Monthly Archives: October 2012

Going (Mostly) AWOL

Aaaah. NaNoWriMo is starting tomorrow! Sadly, I’ve been neglecting a lot of my creative writing lately. I’m not sure if I’ll reach 50,000 words, but I’m setting myself a lower goal of at least 30,000 words. I want to get a substantial amount of writing done, but I don’t want to freak out too much, though of course I’ll try to get up to 50,000.

The idea behind NaNoWriMo is to start a new project, but I’m going to be a rebel on that score. I will try to work on what I term Novel #3 since I think that’s the one that I would need to publish first to establish my voice. I actually started Novel #3 during NaNoWriMo last year, but I quickly abandoned it because I got stuck. My approach to the idea is different this time, though. If I get stuck, perhaps I’ll revert back to my fantasy novel. I might also try to write a couple of short stories that’ve been floating around in my head. Then maybe I can enter contests with them and such.

I have done nothing whatsoever to prepare for NaNoWriMo. I haven’t even glanced over the little bit of the novel I’ve written so far. I am in no way prepared or it at all, but I need to somehow get my mind in the game.

I need to make an announcement about the Circus, but I’m so tired. I don’t even know why. I got plenty of sleep. My eyes keep closing. Maybe I’ll write that post this weekend, but then again I should have plenty of time to do it right now. If I wait one more day, it’ll take away from writing time for NaNoWriMo. But because of NaNoWriMo, this is probably the only time I’ll be able to go to bed early for at least the next month. Hmm.

This is all leading up to an announcement for Mirth: Don’t mind me if I wind up going AWOL during NaNoWriMo. I’ll try to write a few posts and glance around at blogs, but for all intents and purposes much of my blogging time will probably become NaNoWriMo time.

Silly timing last year, starting my blog just as NaNoWriMo was about to start. I didn’t have many readers then since it was just a baby. I’m afraid that cutting down my blogging time for NaNoWriMo could make people forget my blog exists. ūüė¶ But oh well. I need to get working on my novel again, and NaNoWriMo will help me do that.

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One-Year Blogoversary

My blog is over one year old now! Its birthday was October 27, but I was out of town on that date, so the celebratory post is a little late.

I mark the occasion with a hodgepodge retrospective. In my first post, I explain why I chose the name The Mirth of Despair. I mention that I wanted to associate my real-life identity with this blog. Although the blog has existed for a year now, I don’t think I’m ready for that step yet.

For the first few months, I struggled with my blog’s voice. My approach seemed rather scattered. Was it a purely personal blog? Was it an informational blog that pulled from personal experiences? Was it a blog for me to explore writing techniques? Was I talking about random ideas and beliefs? It felt like my voice was unstable, my posts all over the place.

But as time passed, I grew more comfortable. I’ve decided that, for the most part, Mirth is a mental health diary. As such, it’s not a place for me to discuss my daily life, but rather a place for me to discuss my mental health in both general and personal terms. So what if I occasionally veer into other topics? So what if I write a few fictional works? I think everything here is related somehow. It’s an expression of myself, and my experiences and mental health have shaped both my thoughts and my creative writing.

A few selected highlights:

I still like the underlying idea of Channeling Negativity into Creativity, although I think I could write a better post than the original one.

If you’ve ever read my blog for any substantial length of time, you’ve probably noticed that I refer to my “big break.” This post gives particulars about the big break. The wound is still raw, even after three years,¬† and that characteristic comes out in the post.

In this post, I talk about the closest I ever came to a suicide attempt.

Stalemate is probably my favorite creative writing post, mainly because it contains the phrase “envelop me in amber.” This is a phrase I’ve had in my head for at least two years.

Once Upon a Time marks the occasion of my 100th post.

Lately, I’ve been discussing my fall into darkness. I think the darkness is something that’s always been with me. Inexpressible¬† mentions the same darkness, and while perusing my posts, I was surprised to discover earlier discussion about the abyssal darkness.

I think the recent post X-Ray is a glimpse into the recesses of my soul.

A Friday Fictioneers post, Fairy Dust, has received¬†Mirth‘s most amount of likes.

However, out of everything I’ve written, The Blogging Community, a Canvas post, has received the most amount of likes.

Search Term Bonanza is the obligatory search-term post.

A few search terms that have landed on my blog since that post include:

“do u have anxiety if u feel like cant make it around in the supermarket or malls or other places like anxious”–Sounds like it to me–feeling anxious would mean you have some anxiety.

“christian bale face shape”–I don’t even know. How would one describe the shape of Christian Bale’s face? Is it a unique shape? Because I’ve never noticed.

“i am a loner, but don’t want my kids to be”–What’s wrong with having children who are loners? If they seem to enjoy alone time, why not let them have it?

“jamie bamber glasses”–Jamie Bamber has worn glasses at some point? You want a picture of that?

“why people try to change loners”–Because we live in a society that puts a premium on extroversion and unjustly discriminates against loners.

“i think i have adhd but i also feel like a perfectionist sometimes..” What does being a perfectionist have to do with ADHD?

“‘notify me when new comments are added’ wedding ideas”–Sorry, I don’t have any wedding ideas for you. You might want to, you know, go to a website that specializes in weddings. There might periodically be new comments about them on such a website.

“will paul mcgann and david tennant return as the doctor”–Wouldn’t that be awesome?!

“how to become a loner at work”–Huh? Are your coworkers so annoying that you want them to leave you alone? Can’t say I blame you.

“anything wrong with being intellectual”–No. Please be intellectual! We’ve got enough dumb people as it is.

“cereal boxes in real life”–As opposed to cereal boxes in one’s imaginary life?

“david tennant superman”–David Tennant as Superman?! Sounds fantastic!

“psychiatrist has diagnosed me with avoidant personality but it is not right”–You might want to talk to your psychiatrist about that rather than consulting the Internet.

“can you have avoidance personality without narcism”–I would think having avoidant personality disorder would in most cases preclude narcissism.

“afraid if i confide to much it will be used against me”–Me, too, searcher. Me, too.

“i think i have adhd but i don’t think it’s real”–If you don’t believe ADHD is real, then why would you think you have it? Methinks you actually believe it’s real.

“my boyfriend is musically gifted is that why he is socially awkward”–Not everyone who’s musically gifted is socially awkward, so probably not. It could possibly be a contributing factor, though.

And of course, as always, various iterations of “is there anything wrong with being a loner?” are the most frequent search terms by far, and I have this post to thank for that. With that search term in mind, I wrote a sequel, Is There Anything Wrong with Being a Loner? (Part II).

**********

Over the past year, I’ve gotten more from the blogging community than I ever could’ve imagined. Of course I wanted readers; otherwise, I would’ve started a private blog. But I didn’t expect to forge wonderful friendships with fellow bloggers.

I’ve become part of A Canvas of the Minds, a fabulous blog with various perspectives on mental health. On a lark, I started a choose-your-own-adventure blog, A Circus at the End of the World. On behalf of the latter, I even joined a blogroll contest set up by Clown, Le, which in its own way also helped me more than I could’ve ever imagined.

I joined others in blogging about World Suicide Prevention Day. I became part of Lulu‘s Blog for Mental Health 2012 project.

And I’ve had still more glorious and rewarding adventures on my blogging journey, but I’ve gone on long enough, haven’t I?

I end with thanks, because without you, fellow comrades in blogs, my blog wouldn’t be what it has become.

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Ye Olde Country Cafe

Rochelle provided this week’s prompt for the Friday Fictioneers. She’s also generously taken over management. Mine is 130 words. I’m afraid I can’t help being verbose.¬†You can read the other stories here.

Bayard wouldn’t quit griping about his hunger, so we stopped in the next town. Little Chimney.

“What kind of name is that?” Bayard quipped.

Soon we found what seemed to be the only restaurant around. “Ye Olde Country Cafe.” Bayard snorted.

The bell tinkled as we entered the establishment. There was nary a soul in sight.

“Where’s the service?” Bayard complained.

“I don’t know,” I replied, “But I need to go to the bathroom.”

When I returned, I didn’t see Bayard anywhere. I ventured into the back room. The window opposite looked onto a gorgeous garden.

I couldn’t resist.

As flowery fragrances consumed me, a hand yanked me backward, another one clamping over my mouth. A knife grazed my collarbone.

“We don’t take kindly to trespassers here,” a voice rasped.

**********

I actually stopped in a place called Big Chimney once. I saw nothing but a gas station and a Hardee’s. It was a bit eerie.

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Soulsickness

Beyond the tundra

Furthest north

Lies the jagged, beautiful crystal.

Gorgeous lethality

At the globe’s summit,

One can see nothing for miles,

An eternity of ice.

Seemingly bright, but composed of the purest darkness.

The oblivion consumes me

Devours me

Insinuating itself within

Planting a seed in my heart

Rooted deep.

It cannot be exorcised.

I am tainted,

Leprosy of the soul.

Sequester me,

Lest I become a pariah.

How do I extinguish the scourge

Without destroying myself?

Must I accept its presence,

Forever there?

Even if the ice penetrates me so?

So cold that it burns?

I cannot ignore it,

For it tortures me so.

Perhaps like the saints of old

I can persevere through the pain.

But I am no saint.

Yet somehow

It must be borne

This frigid hell.

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I Am Mired in the Farthest Darkness

It is hard to describe where my head has been lately. It’s not like I’m a danger to myself. In some ways, I am more normal than usual. So I really have no right to be worrying you folks; it’s a bluff. That’s why I keep calling it a performance. I know I’m not going to do anything, so there really is no need for alarm.

Am I pretending? I don’t know. I feel like I must be since I can function like a regular human being.

But my mind is somewhere darker, somewhere unreachable. I want to talk to someone, I want someone to help me, but I know no one can.

It’s a quieter, seemingly subdued darkness. But, to reference a cliche, still waters run deep. If you saw me in real life, you wouldn’t think my behavior indicated anything out of the ordinary. The darkness is buried somewhere deeper.

I don’t know what to do, and I don’t think there’s anything I or anyone can do. A week ago, I genuinely thought it was gone. But it was a cruel joke that something, the universe, I don’t know, played on me.

It feels like one of those delusions that gripped me twice before. I’m still not sure those were really delusions, though. I have mentioned the one in which I thought I had the soul of a murderer. I feel like, in some ways, the other one could seem more absurd. I just feel like these are things that people would laugh off as impossible, but something in me knows they’re true.

Okay, suicide talk coming up. Be prepared.

Back in the days of the big break, I was suicidal. I’ve mentioned that. But what I didn’t mention was that my mind turned my most powerful weapon against suicide into one for suicide. The first time I was suicidal, I was thirteen. (Wow, that’s half a lifetime ago.) Ever since then, the thought that I was supposed to be here had stopped me. I felt bad because I knew I was always bluffing when I threatened suicide, even if I didn’t feel like it. I almost died as a baby, you see, so I held to the belief that God had saved me for some purpose. It kept me from attempting suicide, anyway.

But during those hellish last few months of 2009, my mind told me that God had preserved me so that I could kill myself at that very point in time. That was my purpose in life. If I didn’t, then I was disappointing God. My brain used the story of Abraham and Isaac as an example. Maybe God was testing me to see if I would actually do it. Like God had tested Abraham to see if he would kill his son if it was God’s will.

This is why I fucking hate the story of Abraham and Isaac and think that Abraham really failed, even if the Bible doesn’t say so. It wasn’t God telling him to kill Isaac, you see. It was the devil’s voice masking as God’s. God stopped Abraham before he could commit the act since Isaac was important for the future. I don’t fucking care if this isn’t in the Bible. The Bible isn’t the word of God, it’s inspired by God.

If you think I’m wrong, please be merciful and keep any contradictory opinions to yourself. This is my interpretation, and it’s the only way I was able to justify not attempting suicide.

But for a long time, I thought it was my purpose to kill myself right then. My despair was compounded by guilt that I was failing God. And there’s a small part of me that still believes this, that thinks I should’ve killed myself then, or at least tried to, but now it’s too late. So I failed.

Now I don’t go around having such magical thinking all the time. I don’t. But I do believe in God and that we have purposes and all that jazz.

You can fucking laugh at how ridiculous that “delusion” sounds. You must think I’m a fucking moron. I don’t fucking care.

(She spouts defensively.)

Well, if you are going to laugh, fuck you. I’ve just stripped myself to the barest depths of my soul. If that’s a laughing matter to you, you are assigning my core to the metaphorical trash heap. Ah, well. It probably deserves to be there anyway.

This explanation is longer than I meant for it to be. I can’t even explain what this deep darkness is. I’ve only scratched the surface. I don’t think it’s ever going away, because it hadn’t done so when I’d thought it did. Who knows? Maybe I will eventually become suicidal so I can escape. Not that I deserve to escape.

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There’s a new Circus installment. Here it is, special opportunity included.

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X-Ray

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