Straitjacket Writers

Inside the Troubled Minds of Authors

Category: General (page 2 of 2)

7 Ways Alien: Isolation Helped Me Accept My Anxiety Disorder

7 Ways Alien: Isolation Helped Me Accept My Anxiety Disorder

It’s about Canada, but other than specific numbers, the ideas hold true pretty much world wide.

beckycloonan:

I dream a lot about pits. Thanks Shawn Crystal for the peppy email! Back in work mode after a crazy con. So many drink. So many feelings. Love you all!

rubyetc:

rubyetc:

most people have a hard time accepting what they are going through is valid to begin with. Don’t add to that insecurity. 

It’s World Mental Health day today. To be honest, every day is an uphill struggle with mental health day in my world. I know this to be true for lots of others. So I am sending love to anyone battling right now, and Imma continue to promulgate a message of acceptance, love and care without bias. 

And you guys thought we missed WMH Day…

Anonymous:

Could you explain the whole “i don’t really have depression, i’m actually just a lazy piece of shit” = you’ve got depression, thing? It rang a bell for me and I’d like to know what you meant. Thanks :)

roachpatrol:

one of the most insidious things about depression is it doesn’t ‘feel’ like depression. even when you have it, you know you have it, you’ve been diagnosed—you still find yourself thinking, no, nope, this isn’t it, can’t be. it’s like the mental illness equivalent of that knight in monty python that keeps going ‘it’s a flesh wound! i’m fine, really! this is just a scratch, i’ll be up in a moment!’ even after all his limbs have been hacked off and he’s lying there helpless.

one of the most common narratives around it is that no one realizes they have depression until they start checking off what they consider to be normal aspects of their lives—and personal character flaws— against the checklist for depression symptoms. really key symptoms include:

  1. lack of motivation
  2. constant tiredness, even exhaustion
  3. finding no pleasure or satisfaction in activities they used to like, or that they know should feel good
  4. not seeing the point of doing anything
  5. increased and even unmanageable anxiety and fearfulness

any one of these symptoms drains away your ability to do work, cope with setbacks, overcome difficulties, or stop procrastinating. multiple symptoms create a pretty perfect storm of intertia and anxious self-loathing. you stop doing anything because it’s hard to get going, unpleasant while you’re at it, and afterwards there’s no reward. why bother, right? and when you’re always tired you get conservative of what little energy you can manage, and when you only feel emotions on the ‘empty to miserable’ spectrum you get really aversive to making mistakes. the whole mess very quickly and very insidiously loads every single thing in your life with toxic emotional baggage.   

and then someone says to you— or you say to yourself, ‘stop being lazy’. and that haunts you forever. because you’re lazy! the work is so easy. everyone else does it. everyone but you, you lazy asshole, lying around all day not doing this totally easy thing that you should be able to but aren’t. you don’t have depression! of course not. mental illness is for victims, is for blameless innocent people who can’t be blamed for being so understandably sick. but you can be blamed. you have a character flaw, and it’s getting worse by the minute. 

and that is how people who have been diagnosed, who have been medicated, who have been through therapy, can still spend all day hiding in bed and chewing themselves up over their failure to just somehow magically be a good, healthy, useful person, instead of treating themselves to a sick day and saying ‘yup! it’s depression. i need to be kind to myself.’

The worst question

The worst question

bipolarblogess:

One of my coworkers committed suicide last night, and I’m all sorts of messed up about it. I sobbed for a while, then went to the grocery store and bought the staples so I could eat my feelings for the rest of the night: Vanilla Coke, pizza, and ice cream.

Then the wait for sleep began, and the…

drdavidmrmack:

Here is a four page autobiographical story that I wrote & drew about the death of my father a couple years ago.  
 
It was published in issue #4 of DREAM LOGIC. Published by Marvel Comics. Icon imprint that we created for our creator-owned books.
 
Also included here are the initial layouts for the story I did about my father. And learning of his death.

I had the story written out more or less. And I was percolating on how to tell the story visually and lay it out. I was with my friend Larry grocery shopping at the Publix in Atlanta walking the aisles with a cart thinking of the sequence. Some ideas started to come so I walked to the coffee shop close by, had a coffee and sat down and drew these pages out in scribbles like ths. Then returned to the Publix just as Larry had finished the grocery shopping.

 

More here:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/David-Mack/21231086294

I dunno if Asperger’s counts as Mental Illness, but the things Mack talks about here resonate with me, so I’m counting it.

drdavidmrmack:

Here is a four page autobiographical story that I wrote & drew about the death of my father a couple years ago.  
 
It was published in issue #4 of DREAM LOGIC. Published by Marvel Comics. Icon imprint that we created for our creator-owned books.
 
Also included here are the initial layouts for the story I did about my father. And learning of his death.

I had the story written out more or less. And I was percolating on how to tell the story visually and lay it out. I was with my friend Larry grocery shopping at the Publix in Atlanta walking the aisles with a cart thinking of the sequence. Some ideas started to come so I walked to the coffee shop close by, had a coffee and sat down and drew these pages out in scribbles like ths. Then returned to the Publix just as Larry had finished the grocery shopping.

 

More here:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/David-Mack/21231086294

I dunno if Asperger’s counts as Mental Illness, but the things Mack talks about here resonate with me, so I’m counting it.

drdavidmrmack:

Here is a four page autobiographical story that I wrote & drew about the death of my father a couple years ago.  
 
It was published in issue #4 of DREAM LOGIC. Published by Marvel Comics. Icon imprint that we created for our creator-owned books.
 
Also included here are the initial layouts for the story I did about my father. And learning of his death.

I had the story written out more or less. And I was percolating on how to tell the story visually and lay it out. I was with my friend Larry grocery shopping at the Publix in Atlanta walking the aisles with a cart thinking of the sequence. Some ideas started to come so I walked to the coffee shop close by, had a coffee and sat down and drew these pages out in scribbles like ths. Then returned to the Publix just as Larry had finished the grocery shopping.

 

More here:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/David-Mack/21231086294

I dunno if Asperger’s counts as Mental Illness, but the things Mack talks about here resonate with me, so I’m counting it.

drdavidmrmack:

Here is a four page autobiographical story that I wrote & drew about the death of my father a couple years ago.  
 
It was published in issue #4 of DREAM LOGIC. Published by Marvel Comics. Icon imprint that we created for our creator-owned books.
 
Also included here are the initial layouts for the story I did about my father. And learning of his death.

I had the story written out more or less. And I was percolating on how to tell the story visually and lay it out. I was with my friend Larry grocery shopping at the Publix in Atlanta walking the aisles with a cart thinking of the sequence. Some ideas started to come so I walked to the coffee shop close by, had a coffee and sat down and drew these pages out in scribbles like ths. Then returned to the Publix just as Larry had finished the grocery shopping.

 

More here:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/David-Mack/21231086294

I dunno if Asperger’s counts as Mental Illness, but the things Mack talks about here resonate with me, so I’m counting it.

drdavidmrmack:

Here is a four page autobiographical story that I wrote & drew about the death of my father a couple years ago.  
 
It was published in issue #4 of DREAM LOGIC. Published by Marvel Comics. Icon imprint that we created for our creator-owned books.
 
Also included here are the initial layouts for the story I did about my father. And learning of his death.

I had the story written out more or less. And I was percolating on how to tell the story visually and lay it out. I was with my friend Larry grocery shopping at the Publix in Atlanta walking the aisles with a cart thinking of the sequence. Some ideas started to come so I walked to the coffee shop close by, had a coffee and sat down and drew these pages out in scribbles like ths. Then returned to the Publix just as Larry had finished the grocery shopping.

 

More here:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/David-Mack/21231086294

I dunno if Asperger’s counts as Mental Illness, but the things Mack talks about here resonate with me, so I’m counting it.

drdavidmrmack:

Here is a four page autobiographical story that I wrote & drew about the death of my father a couple years ago.  
 
It was published in issue #4 of DREAM LOGIC. Published by Marvel Comics. Icon imprint that we created for our creator-owned books.
 
Also included here are the initial layouts for the story I did about my father. And learning of his death.

I had the story written out more or less. And I was percolating on how to tell the story visually and lay it out. I was with my friend Larry grocery shopping at the Publix in Atlanta walking the aisles with a cart thinking of the sequence. Some ideas started to come so I walked to the coffee shop close by, had a coffee and sat down and drew these pages out in scribbles like ths. Then returned to the Publix just as Larry had finished the grocery shopping.

 

More here:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/David-Mack/21231086294

I dunno if Asperger’s counts as Mental Illness, but the things Mack talks about here resonate with me, so I’m counting it.

whiskyjack:

Sorry to put this on you but I have an honest question about depression an suicide. Isn’t it completely possible for it to be a alternative for someone. Can’t there be someone out there who genuinely is tired and doesn’t want to continue. I know there is beauty and wonderful things in this world. There are things to look forward to. There will be more pain but also more laughter. But what if I’m not interested?

mattfractionblog:

well… well first off, i’d say, seek professional help immediately. because i am wildly unqualified to answer your question with anything but experience. and first off, my experience says, if you are in such a deep and dark place where you say things like this to total strangers on the internet, you need to be in contact with someone that can help you start to heal.

second, i’d say… you’re wrong. i’d say the things any of us don’t know, especially about tomorrow, could blanket every grain of sand on every beach of the world with bullshit. And to simply assume you are done tomorrow because you are done today is a mistake. a factual mistake, an error, a critical miscalculation.

i’d say, read Tad Friend’s piece JUMPERS in which he seeks and finds and talks to people that jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge — and lived. And they all say the same variations this: “I instantly realized that everything in my life that I’d thought was unfixable was totally fixable—except for having just jumped.” 

And know that this piece has kept me in my seat on more than a couple dark nights.

And i’d say — i’d say i felt that way before too, and i was wrong.

And then i’d tell you something i don’t even think my wife knows. this happend years before we met — shit, more than a decade — and it’s not   the first time i came close to suicide was on a thanksgiving night. i’d eaten well and then as the house shut down i went into the bathroom, drew a bath as hot as i could manage to stand, and climbed into the tub with a razor  blade.

As i started to cut, as the corner touched my skin and that jolt of pain fired into my head, i stopped and thought — y’know, last chance. Are you SURE?

And i was tired. I sounded like you, that i knew there’d be ups again and downs but i was just so fucking TIRED i couldn’t stand the thought of having to get there. I felt this… this never-ending crush of days that were grey and tepid but for some reason i was supposed to greet each one with a smile. the constant pressure of having to keep my shit in all the time was just exhausting.

I wondered, then — well, is there anything you’re curious about. Anything you want to see play out. And i thought of a comic i was reading and i’d not figured out the end of the current storyline. And i realized I had curiosity. And that was the hook i’d hang my hat on. that by wanting to see how something played out I wasn’t really ready. That little sprout of a thing poking up through all that black earth kept me around a little longer.

I realized then that it had been so long since i’d laughed. I was numbed out and shut down and just… i missed laughing. maybe if i laughed a little i could get moving again. so i’d wait for my comic to conclude, try to find a few laughs, and then reevaluate.

So I’m in the bathtub and i got this real sharp-ass razor, right? And i look down and there’s all my bits floating in the water like they do and i thought okay, let’s get funny and i got to work.

I shaved off exactly half my pubic hair vertically. The end result was a ‘fro of pubes that looked like a Chia Pet that only half-worked. I started to laugh as I did it. And every time i’d piss, looking down made me laugh. 

Because JESUS what a nightmare.

Shortly thereafter I got very heavily into Chuck Jones and Tex Avery. Way less chafing and way more funny.

jesus. i was still in high school at the time. dig if you will a picture of the chubby weirdo that was always giggling at his dick in the bathroom. that was me.

And then I guess I’d tell you about Dave, who did the same thing as me a few years later, only DIDN’T have my hilarious Chia Dick strategy in mind and got the razor in and up. And as he started to bleed out “Brown Eyed Girl” came on the radio and he realized he’d never get to hear that again so, in a bloody comedy of errors — I swear to god this is true — he got out of the tub, tried to get dressed the best he could, went downstairs calling for help only to find his family gone, went out to his car, and drove to doug’s house only to find doug not home and so, then, finally, he blacked out from blood loss sitting there in his car, playing a van morrison CD on repeat, until, by luck, Doug’s mom came home and found him. 

Fucking Van Morrison, y’know?

A song, a comic, something dumb, something small. From that seed can come everything else, I swear to god.

I guess last I’d say… I’d say that, look — if you reached out to me for an answer, than I have to reach back out to you and insist you hear it.  Because it means, what, you know me? My work? You read my stuff and thought, well, fuck, if anyone would know why I shouldn’t end my life, if anyone alive is QUALIFIED TO SAVE ME it’s the guy that had britney spears punch a bear? okay — okay, then, so as THAT GUY I’m saying: Get help. Now, today, tonight, whenever — get to a phone and find a doctor that can try to help you heal, that can try to recolorize your world again, that can help you start caring again. All you need is that one tiny thing, that speck, that little grain of sand. the World Series, AVENGERS 2, Tina Fey’s new show, the first issue of PRETTY DEADLY, some slice of the world you’ve never seen, some drink you love, who the fuck will love your dog like you do if you’re gone, what if jabrams KILLS it on the new STAR WARS, the hell are you doing for Halloween, you ever feed a dolphin with your bare hand? because i have and I am fucking telling you IT IS A THING TO EXPERIENCE and oh god WHAT FUCKING FONT WILL STARBUCKS USE ON THE CHRISTMAS DRINK SLEEVES THIS YEAR — i don’t care what or how dumb but i promise you somewhere in your life is that one fleck of dust that can help start you on the road back. That’s all it takes. One fucking mote, drifting through your head. 

And because you asked me I am answering you because i know, motherfucker, i know, i know, i know the hole you are fucking in because I was there myself and if you look hard you can still see my writing on those walls and if you stare long enough i swear to god it’s pointing to up

This is just a really great way of talking about finding something to cling to. Sometimes that’s all we can do. And while it’s not the solution for everyone, it’s a good one.

Random Question

tumblrbot:

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE INANIMATE OBJECT?

KEANU REEVES.

Introduction, and More on “Why”

I wanted to write a quick post about how and why straitjacketwriters.com exists.

I love reading and writing, and I’ve had a deep interest in psychology since I was a teenager. When I was fifteen years old, my sister was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and chronic depression. Not long afterwards, my mother was also diagnosed with chronic depression. At one point in my twenties, I began shutting down mentally and finally reached out to a medical doctor, who put me on anti-depressants for a short period. Later I would come to realize that it was a combination of several internal and external factors that led to that, but that’s a story for another time.

Throughout my life, I’ve surrounded myself with people who are good people and good writers. It never ceases to amaze me when these people, who I tend to view as successful and well-adjusted, suddenly open up and talk about some of their struggles with mental health-related issues. Its definitely a mixed feeling: on the one hand, I’m sad for what they’re going through, but on the other hand, I’m relieved to know that I’m not alone. My friends go through these things, too.

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