Happy 100 followers!!

So, guess what? Today, goldfishandthemicrophone.com just hit its first 100 followers!

I’ve been working toward this for a long time. When I started this blog (please no one go back and look at my old posts!) I didn’t even really know how much I wanted to promote it, how much I cared if it was successful. It was just my little corner of the internet, my safe place. It was just for me–more than it was for anyone else.

As a writer and as a person I’ve come a long way since that day. I’ve refined my style into something clear that I can actually kind of define. I’ve developed my own unique voice. I’ve gotten braver, more willing to share my work and my feelings with the world. I’ve learned how to design graphics for the web, how to… I don’t know, at least attempt to market myself. I’ve gotten help, and… I’ve gotten better. I’m not going to say I’m doing great, but I have gotten better. I’ve grown more confident. I’ve gotten older. So much has changed.

So thank you so much, all of you, for your support–for reading the new posts and for liking and commenting and following. I really appreciate it, and I can’t wait to see how far this site will go in the future. ❤

-dragonwritesthings

Find me on Patreon, YouTubeInstagram, Wattpad, Tumblr, and on Twitter.

Featured

patreon page

Hey guys! So, as you might have noticed if you’ve seen the new item on my menu, I have a Patreon page.

What is Patreon?

For all of you who don’t know what Patreon is, it’s a platform for artists of all kinds to create their own pages where fans can donate money and potentially receive rewards, becoming “patrons.” Becoming a patron means you pledge a certain amount that you will give to that artist per month.

Do I have to donate to your Patreon page to read your writing?

Absolutely not! Although some point, years now in the future, when goldfishandthemicrophone.com has significantly grown in size (and I’m emotionally ready to take that on), I may introduce ads and/or subscriber fees to this website. However, in the forseeable future, you will always be able to read at least half of my writing online, for free.

How much does it cost to become a patron?

I have different teirs of patron-hood set up–for your convenience, here they are (as a screenshot) below.

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Where can I become a patron?

By clicking on the word here, and selecting your membership tier. 🙂

resources

so. i realize that i probably should have posted this sooner. my poetry deals with a lot of heavy stuff, and i understand that people who read it are probably pretty messy, like me.

this is going to be an ongoing list of any mental health resources i find on the internet.

everyday stuff to help you cope

  • mindshift– app designed to help manage anxiety
  • self-harm coping techniques
  • dan jones hynpnosis (for anyone who struggles to sleep)
  • calm harm– app designed to help manage self-harm, available on the app store
  • clear fear– app designed to help manage anxiety, available on the app store
  • woebot– robot designed to help you cope on a day-to-day basis with mental illness, only available for those who are of legal age
  • replika– robot designed to help you cope on a day-to-day basis with mental illness, available for all ages

websites

crisis lines

i get hits from all over the place, so i can’t recommend anyone specific for you. but i can give you this list! and this one! and this one! and this one! and this one! it’s not a replacement for long-term therapy, but it does help a lot when you’re in a moment of crisis and you feel alone to just talk to someone. if your region isn’t listed on any of the above lists, try googling “crisis lines *insert where you live*”

for me, i’ve usually spent 90 mins talking to counsellors there, including time on hold, so make sure you have enough time. if you’re living at home and you don’t want the people you’re living with to know, try going out in the backyard or on the balcony if you have one, where your conversation will at least be somewhat private, or taking your cell somewhere you can have a private conversation, or text a helpline and say you’re texting a friend.

does counselling/therapy help?

i can’t speak for everyone. but i know i am talking to a therapist, and for me it hasn’t helped everything, but does make my brain feel a little more steady. in my limited experience, counselling usually costs $125 per session, which is more than a lot of people can pay. try looking for charities that offer free counseling? in my town, there’s a service this charity offers, where they’ll pay for up to five sessions of your counselling if you can prove you can’t afford to pay. i’m in canada, so i can’t speak for everyone, but i know you can also get counselling from the government, free of charge, which is how i’m now getting therapy, but i think that’s only available in certain provinces.

medication

i’m on meds–i haven’t figured out the right dose yet, but i am currently taking them, and although nothing has helped so far, i do know that medication certainly can help, and so far has not changed my cognitive/creative abilities whatsoever.

disclaimer

i am not a doctor! i am writing this because, honestly, i’ve felt really alone and lost in this mental chaos, and i still do, and if any of you guys reading this feel that way too, i want to give realistic, honest guidance. BUT… i’m only one person. everyone’s experience is different. if you guys want to talk about your own experiences with mental illness, i’d love to hear about it in the comments. also, if you have any resources you can reccomend, please leave a link in the comments and i’ll shove it up here as soon as i can.

 

quick non-poetry related blog

trigger warning: mentions of self-harm, suicidal thoughts, discussion of what it feels like to be bullied and have a panic attack

So this week, I had a mental breakdown.

Ok, I know, not that unusual for me. But this was not just a normal I’m-at-home-in-my-bedroom mental breakdown.

This was an at-school frozen-in-a-chair-in-the-principal’s-office-for-at-least-45-minutes-at-the-verge-of-tears kind of mental breakdown.

Ok, so I’ll give you a little background. As I’ve probably mentioned before, I was bullied in elementary school. Not just by my peers, my friends and teachers as well. To give you some examples, I remember a time when I was feeling a little sick but my mom couldn’t afford to take sick days off. I was in fifth grade, ten years old. The rest of the class was playing some kind of ball game, and because I felt terrible, I was sitting on the sidelines. When we all lined up, my teacher was furious. His voice was shaking. I remember him saying how disappointed in our behavior he was.

How he didn’t want any of us moping like (my name redacted). How he pulled me out of the line, or pointed at me, or called my name out like it tasted bad. How it was always bad. How I was always the different one, the exception, the outsider. All alone at the edge of the fence, looking in on the world.

He would do things like that all the time. It wasn’t just him.

None of the adults in my life really understood me. I had suicidal thoughts pretty much since starting elementary school. I felt isolated and alone. I was the kid you saw crying out in the hallway, waiting for a teacher to deal with them, a teacher who was supposed to make them feel better. A teacher they grew afraid of. A teacher who never came.

To be honest, I’ve never really had a healthy and trusting relationship before. Everywhere I’ve gone, I’ve always felt different, like if I didn’t lie a little bit about myself someone will yell at me or not understand or tell me I’m enough. After a while, all those things start to feel the same. After a while, I just mostly gave up hope on people understanding me at all.

Of late, I’ve been actually making progress in terms of trusting people my age. I’ve made friends, and I tell them about myself. They understand me, in a way no one else really has understood me before, maybe just because I’ve never been this open with someone else. The kind of open that makes me understand what it’s actually supposed to feel like to have best friends. I’m on good terms with all of my teachers, but my English teacher and I are really close to each other, which has helped me a little bit in not being so afraid of figures of authority. I feel safe at my school. All of that fell apart last Wednesday.

So I was working on my own in a study room between my English teacher’s two classrooms (I could explain, but it’s complicated, and I have word count to save, so I’ll tell you all about it later, okay?) and this boy who had bugged me and my Poetry Club friends, who are actually my only friends, and the people I mentioned above a couple times, cracked open the door.

It was really awkwardly silent, so I said, “Hi.” I felt really weak and awkward and scared, like the voice in my head was controlling my words.

He said, “Hi.” It was really hesitant, and awkward, and weird. The thing about this boy is that… he’s good at manipulating. He can have done something a thousand times, and a part of you is still so convinced by his act of being interested in you that you can’t help but collapse, a little. As someone who has lashed out at others before, I guess I overempathize, because I see myself in other people too quickly. I guess it feels like if I can forgive them, it’s all right to forgive myself. So in that moment, even though I knew he was going to bait me into giving some response in the logical part of my head… I let him reel me in. I let kindness become weakness, because honestly I’m still struggling to figure out the difference.

“Hey, do you want to hang out in the summer?” He said out of nowhere.

I bit my lip, fiddling with my computer screen. I was researching stuff about social media marketing and planning the next couple week of blog posts and working on some new poems and I had about fifteen tabs open, but I didn’t want him to see. “Uh… not really.”

“Oh, come on!” He burst out, instantly seeming frustrated with me. “I’ve done this with, like, five people, and we’re already becoming best friends.”

“Um… I’m going to have a job this summer.” I felt like I was trying to explain something to a toddler, which I guess is a defense mechanism. Trying to feel superior. “So I can’t.”

“Yeah, but you’ll be off, and then you can hang out with me.”

“Um, I’m busy with… other stuff.” Like running a website and doing my own performances in my town, I thought in my head, but obviously I didn’t say that out loud. I felt like curling up into a ball and ignoring everything he said. Like, emotionally shutting down. I’m pretty sure self-consciousness and fear of being punished were really the only things that kept me from doing it.

“Um… I have a social life.”

“Yeah, and–” he growled. “Ugh, this is pointless. Why don’t you want to hang out with me?”

“I don’t really–I’m going to be busy–”

Seriously?
And then he went silent. And he started laughing. And he said, “Just kidding, I’m only here to clean the fish tank.”

“I figured that,” I said quietly.

My heart was sort of pounding.

And then it all fell apart.

My English teacher told me to tell her whenever he bugged me so she could deal with him in combination with the principal. It took me a while to come out of the silent, empty study room filled with plant seedings and basketballs and a couple fossilized kale plants. My knees were wobbling and my hands were shaking.

I know it seems little, but it wasn’t.

My emotions had been pried out of my chest. I wasn’t perfect anymore. The armour had shattered, and everyone could see it. I felt like someone was covering my mouth, even though no one was. It wasn’t exactly like a flashback, it was more like I was slipping back into the version of myself I used to be. I don’t remember what I told her exactly, I just know it was something incoherent, and that I felt like throwing up.

I stayed in the principal’s office for 45 minutes, trying to calm down.

The next day, I punched myself harder than I ever had before. It was only twice. It was enough to make me go to my computer and use the Live Chat function to call a helpline from their website. I rated my level of upset at a seven. I felt like my body wasn’t mine. I’m honestly not sure I’ve ever been that frantically honest with a person. I told the Counsellor everything about my life that I had been going through, about my self-harm and about how my family has a history of mental illness that sometimes feels like it defines me. How it feels like all around me, the whole world is dying. I talked about my suicidal thoughts and my self-harm. I talked, and I talked about how I felt like self-care made me selfish because no one around me takes care of themselves so when I take

I told them how much I wished I could lift the pain away from all my friends, who were struggling in their own ways, and who I could comfort and support and listen to and validate, but never take away the bad memories, the mental disorders and the bullies. I told them how I didn’t understand how so many people in the world could be so broken and so terrible.

They said something I’ll never forget. I wish I had taken a screenshot of our conversation, but I was panicking so much I didn’t do it. Anyway, it was something like this.

Maybe every time you take care of yourself, you can imagine that you’re lifting the pain away, not just for yourself, but for your family, too. Like every time you let yourself be all right, you’re healing the scar. You’re making the world as a whole a little bit lighter.

Okay, fine, I’m rewording it a little bit, because awkwardly worded text messages irritate me. But that’s the basic gist.

Hope you’re hanging in there. ❤

-dragonwritesthings


If you need to talk to someone about anything you’re going through, no matter how big or small it might seen, find a helpline in your area here. In case you missed it, follow my Instagram here, follow my Twitter here, follow my YouTube here, follow my Wattpad here, and follow my Tumblr here, and read the poems that I posted this morning here and here.

social media and an update on my life

so, hi there! how are you doing? are you functioning? i’m kind of functioning maybe? of late, i’ve been actually trying to, you know, take care of myself, which is honestly a little bit of a foreign concept. i’ve been recording videos for the youtube channel a lot, and yes, i am doing the thing where because youtube is new in my life i’m deciding to throw myself at the thing with all my might. which then leads to me burning myself out. and that really sucks.

also, i’m doing my own poetry performance in my town, so the youtube channel is kind of a performance mechanism. so far, most of the poems i’ve uploaded there are ones i’m going to read. i try to edit one poem a day–i have them all written and stuff, and i’ve got a rough sketch of the order they’ll be in, but i still need to figure out the rest. so yeah. not sure if the regular posting thing is going to be somewhat sustainable after july ends, but we’ll see what happens. 🙂

i’ve been trying to stop punching myself as hard as i can. i recently read the book girl in peices by kathleen glasgow, which is about a 17-year-old girl who self-harms. she describes self-harm as a kind of escape mechanism, a way of numbing the pain. that’s what self-harm is for me, too. whenever everything feels like it’s falling apart, or i feel overwhelmed or out of control… that’s the first place i go. it’s been a lot better now that i’m making an active effort to get on top of my overeating and self-harm, and i have an app called calm harm that i highly recommend for anyone who struggles with self-harm. anyway, but this afternoon, i cracked.  i was in a fight, and it was getting too much for me and the person disapproved a lot of one of my decisions. and the feelings just sort of kept rising. so i ended up going into the office in my house and closing the door and punching my thighs until i felt better. and… it does feel better, afterward. that doesn’t mean it’s a healthy coping mechanism, and in no way am i endorsing self-harm. but afterward, it feels empty, and that…. that feeling is addictive. especially for someone who is constantly in her feelings. and i know if i was more able to talk about it with ease, i could work through it a lot faster, which is something i’m trying my hardest to do. but talking about my weaknesses is hard, especially when i just changed therapists, so i don’t entirely really trust the new person i’m talking to, and i’m still not sure whether we’re a good match or not. my old therapist was always willing to let me steer our conversations, because she knew that i worked best when i was managing myself and mostly i just needed her to listen to my emotional vomit and interject and help iron out my mind a bit. but this new therapist seems like she’s more trying to control the conversation and plan things out and plot my life into neat boxes, which is probably because she was trained to work with teenagers, and because i’m mature for my age, and it usually gets people really surprised. which kind of drives me mental. it gets exhausting after a while, always being the anomaly. the different one. anyway, it’s not necessarily a bad thing… but it is difficult. and i was starting to form a bond with my first therapist, and now i basically can’t talk to her again. which really hurts. i don’t know how to handle things being gone from my life. and what i really mean by that is, i don’t know how to handle change. i don’t know how to handle feeling like other people control me, partially because in a quiet way… i feel out of control constantly. out of control because of society, out of control because of the universe, out of control because of self-harm and overeating and insecurity and depersonalization and negative self-talk and intrusive thoughts and anxiety. it’s enough when it’s just all of that internal out-of-control-ness. but when that feeling surrounds me outside, too, when i feel like someone else defines me more than i define me. i fall apart. sometimes out loud, sometimes inside.

good non-depressing things that have happened to me this week
  • a week ago i gave myself a pixie cut on impulse. literally on impulse. i had thought about it all morning and i was set on doing it by the time i got home around 1p.m.. i panicked at first, and i was super worried i wouldn’t look feminine and people would judge me for it and many panic attacks were had over it. now i just love it, because my hair is short and goddamn it long hair is irritating and i didn’t even realize how irritating it was until this moment OH MY GOD. also, short hair makes me feel really badass and confident, and it kind of helps me feel less anxious.
  • i have decided that i want a tattoo in the long-term future and i’m proud of myself for this decision because my parents hate tattoos and because disagreeing with people and doing things without anyone’s validation is really hard for me.
  • today i went swimming and walking on my own, which is something i haven’t done in a long time (walking) and have also never done (swimming). i know, i know. up until now, i kind of just assumed that if you wanted to go to the beach you couldn’t do it without another person.
  • i’m lowkey thinking about taking martial arts classes or trying to teach myself over the summer or sometime in september, because i want to not feel helpless of like i’m at the whims of other people, and i feel like that might help me feel more in control of my own body, which might maybe ease the intrusive thoughts. like i can defend against the monsters in my head too, somehow. like i said above, i feel controlled a lot, and i hate that feeling, and i want to do as many things as possible to fight that if it’s at all possible.

so there you go. that’s my mind in a nutshell right now, and i feel a little better now i’ve gotten all of that out. have a complimentary youtube video. this poem was super popular in february, so ENJOY IT UNIVERSE. i might repost the edited, good-as-new version later. ❤


my wattpad can be viewed here,  my tumblr can be viewed here, and my youtube channel can be viewed here. the poems that i posted today can be read here and here, and the poems i posted last friday can be read here, here, here, here, and here. if you need to talk to anyone about any of the things discussed in this post, view this masterlist of international hotlines here. i know this is hard to remember, and i know it doesn’t always feel like this, but having mental illness does not make you weak, crazy, ugly, wrong, worthless, or incapable of love. it makes you strong. ❤