Lately on Medium

I should really set myself a schedule of when to update here what I have been writing over there, but I’ve been posting pretty much daily over there just like I’ve been over here and wouldn’t I be a bad blog friend if I didn’t promote my shit everywhere?

In reverse chronological order:

When He Asks How Long I’ve Loved Him – which is actually something I wrote years and years ago about a man I haven’t seen in almost ten years now, but I suppose it’s worth a read if you want to get me a little more than you ever did before.

Oh, December, Here We Go – in which I talk about goals for the month

I keep finding more words for Love – which is a poem I never thought I’d write all these years later, but I haven’t gotten laid in a long time so I guess my mind keeps gravitating to the sex I USED to have and the people I used to have it with.

“Had I really succeeded in anything else” in which I ruminate even more, as I often do, about why I feel like an unemployable failure but also channel JK Rowling’s hopes and dreams and determination to let rock bottom bring her back up again

Sleep is Not for the Weak – in which I talk about how I keep nodding off like an old lady, and also depression

and finally,

A little story about depression and sleep and how they go so great together. a locked story for Medium members (though non-members can read 3 free stories a month) in which I talk again, even more, about how depression affects my sleep, and how I’ve been feeling about some things in general.

I’ve been writing in two places every day for a week and have felt better about myself than I have in ages even though I’ve also felt worse than I have in ages. I am not really sure how to reconcile that at the moment, but I am going to keep on typing, because when I do, everything else drifts away.

Want to help me make a living writing? Or maybe just buy me a cup of coffee? That would be sweet. Thanks for reading, always.

Stuck. It’s not even a novel kind of stuck.

“The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them — words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they’re brought out. But it’s more than that, isn’t it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you’ve said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That’s the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller but for want of an understanding ear.”

This dude gets me.

I’ve been having a really hard time with writing, lately.

I’ve been having a hard time with everything, really.

The hardest thing to understand about depression is also one of the hardest parts to deal with: the fact that it just comes on suddenly and from nowhere sometimes.

Sometimes everything is great, you think things are on the up and up, and then BOOM. Depression.

Except it’s never a BOOM, it’s more of a:

Maaaaaaahhhhh…..

A long, slow, desperate moaning and groaning.

We don’t want this to happen to us.

I worry, when I’m in those darkest of times, when I can’t get up and showered and out of the house, that people are going to think I’m pretending to be this way so that I can just lay on the couch and watch TV all day.

They don’t realize, they don’t bother to ask, and they don’t care that in those times I’m actually watching/not-watching the same things over and over again, because I haven’t had the mental capacity to store the details of trivial things such as television shows and movies for quite some time now.

It really annoys my friends that I never remember what happens in our favorite shows and movies.

It annoys me, too.

That’s the least of it.

I didn’t want this post to devolve into a whiney, mopey bitch fest.

You see, I began with a great Stephen King quote that really means something to me – like I said in the beginning, I’ve really been struggling with writing, but more specifically I’m struggling with whether to share my writing.

Not just my writing – my thoughts.

My words are my thoughts, my words are my heart.

My heart is fragile, unfortunately. I can’t lie or try to deny that.

I don’t know if I can handle saying the things I want to say, but I don’t know if I can handle not saying them anymore, either.

Another Month of NaNo Mos

It’s the first of November, so here I am back on WordPress again to take part in the NaBloPoMo challenge that I’ve done every year on one of my blogs since forever.

I’m also doing NaNoWriMo, AND I am currently in the middle of two web design jobs that are cramping my month of November writing style, but I can’t really complain (much) because they’re paying the bills, finally.

Oh, it’s wonderful to be able to pay my bills, it’s been a long time since I’ve been able to do that with any regularity.

So I’m all over the place this month, I’m all over the place in general, and I am definitely all over the place on this world wide web of ours.

I’ve been trying to write more on Medium lately because it seems like a great new place for writers to build a following, or platform as they call it. Plus, it comes with the added benefit of potentially being able to make a little money.

It sounds silly, because it is, but I actually got a notification today that I will be getting my first payout from Medium this week – a payout based on two “claps” on one of my poems. What did I get in total? $0.04.

Yup. Four cents.

But who the hell cares, because hey, I’m making money writing!

And, because the world is strange and it needs to keep reminding me of that fact, I made my first Etsy sale today – a sale that I consider completely passive because I hardly remember making the art prints I randomly put up there for sale one day.

I made $3.00!

So yeah, I am making smaaaaall amounts of money, but who cares about the numbers right from the start?

I am finally, inch by inch, slowly but surely, figuring out ways to make money doing the stuff I love doing, or at least tolerate well enough, for myself.

For myself!

That’s totally priceless.

Themes of Scum and Such

This morning I thought I’d better start planning the month out, decide which weekend to take Elise to Pumpkintown, make sure I get a babysitter for one particular potentially fun Saturday night, don’t forget the Salem book sale, etc.

Then I had a heart attack because when I looked at my calendar I saw it was October 15th, and the month is already half gone.

I thought this year would feel painfully slow.

I thought that the pallor of getting Trumped was going to make this year one of the worst of my life, but it definitely hasn’t been. It hasn’t been much of a year, but it hasn’t been close to the worst for me, so there’s that. I wish I could say more for the rest of the world. I wish I could say more for my own kid.

The days are long but the years go by so fast.

Thanks go to The Shins for that truth bomb.

These last six weeks of days have been particularly slow for me, but surprisingly not as slow as I thought they’d be – not as long and hard as I thought they’d be.

I decided to homeschool Elise this year, and I decided in August. This is all very new, and I went into this not knowing what the hell I was doing, and I am six weeks in now and not only do I still not know what I’m doing, but I feel like I actually know less than when I started, because so many of the things that I thought might work for us have failed miserably.

However. I haven’t once, for even a moment, regretted my decision to pull her out of school. I haven’t written about it at all yet, and I’m itching to, but don’t even know where to begin.

This story has themes like:

  • I’ve completely lost faith in the public education system
  • I never felt good about private or charter schools in the first place
  • kids are fucking cruel and ruthless 
  • the way we measure and value success in America is absurd
  • if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will always think its a failure
  • I just want to make the best of things and enjoy life, that’s it, why should that be so hard for people to understand?
  • If Elise isn’t happy, why does any of this matter?
  • We’re all going to fucking die in a nuclear winter pretty soon, so #YOLO? Right?

Eh, I don’t know. I’m a pessimistic Debby Downer, but I don’t want to be, I really don’t. I think it’s just ingrained into my DNA to want the best for everyone, and from everyone, but to never expect it, so basically, everything feels like one big disappointment.

Photo by Alex Ivashenko on Unsplash

Depression, derp, this lying whore. I’d love to ascend up out of this pond scummy hovel I’ve accidentally built in my brain, or my brain built for me. That bitch.

At least I’m in a place today where I can see things as they are. Things are shitty, but I’m a master at staying perky and acting as if things are fine. It’s when the mask slips that I have to worry about myself, and when people really worry about me.

But, I wonder, I’ve always wondered, what’s underneath that mask?

Finding out what’s under there, seeing what’s left buried, is something I’m very interested in. I’d like to just take this quiet journey into the wilderness by myself like I’ve done a time or two before, but losing your mind to find yourself just isn’t fun alone.

And of course, it isn’t fun without a lot of words spilled on pages.

Spilled ink. It happens.

Frequently, lately.

If you have nothing nice to say, come sit here by me.

Everyone, at some point in their lives, wakes up in the middle of the night with the feeling that they are all alone in the world, and that nobody loves them now and that nobody will ever love them, and that they will never have a decent night’s sleep again and will spend their lives wandering blearily around a loveless landscape, hoping desperately that their circumstances will improve, but suspecting, in their heart of hearts, that they will remain unloved forever. The best thing to do in these circumstances is to wake somebody else up, so that they can feel this way, too.
—  Lemony Snicket, Horseradish

I’ve started and stopped so many blogs in my life because I always get so scared of doing the one thing I want to do the most, which is to just be myself.

You know how They say that people tend to construct their own ideal version of reality to share with people on social media? People just show the good times – the birthday parties and perfect hair days, the promotions and vacations, the pride. They leave out the nasty bits, and even more often the natural, every day mundane bits, which is a shame because it’s the little details of a persons life that really makes them unique.

They leave out the nasty bits, and even more often the natural, every day mundane bits, which is a shame because it’s the little details of a persons life that really makes them unique.

I’ve been pushing words onto pages for years without even breaking the surface of the things I really want to be talking about.

I’ve always held back out of fear.

Fear of rejection, fear of ridicule, fear of contention and confrontation, and of course, the fear of being completely and utterly ignored.

I paid $350 for a writer and woman I really admire to teach me how to write anyway, even though I’m scared of all of those things, even though this ridiculous, irrational fear is keeping me from doing the things I love and reaching the goals I’m even too scared to admit I want to attain.

Well, it didn’t fucking work so far.

So, here I come again at the blogosphere, riled up and ready once again to commit to giving fewer fucks about what everyone thinks and only worry about the ones I actually want to find by doing this in the first place – those other moms that say, oh, okay. I get you. 

That’s really all I want, oh my gods, to find my place in the mommyblogosphere, somewhere between the snarky, irreverent assholes that can’t be bothered to give any shits, and between the know-it-all Alpha moms who think they can do everything better than everyone else.

I can’t recall ever meeting an Alpha Mom with a special needs child, by the way, and for what it’s worth, I think that might say a little something about –

Whoops, there I go ranting and raving and bitching about people I don’t like. I need one of those signs in my living room: If you don’t have anything nice to say, come sit by me. It’s been the perfect motto for my life lately, even though I don’t want it to be.

Photo by Ioan Schlosser on Unsplash Copy

 I’ve been around the WordPress block a time or two before, but for those who don’t know me, my name is Cheney.

I used to be an office manager, a waitress, and a LuLaRoe consultant, I’ve always been a writer, and then this year I just said fuck everything, just fuck everything in life, I am not going to do things anymore that I find terribly and unreasonably unpleasant.

Lately, I’ve been making a living with graphic and web design work, but I’ve been making a life by deciding, essentially, to define my priorities and values, and work as hard as I can to stick to them.

I have deep thoughts and strong opinions, and I’ve always been scared to share both because I seem to be allergic to negative feedback, and so I haven’t shared, but now I fear that my contempt for people comes from feeling lately that people aren’t worth bothering with in general, which is just a sad and awful thing to think, isn’t it?

I also have this parenting issue, which is that for me, this whole business of parenting is a really hard issue that I struggle with every day. The issues I have go far beyond not wanting to do it and really wishing I didn’t have to most days, and yet that doesn’t stop me from doing what I think is best for my child even though it surely isn’t what is best for me. I guess it goes to show that you can still be a good parent even if you’re a reluctant or regretful parent, right? I’m hoping to find out, and I’m hoping to find more of us out there – I know you’re out there.

Oh, and the mental health problems. Of course, I can’t forget to throw those into the mix. The depression that is a constant companion, the anxiety that is a sneaky, trickster bitch, the PTSD that has me up, caught paralyzed in those blue-gray minutes before dawn, because there’s only one thing that certain shade of light reminds me of.

What? I’m still forgetting something? Pssh, I guess when you’re constantly, indefinitely, relentlessly worrying about one or two or three of your kids’ multiple disabilities that will have her dependent on your care for the rest of your life, you forget you have to even mention that to other people.

You mean I don’t have a sign on me that says, “Back the fuck off, my kid is autistic and I have a panic disorder?”

It just feels so alone at times, you know?

It would be nice to come talk about what went on in my day to nobody – and to anybody – and maybe, just maybe, someone talks back.

Someone who gets it.

And if not someone who gets it, then just anyone, anyone at all who is willing to say:

I see you.
I hear you.
I know it’s hard.
You’re doing a good job. 
You’re going to get through this life
until it kills you.