May is Mental Health Awareness Month. I have dealt with my own mental health issues for many years. I have a long way to go in my recovery, but writing has always been helpful and therapeutic. Not only do I write for my personal blog, fiction, and poetry, I also write on occasion for another blog. I don’t get paid. I write because it helps me, and I hope it helps others who read what I share. It’s called The Bipolar Writer Mental Health Blog. I don’t have bipolar disorder, but I am allowed to write about my experiences.
I have also written for The Mighty. A site that covers many different kinds of mental and chronic health issues. I deal with childhood trauma and many other traumatic events. This has caused anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress. I spent years trying to make sense of these things. Early on, I wasn’t aware of all my symptoms. I wasn’t aware of how I allowed these painful memories to impact my daily life. As I overcame one obstacle, another would take its place. A never-ending battle. I continue on doing as much as I can and trying to stay positive.
After two years of writing for these sites and on my own, I decided to compile many of these blog posts into one collection. I share my thoughts in my collection Mushaburui: A Mental Health Journey. It’s on sale in paperback and Amazon Kindle. My hope with that book was to help others realize they were not alone. I hope others read my experiences and they get the desire to keep fighting. Calling myself a mental health warrior helps build confidence in myself. I want to help build confidence in others. I want others to know they still have a fighting chance.
I’ve been lacking in my updates and posts lately. I’ve stayed busy and most of my time has gone elsewhere with multiple jobs and other writing adventures. I created links for all my published works where they were first published if not in an eBook on the right column of my website. I hope to have many more published but I’m behind on writing and editing; mostly editing. I will only get further behind during the holidays. This is the time I put in the most work for the Tucson Fringe Festival, of which I am a member of the board and the treasurer. The festival is mid-January, so all the planning happens in November and December.
I’ve started a new novel which I’ve had to put on hold to finish other projects, but the outline is finished and sometimes the hardest part is figuring out the sequence of events. I have a long way to go before my novella is finished. The writing is done but it requires so much editing and it’s the longest work I’ve ever written which makes it more time consuming. Then I have multiple short stories that need finished and edited. A private office would be helpful, but I don’t have the money at the moment and that’s why I’m working multiple jobs.
I am not in a position where I can work for myself which would be the best thing for me. I’d have less stress and fewer worries provided I’m making enough money. I usually don’t and can’t afford food let alone things like health care. Currently, my finances are leveling off, but I feel overworked and too tired to do much writing. I’m impressed with how much I’ve completed the last couple months. I haven’t done much reading either. Reading can be therapeutic so not reading I think is adding to the stress. Not writing is stressful too.
I hope to find some balance in everything soon, but it can be hard to stay motivated. I go through many peaks and valleys with my motivation and my personal adventures are the first to go when I lose motivation. If I can chip away a little each week, I’ll continue to function and feel productive and not lose my mind. It would be nice if I could work on my creative projects full time because working a random job (or jobs) full-time stifles my creativity. Maybe I just haven’t found that easy job that’s low stress and pays well. I’ll just have to keep struggling for a while.
I’m sorry I have not expressed my needs, wants, and wishes. I often feel selfish and believe I shouldn’t voice my concerns, but I’m learning that the path to healing requires me to be a little selfish. In the past, when I’ve attempted many different things, I didn’t succeed and believed I just wasn’t good enough. With this attitude, I stopped trying and would get upset when no one did something for me. How could they? I never communicated what I wanted; what I needed. I’ve been angry for so long never realizing I’m the one deserving of that anger.
I learn something new about Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder every day and am reminded that everything I hate about myself is a symptom. These are symptoms I may have the rest of my life. One of those symptoms is the failure to express one’s needs, wants, and wishes. Not everyone can get what they want, but there is a kind of power that comes with vocalizing them. It’s similar to writing down one’s goals. Something about that process makes them real. I won’t list everything I want, but I will try to communicate them more often. That alone will be a struggle.
The purpose of this letter is to make you all aware of the problem. This is my problem that I must deal with, but I need you all to be aware. I hope you will support me in this. I hope in some ways you will help me with this. My goal for the remainder of the year is to express my needs more often. Hopefully, it will not be in a burst of anger, but please take this with a grain of salt and remember that even if I’m shouting, what’s important is that I’m communicating. I most certainly need your patience and understanding as I work through my personal issues.
This is only step one in a journey that will take several years. I don’t expect to be good at it in the beginning. I expect to forget about it now and then, but I hope you’ll remind me. The future looks terrifying, but I’m determined to win this battle as well as the oncoming war. I’ve found that ever when I’m in a good mood I still have an underlying bad attitude so maybe this will help with that. I must say one thing. I don’t think some of you know me as well as you think you do, and I think some of you will not take this letter seriously. If you want to say something you think is funny, don’t say it to me.