Write Without Stopping
Feeling like your emotions are going to burst out of wherever your particular emotions are stored?
Get a pad of paper or a cheap notebook and set a timer. The amount of time doesn’t matter, but I suggest starting small.
Three minutes is a great amount of time.
Write until the timer dings and then decide if you have more to say. If you do then keep writing. If you don’t then at least you kept writing until the timer went off.
Your Emotions Are Different Sizes
My happy emotion is small. My sad emotion is large and casts shadows on everything else. There are other emotions and they are other sizes. Sometimes one emotion changes size.
All emotions have a size.
Don’t let someone tell you that your emotions are too big or too small especially if that someone is you. Your emotions will be the size they are regardless of you trying to squeeze or stretch them.
You can’t live with a whale the same way you would live with a cat nor can you live with a dog the way you would live with an elephant. To live with your emotions you have to accept whatever size they are.
A day is a series of moments you will mostly forget. Some of these moments will make you feel good. Some will make you feel bad. Most of them won’t register anything. Yet, we will group all of these moments together and label them bad for pity or as an excuse for everything that goes wrong.
Worse, we will label a day filled with a high number of good moments as a good day. This is an excuse to look to the future with the fear of our luck running out. It also takes credit away from your own accomplishments
Take each moment as its own and at the end of the day don’t average them out to decide how your day went. Your day simply went as will your next.
Go to a Doctor
This tiny book isn’t going to help you in a way a medical professional can. This book can help, but it is nothing compared to what a person who knows what they’re talking about can do for you.
Go to a doctor.
It can be the doctor you go to for random aches, nasal abnormalities, or thyroid medicine. It can be a fancier doctor that went to school for a long time specifically to help people with our problems.
Hell, it can even be a therapist that doesn’t have a doctoral degree at all.
Just, please, go to a doctor and tell them something is wrong.
Severals of the Same
The best thing Andy Warhol said was about Coca-Cola, “All the Cokes are the same and all the Cokes are good.”
I have never seen a place sold-out of Coke, but I know every place that has them sells a lot of them. I’ve seen almost empty shelves. I’ve never seen an empty shelf or section because Coke is a (if not the) drink of the people.
No one can buy a better Coke than me. Anyone can buy the same Coke as me. You can get a Coke made with cane sugar. You can get a Diet Coke but no matter what you do you can’t buy a better Coke than anyone else.
I don’t consider myself a collector of anything, but that’s a lie I tell myself.
There’s a saying I heard while growing up: Three is two, two is one, and one is none. Preparing for failure seemed smart to me as someone who failed often. Being prepared for your backup plan to fail made me feel like Batman or Black Panther. I’m too honest to find comfort in this amount of consumable-based contingency plans. I have over a half-dozen of the notebooks I like. I plan on my backup plan’s backup plan to need a backup plan for its backup plan.
My life is at its best and calmest when it is a cascade of contingency plans.
The knife I use the most is a Gerber E.A.B. Pocket Knife. It holds a utility blade so I’m not afraid to use the tip to pry something. Right now I have six.
My favorite notebook is a MAKR Sketchbook because it has a clever way to hold a pencil. There are eight blank and waiting for me in a pile.
The pencil is the Caran d’Ache Swiss Wood. I don’t know how many I have around me in any drawer except for the drawer I keep my pencils in. There are twenty-three in the drawer. That’s not all I have. They’re scattered in bags. They’re in other and less-used drawers. If the damned holder that came with my AquaNote notepad was bigger there one would be in my shower.
I have a cheap flashlight I like. There’s at least one in every room and closet. I have a favorite pair of pants and I have them in different colors. I have some of those colors twice.
This is my collection made up of severals of the same. I could shove these things I love in a bag and only need food and water to survive for months.
I won’t shove them in a small bag anytime soon, but I won’t run out when I’m done with one I’m using. I won’t run out when I’m done with the one that replaces that one. If I’m running low, I’ll order more so I never have to wait.
Because, I’m the type of person who buys Coke almost every time they go to the store. Not because I’m out, but because I never want to be out.
Written for Plumbago, issue five.
About That Poem…
I put a poem on this website a few days ago. It’s called My Father Pain and I hate it. I didn’t sit on it long enough before pushing it on the world. I couldn’t sit on it. I didn’t want to sit on it. I wanted it to be anyone’s problem but mine.
I wrote it, toyed with it, and published in a few hours.
It’s about my father who says he’s stoic because he doesn’t know what the word means. He has no positive emotions to show, but god damn does he show the negative ones. His face gets tight around the mouth and he’ll talk without opening his mouth much to keep it that way. He shows that he’s angry at you. He shows that he doesn’t care about you unless you’re living in a way he approves.
My father gives no shit about my mental health.
He thinks it’s fixed with pills that he too often has to pay for.
He doesn’t understand that I am in pain and that it’s a pain that prevents me from doing things that are normal for him.
Or maybe he does and just doesn’t give a shit.
He does find ways to be mean and I wonder if he wanted children. Catholic. He was a guy who provided our family a way to eat and be safe. He never talked. He refused to play any games. When he took interest in something I did it was sports and not intelligence or art.
He coached baseball one year and was clearly more forgiving and nice to the other children.
People, adults, said things.
He said he had to be harder on me so he didn’t look like he was playing favorites.
I don’t think I believe that.
He’s always nicer to strangers.
I don’t think he loves me or my sister. I don’t think he wanted us. I don’t think he cared about us.
I remember him visiting me in the mental hospital.
He told me a story about what he saw when he went to heaven.
He says he went to heaven when he died during emergency surgery for a few minutes.
This, of course, is bullshit.
Even within his religious beliefs it’s bullshit.
You don’t die and go to heaven.
You die and wait.
He told me he talked to his father. His father said that my father had to go back because his grandson was in trouble. My father told me he assumed it was my cousin, but now he knew it was me.
My cousin had problems, but was self-sufficient.
I was medicated to a level that my pharmacist warned my parents about and had just got kicked out of college.
There was nothing stable or regular going on with me.
Clearly in my father’s delusion I was the one in trouble.
He didn’t want to see it.
Because he actively tries not to care and I don’t think he does care. I think he feels it was his duty to care for me while I was in the hospital after my second attempt that needed medical attention.
I hate this.
He has never been proud of me.
He has been openly upset and ashamed of me.
He has told me how shitty I am.
He doesn’t love me.
The poem is about if he ever did and what did I put him through to make that stop.
I know in my head that I didn’t do anything.
I know in my head none of this is my fault.
I know in my marrow that I am unlovable and that I ruin lives of anyone in proximity of me.
So what I know in my head doesn’t fucking matter.