So I’ve decided to throw in my hat to write a blog post a month. Some days I’ll have something to share, be it music (still have to finish my Top 40 list) and some days I’ll be sharing the next chapters of People of the Manatii, but most days I’ll be using this as an opportunity to vent my negativity. See, I struggle with the fine line between what I WANT to do and what is healthy for me.
I WANT to write. I write something that I think is really cool, and I post it, in the hope that others will read it and enjoy it. I wrote it for me, but I also wrote it for you. I liken it to a singer that keeps showing up at the same club to sing, but the audience never shows.
I’m going to confess to some mental and emotional illness/instability — but I actually get irrationally upset and frustrated and take things WAY too personally. I get angry. I get bitter and spiteful and hateful and jealous and ugly. I resent people’s successes rather than celebrate them.
This is not a healthy headspace. So, I’m writing this month to try to purge that. Maybe I’ll find the humour in it. Maybe I’ll find it therapeutic. Maybe I’ll find a voice that people like, maybe I’ll say things people want to hear. I’m going to be real and honest and ugly — it’s not going to be pretty, because I don’t feel pretty. Maybe I’ll succeed in finally alienating everyone so that I can feel justified in my self-loathing. (See, this just proves it…. it’s YOU… you’re a complete asshole.)
Writing — something I LOVE to do, something that excites me, something that I think I’m good at — makes me miserable. Not the doing, but the afterward — the disinterest, the inability to draw an audience. I’m not unique in this feeling, so maybe part of what I should be doing is asking those of you who feel this way how you deal with it, why (if you do) do you keep writing.
NOTE: I realize that it doesn’t help that I have a mental illness. I know it’s not entirely rational to feel the kind of existential hopelessness and despair that I feel when I don’t get the kind of appreciation I feel I deserve (and there’s the rub, right — I’m a narcissistic asshole, and that’s another whole shame spiral) — but I feel it nonetheless. A great deal of my sense of identity is tied up in my writing. I’m proud of it, and seek the affirmation of strangers that I am allowed to be proud of it. And it is despair I feel — when your identity and happiness get tied to the affirmation of strangers, not getting it can lead to thoughts of quitting, and not just writing, but life altogether.
Why am I writing this so publicly? Well, first off, it’s cheaper than therapy. Secondly (and here’s the craziest fucking thing of all) it turns out that I get the biggest blog response when I lose my shit. Apparently my theory likening confessional writing to car crashes is spot on. I’ll get ten times the number of LIKES and comments on this post than I do, say, a short story, and at some point, someone will mention this as proof that a) people care and b) people read.
Except that’s misleading — the anomalous entry that throws the statistics askew. So maybe this month of why bother will grow my statistics! HA!
And now, a joke.
Me. I’m a joke. I’m a bad punchline. At best, people roll their eyes at me and laugh at me behind my back. At worst, nothing at all.
I know this is pathetic. I know it is — but it doesn’t make the way I feel any less real.
This is what mental illness looks like.