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Do you see the dark days coming? Do you know when, or let’s better say why, your mood suddenly changes? Has living with monsters made you more aware of yourself?

Well, I do. At least most of the times. I’ve shared my life with my monsters long enough now to be able to read them, to be able to understand how they work. And I thought, I give you a little insight into what’s happening. Happening, when the anxiety gets so strong that my stomach hurts, when the thoughts starts running so fast that I need to sleep to make them stop, when I begin to question every single part of myself.

1 They’ll clean up the mess

Ever heard of nesting? It’s something that usually pregnant women do. At a certain part throughout their pregnancy they start to clean their houses, organize cupboards and wardrobes and get rid of a lot of junk. Well, that’s me, when I can feel that my monsters are trying to make their way out of the dark. I sort my clothes, fold my shirts. I go through my paperwork like insurance letters or bank statements. Usually while blasting one of my favorite bands. Why? Because it’s such a stupid and not brain-challenging thing to do that my monsters get bored. They don’t pay attention, don’t try to interrupt, just because my brain is concentrating on simple things like how to fold the shirt in a very neat way.
And yes, I admit, it’s just me ignoring them. However, it helps. At least for a little bit.

2 How to get away with binge watching

Yes, I’m guilty. I binge watch US drama series (preferably with a dog cuddled up next to me). How else would you enjoy a clean and spotless house?
I’m known for the fact that I get attached to characters – movies, books, even singers. I just have that picture of these characters in the back of my mind and I get attached. I feel pain when they feel pain, I am happy when they are happy. And I get heartbroken when one of them dies. However, the reason why I do it is a bit different to the first one. It’s not to distract the monsters. It’s to give them what they want: a different life. Living with monsters means for me to constantly be questioned in life choices, in behavior. Their voices sometimes get so loud, so pervasively that I give in and present them with different option. I let them believe they could live another life.

3 Anyone can cook, but only the fearless can be great

Anyone who’s close to me knows: I hate cooking. Ok, maybe I don’t hate it, I just don’t see the sense in doing it. I love eating, but cooking is just the necessary step for me to be able to eat. That’s why I immediately know it’s the monsters’ lead when I start baking or cooking without reason and just because I feel like it. It’s not really me.
It’s them… trying to prepare me for the fact that the dark days are coming up soon. In contrast to the cleaning step, I don’t bake to distract myself from them. I do it, to nourish them, to give them soul food. Maybe it’s a bit of a gift from me to them, to let them know I appreciate living with them.

4 I read the fuck out of every book I can get my hands on

Reading has never been a hobby. Reading has always been my teacher, my friend, my lover, my savior… I love reading. I love books. But most of all I love what books make me do. They challenge my thinking, my view on various topics, my understanding of the concept of life.
And this is the one thing I appreciate the most about living with monsters. Because of them, I dive into books with the heaviest topics, with the most twisted stories. It is my monsters’ way of thinking that makes me want to read all the books. And you guessed it, I suppose, it is another possibility for me to satisfy them. Distract them from pulling me into the dark.

5 [Writers] suffer from two sorts of emotional pain, which is twice as much as the normal human being: the heartache of love and the heartache of books.

Last, but not least… there’s the writing.
Yes, I suffer from two sorts of emotional pain. But it is this sort of pain that makes me strong enough to survive. When I start writing, I accept the fact that the monsters are with me, that they are in control. When I write, I let them have their voice and I begin to listen (or to accept?)… And yes, I often am in tears when writing my texts.
However, it’s my way to communicate. It’s my way of living with them.

I have been asked once why I don’t change anything, now that I know how they act and react. I have asked myself this questions so many times, until I realized one important thing: They are a part of me. They are me. And more importantly, I am them. And I am who I am today because of them… and there’s no way that I would change that. Especially because they gave me the greatest gift: being a writer.

There it is. I said it. For the very first time. I am a writer. We are a writer.
I need to let that sink in… in the meantime – try and find out where the captions come from, you might find some book/music inspiration.

In Monsterly Love,
L.

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