Dilly Dally Shilly Shally

Random PenSword Fact #6: I have a huge crush on Ty Burrell from Modern Family and I feel no shame in it!! He’s my TV hubby!

So the weather cleared up and I cleared my little Gauntlet. It’s so nice outside that I wish I had taken the time to make a bento boxed lunch. My symptoms have calmed down. Aside from the occasional intrusive thought now and again there’s nothing to worry about.

To lift my spirits up over the weekend I treated myself to some retail therapy via Amazon, a movie night that featured lots of nice guy candy, and some cooking. I was able to do a recipe that I had been meaning to experiment with for a really long time.

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I made empanadas with curry filling. This is the first time I ever made anything from my actual heritage. I don’t know if anyone else has ever tried to experiment with this, but I can conclude that it works. And it tastes good. I had made a nice curry rice dinner the night before and had plenty of leftovers to work with so there was no real difficulty in making this at all. I’m proud of it.

Memories from the past keep returning to me. I think about that old friend and how our creative process worked. When I left I wanted to take on a different approach toward brainstorming and writing. But now I think I’m going to experiment with my methods and the old methods. If you could dive into my mind and see what goes on inside you’d see how fantastical I view the process in a way that makes the mundane process seem more magical.

I still stand by my decision to not go back to him. It wouldn’t accomplish anything. I’ve been taking what I’ve been feeling and thinking as creative fuel for my writing. I know it sounds no different from what most other writers do, but it’s a big deal for me. For the longest time I’ve been writing to escape from things instead of confronting them. That’s what makes it seem different for me. Plus it’s helping breathe new life into characters and plots that’ve been left undeveloped for so long. Old stories are reviving, getting a massive makeover, and flourishing more.

I’m not just getting memories of that old friend, but memories from different parts of my life. They’re good memories. The more this happens the more I feel like my old self again. In the good way. Before the “Nightmare Syndrome”, before I started having death wishes, and before I became so jaded and cynical. Before all the malice and sorrow. The best parts of myself are reviving and flourishing in the same manner as those old stories are.

I notice around me how people carry on and are always complaining about whatever. Here’s an example; My female roommate hates on our manager. They had a pretty heated argument a few weeks back about the house, the bills, the lease, etc. I wasn’t there when it happened. I’m kinda glad that I wasn’t. The house we live in is far from perfect, but it’s still better than the Cottages. It’s not a slum house. And this roommate keeps talking about things like the structure of the house, pointing out errors because evidently she has a more trained eye for details than I do. She hates on the manager as if he’s some evil slum lord. I understand her frustration, but flipping the house was also a first time project for the manager. At worst I say his inexperience shows. Don’t misunderstand. I like my roommate. She’s been really good to me. We’re becoming really good friends. But I can’t help thinking how this resembles my Dad’s frustration at everything.

My Dad’s mentality and frustration is epitomized in one sentence.

He gets pissed off drinking water.

He’s always been like that, and now I can’t help but see the same thing in everyone who whine about whatever. Then my memories flash back to people that I’m happy are no longer part of my life. People who exude this cancerous air when they walk into a room, always focusing on the bad, always attracting something to fuel their own negativity with their toxic auras, and then they’re left bamboozled wondering; “Why does shit always rain down on me?!”

Answer: Laws of Attraction at work. Like attracts like.

I realize that I’m happier now because I make a choice to count my blessings and not my problems. I’m collecting the silver linings, I’m accentuating the positive, and keeping it moving.

I’m getting more comfortable being in my own skin. I’m letting my freak flag fly without a care in the world. I’m happy being the person that I am and I’m happily living with the consequences that come with it. I make a choice to be happy and positive. All that noise that I’m hearing from everyone else is just “dilly dally, shilly shally”.

My depression isn’t a choice, but my happiness is. There might be a future entry there for further development. Let’s wait and see. The same applies with everything else.

Where will my creative spark take me? What other treasures are buried underneath years of memories? What else is in store for me?

I’ve got the questions. So now I’m going to go seek out the answers. Signing off.

P.S.) After watching “Beauty and the Beast” I now have the HUGEST crush on Luke Evans. Cono…que papi!! Gimme 50 Shades of that any day of the week!!

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Warrior “Monk”

Anyone remember this show? Tony Shalhoub played this dude named Adrian Monk who suffers from severe Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and an endless list of phobias. He was afraid of everything. Even milk for some reason. Don’t know if they covered the reason why. Maybe it was just a running gag. Despite all this he was a genius detective. He had this attention to detail all the other cops on the show lacked. He was always able to find the clues, piece them together, and finally catch the bad guys. He managed to do all of this despite of the OCD or whatever phobia of the week he had to face head on. He was always being forced into situation that challenged him and he had to seriously nut up and endure.

When my anxiety and depression act up I keep thinking that I’ve suddenly turned into Monk. And I mean that in a negative light. Monk was always driving people up the wall with his fears and obsessive compulsion. Even his therapists had trouble dealing with him sometimes and could only handle him in small doses. I feel like Monk in situations where I feel like I get triggered by stupid shit like the ones I’ve mentioned before, I have difficulties doing what normal people have no problems with at all, and sometimes driving people insane with my issues, be it family or friends.

I shared this with my counselor in a previous session. I vented out my frustrations about it and he was understanding. But then he asked me this, “Why exactly would that be a bad thing?” I thought I had already answered that while I was ranting about it.

Just like when he brought up the analogy on the mind as a muscle something about the Monk analogy I made with him is sticking with me. This was last week and now I’m beginning to seriously think about it and I have all these thoughts about it.

Even though Monk had numerous phobias that would obstruct him he accomplished so many things that I would’ve considered impossible if I were him. He did have friends, good friends. Yeah, he drove them crazy sometimes but they accepted him as he was. Monk’s OCD allowed him to pay better attention to things and made him an excellent detective, it didn’t have to be a bad thing for him. Monk had a wonderful wife in Trudy who loved him just as he was. Monk worked tirelessly for years searching for clues to solve Trudy’s murder and when he did Monk still had his happy ending. He found out that Trudy had a daughter before marrying him and was able to meet her in the very last episode.

Here’s a crazy theory. What if instead of fighting my “Monk-ish” side, I embrace it? I bitch and moan about how I feel like a freak sometimes and unable to be normal like everybody else. But then there’s a part of me that says, “Fuck normal”. BTW I totally have a t-shirt that reads, “Normal People Scare Me”. I saw it on the first episode of American Horror Story and I thought, “Oh yes! It will be mine!” I even got it in purple. Trying to fit in with the mundane crowd is so exhausting and utterly pointless. Nothing about me has ever been “normal”. There are days where I don’t even feel like I live a “quasi-normal” existence.

I come from a Venezuelan family and I grew up as the pet gringo. I refused to speak the language and I barely ate any of the food. I’m still not a fan of some of the food. It’s only interesting and exotic for people who never had to grow up in a Spanish-speaking household and be forced to smell and eat it at every occasion; holidays, birthdays, family gatherings, baby showers, etc. I’m the least tanned in my family too and I see no point in it. I don’t see the appeal in sizzling in the sun and getting cooked like a rotisserie chicken. I mean look at Trump’s complexion. It’s not doing him favors. But then again his skin tone is more what I call “Dorito Raped”.

I’m gay and I am willing embrace only so many cliches. I’m probably the only gay guy who doesn’t give a single, solitary fuck about Rupaul’s Drag Race, quote “Mean Girls”, or own a single Madonna album. Oh I am not gifted with song and dance either. Take one good look at me and you can clearly see that I’m not a gym rat either.

I live in my own world. I find more comfort in the story worlds and characters I create, in WWE, video games, anime, films, cooking, and imagination. I cope with reality through the use of my imagination. I see myself as a warrior, I see my skills as powers that I naturally possess, I see my challenges as monsters that I have to fight and take down. It’s an unorthodox way to deal with stuff, but we all have our ways to cope. I could be coping in ways that are self-destructive with drug habits or self-mutilation or God knows what else. I see what people don’t see or never want to see out of fear, conformity, or sheer laziness. That’s a quote from the movie Patch Adams by the way, when Patch spoke with Arthur Mendelson at the mental institution.

I suffer from depression and anxiety. But there has been some good that comes from it. It’s attributed to my imagination and wicked sense of humor. God only knows that if my entire life was nothing but sugar and rainbows then I’d have absolutely nothing to write about. It’s made me stronger, a lot stronger than I was eight years ago when I wanted to kill myself. It’s made me realize how much I want certain things. And when I say “I want” I mean it in the same way people feel intense hunger. Its helped make me into the person that I am today. Its always made me have to take a good look at myself in the most honest way possible. Whenever I get lost I always take a trip back to me. It’s not always pleasant, but it’s always been instrumental in getting back to the right path.

I’m a warrior in my own right. I fight one battle after another within my mind. I’m a neurotic mess. I’m not normal and I’m tired of trying to be when it’s never been in the cards for me. I feel things more intensely than others, I know things they don’t have any clue of, I can do things that other can’t, and get labeled a “freak” for all of it when I find that to be a lot more preferable than being boring and fake.

If being a “freak” is what separates me from everybody else then I will proudly wave my freak flag. I will happily accept who I am and live with whatever consequences come with it. Because if I act otherwise then I’ll never be able to make peace with myself and not have the true happiness that I’ve been seeking. So I embrace my identity as a Warrior “Monk”.

Moving Out and Moving On

So I’ve been in the process of searching for a new place to move into. I’m currently living in the Cottage of Boone. My current lease runs out in July. I’ve been living here for almost three years now. I’ve tried before to get out of here sooner. I came really close last year, but got blindsided by some contractual “read the fine print” type of bullshit. I did everything I was supposed to do. I went apartment hunting, I scanned through the classifieds every stupid day, I put up an ad to sublease my current apartment, but no one wanted it. Well some girls wanted it but I couldn’t sign the place over to them knowing full well that they’d be stuck in a house full of guys who don’t know how to clean. Plus last semester I was really unlucky when some thugs moved in. They were arrested and evicted at the beginning of this semester.

But I finally found a place that I think is the one for me.

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It’s a house that was recently renovated, so no sublease. It’s ready to move into. It’s less than a mile away from campus and it’s also within walking distance to 3 different bus stops. It’s a 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom house. It’s also pet friendly, has a fenced in backyard, a nice porch, and a tire swing. It’s got character and history. It’s the perfect place for a writer.

I’ve already said yes to the place. I’ve turned in my application. Now it’s just a matter of finding some new roommates and I really hope I can land some real good ones. I’ve already placed an ad online. Now it’s a matter of time of waiting for a response.

The perks of having me as a roommate: I cook and I clean. I like anime, binging movies, and playing video games. I tend to keep to myself a lot, but if you’re nice than I’m nice. I really hope this works out because there is no way in hell am I giving the Cottages another year of my life. Forget that!!

The roommate situation will sort itself out. The hard part is over. I found a place that I like and it meets all my needs. I can at least be happy about that.

Intentions

My name is Alex Martinez. My nickname is Pen. My life can be summed up in one sentence, “That didn’t go as planned.”

I’ve had visions in my mind’s eye as to what sort of life I wanted to live at this point of my life. I was supposed to start this wonderful new adventure with my best friend when I moved to the college town of Boone, kick all kinds of ass in Appalachian State, make some amazing friends, maybe meet a guy who’d want to become my future husband, and maybe have a real shot at leading a depression-free life.

What do I get instead? The exact opposite. It’s been like this since the summer of 2014. A lot has happened and I thought that I had managed to put it all behind me; the malice, melancholy, internal struggles, repeated failures, solitude, and nightmares. But no such luck. Just when I think I’ve found a little bit of happiness it ends up slipping through my fingers and I come back to where I never want to be, in some perpetual limbo with only my demons to keep me company.

This spring semester has me feeling defeated and in my mind, bloody and broken. Thoughts of self-harm and suicide plague my mind. I do my best to fight them off, but the best I can do is curl up into a ball and cry out to the universe to have mercy on me.

Naturally when my mind feels like it’s gone straight to hell everything else follows. My schoolwork suffered a great deal, my emotions went haywire, and the hits don’t stop coming. This is my vision of Hell. It’s not my first bout of depression, but there’s something different about it. Every other time from before I could at least trace it back to the root and then I could work from there. But there is no root here at all. It just happened. That makes me feel even more frustrated with myself.

I envy the people around me who seemingly have nothing wrong with them. And if there is anything wrong with them they just smoke, drink, or fuck their problems away or at least make themselves numb to it all. I don’t have an easy access to drugs, I’m not under any sort of medication, and I don’t have a convenient fuck buddy. I’m all alone here in Boone and I keep getting knocked down, again and again. I feel like I can never catch a break. As though I can’t be allowed any sort of peace in my life.

But I want to put an end to all that. I want to keep living and turn everything around. If there’s no one to help me, human or God, then I will change things with my own power. Because I have already wasted so much time waiting for someone to come save me and feeling sorry for myself.

There is absolutely no reason why I can’t be allowed to be happy or be allowed to succeed. My depression has left me with a twisted cognition of the world and myself, but maybe I don’t have to let it destroy me. Maybe I can use it to my advantage. Before I made the transfer to Appalachian State I wanted to be a novelist. I wanted to write amazing stories. There is a story project that I have in mind and I believe that I can use my depression, anxiety, and all that’s connected to it to make an amazing story because as of now the way I perceive my whole life and this world is a near perfect match to the story world I have in mind.

My intentions, however, is not to publish it and become famous. I’m not doing this with the goal of becoming the next J.K. Rowling or George R.R Martin, or anyone else. I want to do this for me. I want to write and finish this story with the goal of putting a permanent end to my depression. I’ve been getting signs that keep referring to taking control of my life, breaking myself free from my own limits, and preparing for some new adventure. Maybe everything that I’ve been through in the past and what I’m going through right now is meant to lead me to this conclusion, to this very moment. I don’t know for sure, but I don’t want to sit and wait for answers to be given to me. I have to walk on faith and do this. I also intend to come back from my failures and turn everything around with school and everything else in my personal life as well.

By this time next year everything will be different. All my struggles will be worth it. I swear it.  If this is supposed to be a new adventure for me then I will begin with this moment and move forward from here.