My Drama and English Language tutors were very supportive at the time. I am sure they didn't quite understand my writing in the same way I did, but I did enough to warrant a wry smile, quite a few A's and great feedback. My English Teacher, went so far as to say, my vocation would be writing, and specifically comedy writing. Whatever subject, title or genre I was given as a topic, my writing turned out more or less the same in style. I had a style all of my own, I liked it and it got me noticed for the right reasons.
Most of the things I wrote about were real life. I was very much an observant child. I spent hours people watching. I looked at body language, the way individuals acted in various situations and I used it as a way of escaping a World, that I really did not like. My World became an Island, and on that island, lived all those I cared about. They had the characteristics they were born with and the personalities I knew from their friendship, but they were so much more than that. I introduced part of me in everyone. In fact you could clearly see me in all those I wrote about.
Part of writing is escape. Escape from a life that I did not enjoy and wishing, wishing so damn hard that I was someone else, not me. Everyday, I hoped, just hoped. Even back then I saw life as a hardship and struggled and battled from such an early age. My stories contained those battles. Reading between the eyes of funny prose, the reader would be under no illusion that the I was hiding deep dark secrets and in private was a deeply troubled, sad individual, who just longed to be the same as everyone else. If I could be like them, they could be like me, through writing and acting.
During my 'Dark Days', my imagination seemed to run wild. The sadder I felt, the harder I imagined. I saw a vivid techniocolour world of joyous wonderment. Everything was perfect. The people were hero's, they were rich, powerful, without the cares I suffered daily. I saw a perfect oil painting of thoughts an emotions but with a scary and difficult background. On the surface all was well, but through the cherry blossom on the due soaked trees, a chink of black broke through, slowly engulfing a happy picture of family and contentment.
I suppose, reading back over old stories, you could say I wrote black comedy. When one see's so much unhappiness, one has to use these moments as a way of channelling funny moments, some of which were brief, but accentuated through words. Words grasped by my racing mind to push the hope of a new life, new beginning, perfect endings and engaging thoughts of love and laughter, when there was none.
Words paint pictures. If I were an artist I would paint with ghasto. Broad strokes of colour, impressionistic, full of life and hope. Light, lots of light, colour and dreams. Full of so much happiness for a future yet to be attained. Positive, yes! Positivity in writing, when life had none. My thoughts, hopes, fears and aspirations in ink on paper, for me to read again and again. As children, we are not yet tainted by the harsh realities of life, yet for me I was. I experienced things, no child should experience. For a while I sunk deeper and deeper, into what one would call depression now and saw no hope of clawing my way back. The only thing that saved me at that time was writing. Writing from the heart, sincere and heart warming, yet tinged with sadness and strife.
As a writer, my words have changed somewhat over the years. Manic Depression, kind of dictates how one writes. Rather than hiding behind a screen of unreality, today I will write, as I feel. I know now at the age of 44, I can not change what happened to me and least of all hide the truth in writing something that does not relate to me at all. If I am sad, I will write as my mind tells me. Always with emotion and feeling. There is no hidden message, It is written for all to see.
Writing this way, helps me come to terms with my mental illnesses. It allows me to use my thoughts and feelings in a positive way. It helps me determine cycles, challenges, trigger points and emotions, I some time suppress. Rather like one writes a diary, I can look back and chart the journey of my life, through the up's and down's of childhood, the darker times, teenage trauma as well as the happier, funnier and more memorable times.
My biggest fear in life has always been 'forgetting'. I hoard memories, not things. Each item will trigger a memory, good or bad and take me back to a different time. The mind is a very complicated thing, least of all mine and with the medication I take, there is always the fear of forgetting what happened in my life. My memory is rather drained these days, mainly because of the wealth of pills I have been prescribed over a decade. Pills tend to mask realities that could send one into a deep, dark spiral of depression. Equally they stop the 'Mania', the truly exhausting, psychotic times where my reality is unreal and dangerous. For me writing is the answer!
I have actually reached an age, where I look back at my writing and can see the amazing Creative Darren and the sad, forlorn and shadowy Darren. I can finally see the massive highs and lows I have experienced, I can see my own pain and I can more importantly see the pain of others. Pain caused by me, at times when I am not there. Times when my mind is detached from reality, times of great pain and struggle and times, when in all honesty, I should have died. The warnings of today were in the writing of the past, and as I recover from this relapse, I can finally, read and react in a positive way, to thoughts that I have put to the back of my mind, muffled by medication or are just too hurtful to explore at the time.
I can be whatever I want to be. I can be a Queen a Lord and a down and out. I have no first hand experience of any of these, but that does not matter. My mind often races with unpredictable thoughts. My life can get lost in words and fables, made up to transition through the realities of life, which I have to say isn't all it is cracked up to be.
It is true to say that without medication I am more creative and I have to use times when I am highly medicated equally, to express how I feel. For those who do not have Bipolar or Depression, it is a hard thing to explain. To stifle creativity, is to mask the truth and sadly medication does a bloody good job a stopping my minds eye from playing with the imagination of times without the haze of pills. It does neutralise memories and the thinking process, I understand that. I am fully aware that for me, huge highs and dreadful lows are a danger and I do not always want to venture down that path. I like dipping in and out, remembering, recalling and analysing, but the energy needed for such processes is immense, so in a way, I have the luxury of switching off. We all need to switch off every now and again and to take a pill and drift away to a better place can be a bonus, just not all the time!
So here I am, day two of 'NEW MEDS', I am tired, but keeping my creativity alive. I am stronger, hopeful and positive. Nothing phases me and I look forward to the future. This blog is about me, a person with Bipolar, my days after relapse and my daily life. I am happy to still be writing, but there is no guarantee I will forever. As my words become less and less expressive, I fear, I will write less and less, so now I live for the moment, still thinking and remembering!
Thanks for continuing to read!
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