes, it is. But as I said… writing is my process of healing. I’m dealing with depression, with anxiety, even some sort of panic disorder. All these lovely little words that a lot of people use to describe themselves, and yet everyone’s different. These are just words that can help to understand…

I started to write my first diary when I was about 9 years old. And I remember writing about things, I don’t want to make public here, but that make me feel incredibly sad thinking about them. Even now, 20 years later. I wrote my first short story when I was 11 – all about this girl on a farm, living with a family that hasn’t been her own, trusting only her majestic horse. One of my first poems/texts must’ve been written back then as well. And then, it sticked. I wrote when I didn’t want to read or watch TV. I wrote when I was commuting to school or Uni. I wrote when I needed to escape reality. And somehow, along the way, I realized, I especially wrote when I felt alone, when I felt depressed. I wrote when I had no one to talk to.
And that was/is pretty much most of the time when my monsters are taking the lead.

Using the phrase ‘I’ve never been someone to talk about my life with depression’, I’m not using a shitty quote. I’ve never been, I am not, and I never will be… I learned to deal with it on my own, and I don’t think that this will ever change.

But I am good in writing it down – this is my survival strategy, this is my therapy.

And this is what is happening here right now. With every day of this challenge, I am digging deeper into my inner self. Scratching on walls, I haven’t touched in a long time. And that is so exhausting, but before this is getting out of hand, there’s just one last thing I want to mention – to make you understand:

Whereas I thought at the beginning, these 10 days are going to be pretty exciting, I do want to make a prediction: This is going to lead me step by step into a depressive phase. I can feel it.

I’m tired, I have to fight headaches, I’m not hungry, but need to eat. I start questioning the sense of cooking, drinking, showering… and although I still do all that, it feels like a matter of time. I even start listening to certain songs from The Used, songs that I won’t tell you about, but are my light at the end of the tunnel.

You might ask yourself now: If she knows all that, why is she not fighting it. Why is she not doing something against it?

Fair enough, the truth is: It won’t matter. If I fight it now, it won’t happen tomorrow, it won’t happen next week… but it certainly will. But being aware of little signs like that, can help me suffer through. And I think that is the important thing: To know how to deal with it, not how to fight it.

Because this is my life, these are my monsters, and they will be a part of me for the rest of my life.

Friday, October 19, 2018

It’s 6.30pm on a Friday night, I’m home alone and I’m grateful for it. I’m still not in the mood for random people, for laughter and chit-chat. I’m not even in the mood to read, watch TV or distract me otherwise.

It’s day 5 of the challenge, and I’m proud (it took half a minute to actually type that word down… just a random fact) I committed to it so far. Nevertheless, it is quite hard for me to find something to write about today. Not that I don’t have something to tell you today, but I don’t know how to.

There are a few things running through my head I really want to pen down. And yet, it’s too soon. Guess, I haven’t taken the time today to really think all of them through (to overthink?). Instead I wasted my day with kind of “useless” activities like laundry, spring clean, organizing my wardrobe. All these kind of things that distract me from what’s going on in my head. And I know, this is usually one or two days before I’m going to break.

So yeah, today… this is it. Today, I don’t want to spend the whole 10 minutes sitting in front of my laptop, staring at a blank page, waiting for the words to come out, but I wanted to try at least.

This is me, half-way through. Taking a step back, going into my shell to find out what this is all about.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to write today. Well, to be honest, I tried everything to avoid it… but I think this is what this challenge is about. To push myself!

Over the last couple of days, I could feel that my monsters are about to take control. They were trying to climb the wall I’ve built to hold them in place.  And yesterday evening they managed to escape. That’s why I suppose, it’s time to talk about what happened…

I’m struggling right now. I’m struggling because I recently started to go back to College and I’m afraid: of not having enough experience, not being good enough, not being smart enough. I’m struggling because I need to find ways to support myself during the next years. I’m struggling because I want to find a job in the field I’m studying at, and I – again – think, I’m not good enough, not qualified enough.

For me it is extremely hard to be proud of everything I’ve achieved so far, of everything I am. I guess, it’s the lack of recognition during my life. I always wanted to be acknowledged, and yet I was taken for granted. I work hard to change that, but I constantly have to remind myself that it is ok to be proud, that it is actually good.

Due to these thoughts, struggling with said things make me overthink. What if I don’t find a job? What if I won’t be paid enough? What if I’m wasting time?

It’s not that I want to look at it from this perspective, it’s that I can’t do different. I analyze every possible negative outcome. I guess, because it feels so familiar, so natural. One example: When I got my first tattoo, it went horribly wrong. I’ve cried my eyes out for weeks, pretending that it wasn’t too bad. It took me years to make peace with it. I still have it, it still looks weird. But it stands for my life: It has to go horribly wrong first, so I’ll be able to appreciate the good outcome.

I know – from a logical point of view – that all these thoughts are just in my head, and that it will work out somehow and that in one or two years I’ll be laughing at how stupid I used to be. Anyhow, I can’t help it.

And running around in circles like that makes me anxious, gives me headaches. And even though I know it is just a sign of my monsters coming to life, I mostly try to push it away. I start doing chores. Stupid, senseless chores. To keep me busy, to stop my head from overthinking. Why do you think people say that exercise is good for mental health? Well, you stop concentrating on your own head, you’re focusing on something else. And how else to escape your head, if not focusing on something else… Well, there’s no other way.

However, after wasting the day yesterday, I ended up talking to a person who I incredibly value. And I figured that it doesn’t matter how much someone knows you, how much someone loves you, how much someone tries to understand… They can’t. They only be able to do so until a certain level. You are – if you’re fighting these battles with your own head – on your own. And I guess this is an important point (especially as I often got told that I have people to talk to): Once I’m in this phase, I feel incredibly alone. I feel like I have no one to talk to, no one that will ever be able to read me, to understand me. And how should they, if most of the time I don’t even get myself?

And that’s why I don’t reach out when my monsters take control. This, and the fact that I learned to deal with them on my own.

Well, I ended up crying myself to sleep on Friday night. Because once I stopped doing senseless stuff, I immediately have been confronted with my monsters. I didn’t sleep well, and I woke up because of a stomach ache. My whole body is telling me that something is wrong. And I can feel it, I can read the signs. And I know, this is not it. There’s more to come…

I just haven’t allowed them yet to fully take control. I’m trying to protect myself, because for some reason, it feels like there’s something big coming. The question is when?

(At this point, I like to stop… I’m way over my 10 minutes, and I could write more, yet I don’t want to. First, because there are a few things my monsters and I were fighting about yesterday I don’t want to talk about. Second, because there are things I want to talk about, but it would upset me too much, and I want to catch some sleep. I need to put my head to rest first… or at least I need to try!)

Sunday, October 21, 2018

I just came back from meeting a friend… I’m in kinda a good mood, because I really liked hanging out with her. We talked about work, about life, about our living situations, about our social life. All those kind of things you talk about when you meet someone you haven’t met in a long time. It was good, especially, because we met at Southbank, an area in Brisbane, I absolutely adore. It’s next to the river, so you’re able to stroll along the water. And I love to do that. Every single time it looks different as well, yeah, I might even say, it looks magical every now and again.

I do consider myself very lucky to be here, in Brisbane. I worked hard for it, and I don’t just mean workwise. I worked hard to overcome myself, quit my life, and come here. And on an evening like today, I am grateful, but mostly, I am honestly proud. Proud that I made it, proud that I am still here!

I still am struggling to sleep through the night, I still have problems to even go to sleep at first. Thoughts are running through my head. Thoughts that make my heart beat faster, make my breath go faster. Thoughts that could easily lead me into some sort of panic attack.

As I am quite exhausted today, I want to leave it like that. Tomorrow, I will have the day off and the time to go into detail. And with time I don’t mean the actual time. I more importantly want to say that allowing myself to write about the last couple of days means to open up, to scratch at the walls. And I know that it will end up with me being in tears. So, it’s nothing I want to rush into, force upon someone, on a Sunday afternoon.

You’ll have to wait. Like me.

Monday, October 22, 2018

The first time, I woke up last night was around midnight. I immediately felt sad, I had a heavy heart, but I tried to ignore it, tried to go back to sleep. I managed to do so. Until 4am. Once again, I was wide awake. And while I was laying there in bed, listening to the silence of an early Australian morning, fighting a head ache – once again –, I didn’t want to leave bed. I wanted to stay there, forever. I couldn’t get up. There would’ve been so many things I could’ve done: watching the sunrise, exercising while it was still cooler, reading a book, writing this text, studying, watching a series, listening to music. But I couldn’t move. I stared against the wall, knees pulled up to my stomach, the arms crossed in front of my upper body. I felt numb. And even now, writing about that, I can’t hold back the tears. (Told you…)

I am now trying to explain what happened to lead to this moment.

I told you that I have so many thoughts running through my head, about work, about college, about relationships, friends, family, life. This leads to me overthinking, in every possible second. When there’s no outside noise – being distracted by work, housework, shopping, social life –, I start to think about all said things. And I already told you most of the time these thoughts are no happy thoughts. I can’t help it, but before I picture myself getting a certain job, or this one of a life time opportunity, I know I won’t be the chosen one. Imaging flipping a coin: Would someone else think about scoring heads because he wants to score heads, I would believe from the very first second on, it’ll be tails. And that’s 50/50 chance, so same outcome for both possibilities. And yet, my head does not work like that.

Because I want to fight these thoughts, because it is exhausting to deal with them, I try to distract myself. The biggest distraction for me, in this case, is to meet people that I like, but that I’m not too close to. I can put on a face, I can laugh, enjoy the day, and I escape myself for a second. Whereas meeting my inner circle in situations like that, they’d know immediately that something is wrong, would ask the right questions, and my walls would tumble down.

Well… I think at this point I want to compare this whole process a bit with taking drugs or drinking alcohol. The day you do it, you feel like conquering the world, nothing can stop you, everything’s fine. But the day after, the only thing you feel like doing is vomiting, sleeping and hiding from the world.

That’s what my monsters do with me. They let me think for a day or a couple of days that nothing can stop me, that nothing is as bad as it seems. But as soon as they show their real face, it hits me. Hard. So hard that I feel numb.

I feel like things are out of control, like I can’t affect what is happening. And this thought is putting its hands around my neck, slowly choking me, until I can’t breathe anymore. This is the moment when the abstract fear of the big black nothing, of death, but more of the inevitably of life, takes place as well. I’m so afraid of the things I can’t change, I struggle to close my eyes, because I simply panic.

The only thing that is worse than that is when it is connected to people.
What if they disappear from one day to another?
What if I have to say goodbye to them?
How am I going to survive that?

The answer is scarred. I will survive. Hurt, and scarred, but I will survive!
Because I had to learn a long time ago that people always leave. There’s no exception. Not one single one. And even though, I’’ve been left alone with a hole and have the knowledge that everything has to end anyways, this thought hurts so much, makes me feel all these incredibly horrible things…

And to close with one of my favourite quotes.
“That’s life. If nothing else, it’s life. It’s real, and sometimes it fucking hurts, but it’s sort of all we have.”

Isn’t it?

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

I’m still not sure how to pen down what’s been happening in the last 24 hours. I’ve come to a few realizations regarding myself, and I’m still trying to handle it. Not very well though. I’m constantly feel like vomiting; my body is fighting what my monsters are trying to tell it. My heart is broken, and yet it feels like it always has been like that, or at least always has been preparing for this sort of thing. But more importantly, always will be like that.

Due to unforeseen reasons, I ended up talking to someone I’ve known for a very long time now. Someone who has seen me growing up, fighting my battles alone, surviving. Someone who stood by my side. And as I said to you yesterday… these people know exactly how to trigger you. So I ended up being in tears for a while. The conclusions I finally came to have been running through my head for a while now. I knew that, knew that they have been in there all the time, and yet, I haven’t said them out loud.

But once I did, it hit me. It hit me hard. And I’m still processing it.

That’s all I want to say about that, and I can assure you that’s all I’m going to say about it.

This is where it ends.

Tomorrow, I’ll use my 10 minutes to recap, to tell you about how I felt during the past 10 days in regard to my writing. I won’t come back to my monsters, because everything that is about to happen now is between them and me. That’s how it always has been, that’s how it always will be.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

So this is it. This is the end of the challenge.

I just took the time, to reread every single text, and I can feel that my mind is trying to block it off. It does not want to be confronted with it again as it is still suffering from the last couple of days. I’m still thinking it through, overthinking it. And I still feel numb. I still try to bear up against the pain.

However, I want to give it a try and talk about the challenge itself. The first, and probably most incredible thing I got out of it is that I wrote all texts in English and not in my native language. Besides that, I managed to write every day even though I didn’t feel like it sometimes. I figured it is quite easy to find distractions, especially in times with smartphones, video on demand and all these things. Nevertheless, I made it.
Another thing, I was quite surprised by, is how well I can predict the actions of my monsters… and how well I usually ignore them. That’s why I decided, to listen to them again more often and every now and again take a mental health day to be in synch with them.

And last not least I want to come back to the very first question. Did I rewrite? I didn’t. Do I think I should’ve? Honestly no. This is how I work, this is how I write… it wouldn’t be me anymore if I change my words afterwards, because that’s how I felt in all these situations.

Am I afraid of how people – you – will react reading this? Yes, I am…
Anyways, I’d appreciate to hear whatever you would like to say after making it through this chaos of words.

In monsterly love,