Reflection from March 24th, 2008 @ Age 26
You know, the problem with getting up early, is that, I finish getting ready early—and then, I don’t know what the fuck to do with myself in the meantime. As of right now, I wake up at about 5am every morning. I usually get out of bed by 5:30 or 6am, and read in bed up to that point. Then I get ready, and then I have time left over and, of course, I don’t want to go into work early—that’s just craziness. It wouldn’t be, I should say, if I could leave that much earlier—but right now I’m not sure I can do that, so, I don’t want to go there early. You see. So, I suppose, my solution is to write about it.
I hate that I go back and forth in thinking that my journal compilation even could constitute a “book,” and whether it’s even possible that I could get it published—and, even then, I wonder if I even want to publish it, since it’s so goddamn personal; and, I do wonder how many people I will piss off in the process. I suppose, the question is, does the purpose of the book supersede the downside of publication? I’m not sure. I suppose, I’ll have a better answer, when I finish typing up my old journals (which is taking forever!) and give ‘em a good read through, or two. Then, I’ll really be able to identify the general themes running through, and the tone and rhythm of the prose, and all that. Then, I can edit whilst embellishing the themes, and cut out the parts that I really feel uncomfortable with. Only then, Maris, and maybe not even then—will you be able to snap any type of fair judgment against yourself. So, I guess that makes me feel better.
The main function of this book is the enlighten others about what it means to live with a bipolar mind; and, to help those who think they might be suffering from bipolar, or, who don’t yet even know—to help them self-diagnose their illness, so they can get help. It’s so important to diagnose bipolar, because improper medication can actually aggravate the condition—and increase manic behavior, which increases compulsive, aggressive behavior (some of the worst side-effects of bipolar illness). I want to increase understanding; I want to show people why I felt like I was absolutely crazy at many points in my journey, and I want to show people how the right medication can really help control the illness—again, once properly diagnosed. I read website after website, and there are hard, cold facts about manic and depressive behavior, about bipolar and rapid-cycling—but I don’t think that adequately portrays what it actually means to live with a bipolar mind. I want to help others. It’s no cliché—it’s intended. I intend to help others, and I hope to the high heavens above I’ll have the ability to persevere, and the courage to share in the name of my cause—in the name of love.
You know, I really do think that my relationship with Danny was totally worth it—even if for nothing else, to find Talib Kweli’s ‘Love Language.’ I couldn’t love a song more.
You know what I really hate? When you open your damn car door in the winter and snow flies in onto your seat, getting it all wet, which means your ass gets wet—and you get even colder than you already were, because it’s still fucking winter in March. Somebody needs to come up with an invention pronto, to fix this problem. Don’t be fooled—it is a problem. Somebody hear me now.
I’ll tell you one more thing—before I really have to be off to work…
Another reason I want to publish my writings, is such, that I may share the enormous amounts of love I possess—with my loved ones, and with anyone who’s willing to accept my love. Not all the time, but many times, I have so much love to give—I can hardly stand it. Now, I could horde that love all to myself, or, I could share among others. I choose the latter, because a world with more love in it—is the world that I want to live in.
You know, sometimes, my mom’ll go to kiss me, and she’ll pucker up and put her face real close into mine, and, I’m not gonna lie—it really grosses me out. And, she’s done it twice in two-days now! So, I’m really down with the cheek-kiss from here on out, because I’ll tell you, at this very moment—I’m grossed out as hell.
I’m hating every day I have to come to work. It’s not that I don’t appreciate my beautiful office, with two walls of windows, and my two great coworkers and all—because I do. I, just, don’t want to spend my life this way. I know my days are limited—of that, I am painfully aware. So, I guess, I just think, if there is any way I really can write for a living—then, I really want to make that happen. I really don’t know that it’s even okay to dream in this world anymore, but, for this—I shall dare to dream on.
If you ever have to use dirty-talk during sex, to make it interesting or worthwhile—it’s prolly a good indication that the relationship has gone south. I literally feel sick, to think, I used to do that with guys. Danny and I never used to do that, at the start—there was so much love to make, we were entirely otherwise occupied. But, as the years passed on and our relationship deteriorated—this kind of behavior became old hat. I don’t know, it’s just very difficult and uncomfortable to think about those memories, and I really do wish I could just erase them from my mind. But, so much for impossible dreaming—I just never want to be in a relationship again, where that behavior becomes a necessary cornerstone.
You know, I hate that everybody who fucking reads normal in this life, at a normal speed—assumes that everyone else in this fucking world, does too. I’m a slow fucking reader, what can I say? I was in a remedial-reading class in like, the first grade—and I caught up and all, but, it’s never been the same as the way other people read. I really do often wonder, whether it’s because my mind races so quickly—to make connections outside of, but, triggered by that which I am reading. I don’t know what it is, but I’ve always taken longer to read school assignments, essay tests, you name it—I’m remedial.
So anyways, the thing that really irks me about that, today, is that, let me tell you—my boss reads the following in one week: The Wall Street Journal every day, Newsweek, the Ohio Supreme Court decisions, and, probably Time, The Dispatch, probate, real estate and elder law list serves—all this fucking shit! And, he says it would be a good idea for me to do so, too, but the problem is—just keeping up with one of the aforementioned forms of news, would occupy me all fucking week long. I’m talking, one day’s newspaper—the entire week! I’m just slow is all. I guess that’s my point.
I’m irritated as hell. Everything I’ve touched, all fucking day long—has shocked me. Then, I was on the way to the mall after work, and I was blocked in by a median and cars in front and on the right-side of me—and a goddamn fire-truck came right up behind me, and started honking it’s goddamn horn, and I had nowhere to go! I started honking my goddamn horn, then, and finally these assholes moved their goddamn cars. Then, I went to Forever 21 at Tuttle, to see if they had the cute shirt the store at Easton had out front when I was there with Johnny—which they didn’t. Then, I went to get in the left-hand lane on my way home from the mall, and someone flew up behind me and about killed us all. So, my afternoon since 5pm has really fucking blown, and I’m not entirely sure if that’s because of circumstance, or because I’m cycling—but, I’m inclined to think that I may be cycling, because I was high as hell this morning in a fit of euphoric-mania. And, now, I feel low, and I was thinking on the way home—I really don’t even want to bother living and all that, because, all that ever happens, for the most part, is shit that either hurts me, embarrasses me, humiliates me, angers me, irritates me, etc. I feel like I don’t want to live in this world, but, I don’t feel like I want to kill myself today. So, wherever that puts me—is where I’m at, I guess.
God, when I get into these nasty moods—I am so mean to myself! And, so judgmental of my writing! It really hurts me—to be this way! It’s just so maddening, to absolutely love my writing in the morning—and, completely loathe it by nightfall. It’s confusing and exhausting, and I really just hate it. I don’t know what more to say. I’m going to my stupid, fucking meeting tonight. I do resent that I have to go there, in order to prove that I am fit to fucking practice law—even though, I don’t even want to practice law. I’m just so fucking irritated, right now.
I was often asked or advised to add to the original ‘Screwtape Letters,’ but for many years I felt not the least inclination to do it. Though I had never written anything more easily, I never wrote with less enjoyment. The ease came, no doubt, from the fact that the device of diabolical letters, once you have thought of it, exploits itself spontaneously, like Swift’s big and little men, or the medical and ethical philosophy of ‘Erewhon’, as Anstey’s Garuda Stone. It would run away with you for a thousand pages if you gave it its head. But though it was easy to twist one’s mind into the diabolical attitude, it was not fun, or not for long. The strain produced a sort of spiritual cramp. The world into which I had to project myself while I spoke through Screwtape was all dust, grit, thirst and itch. Every trace of beauty, freshness and geniality had to be excluded. It almost smothered me before I was done. It would have smothered my readers if I had prolonged it.
I had, moreover, a sort of grudge against my book for not being a different book which no one could write. Ideally, Screwtape’s advice to Wormwood should have been balanced by archangelical advice to the patient’s guardian angel. Without this the picture of human life is lop-sided. But who could supply the deficiency? Even if a man—and he would have to be a far better man than I—could scale the spiritual heights required, what ‘answerable style’ could he use? For the style would really be part of the content. Mere advice would be no good; every sentence would have to smell of Heaven. And nowadays even if you could write prose like Traherne’s, you wouldn’t be allowed to, for the canon of ‘functionalism’ has disabled literature for half its functions. (At bottom, every ideal of style dictates not only how we should say things but what sort of things we may say.)
Then, as years went on and the stifling experience of writing the ‘Letters’ became a weaker memory, reflections on this and that which seemed somehow to demand Screwtapian treatment began to occur to me. I was resolved never to write another ‘Letter’. The idea of something like a lecture or ‘address’ hovered vaguely in my mind, now forgotten, now recalled, never written. Then came an invitation from The Saturday Evening Post, and that pressed the trigger.
C.S. LEWIS—Preface to:
SCREWTAPE PROPOSES A TOAST
Geoffrey Bles—LONDON—Circa 1961