Writing, Relapse, and The Muse

Monday. Finally feeling okay again. Sort of. Today I have to start over again. It sucks. At least I’m building up something solid to return to when I come back from way too deep inside my own head. In the meantime, I feel it is my duty to document my experience so that other people struggling with mental health issues know they are not alone. Some people may not like it, but who cares about them? They’re the assholes causing all these problems in the first place.

Friday was bad. Friday was really bad. I would use the label “Relapse” to describe the events of Friday night. I cannot describe the headspace I was in. It was as if an evil demon had possessed me and was trying to destroy me from the inside out. It was a very unpleasant and uncomfortable experience. I would very much like to never go through it again.

The answer to your question is yes. I was drinking. I was drinking alone by the river where I could have had a serious accident and drowned. But I did not. Instead I am here, sitting outside on my porch, listening to the birds sing. It’s hot as hell. I’m super sweaty. I’m just preparing myself for my trip down South and my trek across Africa. When will it happen? I don’t know, but I’m going to be training to take on Mount Kilimanjaro in the meantime. That means hanging around in the summer heat, taking long-distance walks, and taking extra dance classes. It’s one of those weird goals that can be both a solid plan and a metaphor. “I want to be in good enough shape to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.” Okay, that can be measured without actually climbing said legendary mountain, but it would still be cool to do it.

So here I am, back in reality. Back in class. Back to drinking designer coffee and sparkling water. Making my schedule for the week. Writing in my journal. Setting my goals. Doing breathing exercises to manage the anxiety. Looking towards the future. It’s like landing back in the comfort of a hammock by a beach on an East African island on a warm, breezy day. I can hear the sound of the waves crashing and the birds chirping already. Everything is going to be okay.

Writing is… frustrating. So frustrating. Imagine going to a workshop, taking all these classes, learning all this new stuff, and then having to just sit around and wait for all of it to come out. Meanwhile, all of this really crazy negativity stuff is coming out instead, and I just have to grin and bear it while I let it all pass, and try to do more to keep it all off social media in the meantime. The only person I’m hurting by writing this stuff is myself. I know this. It’s just… hard. It’s a process. It takes time. I’m just like… really not okay right now. My brain is not working like it should be anymore. It has completely changed after everything I’ve been through in the last few years. I need more time to rest and recover than I initially thought. I don’t know how long it is going to take, but I owe it to myself and the people I love to take this time to heal myself. I acknowledge this. I’m not okay. I’m working it through it, but I’m not okay. I’m just out here doing the best I can every day.

Another thing I had to do for myself was acknowledge Andrew for what he is. That is to say, a Tulpa. I’ve had a very hard time with this for various reasons. One of those reasons is that a real person, who is not very nice, decided to mess with my sense of reality. This led to lots of other people messing with my sense of reality. Luckily for me, I wrote it all down as it was happening so the account will be preserved for the future. Otherwise, that situation is entirely separate from the Andrew one.

Andrew is a character I created. He’s mine. He’s not a real person. He’s partially based on someone in reality, but he has long taken a departure from that particular person. He’s something different to me. In layman’s terms, he’s an Imaginary Friend. Now, this may seem strange to so-called “normal people” for a fully grown adult woman to publicly acknowledge her imaginary friend. To them, that kind of thing seems “crazy.” For neurodivergent people, it’s like… finally, someone who understands. This is how I felt when I met other writers at the workshop who also had “imaginary friends.” It’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with it. It’s not a bad thing. I don’t have to get rid of it. I am allowed to have a “source of inspiration,” otherwise known as a Muse. This is what Andrew is.

Since I did that, our relationship has started to change. We haven’t been communicating very well for quite some time. We’ve been locked in a power struggle. I decided to stop trying to control him and back off, so he did the same for me. I just let him be there. That was when I noticed the change. He started allowing me to “do my own thing” without him. For any of you who actually read the story, you’ll remember that he was constantly showing up and demanding stories on a whim, usually whenever was convenient for him. I stopped writing the stories in order to take back control of my pen and show him who was Boss. He didn’t like this because he thinks he’s The Boss. Thus, the power struggle began and dragged on for sometime, until finally I got fed up with it and just stopped.

Now we’ve both settled down and had some “quiet time,” we’re slowly starting to communicate again. It’s strange. He disappears and comes back sounding like he went to Character Counseling. This is the super weird thing about Tulpas. They do things independently of their creator. This is why he was able to transform on purpose all the time to frustrate me and I couldn’t stop it. So now he says he’s making another transformation: A High Value Male.

In return, I am obsessed with transforming myself into a High Value Woman. Perhaps a little too obsessed. Sometimes I wonder if I’m becoming a narcissist, so I pull myself back and spend the entire afternoon reading about other people’s lives. Then I realize, no, I’m not a narcissist. It just seems like I am because I’m finally obsessed with myself after spending two decades obsessed with Low Value Men. I also can’t be a #SJW online anymore because I have no energy. It’s very exhausting to have thousands of people coming after you online and IRL all the time. Yes, I admit it, this is another aspect of my recovery process that needs to be taken into account. Other people are mean. People say really fucked up things about me all the time. It gets to be too much for one person to carry alone. This is why I am so obsessed with Female Dating Strategy (FDS). I finally feel like I don’t have to carry the burden all alone. I’ve learned that there are other ways to support good causes aside from writing about them online. I learned that I can’t be out there on the front lines anymore because I took one too many bullets for the team. It’s time for me to retire from combat with my Medal of Honor and find a new way to serve my community.

Anyway, back to Andrew. Like I said, we’re both working on our transformations, so we are getting along better as a result. This weekend he came to me with obvious concern about what happened Friday night. He was very serious and speaking in a different tone. He apologized for everything that happened. He said that he understood his role now and he was ready to take the job of “Muse” seriously. He said it took him a long time to understand me. Like, duh, likewise. We are two very different beings from two very different worlds. I am a human and he is a Tulpa. I don’t think either of us understood each other for a very long time. I appreciate the fact that he is working on it. It makes me want to work on it.

We had our little moment together. Then he picked up my Travel Blog binder and told me he was going to help me with it. He disappeared and I haven’t seen him since. So hopefully he will return with the Inspiration I need to actually sit down and write the damn thing. I don’t know what’s wrong with me but I have The Worst Writer’s Block Ever. I’m really hoping that working things out with Andrew will make that go away. Or maybe I just need to go on a writing retreat at a chateau in the French countryside for 4 weeks. Anyone out there interested in becoming a Patron of the Arts? I just need a grant of $5000 + airfare. Any takers? If you know of an organization that could provide that, please feel free to share!

So as you can see, I’m talking about this creation like he’s a real man who I’m in a relationship with. He’s not! But I’m sure you can all understand now why I’m so sensitive about That Name. It’s hard for me to be in a situation that so-called “normal people” don’t understand. But, it is what it is. If there’s one thing becoming a pariah has taught me, it’s that I shouldn’t care what other people think. After all, Voltaire was once exiled from all of France; eventually they forgave him for his writings and he was allowed to return to Paris.

Speaking of being the local exile, there was an incident that triggered my relapse. I know exactly what it was. I’m not blaming anyone because Alcohol is my demon to kill, but yeah. There was an incident. That was when I realized… there’s always an incident. This is what is triggering these alcohol binges. Incidents of Other People harassing me because of what I wrote. People treating me like a pariah. People being rude. I just can’t with that town. I need to stay away from it. Those people are batshit crazy. They will just make shit up. They don’t care. They love to go low, and they’re dragging me right down there with them.

That’s why I’m so confused that Andrew came from That Guy. They have nothing in common. They are nothing alike. That Guy is like a real life soap opera villain. He’s like the local gangster with a hold over the town from an old-timey Western. I can’t even. I mean, like, hell yeah great character, but wow. Just wow. This shit is like comic book villain evil. He goes around telling people I made voodoo dolls of him and his family. Really. Who does that? Just between you and me, I think he’s projecting. I think he probably has a Barbie doll somewhere in his daughters’ collection that he has secretly named Betsey. He narrates her actions and changes her clothes all the time. Why? Because this is the only way he will ever have any amount of control over me. Yeah, that’s definitely where it’s coming from. Lol.

Anyway, not the same person! At all. So that’s fun. I don’t know how that crossover happened but I’m glad it’s over now. I’m ready for everything to get back to normal. Except for the fact that there is no normal. What is normal? Everything has changed now. My brain is wired different. I’ve put several “books” out into the world and received a very negative response. I’m trying to build a new future now, but unfortunately for me, the past remains present. That’s why I’m so focused on building that cushion to land on when everything I can’t control goes haywire. The thing that I constantly forget is that rest and recovery is just as important as goal-setting and productivity. Right now, I need to prioritize my rest. That doesn’t make me lazy. It’s recognizing that I still have more healing to do and that it will take time to do. Nobody questions my brother about being in recovery. Why am I the one getting hassled for doing the same thing a different way?

Still feeling low on energy, but it’s okay. I have not been doing Musical Mondays as much since I started dancing. I should take the space before my afternoon Jazz class to watch In The Heights. I guess I did not realize it before, but I’m doing Musical Theatre Therapy, lol. Watching musicals actually does fill up my soul. So does dancing. I realized Saturday morning when I was trying to do Ballet with a hangover how important to my self-care practice dance has become. It was a sad session for me, but I would say it was positive because it was the first time I actually danced my emotions in ballet. It was a super sad experience, you guys. I totally understand why so many ballets have tragic endings now. There was something about trying to dance my way through that level of physical, spiritual, and emotional pain that just broke me down inside. I realized that I was an addict and that I was struggling with my recovery and that maybe, just maybe, I needed to take more time for myself before going back to work full-time, applying for an intensive graduate program, and jet-setting off around the world. The only problem remains… South Dakota. So I need to figure out a short-term solution to that problem that isn’t going to blow up in my face.

It’s hard for me to admit I’m still unwell. I am obsessed with Leveling Up and becoming a perfect human being, which is a silly thing to aspire to. I need to stop comparing myself to other people and just accept things the way they are. No, I haven’t lived abroad yet, but I’m working on it, dammit. I am like, seriously this close to giving in and paying $1200 for the damn TEFL certification course. Is it worth it? I don’t know. But it’s better than pretending I can still be a cocktail waitress when I am very clearly struggling with alcoholism.

Anyway, the point is, I am at a point where I need to change everything about the way I live my life. So forgive me if I struggle with the idea of taking a new serving job when I know it’s one of the things causing me so much pain. A lot of people have this attitude of “It’s just a job. There’s nothing around here so be grateful for what you can get.” But I can’t think of it like that. To me, it’s not just a job. It’s an unhealthy cycle of poverty, instability, and mental illness I’m trying to escape from. I have a Bachelor’s Degree. I shouldn’t be waiting tables anyway. No, I’m not “above it,” but I can and should aspire to find something better. It’s okay with me if I have to wait a little bit longer for that something better to come along.

That’s enough writing for today. Time to go relax with lunch and a movie before Jazz. I hope those of you out there reading feel less alone in your struggles, whatever they may be, and know that there is always hope. The light at the end of the tunnel is still there! I hope you use my life experience as motivation to keep moving forward through dark times. Your story matters, even if it feels like the whole world is trying to stop you from telling it. Go forth into the world and give yourself the freedom to tell it.

Have a good Monday and rest of the week!

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