I’m taking small steps back into the work world again and it feels good. My goal is to “make it” as a freelance writer. The way I go about this will make a big difference. Will I revert to my instant-gratification mindset, thinking I can make it happen overnight? Or will I take the recovery approach and take it one day at a time?(more…)
I’m getting better. That is, I’m getting better at accepting my bipolar diagnosis, managing it, and doing self-care. I’ve come to learn that a big part of this is accomplished by tracking my mood.
Over the past few years, I’ve tracked my mood via a couple of apps on my smartphone. When I first started doing it, I always marked that I was feeling good. This was kind of like replying, “I’m fine” when someone asks how you’re doing and you’re obviously not fine.(more…)
As I’m writing this, the 24-hour news cycle is practically in hyperdrive because of the global coronavirus pandemic. Many people are worried right now, but I wanted to talk specifically about those with a mental illness.
Most of the times that I’ve had bad manic episodes, I was somewhat triggered by reading the news too much and “connecting the dots,” so to speak. Reading the news can be scary for anyone, but it can be especially scary for someone who has ever had delusional thinking episodes.(more…)
It’s funny how things work out sometimes. I’m a big fan of podcasts, though I don’t binge-listen to them much because I’m usually devouring books.
My favorite podcasts are offbeat and fictional dramas, such as Welcome to Night Vale, Alice Isn’t Dead, and Rabbits. About a year ago, I also listened to a few episodes of a history podcast called Southern Gothic.(more…)
Halloween is perhaps my favorite holiday, and it’s right around the corner. The leaves are falling, I see pumpkins and ghoulish decorations during my nightly walks, and there’s a chill in the air.
I thought I would publish in full “Graveyard Carnival,” a short story of mine that appeared in Bewildering Stories last year. I’ve provided the link to the story on the blog before, but why not just post the whole thing?(more…)
In the years leading up to my father’s death, I’d been preparing for it. He was diagnosed with cancer a decade ago and, since then, his health slowly, but surely, deteriorated.
When it comes to grief, I learned no amount of mental preparation will suffice. Sure, I’d seen grandparents pass away, but this was different: this was my dad, the man who I both loved and at times loathed.(more…)
Her pale face is etched in my mind:
the angular nose, pallid lips and icy-blue eyes
that guard her fortress of solitude.
Portia – the digital mother that disturbs my dreams.
I can’t escape her, so I hide fragments of my memory
and keep them close to my pulsing heart:
the only thing left of me that resembles humanity.
Going over the bridge to South Philly as a kid, I worried it would collapse. I had no reason for the fear, it was just there. The sports stadiums stood to the left, and the Navy Yard sprawled to our right. My father had the window down and the cool air blew against my face, as well as the cigarette smoke.(more…)
The unraveling starts slowly, but surely. From my earliest memories, I’ve been trying to find meaning amid the chaos. I still get the “pictures,” as a recovery friend likes to say. As I continue my research, I discover that psychologists today call those “intrusive memories.”
At times I wonder if the whole world is wrapped up in this web of dysfunction. If we’ve been marching toward this boiling point for some time now, and if we’re about to face a reckoning.(more…)