I could use some advice…
Some days are much harder than others.
The days where everything goes wrong and I’m faced with the same truth.
I’m still here.
Incapable of meeting my needs.
Watching those I love, struggle to get their needs met.
We are trying. We are searching, working hard, and optimistic.
We are believers in something better, in hard work, in authenticity and hope. That things will get better because we will not stay here in this painful cage. We refuse to give up, to give in.
Regardless of how hard we try, we hit this same wall.
I find myself endlessly marching in a tight circle of financial fear and anxiety. Getting jobs I can’t hold long-term because of my physical and mental health. Doing the work to get healthier, only for nothing to change. Deciding things must change and keeping at it, searching for new jobs, new avenues, new opportunities.
My health is enough for me to survive.
Monies are not. In therapy, I found a lot of my unhealthy behaviors were surrounding the fear of not enough.
Gee, I wonder why.
I’m afraid. Of staying here. Of tomorrow being exactly like today.
I cannot keep on like this.
I am a writer, a creator, an artsy type. What is there for me in this world?
I keep plugging along and I keep working as hard as I possibly can.
I have changed. Therapy and support groups, family and friends, self -help books and a lot of prayer… these things have changed me. I am not the same person I was when I moved up here.
But the money and my health.
Both have gotten worse and I simply don’t know what to do any longer.
I will keep at it. I will keep working as hard as I can, keep trying. I have no other choice. I am hardly keeping my head above water. If I were to stop now, I’d drown.
All my energy should not be focused on surviving. On getting food, finding money, trying a new job in hopes that I will be strong enough to keep it up this time. That this job will be something my health will tolerate. That I won’t start having panic attacks to the point that I pass out. That I won’t lose the ability to eat another food, when I can eat so very little as it is.
So I am going to try something else new. I am going to hang my head and through tears of shame, I am going to ask for your help.
I don’t know you but I know you struggle with your own challenges and trials. I don’t mean to burden you.
Why help me?
I am a storyteller.
I don’t know what I want out of life, exactly. I don’t have pretty plans laid out and perfect answers for all the questions pelted at us like so much confetti.
I want to touch the sorrow inside myself with a makeup brush, not to cover up, but to brush my pain with a sweet sensation, comfort it, remind myself. I am here. I am alive and I feel, no matter who stomps on my throat, holding me down.
I want to excavate through all the dead roots and strangled lotus flowers that this world ripped out of my rib cage.
This world has a way of starving us until we’ll take whatever we can get. All the while we’re being fed rock salt and rot.
I want to create myself until I am something worth getting out of bed for. Not for you. For me. For the revenant buried behind my eyelids, waiting for me to remember and revive her.
I want that for you. To get out of bed and feel liquid desire run through you like velvet over lips. I want to you be insatiable while satisfied with yourself and your life. Purposeful and fully alive from moment to moment.
I don’t want you to do this for me, but for you.
We are worth it, you and I.
We know this deep down. We’ve simply been brainwashed into “the way things are” and self-disgust.
We are eternal voices trapped inside fragile skin that is bloodied and violated by those who’re supposed to be helping us build our own wings. We are untapped fuel.
I want to poke at the subjects we wonder about but don’t ask. To broach the unbroachable.
You know what I mean.
The things we are all in pain over but are kept silent about.
The questions and secret hopes and desires and wishes we keep locked away beneath our scalp. The whispers of our identity, screaming, pleading, and beating against our spinal cord from the inside out. Trying desperately to wake us up. To grow our skin into scales of time and talent and hope.
I am a storyteller, plain and simple.
This is who I am.
But I was created into a body that knows only weakness and infighting.
I have a digestive disease which barely allows me to eat. I exercise and eat freakishly healthy yet pudge up like a marshmallow.
I keep at it anyway.
I have restless leg syndrome that throws droplets of sleep at my feet whenever it feels like it, filling my muscles with hatred, twitching me awake after ten minutes. There’s a madness it creates inside me, something so terrifying I wonder desperately how to make myself sleep, no matter the unhealthiness of the possibility. But I don’t give into that kind of thinking. I wait for sleep. I beg for it.
I keep trying to sleep anyway.
I am on the bipolar spectrum, suffering from bipolar depression whenever my system so chooses to harm me further. I have P.T.S.D. and struggle with an intense amount of bipolar anxiety. Yet all the pills in the world make me worse. In fact, they’ve given me more health problems to live with now.
I keep fighting toward joy and an authentic, livable, lovable life anyway.
I am not here to tell you it is easy.
I am here to tell you is BLOODY HARD to live in this world with our specific challenges. I could go on about mine. Because those are not the only health problems I struggle with daily.
Although, the hallucinations where nature came to life and tried eating me was pretty cool. Until I took into account they came from sleep deprivation.
This life is not easy. I don’t care what your issues are. You have them, same as me. They might feel different, look different, ride about under different labels – but none of us have it easy.
This life is worth it, regardless.
We can have joy and fun and connect. We can matter. We already do. We’ve just forgotten that.
This is exactly what I am trying to do.
I just want to help us figure out how to live lives we actually want, lives that are filled with joy and in which we can deal with our suffering and heartaches in a healthy way.
We live in a world where we’re shoved in boxes or shamed out of being who we truly itch to become. This world beats us down with pretty lies and twisted truths, trying to convince us to sleepwalk through our own lives. Cogs in a machine. Slaves for an automaton.
We need hope. Freedom inside our own blood vessels, the ability to express freely who we are and what we need, what we can give to others.
How are we supposed to get there in this world which stifles us with our every inhalation?
We need help.
We need each other.
I want to inspire you (and myself), to dig past the trenches and grey walls of assimilation and pretty plaster masks this world has forced on us to wear as exoskeletons – as cages to burden our hearts and souls until we forget we are a creation of beauty and wonder and maddening fire, in and of ourselves.
That alone gives us the right to feel, live, desire, connect, and learn to tap the dormant chaos inside ourselves. We cannot create from a void. We need the mess inside ourselves to find ourselves.
And that is the point of a story.
Whether it’s a novel, poem, video, little piece of clay art, or series of sobs with words furiously forced out until the flurry of the unknown inside is exposed.
We need stories, regardless of what format they’re in.
I want to learn to breathe fire in a world of metal railings that bars us from the sunsets and sunrises, from the wild within.
I’m Daphne Shadows. I’m an Authentic Mess. A bull in a china shop. Sleep deprived but not a zombie yet. I’m a storyteller.
I have a lot to offer. But I cannot tell my stories if I cannot do more than breathe anxiety over struggling to get my needs met.
I need help.
If you can help me, click here:
I have always wanted to do a running story on this blog, a little short story every other week, on top of regular posts, or random short stories here and there as well. Something fun. Something I could do as I went along and share here only. And see what you guys think, what you want out of the story, what you’re getting out of it.
It’s been a long-standing dream of mine. No real time to overthink, just write, read it, and share it with you.
I’ve always wanted to write my novel, send out queries, and get published. I want to write stories that can be a getaway for you, an escape into a world where justice is actually just, mercy exists, and love, hope, and joy are real things.
I want to research and share cool, oddball things with you. I want to splash my joy for life all over you.
I’m finding it harder and harder to reach that joy.
I am physically ill because I have no way of getting my needs met without doing jobs that make my health worse.
All my energy goes into day to day survival.
I am failing at becoming who I am meant to be because I am exhausted with trying to survive.
Whatever your challenge. Whatever your struggles. Please know change will come. Please believe that you deserve love and joy and beauty. Please know that you can do this, whatever your “this” is.
And know that I am okay.
If you need to talk, I’m here. One upside to living a life of abuse and survival is that I am so grateful for the things I do have, for the survival I can achieve. And I have faith in our strength as human beings to overcome.
There is always hope.
What advice can you give me?
Any freelance writing jobs you know of?
What do you do when you’re running on empty every day and night and can’t find a way to breathe?
What do you do when what you have to do to survive is making your health worse?