Deep Dark Depressions and Reading

One thing about bipolar disorder (at least mine) is that the pendulum swings both ways – into mania, where I want to read every book known to mankind and give my thoughts on it, and into depression, where I don’t want to even look at book.

I am giving myself permission to let that be okay. I’m giving myself the permission to let reading remain a hobby I enjoy instead of a chore I force myself to do when I don’t want to. The pendulum is swinging back to a good place, and soon I’ll be able to enjoy it again.

In the meantime, please know I haven’t abandoned this or my challenges. I just need a bit of time while my brain and my world right themselves!

Let’s Talk Writing: Sometimes I Write

So I’ve been writing for years. It’s my passion, my calling in life – I define myself as a writer before I define myself as anything. So I thought I’d talk about my writing a little.

My first book was awful and now it’s out of print, thank goodness. You won’t catch me advertising it here because honestly it’s not worth reading. Well, my friend Jackie would disagree – apparently it made a splash on LGBT+ Twitter, but I wouldn’t know. If you’re interested, I’ll give you the link to the Goodreads page, as it’s under my real name, not my pen name.

Now, I write on Wattpad. A lot of people think Wattpad is all for fanfiction, but that’s not true (and there’s nothing wrong with fanfiction – I also write fanfiction, just not on Wattpad). Wattpad is very much a community by writers, for writers. And I have a bunch up there. Here they are!

The Worst of Evils is a short story that I wrote first in senior year of high school, then polished it up into something decent later on – around 2015. It’s based around the idea of a dystopia where people are afraid of literature such as Shakespeare and the Bible. There’s heavy religious symbolism, not because I’m religious, but because it was a fun tool to use and I wanted to experiment with it.

Warnings: Murder-suicide, a lot of religious symbolism, preachy writing.

You can find The Worst of Evils here.

So, little known fact about me is that I love poetry and lyrics and sometimes I write them. Stardust is a collection of poems that I’ve written, and I’m constantly adding to it – it’s ever-growing, so even though the collection is small now, it’s growing. You can find it here.

(Psst, I’m working on another collection, called Psych Ward Confessional. It only has one poem so far, but it will be a collection of writings about mental illness, depression, and bipolar disorder.)

Last but not least is What Dreams May Come – it’s my murder mystery that I’m working on. Chapters 1-3 are up, and I’m hoping to get Chapter 4 up this week as I took the holidays off from working on it. The main character is a lesbian in a small town in Missouri (because small town Missouri culture is both universal and unique), a disgraced cop from Portland, who is desperate to prove herself and get back to the job that she loves. There’s also a serial killer, if that sweetens the pot for anyone.

You can find it here. Warning: Murder, death, and dealing with dead bodies.

So that’s it, that’s all my current writing. It’s all free to read, so feel free to take a look at anything, come back, and tell me what you think! Do you write? What do you write?

Let’s Talk Blogging: I’m Just Happy to Be Here

Confession time: I’ve always wanted to be a book blogger. This may be a strange aspiration to some, but to me, book blogging always represented a marriage of the two things I loved the most: reading and writing.

I’ve always been a writer, from the moment I could hold a pen (seriously, I wrote a book about a flower when I was four, my mom says it’s my first masterpiece). But before that, I was a reader, with my mom and by myself.

The mom and the blogger in question. I’m the tater tot.

Books offered an escape as a child – not from anything bad, but just because I loved them. Then, when I became a teenager, books offered a true escape from mental illness (undiagnosed and unnoticed at the time), loneliness, and a very unhealthy relationship.

I hit college and thought that to be a book blogger, I needed some kind of credentials. Then I got into freelance writing and learned that I needed nothing to be a reviewer, and that people would pay for honest reviews. To be fair, though, I hated freelance writing because I couldn’t write what I wanted. And I hated writing reviews for money, because I couldn’t read what I wanted, which meant I didn’t enjoy the book, which meant a bad review.

So let’s get to why I’m here today.

To do that, we have to talk about a few things: Bipolar Disorder, rock bottom, and starting over. I am diagnosed bipolar 1, and I didn’t know this until a couple of weeks ago when I came home from Portland – I had left for Portland in April because I went manic. I won’t go into depth, but I will say that I had been manic for pretty much months, and that I made some horrible decisions and hurt some people. And when I realized that I had done things and hurt people, I threw everything in the car (a crappy ’97 Honda Accord station wagon instead of my beloved Jeep Liberty – another bad decision made in the throes of mania) and I drove 2000 miles home while recovering from sepsis and everything I had done. What didn’t fit in the car got left behind. And I immediately went into the hospital for my illness when I got to Missouri, and then immediately after that, inpatient.

I have hit rock bottom. It tastes a little like cardboard and defeat, and a lot like lithium pills for me.

Now for starting over. I’m lucky enough to have parents I can come home to. I’m lucky in that I have a job now, that I’ll be able to keep it because I’m on the right medication. I’m lucky to have a diagnosis that fits instead of one that hurts me (did you know that taking antidepressants if your bipolar can trigger mania? I do now).

So what this book blog represents to me is starting over fresh. It’s being able to have an outlet and a hobby, and hopefully a community. Being mentally ill in the middle of Missouri is pretty tough, actually – not a lot of treatment options and not a lot of people willing and knowledgeable enough to help. But that’s what this blog means to me: a fresh start.

What does book blogging mean to you?