He Didn’t See The Rainbow, But I Did – Part 2

Evan did always know what Bryan was thinking. Whether he was scared, sad, or angry, Evan could read Bryan’s thoughts. It was both comforting and disarming at once. One day they were walking in the woods, near their house. Bryan stopped in his tracks. Evan turned to him and said:

“I know you’re afraid. But there aren’t any bears in this part of the woods.”

Bryan was irritated. He was comforted by the fact that Evan knew what he was thinking, but wanted to keep his fears and secrets to himself. He didn’t articulate any of these thoughts to his brother. They kept walking down the dirt trail. They were headed in the direction of the waterfall. There was a cliff that Evan wanted to climb. As they were walking Bryan had second thoughts about the whole excursion.

“I’m not sure I can make it to the top.” Bryan confessed. “I’m afraid of heights.”

Evan laughed, and moved his fingers through the grey streak in his hair, pushing it aside like it was a nuisance to him.

“You need to face that fear, bro. I’ll be there with you.”

Bryan didn’t say anything. He swallowed audibly and sighed. He knew that his brother was right. He needed to face his fear. But the idea of climbing to the top of a cliff was overwhelming and scary. Still, there was something about Evan that made it difficult for people to say no to him. He was engaging, charismatic, and he drew people into his world with his words. They continued walking down the trail. Bryan’s breathing was labored, sweat began to develop on his brow. He was beginning to panic.

What if I can’t make it up the cliff? What if I have an anxiety attack? What if I die before I make it to the top?

“Can you stop thinking so loudly?” Evan told his brother. “Dude, Everything is going to be fine. You’ll see.”

Bryan sighed. The two brothers walked onward. Bryan tried to distract himself by looking at the tall Redwood trees they passed as they walked through the woods. He imagined that they were all part of the same tree family; each tree was related to its tree sibling. There were brother trees and sister trees and somewhere deep in the woods were their tree parents. They were looking after the family from a distance. Bryan’s thoughts were interrupted by Evan’s voice:

“Look bro!”

Bryan looked and saw through the clearing and saw what Evan was point towards. It was a high cliff in the distance. It looked insurmountable.

“You can do this.” Evan said turning to his brother.

“I can’t.” Bryan confessed.

“Yes, you can.” Evan confirmed.

Bryan took a deep breath in. Evan grabbed his brother’s hand and looked into Bryan’s eyes, which were deep grey.

“I won’t let go. No matter what I won’t let go. I won’t let you fall.” Evan told his fearful twin brother.

“Okay.” Said Bryan. “Okay.”

They walked onward in the direction of the cliff. Evan did not let go of Bryan’s hand. cliff

He Didn’t See The Rainbow, But I Did – Part 1

Evan and Bryan were two brothers who did everything together. They were twins, both age 15. Evan was adventurous and Bryan was shy. They were brothers but also close. Evan loved to rock climb, walk in the woods, go swimming in waterfalls and drag his brother on all of these excursions. Bryan was more cautious than his twin brother, but he admired his audacity and appetite for life. Evan wanted more for Bryan. He wanted him to come out of his shell, to experience the world. It was harder for Bryan to do these things freely. He was scared of everything, bugs, people, even going outside terrified him. The only way he was able to do anything was with Evan by his side.

Though they were twins, they looked completely different from one another. Evan had one blue eye and one brown eye. Bryan’s eyes were both grey, but they looked blue in a certain light. Evan had brown hair with a single strand of grey in it, at the front. He looked a little like a skunk. It was odd that a 15 year old had a grey streak in his hair, but going grey early ran in their family. Bryan had dirty blond hair that got lighter during the summertime.

Evan’s grey streak marked him. People remembered him as different, and he was…different. He was wild and did as he pleased. He was impulsive and loud. Meanwhile Bryan spoke few words and kept his thoughts inside. Still, his wilder older brother (by one minute and three seconds) knew what Bryan was thinking, despite his intention to keep his thoughts to himself. Sometimes it frustrated Bryan. He wanted his thoughts to himself. But somehow, Evan knew exactly what he was thinking all the damn time. It was remarkable how he could mind read. Perhaps it was the fact that they had shared the womb together, or that they shared a bedroom, sleeping on beds across the room from one another. Whatever the case, Bryan’s thoughts were heard by Evan.

“How do you always know what I’m thinking?” Bryan asked Evan one day.

Evan smiled and pointed to the small grey streak on his head. He didn’t say another word.

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I’m Writing Things Even If They Don’t Make Sense or No One Cares

I care. I think we can all agree that I care a lot. Kind of like the Care Bears. Sometimes I even care too much. I like writing on here because it lets me see what my brain looks like on “paper.” I said “paper” in quotes because this is definitely not paper. It’s a computer screen, or a phone, or a tablet or whatever the fuck you are reading this on. I doubt anyone is actually reading this except for maybe me. Whatever, who cares? OH I DO! I forgot that I actually care. So I’m writing a young adult novel (sort of, maybe it’s more like New Adult) but it’s about two teenagers who are in love. The guy is a graffiti artist. The girl doesn’t know where he is most of the time or if he’s in jail. It’s like a forbidden romance. I need to do research into what it’s like to be a graffiti artist because I have no idea about the language used in that world.

Side note I am pretending to be normal and go on with my life like nothing is happening in my brain that is sad but in reality I am really sad and distracted by sadness and it’s hard to pretend to be normal because I suck at acting even though I went to The Fame High School for drama. You know that movie FAME? I can’t fake shit. It sucks. I’m in pain and it sucks and it’s hard. 

Moving on.

Here comes another sad song on ITunes as I write this. My blog is so not about parenting anymore. It’s become a place where I journal and write nonsensical stream of consciousness things and hoping that the right people read them. I turned comments off though, so I won’t actually know if anyone reads this post.

Silence can be defeaning sometimes. It feels like a punch in the chest, the gut, the heart, the vagina. I don’t believe I have ever been punched in the vagina. One time when I was around nine, some asshole kid kicked me in the vagina and that was mean. And I told him so. I was like “HEY! You kicked me in the crotch!” Because at the time, I didn’t feel comfortable using the word “vagina.” It is a strange word, isn’t it though?

I wrote this killer poem and I am having difficulty figuring out if I am brave enough to publish it. It’s hard, it’s vulnerable, it’s raw, and I don’t know what my intention is for writing it. Not true, my intention is to heal and to release pain.

 

This is another ridiculous blog post. Bye.

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I Don’t Think This is a Blog Post But Fuck It

I want to write something profound and wonderful and also funny. But I have writing blue balls or limp writing dick. Why is everything about penises? I’m not sure. I have a lot of feelings about the things that are going on in my life but I don’t want to articulate them in a way that is coherent because I am tired of being vulnerable. It’s exhausting and terrifying and I need to lay down and rest my head and not think for a while. I want a big giant bed with flannel sheets and a white down comforter and some hot chocolate. I want to lay down there and not think about anything real. I don’t want to feel anymore. I feel things too intensely and for too long and I can’t turn my brain off. I’m tired.

All I can listen to is sad music, because apparently that is all that I own on ITunes. I miss having a Disc Man. I am stuck in the 90s. Pain is an annoyance to feel. Emotional pain is the worst kind of pain ever. It’s not the kind of pain you can take Motrin for. Sorry Motrin, you don’t get paid for this blog post. I don’t have the energy to write anything truly creative and that makes me feel even sadder than I already feel. Social media is also a huge trigger for me. When I get negative comments or when people unfriend me, which shouldn’t bother me, but it does.

In the 90’s we didn’t have Facebook and life was fucking great. Everyone listened to Alanis Morissette and Third Eye Blind and we all had cordless phones and watched reruns of Growing Pains. Why can’t life be like that again? It’s too exhausting and complex.

I miss the simplicity of things before becoming an adult.

I am consistently reminded of the injustices of adulthood. I try so hard to be a good person and apparently I still get fucked with. It’s not fair. I express myself honestly, I give of myself and still…still it’s not enough and I hate everything right now. Even though today was a somewhat awesome day for reasons I can’t talk about. But let’s just say that I won an award and I have been trying to win this award for seven years. I finally did it. So that’s great.

My brain is the weirdest of all the brains.

I’m so tired of being a good person and being taken advantage of or taken for granted. It really sucks balls. See? Back to penises. It’s always about the penis. I feel compelled to tell you that all I ate for dinner is string cheese. If you are still reading this blog post, I’m sorry. It’s not even about anything. You are an incredible person, because I am not even reading it after I hit that publish button. This is probably one the worst things I’ve ever written, or maybe one of the best depending on how much you think I suck as a writer. So that’s kind of the spectrum of reality.

Sometimes I think that I am bored. But how could I be bored? I have children. That in itself is entertaining. I am hungry, but not for food. I am hungry for knowledge and for understanding and also peace. I don’t want my mind to keep running. You know, like minds do. My mind is reckless and does what it wants. I wonder if I’ll ever be “enough” for someone. I guess that doesn’t matter. Because as long as I’m enough for me, that matters. It seems that’s how people find love though, by being this “enough” I speak of. I feel like a failure at all things relationship. I mean, if you read this blog post, you can probably tell why I suck at relationships. Because obviously I can’t form a coherent thought without being tangential. I do know big words like tangential though. This should totally be my dating website profile. THIS BLOG POST. And then all the fucking crazy people will want to date me.

Okay this is clearly not about anything and I need to eat some real food and take the television back from my children and engage my pre-frontal cortex in some entertainment. Is that the pre-frontal cortex does? I’m not even sure.

Scanning of a human brain by X-rays

Scanning of a human brain by X-rays

 

Guest Post – Always Unstable Was My Dream

Always Unstable Was My Dream

By Meghan Schultz

When I was in school I wanted to be a lot of things, a nurse, an undertaker (weird for a child, I know), a painter, a concert pianist, a writer. But then for a long time I didn’t want to be or do anything. Depression took away my hopes for the future, all of my dreams, all of my drive to try. I thought that I would amount to nothing, that I was useless and couldn’t do anything. I convinced myself of that. I was convinced of that for a very long time. Even during mania, I didn’t have dreams for the future as my dreams and hobbies changed so drastically and so often. But eventually I started to think not so much of the future, but of things I might like to do. And I chose writing. I’ve managed to stick to it through mania and depression. Although each episode changes how I write.

A little over a year ago I started my blog, Always Unstable and I’ve kept with it all this time. I’m so proud of myself for that, I’m also proud that I’ve started something that people actually read and are interested in. And then came the book. I started thinking about writing a book not long after starting my blog but didn’t start it until a couple of months later. It became my dream, to write and publish a book. I could finally dream again. I was on and off with it though. I would work on it obsessively and then not at all for a few weeks. Back and forth it went until March this year when I decided that I HAD to finish it. I was so happy when I finished and printed out the manuscript, it was like my baby.
Next up was trying to get it published. I submitted my manuscript to a bunch of places without ever hearing back. But then that’s what I kind of expected, I’m a novice writer with a low word count memoir. So the next step was self-publishing which my husband had been encouraging me to do the whole time. He did basically all the work for me and now I’m on Amazon! Still waiting on paperbacks though.

So now I’m a published writer, I guess I should tell you all about my amazing book. It’s called Always Unstable: Bipolar and Hospitalisation: A Memoir. You can probably guess by the title that it focuses on my time spent in hospitals. And it does. I have been in psychiatric hospitals five times in the last ten or eleven years in both Australia and the US. For reasons being, a suicide attempt, a mixed bipolar episode, mania/ eating disorder, electroconvulsive therapy, and last but but well…probably not, a psychotic manic episode.

My book is so honest; I don’t hold anything back. My book is my truth. I want you to know what happened, I want you to know what it was like, what it still is like. Don’t get me wrong, there were many times when I questioned whether or not to put something in there but, it went in. All the gnarly details. If it made me feel something, anger, embarrassment, regret, horrible sadness, then it when in. I wrote about addiction, self-harm, extreme dieting, mania, depression and so much more. I put my whole self into this book and I’ve never been prouder of anything else that I’ve done.

I hope that you buy this book. I hope that you enjoy this book. I hope that you get something out of this book. My wish is for the book is to have an impact on even just one person. With even just one person, I would be happy, it would be worth it.

 

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Buy the book here.

meghan

I am 27 years old I’ve been living with mental illness for a very long time, most of my life. I have Bipolar I Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, and Anxiety Disorder. But that’s not all I am. I am also a writer, a painter, a knitter, and an avid walker. I love the winter time; I love the rain. I also have a constantly growing collection of stuffed animals. I love tattoos. www.alwaysunstable.com

The Nothing Train to Nowhere Part 12 – END

I sat in the seat next to the weird elderly man with the dusty hat. I cried and cried. I could stop those tears from coming. Even after he told me to put the past away I couldn’t, wouldn’t, shouldn’t didn’t. It was the book and we were supposed to write it together but he’d left me.

Wait.

Who is he?

There’s a he?

I didn’t know his name.

It was starting to come back to me. I knew there was a man. But I couldn’t picture his face or who he was. All I knew is that he shattered me into a million pieces kind of like Noah’s Ark. Did that even happen? Did Noah’s Ark shatter? I don’t know. I closed my eyes and tried to imagine his face. This man who had taken everything from me. I couldn’t get there.

Softly, slowly, easily, I fell asleep.

The train was slow and steady on the way to Nowhere. It was a relief to rest my eyes and my soul. I missed him, whoever he was. He was somehow a part of me.

I shot awake.

The train slowed. We were approaching the station, the destination, Nowhere. I couldn’t waste anymore time. It was time to find out who I was. I wasn’t even hungry anymore. My soul had been replenished by the sleep. I stood up quickly and ran to the doors of the train. I tapped my foot impatiently. I waited for them to open.

“What are you doing?” Asked the elderly man grumpily.

“I want to get out. I want to find out who I am.” I said.

“You know who you are, Louise.” He said. “Put the past away!” He shouted at me.

My name hit me hard in the face. I was Louise, not Julia. And he knew it. He knew who I was. As I was beginning to recover from the shock of being told who I truly was, the train doors opened. I stepped out into the daylight. There he was, standing there. He had blonde sandy hair and a subtle smile. I knew him. He had broken me. He had torn my heart to shreds in the woods. I walked toward him transfixed by his gaze. He was standing just beneath the train platform inside of the station at Nowhere.

“Hello.” He said

“Fuck you.” I responded.

“All right. I deserve that.” He responded.

“You told me to forget myself.”  I said with tears welling up in my eyes.

“Louise,” He said biting his lip “I’m sorry. But I was afraid.”

“Of WHAT?” I demanded.

“Of loving you.” He took his hand and stroked my face.

“Why?” I asked. “Am I scary?”

“No.” He said with a laugh. “But hurting you is.”

He looked deep into my eyes. He brushed my hair away from my eyes and kissed me deeply on the mouth.

“I love you.” He said. “My name is Ian.”

“Hi Ian.” I said with a small smile.

The pigeons looked at us like we had some food to give them. I didn’t have anything and I felt guilty. They had been so kind to me. They had looked after me when I lost myself. Those pigeons knew who I was more than I did. It was clear that I couldn’t lose myself again. Not now and not ever.

“I love you Ian. But you will never take my identity away again.” I said.

“I won’t.” He said.

The pigeons looked at me. They looked and they didn’t know what was next for us. So we stood there staring into each other’s eyes. Because this was my happy ending or not. I wasn’t sure. But I knew for sure that there was one thing I could never do again – be Julia. I was Louise. I would eat more than bread, I would be more than a stranger. I would never lose myself in hurt or anger again or maybe I would. Because life is like that sometimes.

So this is my story.

And this is Nowhere.

I hope you find a pigeon you can talk to sometime.

They always know the answers.

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The Nothing Train to Nowhere – Part 11

I stood at the train station waiting. There were so many pigeons to talk to. One of them told me her name was Amelia and she had 11 pigeon children, but they didn’t talk to her anymore. They all flew away to different places. And there was nothing I could do to comfort her. She wouldn’t listen to my advice. I was so hungry. The pigeons were generous with their food rations. There were bread crumbs they’d been gifted that they shared with me. I was grateful and I accepted their charity.

“Excuse me, miss?” A man’s voice startled me.

“Yes?”

“Where is the closest grocery store?” He asked.

I didn’t know. I didn’t know anything.

“I don’t know. I don’t know anything.”

“Do you know your name?”

I couldn’t remember my name. I decided it was time to name myself. So I decided upon Julia. It was the only name I could remember. There were so many famous Julias to emulate, as I mentioned to you before; whoever you are. Are you out there reading this? I know you are and you care. You care that I find my identity. I know you do.

“Julia.” I said blushing.

“Thank you Julia.” He said smiling. “I’ll look around.” And with that he left the station to search for a potentially mythical grocery store.

Night was approaching quickly. There was no train schedule. As you might imagine, I was shocked when the train came zooming into the station. I felt a sense of relief and terror. I knew I needed to leave this place, but I didn’t know where Nowhere was and where I would end up. I was disgusted and sick. I was angry and sad and i didn’t know why. I couldn’t distinguish between lower case and capital letters. I couldn’t make out what a period or a semi colon was. I was writing a book with someone, but I couldn’t remember who.

The train came to a screeching halt. The conductor stuck his rigid body out of the car and shouted:

“All aboard to Nowhere!”

I got on and prayed for a new life.

Nowhere Train 1.jpg.crdownload

The Nothing Train to Nowhere – Part Ten

The path to Nowhere was winding. It lead me down the mountain and into the deep valley below. I was wearing my white Converse, which weren’t ideal hiking shoes. But I had to make due with what I had. It was a long way to Nowhere, apparently. I carefully maneuvered my way down the trail. I didn’t want to trip and fall. It was a long way down that mountain and if I tripped I wouldn’t survive.  Slowly, calculated, my movements matched my thought patterns.

I didn’t know who I was, what my name was, where I was, but I knew where I was going: to Nowhere.

After some considerable effort, with sweat dripping down my brow, I reached the bottom of the mountain. I breathed a deep breath in through my nose and released it through my mouth. I made it. I looked up to the top of the enormous overreacting mountain. It peered down at me, cowering over me, haunting me with its gaze. I knew it was time to keep going before it swallowed me whole with its sadness. There was something profoundly sad at the peak of that mountain, but I couldn’t quite articulate what that was. The snow was discolored, the clouds above it were an off-color shade of white. The mountain was awfully despondent. And I didn’t want to be around that anymore.

I pushed my exhausted body and mind forward. I walked down the dirt road in front of me. There was gray mist ahead. It was hard to see and I didn’t have my glasses. I’d lost them somewhere along the way with him. Whoever he was, I didn’t know. But he was gone, I thought. I pushed forward through the mist. Through the loss. Through what I lost was where I was supposed to be going. I couldn’t be sure.

Along the way there was a giant oak tree. It was so beautiful I had to stop. I walked right up to it and hugged it close to my body. I felt the bark touch my breasts. It made me angry, that tree. It hurt me, it betrayed me to the core and I hated it with all my being. I shot backward and punched it with my fists. I kept punching and punching until my fists began to bleed. I started to cry. The tears ran down my face onto the blood on my hands, washing away what was unclean. Leaving behind the hurt, the sadness, the loss, the unknown. I hated that fucking tree. I wanted it to die along with the memories that I couldn’t recall.

I walked onward, following the second sign I saw:

“Train Station Ahead.”

There it was. I had been walking for days, at this point. I hadn’t eaten, hadn’t slept, couldn’t think of anything else but leaving this place. I followed a pigeon through the mist. She told me to follow her. At least I think she did. I don’t know. I couldn’t really hear her, because I was screaming, or crying, or holding my ears. None of it mattered really. It just meant that I needed to keep going through the fog. I knew Nowhere was near. And that train station had a lot of pigeons to get advice from.

 

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