A flicker of hope burned within me last night. It swiftly swayed, but all too quick like the wings of a hummingbird. It was small as it fluttered in there, in that barrel chest of mine. It burned ultra-violeT. It was unseen by the naked eye. No difference could be seen in the color of my flesh, but I felt it there hot inside my breast, then cool around my cheeks.

What was this hope you may ask? Oh, it was a bursting urge! A bursting urge to live wholeheartedly.

********

Then today, I woke up crying. I hadn’t cried like this in a few days.

It was the complete opposite of how I woke up yesterday–with boundless energy and an urge to cry but something keeping me from doing so, almost like constipation but worse. Far, far worse.

The showers had subsided and I was relieved. But honestly, I don’t know what’s worse not being able to cry or not being able to stop crying. It’s all too tiring. Too, too tiring.

I keep telling myself, “Things are looking up kid! Just hold on. Look up.” I don’t believe myself when I say this but I know I will hang on.

I just don’t get it.

****

I went swimming yesterday, the first time I got to go since Thursday and I think that may have been what helped light the flickering hope. But that’s the thing with me these days–most days–most of my life I have to keep fueling that damn flicker. It’s like when you’re trying to light a cigarette on a windy day and you only have on small, very small hand to keep the wind from the flames.

I’m always fanning the flames.

****

I had another weekend breakdown. It seems my “rhythm” for the last two weeks has been one okay day followed by two awful days . The “okay” day just means I haven’t had extremely dramatic mood swings or panic inducing anxiety.

Saturday my dad decided to throw a party for my mom’s 50th birthday. Eloise’s sister Isabella, the beautiful ballet dancer, also arrived on Saturday. So it was a chaotic day and needless to say, I couldn’t go swimming.

Swimming has become my new addiction. I noticed myself getting withdrawals all weekend. I’m even having swimming dreams! I had a really bizarre underwater dream several nights ago, where I had to find my way out of  a sewer, only it was endless and I was in scuba diving gear. That faded into another one of my zombie apocalypse dreams. Only this one was very Tim Burtinesque. It was a musical zombie apocalypse with singing zombie-robots that shot human zombies! At that point, I knew I was in a dream so I stopped being scared of the zombies; I started killing those snail-paced fuckers whilst singing along with the robots! (I have a lot of lucid dreams. More on that later.)

****

Alright, I’m not to proud of my journaling style of blogging lately, but I can’t seem to let the blog go completely either. I have been more reserved in what I say as oppose to what I want to say. This blogging thing has become a push and pull with me. And I’ve come to the realization that maybe my funny juices have completely run out. I can’t do a humor blog. I have all of these ideas but my hand just won’t keep still to draw them out. I’ll give it some more time, but I’m just not feeling them squish inside, they vanish tooquickly-the funny juices that is, not the PLD’s–so I’m down to just doing the “dear diary” thing.

****

Oh yeah Saturday.

Saturday, all was flowing well. My brother dropped off Isabella at one of the local universities which will be housing her for her summer dance program. Yeah, I thought she was going to be staying with us, but that was just me jumping to conclusions. We still do plan to take her out and visit and whatnot. But I was a little disappointed that I didn’t get to go to the airport since my mom and dad were running around with all of birthday preparations. And that’s what I really meant to write about.

As I’ve mentioned before, I “quit drinking,” relatively speaking. I say relatively because I have had a few drinks here and there on social occasions. The last time was on Mansie’s birthday. That night I ended up crying in B’s car.

After that I said, “No P, you shouldn’t drink, especially now that you’re mourning L’s loss”. But guess what I did Saturday? Yep. Yep. I drank. I got wasted.

Let me explain.

While everyone was eating the ribs my dad had made, I was munching away at my Spanish rice. And then ny brother shows up with his girlfriend with three  delicious glasses of expensive wine (my brother is the money-maker of my little family of four).

But… but… it’s expensive wine and he’s handing me a glass. One sip won’t hurt. Ooooh god, that’s delicious! I never get to have wine this good. Oh, yes, ok. I’ll have just ONE glass.

Well folks, one glass turned into three glasses and three glasses turned into an additional two bottles of Corona Light.

But hey, hey! Looky looky! I don’t feel teary-eyed and all depressed and shit like I normally do when I drink. No, this Corona Light has me feeling alright.

Then, I see my brother being all smochie noochies with his new girlfriend. And don’t get me wrong, I’m very happy for him. We all know this one is a much more positive influence than the last one. In fact, she’s growing on me. But that’s not the point! No! I started thinking about Monkey Man L dammit! I started thinking about how fucked-up our relationship was sometimes. I started thinking about how I’d never really had a formal “boyfriend” and don’t even care to know what that means. But do I? Am I just bitter? Am i just fooling myself?

I laughed. We took pictures. Just about everyone was tipsie and I thought, God I gotta get outta here!

I noticed I was drunker than I thought. I no longer have the tolerance I used to. I went into my dad’s office which used to be my room when my brother still lived with us last year. I’ve been using his computer in that office since my laptop’s been shutting off on me again. Here, there are various types of photographic and printing studio equipment–four printers (one large-scale printer), a scanner, some card-making paper, ink-needles, an easel, paintbrushes, oils and an exact-o knife.

Wait, where’d the exact-o knife go? It was here all week? It was here a minute ago. Oh no, well shit, I better wait for everyone to leave.

Now guys, here’s where I should stand up and do my AA introduction, I suppose:

“My name is P, this here is Mouse who lives inside me and we/I am an alcoholic.”

****

While the party dwindled down to just two guests (by then even my brother and his girlfriend had left), I started reading blogs. I’m sure I left some of you drunken messages and or comments with loads of absurdities. I apologize. I know I left THAM an annoying comment about Luna and I do not care to look at it. I also professed my love to Totsymae. Lady, I don’t regret professing my love to you though!

What I do regret is what follows. And I do say regret is a silly thing but let’s roll with it until I flush it out.

I searched for that exact-0-knife and I started listening to my dear Fiona which was probably a poor move because although I love her voice, I was not in a good mindset. It only amplified my woe. And, I just did the slicing with my nails. Not much, but I did. I tore at myself and nails are too blunt, not sharp and fine like exact-o knives. It was ridiculous.

Eventually, everyone was gone and I took a painkiller from the few I had left. Once again, I went on looking for that exact-o-knife. I really had an urge that wouldn’t quiet then. And that’s the thing about alcohol. It completely lowers my ability to resist this type of self-harm. With me, drinking and cutting have always come together. I can’t seem to separate the two. I hate to admit this. I need to get it through my thick skull if I’m going to tame this beast: You, P, cannot drink! Simple.

I eventually gave up on the exact-o-knife search. Maybe the heavens were looking out for me. Maybe Monkey Man L was looking out for me. I don’t know. All I know is it wasn’t here and it wasn’t in the other office. It had been here in this office all week and I’d been resisting it. Then comes Saturday and it’s missing. And since alcohol lowers inhibitions, all resisting from me was down to almost zero.  In spite of not finding the knife, I did some other kind of injury instead. I’m not proud of it.

I was crying in that office like a battered child–only I’d battered myself–calling out to L repeatedly. All I remember is mumbling some nonsense about how hard it’s been to live without him.

Not so simple is it?

****

I need to find a way to tell my family that I cannot be around alcohol as much as I’ve been. I mean, they’ve practically been waving it under my nose. But I want to be the one that says no. Kids, um just say no. I don’t want to tell them, “Hey, if you see me with a bottle in my hand, snatch it from me.”

I don’t.

Mr. Mackey says to P, “Uh, mmmkay, so alcohol is also bad P, ’cause you can’t seem to control yourself or your Melancholically Manic Mouse, mmmkay? Mmmkay P?”

Mmmkay Mr. Mackey. Mmmkay.

****

I did finally get a call back from the university where Ex-Young Therapist used to work. I’ll be seeing my new therapist Monday! I think that’s a good thing, no?!

I’m extremely nervous about meeting her on Monday, about so many things going all at once. I’ve been invited to a meeting, so I’m planning on being “involved” again. Can I do it? I hope so. I hope I don’t just drop everything half way. Hope is still flickering within, it’s just that I have to keep re-lighting it. That’s all.

I got a message from A.F. That was warming. Yes yes, things are looking up kid. Don’t mind the slip up. Oh yes, so much to do! Don’t panic. Shhhh. Calm. Calm. Quietly breath. They are lookin’ up kid. Just keep swimming when you can; just keep swimming when you can’t.

Advertisements

*trigger warning, though it does have a hopeful message akin to ‘art is my salvation’*

********

The Heiligenstadt Testament or What Mouse Likes to Call Beethoven’s Suicidal-ish Letter to His Brother(s)

(English translation)

For my brothers Carl and [Johann] Beethoven

Oh you men who think or say that I am malevolent, stubborn, or misanthropic, how greatly do you wrong me. You do not know the secret cause which makes me seem that way to you. From childhood on, me heart and soul have been full of the tender feeling of goodwill, and I was ever inclined to accomplish great things. But, think that for six years now I have been hopelessly afflicted, made worse by senseless physicians, from year to year deceived with hopes of improvement, finally compelled to face the prospect of a lasting malady (whose cure will take years or, perhaps, be impossible). Though born with a fiery, active temperament, even susceptible to the diversions of society, I was soon compelled to withdraw myself, to live life alone. If at times I tried to forget all this, oh how harshly I was I flung back by the doubly sad experience of my bad hearing. Yet it was impossible for me to say to people, “Speak louder, shout, for I am deaf.” Ah, how could I possibly admit an infirmity in the one sense which ought to be more perfect in me than others, a sense which I once possessed in the highest perfection, a perfection such as few in my profession enjoy or ever have enjoyed.–Oh I cannot do it; therefore forgive me when you see me draw back when I would have gladly mingled with you.

My misfortune is doubly painful to me because I am bound to be misunderstood; for me there can be no relaxation with my fellow men, no refined conversations, no mutual exchange of ideas. I must live almost alone, like one who has been banished; I can mix with society only as much as true necessity demands. If I approach near to people a hot terror seizes upon me, and I fear being exposed to the danger that my condition might be noticed. Thus it has been during the last six months which I have spent in the country. By ordering me to spare my hearing as much as possible, my intelligent doctor almost fell in with my own present frame of mind, though sometimes I ran counter to it by yielding to my desire for companionship.

But what a humiliation for me when someone standing next to me heard a flute in the distance and I heard nothing, or someone heard a shepherd singing and again I heard nothing. Such incidents drove me almost to despair; a little more of that and I would have ended me life — it was only my art that held me back. Ah, it seemed to me impossible to leave the world until I had brought forth all that I felt was within me. So I endured this wretched existence — truly wretched for so susceptible a body, which can be thrown by a sudden change from the best condition to the very worst. — Patience, they say, is what I must now choose for my guide, and I have done so — I hope my determination will remain firm to endure until it pleases the inexorable Parcae to break the thread. Perhaps I shall get better, perhaps not; I am ready. — Forced to become a philosopher already in my twenty-eighth year, oh it is not easy, and for the artist much more difficult than for anyone else. ‘Divine one, thou seest me inmost soul thou knowest that therein dwells the love of mankind and the desire to do good’. Oh fellow men, when at some point you read this, consider then that you have done me an injustice; someone who has had misfortune may console himself to find a similar case to his, who despite all the limitations of Nature nevertheless did everything within his powers to become accepted among worthy artists and men.

You, my brothers Carl and [Johann], as soon as I am dead, if Dr. Schmidt is still alive, ask him in my name to describe my malady, and attach this written documentation to his account of my illness so that so far as it possible at least the world may become reconciled to me after my death”.

At the same time, I declare you two to be the heirs to my small fortune (if so it can be called); divide it fairly; bear with and help each other. What injury you have done me you know was long ago forgiven. To you, brother Carl, I give special thanks for the attachment you have shown me of late. It is my wish that you may have a better and freer life than I have had. Recommend virtue to your children; it alone, not money, can make them happy. I speak from experience; this was what upheld me in time of misery. Thanks to it and to my art, I did not end my life by suicide — Farewell and love each other —

I thank all my friends, particularly Prince Lichnowsky’s and Professor Schmidt — I would like the instruments from Prince L. to be preserved by one of you, but not to be the cause of strife between you, and as soon as they can serve you a better purpose, then sell them. How happy I shall be if can still be helpful to you in my grave — so be it. — With joy I hasten to meed death. — If it comes before I have had the chance to develop all my artistic capacities, it will still be coming too soon despite my harsh fate, and I should probably wish it later — yet even so I should be happy, for would it not free me from a state of endless suffering? — Come when thou wilt, I shall meet thee bravely. — Farewell and do not wholly forget me when I am dead; I deserve this from you, for during my lifetime I was thinking of you often and of ways to make you happy — please be so —

Ludwig van Beethoven

Heiligenstadt,

October 6th, 1802

********************************************************************************************************

Though he never completely was able to rid himself of his depression, Beethoven went on to write Symphony No. 9, his most famous work to date, after writing this letter/will, much after he was pretty much completely (no my favorite but a damn good one). Life has more irony than fiction.

Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI) often causes hearing loss. Whenever people find out that I have pretty severe hearing loss (in my right ear mostly) and know that I’m also a musician, they almost always mention Beethoven.

“Oh, that must suck, but you know Beethoven…”

I often feel ambivalent towards their attempt to comfort me. I don’t like to mention my hearing loss because I don’t want people feeling sorry for me, but I often have to so people can know not to whisper around me. Imagine how difficult it is to have severe social anxiety with normal hearing, and then having a loss like that just multiplies the anxiety. If Beethoven lived in our modern day, he’d be labeled with “social anxiety disorder” and “major depressive disorder” for sure–among other things.

Whenever people start to give me their puckered face and their, “Beethoven did…” speech, I always want to show them this letter he wrote, as if to say, “SEE, it wasn’t easy! Beethoven wanted to kill himself for many years. So please, don’t give me that fuckin’ shit! In fact, some say he may have drank himself to death! But yes, you’re right, he did keep on writing his music. And thank you for your kind words, you make a good point about determination. Whew. Sorry, didn’t mean to go off on ya…”

The good thing is I’m learning to habituate. Again, art has been my salvation. And this letter has been a source of comfort.

*********************************************************************************************************

May is Mental Health Awareness Month.

Resource:
http://www.all-about-beethoven.com/heiligenstadt_test.html

I was looking up blogs on mental health related topics and BPD and I came across this:

Broken Light: A Photography Collective, a WordPress blog of “photographers living with, or affected by, mental illness; supporting each other one photograph at a time.”

Mental photographers!

How saweet is that?

****

May is mental health awareness month, so I submitted two photos I took of Eloise’s sister when I was in Florida back in December-January. Why would I do that? Validation? Sharing? Release? Caring? Impulsive? Maybe? No? Why? Ah, it doesn’t matter.

I’m kind of regretting doing that though. Why? Insecure? Self-doubt? Ah, it doesn’t matter.

I’m not a photographer! I’m an amateur everything. But I did grow up around photography all my life because of my dad (although he had to leave the photography for many years to to work as a janitor and other random dead-end, low wage jobs after we migrated to the States).

But I was so excited to have found such a blog!

Then I decided to add a “photography” page on my Shenanigans collection. Here.

****

What the hell am I doing?

Oh, I’ll tell you what I’ma do. I’m going to add some of my photo restorations on my new photography page and maybe someone will have a photo for me to restore? Maybe? (Well, I already know about yours Jill ;))

Mouse needs money to pay more shit to the Department of Homeland Security before I.C.E.–that’s Immigration Customs Enforcement for you Brits and Aussies–arrests her. Mouse also needs money to pay the Bill Collector Mafia before they show up at her door with two shotguns. I no longer suspect they’ll be breaking my neck. That would be too easy. That may be a good thing as I’ve said before, but then again, it would mean no more mouse sketches for you.

It sucks that money makes this society go, but it is what it is. And P and Mouse don’t like to beg, so here’s our way of begging.

Mouse’s credentials:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Communications – Media Production, minors in English and Interdisciplinary Art
  • Shitload of hours retouching photographs since the tender age of ten.
  • Portfolio available upon request; some samples will be placed in the “photography” page of this here blog. However, because of the semi-anonymous nature of this blog, I cannot show you my personal portfolio website because it is currently stored under a borrowed domain name owned by my university, but I do assure you all work that I share with you is mine.
  • View sample of work here.

Commissions/Contract work for further discussion can be emailed to: melancholicallymanic@gmail.com

****

I don’t do business with those that abuse workers! I’m more business savvy, more paranoid and less naive now that some old Colombian fucker tried to rob me of my work in Orlando. (Don’t think I don’t know who/where you are arsehole.) Thanks to that fucker, I have standard procedures for doing business now.

Nothing will be completed/handed in without a prior signed contract, deposit, payment arrangement (such as PayPal), etc. I like to be fair and reasonably ethical, therefore I will treat your photos as I would treat my own. *Prices will only be discussed once serious contact has been made, like “ET phone home” serious*

I, mouse, would love to work for/with you. (Don’t mind her dirty mouth, she’s a hard worker.)

Think about it.

*Le mouse squeal*