Here are three songs that have inspired past and future stories:
This one inspired a dystopian novel I’ll eventually start outlining. I’ve titled it A Girl Named Shallot.
This inspired a short story I had published when I was 19 in a former magazine called The Oddville Press. It was called “Dead Poet’s Pendulum.”
This one inspired another novel idea, one I would like to write in verse form, like Ellen Hopkins does with her books. No title so far. Also, this is an English fandub. The original is “Magia” by Kalafina.
These are all awesome songs I hope you’ll listen to.
If you’re a writer, what music has inspired you? If you’re a reader, have you ever thought of a playlist in your head that would fit the book you’re reading?
Sometimes I ponder why the most vulnerable of us often find ourselves afflicted with mental illnesses we don’t deserve. Imagine dealing with the death of a loved one. Your depression starts out as a symptom of grief. Soon you come to terms with the loss of your loved one, but for some reason you can’t shake this deep, aching emptiness within you. You try to tell yourself it’s because you really haven’t gotten over your loved one’s death, but then the pain just persists. You can’t push through it, or move on from it. Something dark has grown in you, and you steadily begin to lose yourself. Your appetite dies, your sleep either becomes too much or too little; out of nowhere you think you’re worthless, unloved, unneeded; you might want to die, you might not want to do anything at all. Your symptom has turned into the syndrome. Not only are you grieving your loved one, but now you’re battling another monster known as mental illness.
My fibromyalgia was already bad enough to deal with and depression is a common symptom of pain, but then when does the symptom become the syndrome? My fibro was getting better, but my mental health was declining, and I couldn’t understand why, when before I valiantly fought through my fibro.
But someone like me can only take so much before she breaks.
I’ve learned, through mental illness, what an incredibly sensitive person I am. I don’t even have to know you and your pain will strike something so deep within me that I’m compelled to tears. While I am better, I am still easily triggered by anything that has to do with death or suicide.
When you’re depressed and suicidal, you don’t think how traumatizing the feelings are. You’re used to them. Your brain has tricked you so well into thinking you want to die that you accept being suicidal without question. You want to die. You crave it. You want to end your pain because your illness doesn’t want you to see a way out.
Now that I am better, I look back on those feelings, and a heavy pang spears through my heart. I could have given into those feelings, and I wouldn’t be right here telling you all this. They’re terrifying feelings. I’m terrified that I felt that way. Sometimes I want to cry just knowing I did because the truth is that I am still vulnerable to feeling that way again. All it would take is for one of my medications to stop working, and I could go from screaming that I don’t want to die to wishing I would the next day.
Bipolar disorder is a traumatizing illness. Mental illnesses in general are traumatizing. You start out with one problem, and then for some reason that problem makes you sick, and you wonder why others don’t get sick from the same problem. My brother went through a traumatic divorce, and while he was depressed, it was just a symptom. He pulled himself together and now he’s better. Me, I just cracked under the weight of stress and the depression spiraled out of control until it became its own monster.
But there is nothing I can do but to accept it. I accept that it makes me a deeply sensitive individual. I accept that I could become sick again. But most of all, I accept that it has given me the power to empathize so deeply with other people that I would do anything to soothe their pain.
Stars, I’m actually waking up three hours early! Instead of 12 or 1 o’clock, I’m waking up around 8:30 or 9:00. This is either because I have a reason now, or I’ve found the right medicinal cocktail. My therapist and I think it is the latter because yesterday was the first time I wasn’t irritable in the morning, I wasn’t tired at all throughout the day (until night, obviously), I didn’t feel depression trying to drag me down, I was able to eat more and not feel cramped in my stomach, and I was able to just bask on Cloud 9. I don’t think it’s because of the super incredible news I received. I mean, I sobbed when I found out I was in the recital (tears of joy), but I still felt depression stalking me. I don’t feel it stalking me. I don’t feel its dark shadow.
I think I’m still fighting anxiety a little, just the anxious feelings that come on for no reason, but there aren’t any anxious thoughts accompanying the feelings. They’re just there for whatever reason, and, for me, I’d frankly prefer anxious feelings with no anxious thoughts over depression with anxious thoughts any time. Sure, it’s still uncomfortable, but I’m not snappish and irritable now. Usually talking with my parents irritates me, but now I find myself speaking with them without that irritability present.
In any case, yesterday was the first time I felt fantastic since being manic. But I’m not manic–I think I’m finally happy. It’s odd, too, because I’m on 2 mg of Abilify (this is a child’s dose. I’m 22) and have only been on it for six days. I’m 5 ft. 5, 114 lbs, and have a small frame. I also have a fast metabolism, which is why Seroquel doesn’t give me the munchies, for those who understand medications. So perhaps it is reasonable to conclude that the Abilify is working.
I’m going to admit it’s wretched that my mind is totally dependent on pills to balance it, mostly because all pills have the potential for serious side effects, but for now, I’m just going to be grateful I’m balanced out. Depression has had me trapped for almost two years and now I’m finally seeing the light again. I’m excited about life. I want to go back to work and be sociable so I can make appts., which turn to sales, which means commission and demo money for me along with my minimum wage. I am even picking my hours back up–just for the summer. During the school year, I won’t do more than 12.
It’s just such a relief to be breathing now, when I’ve been holding my breath for so long. Therapy helps too. As well as positive thinking.
I know there is a possibility of me becoming depressed again (or even manic) because bipolar disorder is often a lifelong illness. But I won’t think about that. For now, I will enjoy the life that I have and appreciate the small things that I never appreciated before all of this. I will even think about Emilie Autumn who is currently kicking bipolar’s butt and being fabulous all the while.
This lady, Emilie Autumn, is my hero, someone I aspire to be like, not in personality, but in attitude. She’s part of the reason I am fighting more than ever. I’ve mentioned before how this lady bribed herself out of suicide by finishing her album Opheliac and how that inspired me to pretty much bribe myself.
I’m still holding on to that bribe. Stars (I’m calling my readers this now because we are stars, we are made of star stuff, and we will all die like stars, leaving brilliance behind), I’m not feeling so well tonight. I guess I’m pushing myself too hard. I can’t do all of what a normal person can do in a day. I worked four hours at my job, I plotted eight chapters, I spent some time in the social media sphere, and I did one blog post. That’s really not a lot, but for someone as unstable as I, it’s enough to spike my anxiety, worsen my depression, and make me feel exhausted (though I can’t pinpoint if this is my fibromyalgia or my depression).
I was already growing intensely irritable after the plotting, for no reason too. In fact, I feel great about this book I’m plotting, but I don’t feel good in general.
I just want to break down and cry myself to sleep. I just want to sleep all day tomorrow so I don’t have to deal with the fuckery of my own damn mind. A part of me never wants to wake up again. A part of me wants to go back to cutting (which I haven’t done in some time). But then I think about Emilie Autumn and how she overcame her rough time to emerge as someone who doesn’t take shit from anyone, who uses her music to aspire others to fight as hard as she has.
I want to be a person like that. I want to be a role model for others, an inspiration, someone others can look to as a reason to just simply keep breathing. Thinking about Emilie Autumn makes me realize why I write stories with troubled characters: I want those characters to inspire others like them to keep fighting, because everyone has something they can fight for, and we just have to constantly remind ourselves what we’re fighting for and why. Why do we want to do this crazy thing called life? Why can’t we all just give up so we don’t have to struggle through the despair? Are those precious moments of happiness worth it? I hope the characters in my books make readers realize that yes, those moments are worth it because we’re all here on this crazy earth and we might as well serve as the pillars others can lean on until they can become those pillars themselves. The world will be more bearable that way. Possibly better. Perhaps happier. So in the meantime, we’ve got to keep living because life isn’t going to stop when we’re gone, and we might as well live loudly and fight for those who feel like they can’t. After all, we all want to be happy, right? You can’t be happy being dead.
Stars, I feel terrible tonight, but I’m not giving in to this hopeless feeling. I have a fiancé, great parents, and a cat. They’d all miss me, and I can’t bear the thought of what my absence would do to them. I’ll admit right now I feel like this isn’t going to get better. I don’t want to hide anything from you because I want you all to know who I am, naked and stripped to the bone. I’m fighting. I’m going to keep fighting. I’m going to inspire others to keep fighting.
I’ll admit that I probably chose the worst time in my life to launch myself on to the road of self-publication. Or perhaps there is no better time? Who is to say?
As I’ve mentioned before, I have bipolar disorder and am not stable on meds. My mania is treated, but my depression still struggles. I do struggle with suicidal ideation. I am not ashamed to admit that. I know how to cope when suicidal feelings become overwhelming. I’ve coped for months. Some days are worse than others. Some days I do feel inches away from wanting to take my life. But then I do my best to remember what I’m fighting for.
Before I made the decision to self-publish, I was fighting to keep going by using my dance recital. And it was worth it. It was worth everything. As a later starter, being in a recital was a dream come true, especially being able to do two of my three roles en pointe. Getting en pointe was a dream come true itself. But when the recital ended, I felt this deep emptiness because it was the reason I was still alive. Depression is a horrible illness, especially bipolar depression. It’s hard to find enjoyment in your life when you feel so detached, so to no longer have my recital to strive for, I found myself breaking down every night in what seemed an unending sobbing fit for the next three days.
Then I realized I needed to pull myself together. I needed to, once again, accept that I was still depressed. I still had dance, but I needed something bigger to make my heart continue beating, to make my life worth it so I could continue fighting for stability through this trial-and-error medication management. Because I am worth it, right?
Then I thought about my novel, When Stars Die. I stopped writing because it took energy and concentration that I didn’t have. I’m still not sure if I even have it, but one thing I do know is passion and a desire to live will make me have the concentration needed to self-publish my book. Using the publication of my book as an incentive to stay alive is the best thing I can do for myself right now. That is my ultimate motivation for getting back to my book: to stay alive. That is how, despite the depression, despite the desire to sleep all the time, despite the unending thirst to isolate myself, I will continue living, I will continue getting up, and I will continue fighting.
I think about my favorite singer, Emilie Autumn. She used her album Opheliac as a bargaining chip to keep living. She figured once she completed it, she’d no longer be suicidal. She was right. I feel the same way, but I know the deletion of suicidal feelings is not so easy. That will take the right medicinal cocktail for me. But my book is worth it. I’ve dreamt of being published since I was a kid. I’m not throwing that dream away just because I’m in a bad spot right now.
So that is how I grasped the motivation to get back to my novel, when I’d been away from it for so long without a care as to whether I’d get back to it or night.