Living Life Underneath An Umbrella

I’m going to be brutally honest in this post; some might say crazy; but there are days, like today, that I think about dying.  There are bad days when I wonder whether I am worth anything; if I’m just a waste of space.  But I know that’s a lie.  I know that being an introvert and an Aspie can mess with my mind.  There are days I over think things.  And that’s when I feel like I’m losing my mind; when I want to punch walls, scream, and curl up into myself.

Today was a day that I (a) wasn’t feeling well, (b) was frustrated with things happening in my life, and (c) questioning my existence.  The good part, the sane part, is that I understand that it is just a phase I go through occasionally.  I would never kill myself though I do think about it from time to time.  Maybe I just enjoy a little self-pity.  Maybe there are times that my mind plays tricks on me.  I ask myself:  Am I more afraid of living or I am I more afraid of dying?

Since my brain doesn’t function like ‘normal’ people(those not on the Autism Spectrum), I worry if my family actually loves me; if they’d be better off without me.  And again, it’s a lie that’s trying to screw with my head.  I know that they do love me yet there are times, like today, that I do not feel loved; by my husband, my children, my parents, my siblings, etc.  I feel like I’m living underneath an umbrella; the trials of life, like rain, pummel me and I am curled up, fetal-position, underneath a blanket, waiting for the nasty weather to pass.

And pass it does.  The trials disappear, or I learn to manage them, or I decide they aren’t worth my time and energy worrying about them.  That’s how life goes for me.  I get into these little snits and I want to end it all.  I think about how I’d do it.  What would be the least messy way to do away with myself?  Then I think:  how would the person who found me feel?  That is something a person doesn’t forget, etched into your memory forever.

Sometimes I don’t even want to leave the house.  I have a desire to be involved in society, yet I don’t want to deal with people most times.   The Aspie says, ‘I don’t know how to associate with others.  And the introvert in me says, ‘I don’t want to be around people.’  Yet the real me says:  ‘I want to enjoy life.  I want to have friends.  I don’t want to let life pass me by without accomplishing the things I most want to do.’  I’ve made up a bucket list of things I want to try.  Publishing a novel, rock climbing, zip-lining, learning foreign languages, belly-dancing. What stands in my way of reaching those goals? Fear.  Fear holds me back.  Fear of failure.  Fear of looking like an idiot.  Fear of not understanding the instructions on how to do things.

And I have a terrible habit of over-thinking things, and that’s when I screw up.  I try very hard to learn things but somehow there’s a disconnect in my brain.  I am the type of learner that needs to do the thing I’m trying to learn rather than have the person teaching me explaining it with words.  I am a hands-on learner.

So there you have it; my secret pain.  It’s not something I enjoy sharing, but I want to be honest that I suffer with these bouts of depression to the point of contemplating suicide.  I am thankful that the feelings are short-lived and pass by quickly.  I believe in being positive and doing my best to make others happy.  I believe every life is precious.  I believe that the voices in our head are liars.  We are worth something.  We are precious to our families, spouses, and children.  As a Christian, I believe we are important to God as well. Our lives are important.  I heard it said once that ‘suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.’  It’s a sad fact that people who take their own lives believe that the horrible, messed-up part of their life that they are currently in will never end; will haunt them for the rest of their lives; and that’s not true.  I’d say talk to someone; get help.  You don’t need to suffer alone if you are contemplating taking your own life.  I refuse to believe the lies swirling around inside my head and so must you, my friends.  Until next time.

 

 

Crossroads

Recently I’ve come to a crossroads in my life.  Realizing I am more than half way through my life at 51 and sick to death of living under the crushing weight of fear and uncertainty, I’ve decided to change.  Change how I look at things.  Change how I deal with challenges.

No longer will I over-analyze every decision I need to make.  My new motto is:  It is what it is.  Life is too short and way too complicated to live in the what-ifs.  Sure, there are going to be times I’ll still resort to old habits, but I can stop and think without belittling myself for giving in to fear.  We are all guilty of that, I believe, the giving in to fear.  No one wants to fail.  No one wants that to be their legacy.  No one wants mourners at their funeral to say, “What a nice guy he was, but what a failure!”

I need to suck it up and understand that failure is achieved only when we stop trying.  In all areas of my life I need to apply this concept.  Easily written about but not so easy to implement.  So, with a deep, steadying breath, I forge ahead.  There are so many things I want to do.  I’ll try to do them, and some I won’t be very good at(like Zumba), others I will probably not waste too much time over(like trying to learn a foreign language at this stage in my life), and others I’ll love(like writing for a living).

How about you?  What are your goals or dreams?

A New Year

Hello, friends, and welcome to the new year. Already more than halfway through the first month. Here I am. Still lost in a quandary. What to do? What to do? Where do I go in life? Where do any of us go in life? Presented with new opportunities due to a new year awash with new beginnings and new challenges, what do we do with them? So many of us begin the new year with such high expectations and goals, but slowly those fall to the wayside. With best of intentions, our hearts filled with excitement, we plow on, looking for that nirvana to change our lives around.

My goals? Get back into better health. Write. Write. Write. Daily. Then keep at it. I will push myself towards the goal of publication. No matter how difficult or panic-inducing, it will be done. How about you? Can you push yourself ever forward, not allowing fear to hold you back? You are worth it, dear friends. Don’t doubt yourself even when all those around you do. If it is something you want to achieve, then go right ahead and set your heart upon your goal. Lose weight. Get a new job. A new, solid relationship. Reconciliation with a former friend. So many possibilities out there to set your sights upon. Don’t give up on yourself. The rewards will be phenomenal. Go ahead and pat yourself on the back. If you make it past the first month of the new year, you are way ahead of the pack.

So go ahead, make plans, and keep them. Set goals and go for it!

Goodbye 2013

This will be my last post for the year.  My intention was always to post something new at least once a week.  Unfortunately I’ve failed at that.  But no use beating myself up over it.  I can’t change the past but I can do something about it in the future.  A new year is almost upon us.  For some of us this is a blessing and a relief.  For others, it is a painful reminder of what surrounds us.  Fear of the unknown.  Fear of ‘what-if’s’.  Will I still have my job next year?  Will my spouse leave me?  Will my illness get worse?  So much stress and worry.  But since we cannot see into the future what lays ahead, we have to take it one day at a time.  Baby steps.  We can’t change the horrible economy.  We can try to do a better job at loving and caring about our spouses.  We can get help.  We can go to counseling.  Life is so unpredictable.  We can’t see around the corner and peek at what is coming at us.

But this post is not meant to be negative.  I want you to read ‘hope’ within these words.  Hope for a new season in your life.  Hope that things will get better, or hope that things will remain just as they are, if you are pleased and thankful for what you already have.  I believe that we live with too much fear.  I for one am included in that.  I am a worrier.  I bite my nails still.  I overeat to calm my frayed nerves.  I get sick to my stomach sometimes, and have terrible headaches.  And for what?  Because I’m stressing out about something that will most likely never occur.  I recommend meditation or prayer.  A higher power.  I believe in God.  I believe that He has all things under control and no matter how hard I struggle to have things my way, I believe that He is ultimately the one with absolute control.  I think that we need to keep our eyes focused on something bigger than ourselves.  I’m not saying that you have to believe in what I believe.  I’m a firm believer in not forcing any religion down anyone else’s throat.  But I do think that we can find comfort in knowing that there is someone or something in control, who’s got everything in capable hands.  Leading us.  Guiding us.  Teaching us.

So as we look to 2014, let us release all of this strain, and worry, and focus on the good.  We usually cannot do much about the things that pop up unexpectedly in our lives, like the loss of employment, but we can take a deep breath and move on to something else.  We can release the ‘bad energy’ and move on to something better, something brighter.  Don’t settle for second-best.  Don’t settle for complacency.  You are so very important.  See yourself as valuable.  As a contributing member of society.  Life goes on even when the pain comes.  Talk to someone, if you need to.  Don’t go through all of this turmoil alone.  We all need people, even in this social media age.  Please never look at your life as being worthless, as you being worthless.  You are NOT worthless.  You are made for a reason.  No one is here by accident.  This is what I believe.  Don’t take your own life.  I read somewhere once that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.  In life, this too shall pass.  Troubles don’t last for a lifetime.  I know what I’m talking about.  I tried, years ago, to take my own life.  But you know what, even though I was buried in anguish at the time, life did get better. 

Please, please, please look for the bright spot.  There is always one if you dare to seek it out.  Love yourself.  Let others love you, too.  Don’t wall yourself up.  Get out there in live!  Life is short.  It is unpredictable, but it is beautiful.  Please don’t squander another day. 

November is Almost Here!

Okay, just to let you all know that yesterday I signed up to compete(well, against myself) in writing a 50,000 word rough-draft novel in just 30 days. NANOWRIMO will be my very first attempt at this. A definite challenge for a writer who has difficulty finding time to write. But I figured I’d challenge myself, and this would definitely be a challenge. A challenge to my excuses, and a challenge to my imagination, and a challenge to my will-power. Can I do this? Will I make the deadline? What am I to write about? Do I go with a novel idea already partially started or with a completely new idea?

Any encouragement would be greatly appreciated. That extra push is always a great motivator. Has anyone done this challenge already? Is anyone out there attempting this one this year, like I am?

The last few days I am going through the Thesaurus and jotting down words to describe walking. Yes, walking. Why? I am trying to be inventive in describing how people in my fiction move. And there a many ways to describe: Stroll, stride, meander, amble…okay, I don’t want to bore anyone. I find it lots of fun, and entertaining, to begin the editing process. I am excited to finish up a piece and getting the chance to submit it. I know that this fear of rejection must be wadded up like used tissue(ick) and tossed into the trash. As writers, we know that fear can suck the creativity right out from underneath us. We cannot let that happen to us. We have a dream we must cling to. Never release it because of fear. Don’t allow anyone else to discourage you either. Do your best and always, always believe in yourself and your abilities. Write on, my fellow creative types. Until next time.

A Literary Genius in the Making? More Than Likely Not.

Okay, I’m no literary genius. On one hand, I know that I am not in the same vein as Poe, Steinbeck, or even Hemingway. But on the other hand, I do most certainly believe that I was born with the gene for writing creatively. Nope, can’t draw, paint, sing, or sculpt to save my life, but I do have that special knack for making stuff up. My poor mind is in a constant state of creating: characters, plot lines, beginnings and endings, dialogue, etc. It never ends. I blame this disgruntled brain of mind. But for all it’s worth, I don’t mind all the confusion one iota.

These ideas, they haunt me, but in a Casper-the-friendly-ghost sort of way, not in a Poltergiest sort of way. I have many friends and they all are living in my head! It may be a bit overcrowded in there, but, hey, they haven’t complained as of yet, so who am I to judge? They are never quiet; noisy tenants. But gosh darn it, I love ’em anyway! I get so excited(keep your mind out of the gutter) whenever these thoughts come barreling through and I have no choice but to quick grab a pen and paper and start jotting words down as quickly as they hit me. I have to hurry before these thoughts float away and I’m left with nothing but “damn, that was a good thought; too bad I can’t remember it now!” Hey, give me a break, I’ll be fifty years old this year.

So here I sit, originally, outdoors, my dog at my feet, pen in hand, doing things the old-fashioned way. If I am to get my thoughts down before they melt away like hot breath on cold glass, I have to be quick. Writing it free hand, it comes out so sloppy sometimes. I think it must be my own brand of shorthand. Sometimes I can’t even read what I wrote. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not. But write I must. Every writer out there knows the feeling. It is an addiction. A sweet drug that keeps us going day after day. A love of words. A hunger to share what is on our hearts and minds, and of course, in our heads. In our imaginations.

But, alas, the thoughts are slowing down now. My fingers are beginning to get some life and blood flow back in them. Perhaps my friends in my head have decided to retire for the day, perhaps they’re all going off to some party and leaving me behind, tired but sated, for the time being anyway. But I’m not disappointed. At least I know they’ll be back. I am their landlord after all.

My Love Of Words

Okay, I have something to confess:  I like to read the dictionary.  I enjoy finding new words in the English language to add to my writing repertoire(oop, had to spell check that one).  I am a big fan of websites that e-mail you a new word a day.  Love it!  I am always on the hunt to learn new words and what they mean.  My favorite course in school was always English.  Never understood the workings of grammar very well, but I’m still learning.

Okay, I know that one needs to understand the mechanics of said grammar to be an accomplished writer, but again, I’m still learning.  But I’m thankful for the many websites that make learning grammar fun and educational.  I must admit, also, that I love the process of writing itself.  Even if it isn’t creative writing, I like the flow of the pen upon the sheet of paper.  It relaxes me for some reason and I enjoy the feeling

I’ve been creatively writing since the fourth grade.  I remember sharing a poem with my classmates a few years later about being alone on an island and how they laughed at that.  Oh well, so much for sharing one’s work!  Maybe that’s why I still have a difficult time of allowing others to read my short fiction.  I do not want to look the fool.  But deep down I believe that I was born with the gift to write, or at least a strong desire to do so.

I believe that writing creatively saved my life.  By transferring my angst onto paper, it helped protect my sanity and allowed me that small silver thread to grasp on to, just barely.  During those bullied years, suicide was on my mind a lot.  But again, writing saved me from doing something stupid, something permanent.

Seeing the world through a writer’s eyes can be dizzying and terrifying all in the same thought process.  I have such an active imagination that sometimes my own thoughts weird me out.  I can see things in my head as though they were happening like a movie on a screen.  I get that when I read a really good book, like I am currently.  (Plug for Mark Greaney’s The Gray Man series).

It was S.E. Hinton’s “The Outsiders” book that made me want to be a writer.  Her books inspired me and I will always remember what I felt reading those books.  Being taken away from reality into another’s creative thought process was almost like a high for me.  If that makes any sense.  I’ve also been enthralled by To Kill A Mockingbird, and Pearl Buck’s, “The Good Earth”.

Now I am contemplating taking an on-line writing course through the local community college.  I just desire to learn as much as possible about the creative process.  It is like air to me.  It  is what I desire in life:  to be a published writer; to see my name in print.  I don’t need to rake in millions of dollars or have endless fame, I just want to say that I had fulfilled my dreams as a writer.  Publication, and to know that perhaps somewhere out there, I ignited a spark inside someone else soul with a desire to write.