This post was written as a Stream of Consciousness on Wednesday 17 October 2012 between 11:32am – 12:13pm. Apologies for any grammatical or spelling errors that occur throughout, they are part and parcel of stream of consciousness writing.
Writing is hard work at the best of times, let alone when you suffer from mental illness and have to deal with poverty and the day-to-day demands this holds over your life and health. Posts that set out to be one thing end up becoming something entirely different. Posts that could be brilliant become obscure bile regurgitated by a bipolar controlled mind.
Yesterday I had a job capacity assessment at Centrelink. This interview is an integral part of my disability support pension application and could not be missed. I woke early – around 4am – following a vicious nightmare that pulled my mind back into the events of Adelaide 2007. This isn’t an unusual event, these nightmares are a major factor of my five-year long insomnia, and set me on-edge for the remainder of the day.
So, instead of a calming and focussed 10km walk to Centrelink, the nightmare heightened my MH issues, throwing my anxiety and hallucinations into overdrive – which in turn had a physical reaction by amplifying my IBS and forcing me to run to both public toilets and trees throughout the long walk. By the time I arrived at Centrelink I was a mess; which some could argue would assist in my claim. The answers to my questions became rambling, confused, bullet points as my mind fought with the voices and the urgent need to visit a bathroom.
By the time I had walked the 10km home I was physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted. I couldn’t think straight, the voices were deafening and even though I was starving I knew I couldn’t eat anything as I couldn’t pull myself together to cook the tin of baked beans that was my food for the day. Instead I collapsed in front of the computer and tried to force my mind to action; I read articles that angered me, articles that infuriated me, tweets that made virtually no sense and even before I attempted to write anything I knew my day was done.
I collapsed onto the sofa and stared atfor three hours before beginning to spontaneously cry. At first it was only a few tears but within minutes I was full on bawling; the sort of bawling that, had I had anything in my stomach, would have resulted in vomiting.
All I could think was my life used to be so much more than this. I used to be able write at the drop of a hat. I used to be able to form sentences and complex plots involving multiple characters and incidents. I used to be able to write well enough to be published.
Yesterday, like many days in recent years, I wanted to write. I wanted to engage. I wanted to contribute. But I couldn’t. I physically couldn’t get off the couch; the din of the voices, the emptiness of my life, the disconnection of my mind, the simple fact I’m broken and have been for so long I don’t think there’s enough superglue and liquorice to put me back together again.
And as I thought these thoughts my mind turned to all the writers who were producing. Who were able to focus their minds into blog-posts that are retweeted hundreds of times or produce fiction of such brilliance that it is applauded around the globe.
And all these thoughts did were amplify my own failings, my inability to come up with inspiring blog posts, my inadequacy of voicing the stories that burn within me. Thoughts that nourished the voracious circle my mind was locked into.
Eventually I stopped crying and just stared at the ceiling. I did that for hours; whilst other people were contributing to society, writing inspirational words, engaging in conversation and furthering their lives. I lay on a couch memorizing every blemish of my white ceiling.
Several hours later I crawled off the couch and logged online. All I could do was correct the mistake I’d made about scheduling my Teaser Tuesday post and reblogged an artwork that made me smile. No matter how much I wanted to I couldn’t locate the words within me to write the posts I wanted to write. Not for the first time, my mental health was controlling me.
Minutes later I was lying in bed wondering how other people do it. All the millions of blogs. The billions of stories. How do people do it? How do they come up with new ideas? How do their keep their content fresh? How do they keep writing when their minds don’t let them?