A Reason Why

I have a bad feeling about everything lately. I had a bad feeling about writing this. Last night I even had a bad feeling about going to bed, my favorite part of the day since I was in the hospital from a recent psychotic break. I don’t know how to rely on myself anymore, since it’s starting to seem that I’m unreliable.

I look back on my life and see that I’ve turned down every opportunity to make my life better (financially): I let my expensive personal training certification lapse and never pursued a job at a gym as a personal trainer; I left graduate school when I could’ve prepared to do awesome work as a writing coach at a university; I passed on opportunities to get my certification to teach; I passed on an opportunity to go to a graduate counseling program at William & Mary.

I tried to follow my heart when I rejected those paths. But now I just feel destined to fail. Of course, there could be another explanation. A couple of nights ago I heard a voice say, “mis-fitted” and that’s exactly how I feel in this world. Times like these it’s refreshing to remember that I believe most employment opportunities and even most relationships are misled in our society.

The end goal for so many things is money, comfort or keeping up good appearances, rather than helping make the world a better place. I abandoned my previous opportunities perhaps because I lost a sense of purpose in pursuing them. Purpose is one thing I feel my society has abandoned.

So where is my place here? I’m still not sure, but one thing I can do is work on my book. It’s hard though. When I work on it I’m thinking it won’t make me money. There are so many things in it that are tough for me to live through again, like my first psychotic break. Does anyone want to hear about that? I think yes, but only if I give them a good reason. That’s what I have to find, but I feel  out of touch with purpose (and creativity) since I started on the Invega Sustenna*** shot to treat schizoprhenia, which I’m diagnosed with.

Luckily it’s supposed to be re-injected this week and I plan to avoid it. I’m just not sure if my doctor will be cooperative and write me a new prescription for another medication.

***NOTE: I no longer think my break from feeling creative is from the Invega Sustenna shot, but instead from me sobering from a break from reality. I had to change the way I was looking at and telling my story because I saw that I did need to work for a living, something I put off for almost a year.


Some Super Feedback

I had someone tell me yesterday that “I Don’t Believe You, Society” made her cry because it was so true to her experience. She said that when she smiles, it’s a fake smile. And that when she greived the loss of a family member recently that she was mourning something deeper.

She also said she thought there wasn’t anything wrong with me (like being crazy), but something wrong with the world we live in. It was such an unexpected experience, and exactly the response I always hoped for. It made me feel more sane, and like what I’m doing had the desired effect on at least one person.

One reason I wanted to start writing more, and specifically why I  wrote “I Don’t Believe You…” is that I wanted to tell people that there wasn’t anything wrong with them, but something wrong with our society. I want people to feel that they are not alone in this tough experience called trying to make it based on rules that have nothing to do with being yourself, and everything to do with keeping up perfect appearances.

Too many times I heard about suicides and felt I could’ve done something to help prevent them. My writing is one of those things.

I have been suicidal lately just because I don’t know where I’m going and I don’t know where I want to go. I’m also on medicine that seems to break my standard routine of writing notes to discover things about this life and my feelings. I feel very out of it and somewhat out of touch with my emotions.

I’ve written a bit about the Invega Sustenna* shot before, which I got in the hospital and am scheduled to have again on Monday. I already told the nurse I may not come. I know for sure now that I’m not going to get it again. (My doctor’s been out of the office since Wednesday when I met with her, and she really wanted me to keep taking the shot because I don’t hear voices with it like I do on my old medication.)

I just have to be careful until I can get a prescription for something else, I hope my old medicine, Seroquel. At least I know with that, I feel like my regular self, although it makes me constipated.

***NOTE: I no longer blame the Invega Sustenna shot for stunting my creative streak.

Fewer Posts Lately
April 24, 2012, 10:54 am
Filed under: Writing | Tags: , ,

I’ve been writing less here lately, trying to write my book. In the nine months since I quit my job, I’ve been mostly afraid to go to the computer and type my book. Mostly I’ve been writing notes, figuring things out. But it doesn’t feel right to do that anymore.

I still have a lot of negative feelings about running out of money. There’s something I’ve applied for I’ll talk more about later that may help. I used to just go to my notepad and write things out to feel better when I felt bad, but like I said, I often feel like my time writing notes (for my book) has passed, or is overdone.

Today I still wrote chunks of narrative content for my book in my notebook. It just feels less intimidating than my computer right now (just for narrative writing). I’m used to the notepad. I hope the more I write my book at the computer, the more comfortable it feels. Once writing notes for my book in my notepad felt undesirable, then I started to love what I found when I wrote in it, and I loved how it made me feel. It made me feel less confused, and more like who I was and what I’d done in my life made sense–and mattered.

I even started to feel like everyone should write their stories, first figuring things out, like I did. I think it’d be less necessary for me, or anyone, to spend time figuring things out if we lived in a world where society treated people like who they are, and their feelings mattered. But we don’t–not yet.

Also, the kind of writing I’m doing, narrative/story telling, rather than essays, is new to me. I need time to get used to this new style of writing. I do feel like telling my story creatively, however, is something I must do, even though it is very difficult right now. As I feel good about my content, I’ll post it here. I’m considering just publishing pieces of my book, now, rather than the whole thing. Otherwise some posts would be really long, like 3,000 words or more.

April 22, 2012, 5:23 pm
Filed under: Human Potential, Society | Tags: , ,

I believe that people doing busy work at school and work instead of fulfilling their life purpose, and people pretending skin color, marrital status, and income are character traits are all part of a “C-O-N-spiracy” (like from In Living Color) against humanity meant to keep people from truly living.

The greatest accomplishment is freeing people, as our heroes helped do. Can you tell me a job field that actually does that for people in a lasting or profound way today?

People will say education, but does education really free people? I went to college to become a newspaper reporter, but I really wanted to be a writer. The way I needed to be freed was to believe in myself. I didn’t believe I could make a living as a writer unless I wrote for a magazine or newspaper.

I had only one teacher (a college professor) who told me she thought I was talented. Education is not worthy of the name unless it makes people feel good about themselves, like they can overcome any obstacle. That’s called freedom.

We actually kind of reward people in our culture for being unfree. I’m talking about how monogamy and being married are considered ways to be “good” people. Um, how about facing and fixing your own problems, such as being ashamed and insecure, thereby fixing your own little corner of the world? Think about what would happen if everyone did that: Freedom.

For me, facing my problem partly included doing what I loved: writing–and thinking a lot. I’ve felt freer of my mental illness (negative voices and haunting feelings) and more okay with myself as I’ve written and explored who I am.

As far as race goes, I just feel people wear their race as their character too often: by the way they dress, speak, and date people of the same race. I wear my race as my identity, to a certain extent. I feel very in touch with my struggle/experience as a black person, just as a white person might feel in touch with the struggle of being white. Yes, I believe there is such a thing. I believe anyone labeled “good” suffers inside just as much as anyone labeled “bad.” Humans are good and bad, and labels interfere with the freedom to be both.

I believe identifying with our experiences (because of our race, sex, income bracket, etc.) can encourage people to make the world better for others in similar situations.

Making the world better in a unique and neccessary way is less likely to happen when people hide things about themselves, thereby avoiding improving the human condition for others like them. (For example, if Abe Lincoln was really gay and hid it, he avoided improving the treatment of gay people.)

People may avoid their purpose and still feel like they’re doing something simply because they make money and live in a nice house. But they are using only a sliver of their power to make life grand, if they avoid facing all parts of who they are.

I say “conspiracy” because in any good story there’s always an antagonist. But the greatest enemy has to be within, and has to be covert to be doing such a good job in making everyone believe that what they want is unhavable: their dreams, peace and togetherness. Most religious people can tell you who the enemy is, by the way.

Other posts like this: Comfort Here and Do-Nothing Achievement, Going Nowhere

Distraction Nation
April 17, 2012, 7:35 am
Filed under: Education, Race, Society | Tags: , , , , , , ,

“I can feel it” — as sung in the song, “Deep Cover,” by Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre

“I’m goin’ down cause you ain’t around, baby” — Mary J. Blige in the song, “I’m Goin’ Down”

I’ve been really sad at times lately. It makes sense. I tend to freak out about things long before they happen. When I first quit my job last July, for example, I had a huge temper tantrum a month later thinking about all the bills I wouldn’t be able to pay, and the possibility of not having a car. I considered killing myself.

Here I am nine months after quitting, and there has been no bill that went unpaid (except my student loans which are in deferment), and I still have the car. Since I got out of the hospital, though, I’m haunted again by the thought of running out of money (even though I’m using food stamps and living with my sister).

The fear is causing me to consider getting a job again, but I still believe (whether mistakenly or not) that is unwise.

What, getting a job unwise? Indeed. While I was in the hospital, people kept saying things like, “You really understand why you make your decisions,” or, “You’re very intelligent.” It’s true only because I quit working and had time to explore my thoughts, actions, dreams, and desires in trying to write my memoir.

Every day new feelings and experiences add to the list of things to be understood. Spending time on distractions only adds unnecessarily to the list. Distractions can include stressing over jobs I don’t want, thoughts of an attractive mate who is not my soul mate, and fear of running out of money.

I guess getting a job I hate seems wise because I supposedly need a job to survive. This is why I think life in America and on this earth totally sucks. I thought about killing myself on the way to my last job many times.

I was suicidal, even though my last job was one of my best. I was treated half-way decent by management, and I made better pay ($11 an hour) for the work I did. But to me, the work and my place of employment were like Band-Aids on self-inflicted wounds no one was willing to stop.

I worked at an alternative school FULL of young black boys and teens in a world where African Americans are treated like things to discard, or distractions to success for mankind. We are ugly, dumb, violent menaces to society, except for a few who are somehow good apples. How about the REAL reason black kids have trouble in failing schools is because they are intuitive and know what our education system really teaches: distractions as a way of life. What if black students really are the canary in the coal mine, a sign that our schools of distraction are harmful for all children.

Maybe black kids sense that spending day after day in the classroom doing stuff that means nothing to them really means that individuals are a waste of space, not that they should try to excel at doing pointless things to find success. I’ve said it before and I’ll say again: Avoiding your dreams; talents; abilities, even as a five year old in kindergarten, is not success. It’s never success, no matter how much money you make, or how soon you get married (measures of success in the biased book about race and i.q., The Bell Curve).

The one thing that makes me feel better about living in a world where distractions are considered life is that I don’t have to die. (Plus, I can always live in a shelter, I think.) I can be peniless and homeless and not work a job and still live. Working a job I don’t want, supporting a racist, absentee society, and pretending I don’t see it, is death.

‘The World Already Ended’
April 14, 2012, 1:04 pm
Filed under: Mental Illness, Society | Tags: , , ,

In the few days before I went into the hospital I was hearing things like, “There will be darkness,” and “They will kill themselves.” Then while in the psychiatric unit of Chippenham Hospital, the woman, P– I wrote about in, “I Go Far,” said, “I don’t know what ya’ll talking aobut, the world already ended. All that’s left to do is plead for your soul.”

I think she was right. I think the world ends when people decide to stop living and just appear, or pretend to be a certain way. We learn to do this at an early age, like when black girls, like me, learn to straighten their nappy hair to be beautiful. I also learned it was shameful and unrealistic (I was surrounded by same-race couples) to like white boys as a kid and as a teenager. And that I had to hide that I masturbated. I even tried to hide my period when I got it at 11.

We end up negating the details our existence believing it’s not okay to be here as our white-boy liking, period-having selves. How can someone really live when they have to hide everything, including what they want to do with their lives or say to the person they love or hate. I think I was right in Going Nowhere. And maybe I went a bit (okay more than a bit) far in Bad Meaning Good, but I did so because I felt like things were SO wrong, and no one was saying so. Living in a world where no one sees what you see all up in your face everyday is insanity. No diagnosis needed. The solution is people being real (and me being around people).

I see racism, I see inequality, I see exploitation of the human condition (all day, everyday) and no one else seems to see it, or at least it doesn’t hit them over the head the way it does me. Sometimes I really feel like I can’t take it.

What we have is darkness, when we don’t know how life is for others (our brothers and sisters). What we have is suicide when people deny their desires and true feelings. They already killed themselves. It’s mostly walking dead people here on earth.

My Heroes Say, ‘Feel Free’
April 10, 2012, 9:06 pm
Filed under: Race, Society | Tags: , , , , , ,

“You cannot fix what you will not face.” — James Baldwin

My heroes are people who dare to say things that are tough to say. That means my heores face things that are hard to face, like human sexuality, for example. It sounds rebellious, but seriously, rappers are my heroes.

I’ve been ashamed of my sexual self  since I was a kid. As a kid, I knew that because I was black I wasn’t supposed to like white boys. Years after my first crush in second-grade, which was on a white boy, I knew I shouldn’t be masturbating (even before I knew that what I was doing was “masturbating”).

Unlike me, Bigge Smalls raps immodestly (and modestly, too, no?) about sex and being a “Nasty Boy” in his song by the same name. I’m in awe of Biggie Smalls. But there’s also a part of me who feels ashamed by what he says, kind of like a kid who wants the bad boy in class (Biggie) to avoid being seen by the teacher. I know Biggie’s not supposed to say what he says, so part of me wants to hide his music, so no one misunderstands him, or tries to punish his free expression.

I felt the same way when I met the man I believe is my soul mate. I wanted to hide him from all the “rules” of what not to say that had kept me from being as free as he seemed the day I met him.

He’s an ophthalmalogist. I saw him once to remove a lump on my eye lid, and he said he thought I’d also like Botox for the wrinkles in my forehead. Those who know me, know I don’t really have wrinkles in my forehead. But when he mentioned wrinkles, what I heard was this: “I don’t know the rules that have oppressed you all your life.” And somehow this, “To me, you are somebody greater than your circumstances.”

Somehow no one ever said that to me before, or since, in such a touching way. He stopped me in my tracks the day I met him. And the thought of him is still with me. But I’m still learning–the hard way–to be like him.

I haven’t checked my Facebook page since before I went into the hospital for walking outside naked. I’m too ashamed of what I said about the world ending. At the same time, I’m unsure whether there’s any truth to what I said. I’m still unsure how to accurately view the world, considering all I’ve experienced and all I believe.

I’m also avoiding Facebook because I’m afraid I’ll somehow get in trouble for saying my soul mate’s name on Facebook and here on my blog. Maybe someone complained and sent me a message, I thought.

Although I’m avoiding Facebook, I reluctantly went out into the world today, to a familiar community: the gym. I got something good: “Feel free to modify…,” the yoga instructor said this morning in a yoga class I took. My mind got stuck on “Feel free.” It’s such a beautiful thing to say, but people say it so much, most of us probably don’t hear the true meaning of the words.

If I could only, “feel free” to say whatever I want to say–and not regret it later. The world would be a beautiful place.  If it were true that people could say whatever they wanted (like Biggie Smalls or my soul mate), perhaps I would’ve never decided to be quiet starting in fifth-grade. I must’ve felt I couldn’t say anything right.

Years later, a college classmate expressed disappointment when I refused to say my opinion in a freshman literature class. “I hate it when people do that,” she (Brooke Brown) said. I was upset at first that I bothered someone by not saying anything. But then I felt happy.

It didn’t make sense until years later why it made me happy: I always admired Brooke; AND she wanted to hear what I had to say. Wow. That is called harmony or balance, the thing I missed all my life, even though it was mine. God gave me harmony. It was ONLY an illusion that I and life didn’t have it.

Maybe Biggie Smalls would’ve liked to hear what I have to say, too, and maybe my soul mate. Hopefully I can be like them: Feeling free to say unpopular, and even possibly mistaken things.