This post may contain no redeeming qualities, as it will be my outlet for being profane, crass and downright stupid. Continue at your own risk.
Just kidding (maybe).
This article isn’t for normal people. For whatever reason, you clicked on this post and began reading, which is how we got to this point in time.
Today, I’ll be talking about something personal to me, but something that impacts everyone’s life, at one point in time: the unknown. Let’s make the unknown our friend because as we all know, we need to keep our friends close but our enemies closer.
The Dark Side
There’s a dark side to this article and there’s no escaping it for either of us. I’m going to talk to you about the many mistakes I’ve made; mistakes that have shaped me into who I am and how I fixed some of those mistakes. I’m going to talk to you about what it’s like to live with depression because as most of you know, I’ve struggled with depression for my entire life.
Me. Vs. You. Vs. Them
When I tell people I’m a writer, I usually notice the look of disdain on their face. Somehow, we’ve gotten to a point in life where being a writer is a low-status job, one that anyone with a pen, paper, and half a brain can do.
This isn’t true.
Writing, like any other job, is challenging, mentally draining and time-consuming.
When I told my physical therapist I was a writer, the expression on her face didn’t show disdain, but interest, which made me happy. There’s still hope because I realized that there are those who still find writing interesting, fun and engaging. Here’s where things get challenging for me, though.
“What do you write about?” Letting people in on the difficulties in your life through your writing is hard enough as it is. Reiterating those things in short to a stranger or someone you trust but just met is even harder. I’m still here, though, cranking out new articles whenever I’m able to focus and get some work done. In a world with a small majority of writers, it sometimes feels as though I’m not an artist, but a thief. It’s because writing is an art form and it doesn’t focus on facts. It’s about emotion, it’s about the power of will and self-discipline. There’s no formula to becoming a better writer. To become a better writer, you just have to keep writing. It’s as simple as that. Writing is an art form that connects artists together on a deeper level. People doing any other job like in tech, finance, construction, etc. don’t usually get to connect like that with their fellow colleagues, because there is a formula they have to follow if they want to be successful at their jobs.
The Dark Side, Part 1
I didn’t choose my atrocious face or body. Perhaps it’s why from a very young age, I became a creator. I wanted to conjure up something stronger than me, someone who didn’t need physical therapy to function like a human being.
I often looked at myself in the mirror back when I wasn’t able to walk and said to myself something like “What is that monstrosity?” One day, though, I actually did say something of the sort out loud but to myself, only my physical therapist overheard my mumbles and told me that my inability to do certain things didn’t define who I was, as a person — and how mental health and physical health had a direct link between them, and suggested I try hard to learn self-love.
I believe when it comes to art, that people create it for a sense of accomplishment and self-worth. “ I’m a piece of shit, but I created something that actually wasn’t that bad!” Okay, so maybe not every artist thinks they’re pieces of shit, but I do, so I’m using that as an example. I believe that similarly to how people are judged by the quality of their friends, an artist is judged by the quality of his art. It’s because our art says more about who we are than we probably do, in person.
In person, I often come off as a reserved person who smiles when he’s shy. In my writing, I’m told that I come off as many things: crass, condescending, funny, confident, smart, stupid, silly, inspiring, jerk-ish and unique.
After rediscovering my childhood abuse last year, I changed. I became someone who believed that people were out to get him and that no such things as help, care and compassion existed. I became someone who often got lost in his own thoughts; memories of his abuse. It hindered my ability to work as well as my ability to physically maintain health when it came to having Arthritis. I spent days in bed crying, scared of the world and scared of pursuing physical therapy when my doctors suggested it. I could barely eat, sleep and write my own signature, because I was ashamed of who I was and perhaps I still am. How could I not have been scared? When my abuser wasn’t busy drugging me or making me have sex with him, he was busy pretending to stretch me, but do it so hard that I’d begin bleeding from my feet due to surgical casts that were on my feet. Due to the fact that he’d twist these metal pipes embedded into my feet as a way of having my full attention. Having full control over me.
So, I began writing. I told my story once, deleted it, told my story a second time and deleted that one and finally, the third time was the charm. I realized that although my posts may make some people uncomfortable, it wasn’t a reason to hold back. People need to hear the truth. Not because it’s me who’s telling it, but because cancers like my abuser exist and often take away the survivor’s voice. He took away my voice for 14 years and as annoying as it may be to talk about it, as painful as it may be, it’s something I feel I must do, to get better and expose him in ways that I couldn’t, as a child.
Losers & Winners
I know how it is. You get made fun of for being a writer because you’re not smart enough for an actual high-paying job with benefits. You’re considered a loser, you’re considered weak because you suffer from anxiety and depression and no one wants to hang around with you because while they go out drinking, shopping and try out new things, you’re stuck at home either due to financial reasons or because you just don’t know how to be like them. You don’t even necessarily want to be like them, but you do want people to look at you no differently than anyone else who has a decent job. Sometimes, that’s not the case. Anything worth doing takes more time and money. Things usually end up taking more time because you’re working for yourself. Editing, grammar, marketing your items, connecting with fans, protecting your work, taking shit from people who hate your work and enjoying moments when people love your work but give you feedback. Writing is a never-ending cycle of effort. The more you do it, the better it gets, but the more you do it, the fewer ideas you have because you end up not being emotionally attached to every piece of writing you release.
Every “winner’ starts out as a loser, so remember that, the next time you consider someone else a loser. You were once that loser, someone who was just starting out. Someone who was looking for the support you could offer to someone else, now.
No one knows what tomorrow will bring. We only know what the current moment is bringing us because we’re experiencing it in real-time. For a long time, I avoided writing because I was afraid of the unknown. What if people hated my writing? What if they hated me? I’m not sure what really fueled my version. Maybe it’s because I wasn’t ready to admit to the world that I was scared of what I was unfamiliar with. Life’s a scary place but if we look deeply into the lives of other people, they’re doing what we are. Doing what they need to do for survival and happiness. None of us have the answers. None of us know what the unknown is. Through art, we can create reason. Through art, we can tell our stories. Only when we make the unknown our friend and accept it, do we find out what it has to offer.