Sunday, November 11, 2007

From a Addled Writer's Mind...

I was writing to a friend tonight via quick email about blogging. I wrote...

I put myself out there everyday and write about some pretty embarrassing stuff. Somehow I cannot draw a line between what is appropriate and not appropriate to share. I can't believe I divulge all that in this moment of lucidity I am having now. I don't understand why I let my readership know how helpless I am and how dependent upon my family I am. They will only know what I write. It's disturbing to me. It invites derision. I've thought about quitting blogging, pondering over it intensely. A long time friend quit online journaling tonight and it made me ponder... "Can I live without journaling?" "Do I live for comments?" "Should a simple pen and paper journal suffice?" "Why do I feel the need to share such intimate details of my life with total strangers?"

I get so much advice from well meaning people (and it is appreciated for the most part). The same drum is beaten over and over though. Take your meds. Take your meds. Take your meds. They don't understand my reality. I take nine pills a night. My head is swimming in mind altering chemicals to where I don't know who the real Andrew is. I've lost me. When I was un-medicated at least I knew what to expect. Paranoia. Delusions. Hallucinations. But it was real and not some chemically induced candyland for what ails me. I long to be alive, sexual, emotionally vibrant. As it stands now, I am flat -- a cardboard cutout of a human being. It is sad and disparaging. I don't know what to do, but it is my life. Life is precious and you only get one chance. I don't believe in reincarnation and I don't want mine to pass me by. I would rather have a thousand schizophrenic nights than a single night of drugged complacency as if I am constantly in a stupor. The drugs destroy my creativity and my personality. They have taken away my sexuality and my manhood. My mental illness has also severed the bonds to the people who read my blog and I am pitied. It is so frustrating!

My friend emailed me back and suggested I take a break from blogging to gather myself so I won't post such personal stuff throughout this time of coming off my medications. I live to write though. My days are spent writing and editing what I write. I do believe that online journaling was one of the best things I have ever found despite all its warts: The incessant well meaning advice -- the negative anonymous yahoos who spill their bile all over my blog. There are good things, too! Emails from people who get it about mental illness -- people who are not on the outside looking in. Wonderful people I've met and to whom I've aspired to emulate. The vibrant online communities that sprout up around blogs and their readers like a garden of growth.

It still amazes me people want to read what I write. I am in awe and humbled and thankful. It makes me want to write forever and onwards like some addiction -- like some adulterous joy. Maybe that's why I blog. The friendship. The camaraderie. The adulation for my writing and artistic endeavors. Friendships don't come easy for me and I have found a safe place to harbor them -- a detached kind of friendship where I can be anyone and anything. An everyman. To bad I blather on about my problems. Think of what this blog could be if I didn't write about alcoholism, or mental illness! If I portray to the world a healthy, happy writer who shared his simple tales, I would have been published by now. I harbor deep regrets for the callousness with which I've handled this online journal -- always airing dirty laundry like some gossiping spinster. Embarrassing myself and my family.

My good and very cherished friend, Pipe Tobacco, harps about moderation being the key for me. But I have to ask, "Would a moderate me really be me?" I wouldn't display or have that same intense passion and zeal I have for things, writing, and life if I were middle-of-the-road. This blog would be just another milquetoast rendition of daily life of which there are millions to read. I would be swimming and writing in a sea of banality and blandness. It is something to ponder over. Good night as I go burn my candle at both ends.

19 comments:

Beautifully Profound said...

It's because you're genuine. There is a lot of that lacking today. You do fine Andrew. Just remember, advice is just advice. You can take what you want from it and leave the rest. Only you know what's best for you. Have a good night, hope you get some decent sleep.

PS I appreciate you taking down that John Q ad. I hope it doesn't cut into your money making though. Thank you!

hensteeth said...

We are alone, yet we do blog in community. I am grateful.

I appreciate your honesty, Andrew. And I learn from you. Thank you.

(Night owls are we...)

Eric said...

My friend, I must respectfully disagree with you on the point that if you merely posted about the banality of life, the kind of dull drums we all live through everyday, that you would be published and the fact that you are honest and give us a peak into the struggles you live with daily is hindering your success. I firmly believe that people do not really want to read something that mirrors their blase life. I also believe that we all have our own personal blemishes that we don't show the world, but secretly wish we had the courage to share with someone, anyone. We read your blog because you are that brave soul that opens the curtains to the house inside you and lets us observe reality, not TV 'reality', but real life. We don't see a gossipy spinster, but a wounded soul fighting to be whole, an aspiring human seeking peace and happiness. Yours is the siren's call that we can not ignore, we long not to pass up seeing into your life.

justLacey said...

I made several online friends from blogging and also from forums. Perhaps a mental illness or shcizophrenia forum would be a place you could go and get more understanding from those who truly know what you are going through. Truly we don't mean any harm with comments, but it's up to you whether or not you want to write or want us to comment. Whatever you choose we will understand. I understand Pipes theory of moderation. I don't believe it works for everyone, because if every one could do things in moderation then there wouldn't be any addicts of any kind. Also I don't believe some things should be done even in moderation. Smoking for example. Especially people with children. Really bad example and you tend to raise children that smoke while also damaging their lungs with your bad habit. I hate to smell all those children at preschool that reak of their parents cigarette smoke and they never make a second thought of it because "it's so hard to quit". My parents did it to me and I became a smoker in my late teens. Luckily I was able to give it up before I had children. Lots of things in life are hard, that was just one and probably one of the least hard or all the hardness life offers.

simonsays said...

Andrew, I feel a need to clarify a statement I made to you earlier. I only wanted you to see a physician because I know that going off medications all at once cold turkey can be very difficult on the body physically, and i was worried about you. I am not here to tell you what to do, or how to do it. I am your friend, medicated or not. I do not know enough to give any kind of advice, nor do I see you in real life. I only offer my support and friendship. I hope that you can find a way that makes you feel well and that you can find a "place" in which you can live peacefully. I hope that you continue to feel that you can share your life with your friends here. Always your friend, Jamie

Cheryl said...

Dear Andrew,
I know you struggle, every day. You're honest, and funny, and your posts are always interesting. Those that have been friends with you over the long haul don't see a helpless, dependent person. We see someone full of life, looking for meaning, being a good friend, finding beauty all around him. You know how many piople view your blog every day. They're there because of who you are now, not who you might be. The who you are now is a person who takes medications to balance their mental illness. That's the person we know and love. I don't think you put too much out there. We're all just trying to be real, and to share a part of our lives. I think everyone is a little lonely. Blogging is something we do reach out, and be part of a community. Feedback from others confirms that others like us, and it's great and exciting to get comments. So, keep on writing, please, because you're important to a lot of us, and a part of our everyday, ordinary lives.

Summer said...

Everyone has pretty much said what I would say to you. But Cheryl said something that struck me,
"You are a part of our lives." So much so that I think I could meet you IRL and be totally comfortable sitting on your sofa talking about anything and everything.

Mary said...

Andrew, I've began reading your post long before I ever left a comment. As a matter of fact, yours is the first blog I read on a regular basis. Your sharing of experiences and feelings gave me an insight to my mother that I'd never had. It allowed several unpleasant memories to heal. Reading the post of a friend who is closing her blog made me sad and I wanted to say "Thank You" to you before you decided to do the same.

I don't comment often. My writing certainly isn't up to your standard nor do I have the knowledge to offer constructive advice. You are in the same age group as my children so any suggestion for solving problems is the same I would give them. . . take your time with decisions and make changes slowly. I hope any solution I might have suggested over the past months hasn't seem trite and dictative.

You are a natural writer and should continue to write in some form. One that is comfortable to you. I believe your blog has proven valuable to more than a few. Don't ever doubt yourself.

CRUSTYBEEF said...

hmm, that's a good question-"would a moderate me..."
I think we could all ask ourselves that question regardless of what it has to do with whether our mental illness, or depression, or drinking, over parenting, our physical health...we all overdo it somehow. You my dear has to seek it within you as you are doing by writing this fantastic post.

I know the reasons I blog and you hit it on the nail with gaining new friendships, but if you decide to stop, than we support you, if you continue, we support you..you will find what is right..you have proven to your family that you can do quite a bit for yourself by yourself, and you will solve this riddle as well..and soon you will have internal peace..I have no doubt!!

Thinking of you!!!
Wishing you very well!
Always,
Crusty~

CJM-R said...

God bless you Andrew, you have a lot on your mind right now.

You are right, I don't know what it feels like on the inside for you, as I have not walked in your shoes.

I hear you when you say that it is hard to sort out all of the comments. I guess even in real life with friends it is hard to just listen and not give advice.

Mostly people just want to be heard, and are not asking for advice.

It is hard to comment without giving advice and that is something I will be more aware of when I comment here or elsewhere. Thank you for the feedback.

You are a strong and sensitive soul.

Anonymous Boxer said...

We read because you are a good writer. As I've said before, I've learned so much about writing from reading your posts.

Sharyna said...

Andrew--Don't stop blogging! I love your comings and goings. And I'm sure that others understand schizophrenia as I do. I,too, hate what the meds do to me.

sharyna

Lynette said...

I understand your weariness of all the advise we give. I won't offer anymore unless you ask us for it. We all ready you because you are real. Your writing makes the struggles you face daily more understandable to me. I don't know what it is like, but I am learning how you deal with it. We just want you to be here for us when we come to visit.

jacobithegreat said...

I'm procrastinating studying reading your blog... I would miss it if you were to stop, but you know what's best for you

Kelly Jene said...

I consider you a new friend and it will remain that way meds or not, blog or not, and no matter what you write.

Blue Gardenia said...

I have learned to live with my psychotic state as I hate being drugged. I only take medicine when all else fails.(hardly ever) That being said, facing mental illness in a raw-dogged fashion is not an easy road. But if we resolve to manage ourselves and get better, we certainly can. All of live on this marvelous planet can be used as a weapon against our demons.

Sharon said...

Andrew, I don't write to you but I read your blog every day. You're a sincere, sensitive soul and there's something about you and your struggles that resonates with many. I admire and respect you. If you get some comfort or comraderie from blogging, then go for it. If, however, it becomes a chore or detrimental to your health, we'll all miss you - but we'll understand. Those of us who don't post still read, and care very much. There are more of us than you think!

EE said...

"Would a moderate me be me?"
I'm going to have to use that when my kids are complaining about my antics! Love it!!!!!

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