Mimicry

The sewing project that I thought last night I could do without pattern or tutorial? Woke up, started it, tried it, made one little mistake that was easily corrected, and nailed it. Observe the “inspiration” picture from the pin I found:

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For more experienced sewists, probably not too big of a deal. I, however, sometimes get mixed up without photos or patterns to go on, so I kinda sewed the pockets on upside down at first. However, that was, as far as I can tell, the only mistake I made. Behold:

I didn’t add a strap to hold it closed when it’s folded up (because it was like 3am & I was not quite functional enough yet to figure that bit out–next time though; next time), but basically I did the thing. A small folding desk organizer for my craft room–or for whatever I decide to stick in there. The best thing is, I didn’t spend any extra money on it. This puppy is made 100% from scraps and leftover materials I already had from previous projects.

So now Pinterest will become even more addicting. I’ve gotten it into my head that I can do probably more than I actually can, but if I can do even half the things I’ve seen that I want to do I’ll be able to use up a lot of the scraps that have been taking up tons of space in my craft room. I’ll be able to make gifts, maybe even things to sell on Etsy or eBay or something.

Just a little copycatting, and maybe I can be productive.

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Copycat attack

I’ve been on Pinterest a little too much lately, I think. After spending a few days cranking out baby shower gifts on the sewing machine, I now have the crazy notion in my head that I can look at a thing and determine how it was constructed and make it on my own. And who knows? Maybe I can…for some simpler things, I mean. It might take some brainstorming and visualizing, but I’ve already got a few things in mind to make for myself, and I’m thinking of making gifts for some of my friends and family this year.

On one hand, it’s a good thing; I can utilize fabric scraps (that I don’t quite know what to do with) in a useful way. On the other hand, this could potentially be the early stages of a manic episode, so I had better be aware of my emotions and keep my impulses in check.

Sometimes I wonder if I can harness this manic energy that comes to me and use it to be productive…but then I remember how out of control I can get if I’m not careful, and it’s very, very hard to be careful when you’re in a manic state. Part of that mania involves a lack of…how can I put this? A lack of concern over consequences. I know that impulsive action A can potentially cause bad consequence B, but I really don’t give a rat’s ass whether B happens or not.

Then again, I might not be manic. Not every burst of creative energy is caused by an episode. It could just be that I’m in the mood to make stuff. But going off of past experiences and probability factors and all that science-y stuff, the scales are tipping heavily in the manic direction.

It’s frustrating as hell, that’s for sure. Not knowing if you’re slowly losing control or just in an unusually good mood. It sucks.

I’m probably still going to make the stuff though, if I can find the time. Whether it’s an episode or not, I’ve gotten it in my head that I can do this thing, and now I have to take on my own challenge.

Let Sleeping Demons Lie

It’s World Mental Health Day, and I thought I’d take a little bit of time to discuss mental health–largely because it is most definitely directly relevant to my life. Sometimes I joke about it, because the humor helps relieve the pressure. Other times, though, like right now, I want to be more serious about the subject of mental health. It’s a very serious thing, and one that needs more awareness.

It has been a while since I’ve mentioned this here (because, well, it shouldn’t be something worth mentioning): I’m bipolar. I don’t have it as bad as some people, and the medications keep my emotional state mostly under control, but it’s there all the same. I don’t get to take a vacation from it. I don’t get to say, “Y’know, I think I’m not going to be bipolar today.” It’s there. It’s a daily thing, regardless of whether or not it’s at the forefront of my mind.

The fates have been kind to me lately in that I have been able to almost forget that I’m bipolar–almost. My moods have been running fairly stable, and aside from the daily pill regimen to keep those moods in check I really don’t have any constant reminders these days of the horror that I used to endure. I can’t really describe it adequately in prose; poetry sometimes better conveys the roller coaster of bipolar life. I’m going to add a poem here that the narcissist in me is quite proud of: “Hostage in My Head,” a poem written during a more difficult mental state.

 

“Hostage in My Head” (from Kamikaze Butterflies by AJ Mullican)

Trapped alone

Awash in a sea of terror

No escape from my own deranged thoughts

Impossible futures scroll through my mind

Over and over on a continuous loop

My mental movie screen glows

As the macabre fantasy plays unbidden

Death and disaster overtake reality

Can’t focus on the here and now

When the “might be” looms on the horizon

Against my will my death plays out again

For the hundredth time this hour

I watch my lifeless form slide to the ground

Shot in the convenience store

Pulled from the mangled wreck

Coded mysteriously at work

At the sight of my imagined death

My heart rate soars and pounds

There’s nothing beautiful and delicate

About the kamikaze butterflies in my chest

Every single nerve

Teeters on the edge of a precipitous drop

With a nightmare at the bottom

Just one nudge

One little push

And everything will come crashing down

I tiptoe on the inside

Walking the fine line between sanity and oblivion

Pacing the padded room within my skull

Inside I scream for a reprieve, for escape

Even for sweet, sweet nothingness

But my calls go unheeded

The nightmare begins anew

I am my own personal terrorist

And I am the hostage

 

So yeah. Sometimes it’s like that. Sometimes it’s easy going. Sometimes it scares the fuck out of me. You can never tell what the next day–or minute, or second–will bring. And you know what else you sometimes can’t tell? If someone even has mental illness. That’s right, it’s sneaky shit. The stereotype is always the scruffy guy standing in the corner at the bus station, muttering to himself. That. Is. NOT. Typical of mental illness. Yes, it happens, but mental illness could be as innocuous as a slight slump to the shoulders, an unusual amount of energy, a sigh. There are infinite signs, and they can be infinitesimal.

To anyone reading this who suffers from mental illness, no matter what that illness is, I’m here. I may not be able to fully understand your personal illness, or even your own form of bipolar disorder, but I can talk. I can listen. To anyone reading this who is fortunate enough to be fairly mentally “sound,” if you know someone who is mentally ill, be that person who talks. Who listens. Sometimes just a little show of support and understanding is enough to keep the demons at bay.

For now the demons are quiet, and I think I’ll let them sleep a little longer.

In the dark

It’s night. It’s almost pitch black despite the moon being on the full side. Things are quieting down here at Great Western War, and things have gotten philosophical.

Jobs. Economy. Life. Too deep of a concept string for my drunk ass to follow.

Yeah. I am drunk. I had an entire bottle of Bailey’s this afternoon. I ate, but I’m still buzzed. The alcohol still prevails over the food… and common sense.

I also feel outside my conversational comfort zone here. I am smart, but I’m not street smart. I don’t get the common sense stuff that most people just…get. I do my job, I pay my bills, and I don’t comprehend the status that most people live at. Working. Struggling. Striving.

I’m doing okay. I get by. I don’t make inordinate amounts of money. I don’t skate through life. But I get by.

Darkness brings all kinds of thoughts that wouldn’t come in the daytime. Is it the stars? Is it the lack of light that blinds us to reality? Am I still drunk? Maybe.

Who knows what I’m talking about. I sure as hell don’t. I’m just babbling.

I think I need a shower. Or a nap. Or bedtime. 

Mundane life beckons, and I don’t wanna.

Kismet…or something

After all the worry, stress, and anxiety, things fell into place in a way I never expected.

Followers of this blog might know that I’ve been working on a little thing called a book series, and that I’ve been agonizing over deciding between self publishing and traditional publishing. I was so nervous about the decision that I couldn’t even consider when or how to start the submission process…so imagine my surprise when I got an offer this morning from a friend in publishing for Book 1!

Things are still in the works, but I’m ecstatic. I’m not going to get too excited though, because I still have a ton of work to do on the manuscript. I’m only halfway through on the adverb issue, and I also have the POV problem chapters and the telling and… yeah. Can’t let my head get too big just yet.

I almost–almost–wish I wasn’t at my first out-of-kingdom event. Almost. I’m ready and raring to dig in to revisions. Get this puppy started. Well, not started. But closer to finished.

Finished… and published.

Westward ho!

The migration has begun! Our Kingdom is trickling west to California, and our little traveling party is off as well. Tonight we’ll stop for a few hours before we finish the trip tomorrow morning.

Nerves have not quite set in, but I don’t think it will take long for them to hit. Strangers. Hundreds and hundreds of strangers. Lots of people I don’t know, and no doubt my inherent RBF will not make it easier to fit in. I wonder if I should practice AFF (active friendly face).

The RBF kinda worries me a bit. I mean, I have this paranoia that everyone in the other kingdom will assume that I’m just a superbitch because I don’t have that friendly expression. So making friends is going to be tough.

Will I actually make many friends anyway though? I’m media-social but not socially-social. Face-to-face interaction is still a mystery. I try to smile at people in passing, but most of the time the people glare back. Maybe they all have RBF too…..

I have to find a way past this social anxiety. If not, I’ll be a human barnacle to my friends, and that’s really no way to enjoy an event.

Must be nice to live that life

I wonder what it’s like to have such a comfortable living situation that working is apparently optional.

almost called out today. My knees and wrist were in so much pain that I almost stayed home, took some tramadol, and curled up into a ball. Did I, though? No. I fucking went in to work. I did my job. 

So what prompted this? I’ll tell you: some of my coworkers seem to be conveniently “sick” quite often– either themselves or their kid(s). Many times on Mondays or Fridays. Or days where the schedule is pretty busy. I don’t know whether to take pity on them for their misfortune or ask them how they get away with it. Because damn. That’s either some rotten luck or some kind of badass mojo that makes you “sick” on tough work days.

I was legitimately in pain today. I should probably have stayed home because to be honest, just picking up a chart or putting on a glove hurt. Standing up and sitting down hurt. Steering the car hurt. But no. I need to work, so I worked.

Maybe one day. One day this series I’m writing will be published, and I’ll be free to “quit working” and just write. Then I can be “sick” whenever the fuck I want.

Not that I’m bitter or anything.

But fuck all, why can’t I get a day off whenever the fuck I please?