What Do Emotions Feel Like…. Synesthesia Edition

Everyone associates synesthesia with this great, powerful gift that allows you extrasensory abilities. Indeed, the newest trend and a quick search on a search engine will make it seem that almost everyone has this. Artists have used it to create beautiful works of art, singers and songwriters use it as inspiration. And writers, oh, it grants them a gift of being able to describe things with almost inhuman detail. This gift has been proven harmless. With such beautiful creations springing forth, it would appear this strange and baffling thing is a superpower. 

For the most part, I’ll even agree. Until you begin to try and explain something to someone who doesn’t have it. Then life can get weird. I experience life in sound. Different types of pain have sounds to me (sharp pains are high pitch, dull pains are bass), even foods are sounds (chocolate is low pitch, bread is middle, lemons are high pitch. Anything way too sweet or salty is glass breaking high pitch, and therefore painful). 

I’ve based entire opinions of people based on the sound of their voice. Perhaps it isn’t fair, but I can’t help it. High pitch and nasally voices are painful, where lower tones are pleasant. Accents add an interesting spice to the sounds, and perhaps that’s why I love accents so much. 

If I’m not interpreting the world in sounds, then I’m experiencing texture, sometimes color. France, for example, feels like warm and makes me think of a lovely orange color, where Scotland feels like soft grass, and makes me think blue. 

Now that I’ve given you a road map of my brain, let’s make things even more interesting. What do emotions feel like, sound like, etc? Before I go completely into that, allow me to explain one other aspect. My mind is always noisy. There is always a dull static that surrounds my head. It’s like hearing snippets of conversation in a crowded food court, but drowned out by the roar of the crowd. I call these my potential thoughts. Thoughts, emotions, imaginary conversations, or memories I’ve not experienced yet, but lurk in the shadows waiting to happen. 

Happiness is a strange emotion. It feels loving, impenetrable, like I could take over the world. It sounds like a harmonious symphony, and laughter feels like waves of an ocean. It feels warm. 

Anger feels like ice and fire competing in my veins, with a darkness waiting behind whoever wins. The angrier I get, the harder these two fight. 

Sadness feels like loneliness. It feels like a television left alone in a dark room, with the channel playing nothing but snow. Loud static can be heard. 

Depression feels like this, but with the added benefit of clarity for the potential thoughts. There’s always a dark, twisting figure tat seems everywhere and nowhere, and this figure encourages these thoughts. This leads to the spiraling low, and the static becomes like knives. “Just kill yourself. It’ll save the world a lot of trouble. Everyone will be better off without having to deal with you. You’d be doing them a favor. No one actually cares, they humor you because they need something, want something, from you. As soon as you’re no longer useful, you’ll be tossed away entirely.” 

Bipolar low feels like…. I’m surrounded by hundreds of these figures, and they’re all shouting at me to just end it. Just do it. Which leads to, what I feel, is a level of bipolar psychosis. The world seems to be moving so fast around me, and I’m standing still. Or maybe it’s the other way round, and I’m spinning so fast I have the illusion of standing still. The world doesn’t include me, I’m an outside observer peeking into a window of reality. 

Thankfully I haven’t experienced that often. It is truly terrifying, to exist but not. To feel, but not. 

Stress feels sour, like sour milk. And the more stressed I feel, the more soured I feel. I even begin to think I smell sour, which increases the stress. 

Why am I writing this? Why am I telling you? To be honest, I have no idea. Maybe I just need people to know and understand the extra layer I feel beneath the emotions. Maybe I’m hoping someone will read this who can give answers, or can relate. Maybe I’m hoping my words can help a study. What happens when you combine synesthesia with a mental disorder. Chaos and beauty happen, of course. 

I hope this has been educational. I feel better now, at least. 

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I Don’t Want a Christian Nation

​This is the last really big post I’m going to make for a while. I promise! I’m also going to try and cut back on the political crap, because honestly, sharing a post on Facebook isn’t going to make Mr. Dump any less of a douchebag. And honestly, he could kill a baby on air and there would be people throwing babies at him to be his next target. But anyway. This post is not geared towards Mr. Douche of the United Hypocrites. This post is going to target religion. All of them. Buckle up, bitches, it’s going to be a bumpy ride. 
I do not want to live in a Christian nation. Or a Muslim nation. Or anything, really. I don’t want religion anywhere near this country. Not ruling it and making decisions anyway. I could go into the statistics, I could bring up how many have been killed in the name of God, or in the name of Allah, etc etc, but the post isn’t about that. 
I’m going to discuss my personal reasons. When I was going to a Christian school, I was the outcast. I was the weird one, the one it was okay to pick on or make fun off, because I was weird. Because I didn’t worship like they did, because I didn’t act like they did. Because I didn’t belong. Shun the non-believer!! At thirteen I tried to kill myself. Various things came together, pills I shouldn’t have been on were prescribed, and it reached the point where I just could not do it anymore. I wanted to die. I was taken to a hospital where they pumped my stomach, where they held me down… I was so scared…. Then I was taken to a mental ward, where I spent nine days being bullied by other patients, by staff…. It was horrible. I still have nightmares… It’s one of the reasons I’ve been scared to get help, because all I can think of is that time. One good thing happened, though. A pastor came to visit me. Wait. What? I know. This is an anti-religion post and I’m talking about a pastor being a good thing. Confused? Just wait. So this pastor didn’t even know me, came to visit me. My grandmother sent him. I thought he was an odd duck. He didn’t look like a pastor. He didn’t look like what you’d expect. I remember thinking he looked more like a Batman villain with his purple suit and red hair. We talked. Not about God, or about my sinning. He didn’t tell me I was going to Hell. He didn’t shun me. He asked if I was okay. Well Hell no I wasn’t okay, I was scared to death!! He told me if I ever needed to talk to someone, I could come to him. It was one of the few times I actually started to believe in God. Then I got out of the hospital with a new found…relief. It was going to be okay. I was going to be okay. 

I went back to this Christian school, and their whole attitude about me changed. I was popular!…. For all the wrong reasons. People looked at me like I was diseased…they’d avoid me like I was contagious…. I was even more of an outcast than I had been before… Teachers would tell my friends to stop being friends with me because “There’s something wrong with her” or “You don’t need that kind of influence in your life.” When I needed help, people turned their backs to me…. But let me see them in public now and they’ll hug me and act like we’re best friends! 
Getting out of that school, I befriended an atheist, two people of God, an agnostic, and a Wiccan. They helped me. They picked me up. As did my friends from the Christian school. I was loved. In high school I befriended a Muslim girl who was very kind, very sweet to me. She helped me a lot, too. 

But I also had people drag their kids away from me because they thought I was evil, because I wore all black. I was told on many occasions that I was a devil worshipper, that I was evil, that I was going to Hell, by all these people who claimed to be Christian…. But wait a minute…. Doesn’t that go against what they believe? And why are my friends, who are believers of God, so much more different than these Christians….?
The answer, I realized, is religion itself. Religion is a term, a label, thrown around to inspire fear. Inspire hatred. Inspire joy. Anyone can use the title when it benefits them. Anyone can claim to be a person of God when it suits them. I’m targeting Christianity here because I honestly don’t know much about Islam, and only interacted with one person. I’m in no way saying Islam is better, or doesn’t come with its own set of flaws, I simply refuse to speak on a topic I know little about. 
I know how Christianity works, and it makes the children of God look awful. 
I do believe in God. I do not believe he is what people try to make him. I do not believe he is meant to be used to target others, or inspire wars. I don’t believe he was meant to justify hatred, or bigotry, or as a glorified way for people to say Ewww. I think you’ve all got it wrong. 
I also believe in many gods. I believe in many different religions. I even believe in Lucifer, the man everyone seems to be so afraid of. But I think the stories are wrong. I think it’s all wrong. 
I don’t think anyone should follow a book, because the book was written by men, and humankind is stupid. Humankind is biased. Humankind can’t follow simple instructions because their pride and ego get in the way. 
But the main point I’m getting at here is we don’t need Christianity, or anything. We don’t need titles. Because people misuse titles. People do things in the name of God, or Allah, that wasn’t intended to be done…. Religion is man’s design, and I refuse to be a slave to that…. Respect each other as people. Respect each other because that’s what we’re supposed to do, not because that’s what a book says we should do. Worship freely, but without the limitations of titles. This is not a Christian nation, nor is it a godless one. Quite the contrary, there are many gods in America. There are many people who choose to be free of religion, and yet they still do good things. 
We cannot be limited by titles, that’s not what any god would want. Humans are complex creatures. Why place us in categories? 

  • To any of you who managed to read this far, I applaud you.

Hatred is easy.

​We the people have the power to show love and kindness. With the power of music, the power of art, the power of writing, the power of small gestures. A single smile, or a simple “are you okay?” can change the world for someone. 

Trump supporters are being hateful, Hillary supporters are being hateful. When are the people going to realize that hate has done nothing but sow the seeds of discord even further into our hearts? Love. Acceptance. Being open minded. Humility. THESE are the things that will win our country back. Not killing each other over a difference of opinion. Not killing each other over a difference in race, sexual orientation, gender…. It’s going to take all of us. Sadly, we the people have forgotten love. Sadly, love has been replaced. Not with hate. Fear. We have been taught to fear our brothers and sisters. We’ve been taught to fear difference, because different must be bad. Kindness has been replaced with distrust, which leads to more fear. We’ve been taught that if someone isn’t agreeing with us, they are against us, and being against us is bad. We’re paranoid, and we’re scared, and we all feel alone.

 I choose to stand with homosexuals, I choose to stand with people of color. I choose to stand with white people. I choose to stand with straight people, transgender people. I choose to stand with Muslims, Buddhists, pagans, wiccans, Hindus, Christians, atheists, so forth. WE THE PEOPLE. CAN CHOOSE. LOVE AND ACCEPTANCE OVER HATRED. 

Teach me so I can learn! Show me the beauty of the world through your eyes. Spread joy and laughter, not blood of fellow human beings.

Our country was founded on freedom of oppression so that WE could all live the American dream. History has not been kind to our ancestors, no matter the race. I choose to educate myself so that I can avoid making the same mistakes my ancestors and my elders did, and do. I choose not to let the past rule me and my decisions. “This is the way it’s always been, so it’s the way it has to be.” BY WHOSE RULES?! No. I refuse to accept that. I refuse to accept that it will always be this way. I refuse to accept that we will always hate one another. Not if we all choose to do otherwise. 

Right now hate is winning. Fear is winning. Right now, YOU HAVE A CHOICE. I don’t care who is running this country because in the end, WE THE PEOPLE ARE THEIR BOSSES. WE THE PEOPLE HAVE THE POWER TO STOP ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING ANY POLITICIAN THROWS AT US. But we have to STOP. HATING. AND KILLING. EACH OTHER. 

Every single one of us has their own battles to fight. We’re all going through things. We’re all angry about something, we’re all scared about something. Every individual on earth is just as complex as the other. It makes no sense to judge someone by something they cannot help. Judge by character, by observation. Not by what a label tells you. PEOPLE ARE NOT SOUP CANS.

So what’s it going to be, people of the world? Let history continue to repeat in a timeless loop of death, depression, and fear? Or do we put our foot down and scream at the top of our lungs “WE THE PEOPLE OF EARTH HAVE HAD ENOUGH.”

Teach love. Teach respect. Teach kindness. Teach to be a trusting person, and teach to trust. It’s going to take us all. 

And believe me, if you see me in public and you ever feel afraid, ask and I will defend you. I will defend those who cannot speak, those who cannot reach out. Men, women, children, anyone. I stand with humanity.

We the people must vow from this moment forward to try and make a difference. One voice in a crowd is but a whisper, but put enough whispers together and they’ll hear our screams. Enough is enough. 

Comfy Cloud

I was driving home today, lost in thought while music droned on in the background. My thoughts can sometimes be freeing, as I imagine life carefree and happy. My thoughts can also be a prison, bombarding me with every embarrassing thing I’ve ever done in my life.

I enjoy driving, as it relaxes me and let’s me clear my mind. Sometimes the journey is a little symbolic; a mental journey to clarity made manifest. Today was no different.

In the past few months I’ve begun to struggle with my brain. Once upon a time I knew who I was, what I wanted, where I was going, and what I wanted to do. I knew myself well enough to counteract the symptoms, prepare for the highs and lows that accompany my mental disorder. It would seem, however, that I’ve become a stranger to myself.

I don’t know who I am anymore. I have no passion, nor desire. No inspiration. As a result, I also no longer know how to fix, my broken pieces, or at least cushion the fall.

So, I’ve decided to start seeing someone. Or, I did, until I chickened out and left the parking lot. I know it’s something I need to do, because I cannot do this on my own anymore.

What scares me the most about the entire process is…. everything. I try to pinpoint one thing even to type about it now, and everything screams at me. Single file line, please!

I’m scared to become a zombie like I did the first time I went on medication. But I remind myself that I am older, and wiser, and medicine has come a long way in 13 years……Holy shit, has it really been that long? Damn. Alright.

I feel like a failure. 13 years unmedicated, and now I’m having to do something. I remind myself that millions of people are on medication for various reasons, and there’s no shame in it.

What if I’m not bipolar? What if it’s something else, something worse? That thought terrifies me. If my diagnosis was to change, how would I go from being bipolar to something else?

What if I’m not taken seriously? What if they think I’m just…crazy? Or overdramatic? Well, they’re paid to help you, so that’s silly…

Finally, but certainly not least… I’m inspired by my sadness. What will I do if I lose it? I don’t want to get rid of the only thing that gives me something to write about and hits my soul……….. But then I think…. What if I could live in a world where I was inspired by joy? Experienced true joy, happiness, delight, on a daily basis? What if, instead of tears covering my paper from sadness, tears slid down my cheeks from laughter? What if darkness didn’t lurk over my shoulder, influencing all of my hobbies and talents, and instead gave way to light?

I don’t want to be inspired by my sadness.

It was that thought that brought be clarity, as I arrived home from my travels. Darkness, sadness, doesn’t have to be my driving force.

Maybe if I can find myself, I can l “fix” myself. The question becomes… Where do I look first?

Ignorance Must Be Blissful

Hello everyone!

I don’t know how familiar you are with the concept of Pinterest, but for those of you in the dark, allow me to shed some light on the subject. Pinterest is a website/app where people can find funny, relatable, educational, or inspirational pictures, and “pin” them so their followers can legally stalk them see what they’re up to or interested in st the time. Subject matter ranges from photography, fails, memes, recipes, self help, humor, etc. Imagine it, I’m you can find it. Anyway, when you click on a picture, it will give you similar ones in the general category you’re looking into. I have a point to all of this, I swear.
So, like many others, I have a Pinterest account. I mostly use it to stalk celebrities find funny pictures to brighten my day and waste time.

Until tonight. Tonight, I’ve stumbled across something that truly makes me I’ll. I won’t be posting the picture, as I do not want to draw more attention to the image itself, but I do want to draw attention on the subject matter.

The image features the wrist of a young girl, fresh, red blood pools on her skin. There appears to be razor marks as well, indicating self harm. I hate seeing pictures like this to begin with, but the message accompanying the image is what disturbs me. “I’ve been diagnosed with depression, give me 100 repins and I swear I’ll stop.”

There are so many problems with this post, I’m not even really sure where to properly begin.

One, I understand not everyone is a psychologist/psychiatrist, and not everyone has a mental illness, or understands how they work. But depression does not automatically mean you’re obligated to become a cutter.

Two, cutting is the physical manifestation of an abstract, illogical, emotional pain. It is a wound on your soul now made visible. Why would anyone photograph this for the sole purpose of showing it to anyone, let alone the internet?

I’m a cutter, but unless I want you to see it, you’ll never know it’s happened. I am guilty of taking pictures, but not for show and tell. I take them so I can look back, and remember the pain. Remember what led to the scars. Try to keep myself from doing it again. So far, it does seem to work.

Three, self harm is not something to mock, or take lightly. It is a problem, and doing it for attention only discredits those of us with a real problem. Doing it because you want people to pity you, or because you want the romantic image of the man of your dreams kissing your scars, are not proper reasons to harm yourself.

The reality of self harm is not romantic, or beautiful. It’s disgusting, and shameful, for the person doing the harming. It means constantly having to make wardrobe changes to cover the scars, or new wounds, and often times being uncomfortable.

It means having to constantly feel everyone’s eyes on you, and knowing they’re judging you in some way (be it pity or otherwise).

It means people touching your scars and constantly having to answer the question of “what happened to your arm?”

Boys don’t place loving kisses along your arm and tell you how beautiful they are, and even if they did, why would you mark up your own body just for that? Some guys have a feces fetish, are you going to eat shit next to impress the menfolk? (Sorry to anyone reading who might have a shit fetish)

Four, why would anyone repin something like this? Again, I understand a lot of people are ignorant to the world of mental illness, and perhaps you think you’re doing good, but you’re actually enabling more harm. 
Say this girl is real, and she does have a cutting problem. She sees people fawning all over her, and giving her the attention she so craves. It won’t stop. She’ll cut again, post again, to gain even more likes and followers. So begins a nasty, never-ending cycle.

If you really want to help people who self harm, talk to them when they’re ready. Help them seek the help they need. Do your research, educate yourself using credible sources, and try to help. But repinning, or reposting an image will not help. It will not make the pain go away.

I, for one, grow such and tired of the lacking knowledge in this world regarding mental illness. I think it should become mandatory for all to learn about them, and stop romanticizing this stuff.

Scars can be beautiful, because they make up who you are. The pain you’ve lived through, the times when you wanted to give up but fought a little harder is evident. Don’t be ashamed, but don’t make a pubic spectacle of yourself in the process.

All of us have pain. Some of us wear it visibly, others keep it hidden and tucked away.

I also urge you, my readers, to educate yourself. Ask questions, learn from others, be understanding, but don’t be blinded.

If you are a cutter, I also urge you to try your best to find an alternative. It’s easier said than done, I know, but try.

Thank you all for reading, and I hope I’ve helped a little.

Adventures Become but a Memory

So, I’m sitting on the front porch of my best friend’s house, enjoying the only slightly humid weather and trying to recuperate from three days of nearly non-stop excitement. I never realized just how badly I needed a vacation until I actually left, and as my thoughts turn to the drive I have ahead of me back home to rejoin reality, my brain is also a whirlwind of memories. I never want to forget a single moment, though in time all memories will fade. That is why I’m typing this blog, to turn adventures into memories.

Not knowing where else to begin, I’ll start with Nashville itself. We drove in from Illinois, where cornfields and flat earth began to give way to foothills and mountains. Perched high above the earth, one truly begins to understand why man has been fascinated with flight for centuries. We envy the birds for their view. The winding roads are carved into the powerful mountains, allowing all who pass through to witness the glory that is Mother Nature. It’s as if each layer of stone was carefully arranged by hand with gentle fingers.

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The mountains open and spew us into Nashville where we are graced with a breath taking sight. A sweeping skyline of magnificent buildings and architecture, where the old beautifully blends with the new. Some roads are brick while others are asphalt, some buildings are aged while others reflect the sun brilliantly. New and fancy cars share the roads with classic “clunkers”, bringing everything together in a harmonious way.

After checking into our hotel and freshening up, we set out to brave the traffic of Nashville. The roads are a bit confusing for first time travelers, with roads suddenly turning into one-ways, but overall it was relatively easy to fall into the swing. Perhaps we were just lucky, or Nashville is just a laid back kind of place. Three days is hard to tell. But we were there with one thing in mind: The Ink-n-Iron festival.

A word of caution to first time travelers to Nashville, parking is almost as much an adventure as the rest of the trip. Be prepared for frustration. I don’t think of it as getting lost, I think of it as unexpected sight seeing. Finally we arrived at the festival, located at the Bicentennial mall park.

The park is simply too beautiful for words, with fountains greeting visitors as they arrive. Music from the ongoing concerts can be heard from the gates immediately filling us with tremors of anticipation. Trees covered most of the walkways, and stone walls offered a beautiful and rocky place to sit. Food of various flavors filled the air with enticing smells that cause your stomach to immediately growl and your mouth to salivate.

We were surrounded by people dressed for the occasion, embracing the rockabilly/50’s feel with ease. Girls with impossible heels and nicely done bobs twirled away in beautiful dresses. W weren’t able to see the tattoo convention, and the races were postponed, so we decided to enjoy everything else the festival had to offer.

Vendors were extremely friendly, and not just in the “buy my stuff” way. There were three concert stages filled with music and people dancing.

Deciding we would enjoy some music, we headed towards the back of the park. Rounding the corner we were stopped short when we realized the members of the band we had come to see were standing right in front of us.

I will be the first to confess The 69 Cats was the main reason I attended the festival, so to have them right in front of me just standing around casually was overwhelming.

And I may have panicked a little. And froze to my spot. I was too scared to go closer.

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I’ve never been very good with approaching celebrities. I’ve never been good at approaching normal people either. But here stood a group of people I’d idolized for ages. Admittedly I knew more about the lead singer, Jyrki 69, than the others, but I was in love with their work.

Staring got awkward after a bit, with weird glances passed back and forth between us, so we gathered courage and went closer. I am glad we did. He took my friend’s hand and dragged her closer, introducing us to the band as though we were old friends. Chopper shook our hands and smiled, then finally Danny B approached. We were introduced, and the first words out of his mouth to me were “I like your top hat”
I beamed and thanked him before Jyrki joked I was trying to rip Danny B off. To which I awkwardly responded “I can’t help that I look better in it than he does!” I earned a chuckle, forcing me to relax just a bit further, and Jyrki informed me that I had until tomorrow to obtain a sheriff’s star if I was going to try and pull off the Danny B look. I told him I’d do my best.

Jyrki excitedly says “let’s take pictures!” But my poor hands wouldn’t stop shaking and I could not operate my camera very well.

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When I finally convinced my hands to cooperate and work the camera, guess who decided to look down.

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Thanks, Jaynie.

Not wanting to keep them any longer, we got hugs and left to explore a bit more. Next up was the classic cars, where I began my drool routine.

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I never really realized how much I loved and enjoyed this particular scene until this moment.

We bought awesome hats and a few other things, then called it a night.
Weeeell after we played in the fountains.

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Back to the hotel where we ordered pizza. Best pizza ever. So good.

Skip to the next day, the day when the wondrous 69 Cats would take the stage. Jaynie and I pulled out all the stops for our outfits.

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We had a few hours to kill so we wandered through the vendors and cars again. We helped ourselves to a few alcoholic beverages (don’t worry guys, we took a cab this time). I discovered I really like Jack and coke. A lot.

Liquid courage a-go-go.

We were treated to the fantastic showmanship that is the Koffin Kats, a band I’d never heard of until that day.

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Even not knowing the songs, I found myself dancing and singing along. The band knows how to work a stage and keep an audience engaged. We saw stunts involving standing on the cello to play.

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Switching instruments mid song without missing a note, and an energy that lit the crowd on fire!

Up next, the 69 Cats. We maneuvered our way until we were front and center, and afraid we would lose our spots we waited through intermission and watched them set everything up.

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Front and center, just as I promised Chopper.

The show itself was fantastic!! Crowd interaction was great! At one point Jyrki stepped to the edge of the stage and held the microphone out for us to sing, and after getting over the “oh shit he’s going to walk off!”, I sang back to him. The sunglasses came off for a bit as he sang, which was really cool because he had amazing beautiful eyes. Danny B and Chopper were on point…and then I took three of the best concert photos I’ve ever taken in my life.

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Perhaps I’m biased, but I see album art material.

By the time the show was over, I couldn’t hear and I barely had a voice; but my adrenaline was through the roof and I was sweating whiskey. That last part may have been too much information, but it was a shock to me.

Now for the part I’m most excited to write about. After the show interactions. We stood at the back and waited for them to come out, and all I had was a 69 Eyes comic book. I felt bad about it, but 69 Cats merchandise is hard to find.

We chase them down like creepy stalkers, and get autographs. Poor Jyrki was sweating and they all seemed clearly miserable, but they were good sports about sitting and chatting with us.

I handed Jyrki the comic book and asked him to sign a picture. He looked at me.
“Are you sure you want me to sign this picture?”
“Well, the front and back are black so a signature won’t show up well.”
“Let’s see if we can find a better one.” He takes the comic from me, flips through the pages, and finally lands on this:

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Pleased with himself, he signs the picture and hands it back to me. I ask Chopper to sign it as well, and while he’s doing that, Jyrki starts talking about the new album. The love and passion is clear on his tired, heat-exhausted face, and he informs us the new 69 Eyes album will be out in February. So exciting!!
Pushing my luck a bit (I blame the Jack), I asked for a picture. And with a voice that I’ve often heard my five year old use, he gets excited and says “Selfie time!!”
Normally I don’t smile for pictures. Just not my thing. I don’t like the way I look when I smile. But when he put his arm around me and lifted his other hand, I looked down and realized he was miming groping my chest. It amused me, and my hand decided to capture the moment I realized what he was doing.

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Thanks Jyrki.

He does the same for Jaynie.

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And with a grin on his face he says “I’m not a chauvinist, I’m not being chauvinistic. It’s just show business.”

Pushing my luck one more time I asked for a hug. He gladly gave it to me after I promised him a present. The present, by the way, was this:

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I handed it to him in a folder so he wouldn’t get covered in pencil, and his face lit up. He smiled and took it, thanking me.

I am humbled by these men. Each and every one of them are so talented, and together they create an unstoppable force. We (as common folk) hear horror stories all the time of celebrities being rude or dismissing of their fans. Yet each person in this group really embraces you, and for a moment you feel like their best friend, like you are part of something great. Chopper, Danny B, and Jyrki, you guys are absolutely wonderful. I went to the concert expecting a fantastic show, and I walked away overwhelmed. I was disappointed a bit because we had to leave. The 69 Cats, in my opinion, is one of the greatest groups to take the world by storm.

And then we chased down Danny B for an autograph. In the process, we ran into the sweetest woman you could ever possibly know, Annie Marie Harvey. After juggling sharpies and drinks, we managed to get her autograph and selfie pic.

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Seriously guys, you all need to meet her. She’s wonderful.

Finally catching Danny B, he made us walk with him, or as he said “We’ll do a walk-and-sign”. He signs the CD first, then takes my comic book. With a laugh he says “Ha, Jyrki signed himself.” And signed in the corner.

The rest of the time in Nashville was spent shopping and exploring, a trip to the Johnny Cash museum, and finally we had to leave.

Nashville, Tennessee will forever have a special place in my heart and memories. I’ll forever be captivated by its history and its beauty. I’ve not even been away 24 hours, and I already wish I was back on those streets.

And, the last bit of good news. It was a day late but I’m happy to announce:

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I finally got my sheriff’s star.

Bipolar Hurts

So I’m sitting in the chair in my quiet living room; I’m supposed to be trying to sleep, but my brain is speeding a hundred miles an hour. I try to quiet it, but it seems the harder I try, the louder the negative emotions scream.

Instead of sleeping, I’m fighting off tears, and struggling to pull myself out of the black hole I can feel myself inevitably sinking into. I know I write quite a bit about my bipolar disorder, but sadly sometimes I need to “talk” about it. I’ve never been one for spoken word, my mind travels too quickly for my mouth to keep up and I end up stumbling over my words. This, of course, embarrasses me and makes me stumble harder. Written word, however, I can do.

Recently I was told how wonderful my writing was, and how I should get published on account of how well I can express myself. When it’s the only way you really know how, you learn to be good at it. But I am wandering off topic.
I’ve finally put into words what it’s like to have bipolar disorder….shadows lurk at the edges, waiting to drag me down no matter how hard I fight. Even when I have a good day, my brain can become fixated on the tiniest detail, and before I know it, the spiral begins.

And today I did have a good day. It was frustrating and I felt useless, but a good day nonetheless. Yet here I am.

Worse is the fact that it angers me. Things are finally balancing out, starting to head in the right direction, only to be thrown from its axis because of the chemicals in my head. I hate feeling broken, I hate feeling sad when everything says I shouldn’t. Including myself. I want to rip the chemicals from my head and bury them in a hole somewhere far away, and move on with my life.

With every beginning of the spiral, there is the fear and anxiety that this time the demons will grow too strong and I will lose the battle. Every time I think “is this the one that means my end? Is this the period to my sentence?” And it scares me. Regular me doesn’t want to lose, doesn’t want to die. But this evil shadow tries so hard every time it rears its ugly head to make sure I fall.

I blame myself for so much and I watch the world around me smile and brighten, as the dark cloud billows and rolls over my head. I feel the rain like acid on my skin, burning me to my very core. I scream out, but my voice is silenced. I tear myself apart from the inside out, hoping I’ll be rescued in time before I meet my own destruction.

Then the cycle changes, and like a bad dream the terrible feelings begin to fade into my memory. Words I said, actions I took, become permanent ammunition for the demons to use next time. I’m left to pick up the pieces, stitch my wounds, rebuild my walls only to send them crumbling down again later.

It’s a permanent solution to a temporary problem, and scarring is permanent too. But can they not see that the spiral, the maddeningly black tunnel, seems endless and the only light is the hope to die quickly.

I’ve not reached that stage just yet, and I hope this time will pass long before I get there. I will continue my fight, do not waste your worries on me. The words were mine and played it perfectly to help me finally explain, and even comprehend, what it’s like.

Now I shall try once more to sleep, and hope I have satisfied the darkness for just a bit.

Also, I’m hungry, and the kitchen seems so far away.