Monday, October 30, 2017

The Cheese Grates It: Drawing Parallels

I couldn't find an appropriate picture, so here's a picture of a Babirusa

I know that I'm pretty much the most defensive person in the world and that I likely overreacted to certain things that people said recently. I have a tendency to do that. As a friend pointed out, certain things which got my hackles up were well-intentioned. All I can do is to apologize and to hopefully explain why sometimes well-intentioned statements about developing a brighter outlook can rub a person who lives with a mood disorder the wrong way.
I think the best way to explain it is to draw a parallel to certain other conditions I live with which are strictly physical conditions, but which can also affect my moods.
I have diabetes.
I would like to draw a parallel between my use of insulin to control my blood sugar and my use of dark, sometimes hyperbolic poetry as an outlet for the bleakness that often inundates my mind.
My body produces little if any of its own insulin at this point. Insulin helps the body process sugar in the blood. Without it, the high sugar levels begin to cause damage to the vascular system. 
Now, let's say someone were to say to me "if you'd just act like people who have a normal pancreas, you'd learn to be like people with a normal pancreas."
To which my reply would be "I will literally never be like people with a normal pancreas because my pancreas doesn't work normally."
"Yes, but if you behave like people with a normal pancreas, your pancreas will start to behave normally."
"No. It literally will not. If I try to behave like people with a normal pancreas, my elevated blood sugar will start to damage my body fairly quickly."
"Really, though, Positive Pancreatic Thinking will heal your faulty pancreas!"
At this point, somebody might be getting stabbed with an insulin needle, and it isn't going to be me.
Most people can see that the above scenario is a bit ridiculous (although anyone with diabetes can tell you that we've heard a million and one tales of "miracle cures" for our condition.) However, a lot of people can't see that they're doing a very similar thing when telling someone who lives with a mood disorder that if they just practice positive thinking they'll become a normal, happy person. It literally doesn't work that way.
I'll be 53 years old in February. 
I had my first mixed episode when I was ten. I didn't know that's what it was then, but with the knowledge I've gained, I now know that's exactly what it was.
I had my first severe depressive episode when I was twelve. I also became bulimic and made my first half-assed suicide attempt by swallowing a bunch of aspirin, which made me sick. 
I was labeled as overly dramatic and attention seeking and told countless times to just stop thinking and acting as I did.
I've learned a lot of coping techniques over the years. One of the ways I channel the darkness rather than cutting myself or self-medicating is by writing.
I've been through a lot of undesired changes this year.
I live with chronic pain and am not sure how long I'll be able to keep working. My situation is precarious. 
I would never tell someone who tends to have a positive outlook on things that they need to create things that are dark and gloomy. However, people don't think twice about telling me that I need to write things that are more cheerful and that I need to have a brighter outlook.
It also minimizes and belittles my struggles when people say things which imply that what I'm going through is some sort of a phase. If it's a phase, it's a damn long one. It's lasted most of my life.
Sometimes I write funny stuff. I actually do have a sense of humor, which most people don't get.
Perhaps people like me do serve a purpose. We often have high levels of empathy. Perhaps by pointing out the hurtful things in the world we can teach others to be kinder.
Hell, I don't know. I haven't figured it out yet and I rather doubt I'm going to.
I do know that I like German chocolate cake. That much I've figured out for certain. I wish I had some right now.
My mind doesn't work like yours. I know most of you can't understand a mind like mine, but I ask you to please try to respect that maybe people like me do know our own minds and maybe it would be nice to be treated not as broken half-people who need to be fixed, but as whole and worthy of consideration exactly as we are.

~The Cheese Hath Grated It~

This is my Always Keep Fighting tattoo.
It's a real, permanent tattoo.
Some days its easier to keep fighting than others.
This is a reminder for me to keep fighting on those days too.
It's also a tribute to me and those like me.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

OctPoWriMo 2017: Day 28: LONE

Lonely me

I feel unwanted
I feel undeserving
I fear I'm fatally flawed

LONE, lonely me, fatally flawed

~Cie and Pepper~

Here is another work which is autobiographical to the author and also descriptive of Fetch's female protagonist, Pepper Baiij.
I desperately want to get back to working on stories again. I am lost without them.
At least I met Gem on the astral plane while in a troubled sleep that I hoped never to wake from.
In a world that wants sunshine, flowers, chirping birds, and unicorn farts, I bring you depressing poetry. Hence, I walk alone through this life.


Thursday, October 19, 2017

OctPoWriMo 2017: Day 18: Everyone Went On Eating

My life is a mess
She said, grieving her lost dreams
Feeling dead inside

At the family table
Everyone went on eating


This is autobiographical.
I didn't feel up to trying the Palindrome poem today and thought it would be most effective to keep my work brief.

Monday, September 18, 2017

30 Days of Haiga 2017: Day 11: End of Story

Background Image Copyright: tomertu / 123RF Stock Photo
Text manipulation by The Real Cie

Without going into too much detail, which would detract from the viewing of the image, I have had a difficult year. I have changed jobs six times and eventually ended up changing careers entirely. 
There are aspects of my current job which I really appreciate, but it is not an easy job and I do not make as much money as I did in my previous profession, which there are several reasons I can't go back to, the biggest one being changes in my diabetes which lead to fatigue and weakness if I don't pace myself.
I feel like I have lost the things that made me who I am: my imagination and my ability to enter other worlds astrally and psychically. My heart is heavy and I feel broken. I feel that I am constantly being punished and that there is no need for external hells when all the hell I need is here in the loss of that which made me who I am.

Cross-posted to:

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Fiendly Fill-Ins

Week 62: July 14, 2017
1. My inner child really and truly hates me. This part of my psyche does not understand the concept of doing what you have to do to survive, and most of the time that doesn't involve creativity.

2. My favorite month is probably October.

3. My favourite commercial is I avoid commercials.

4. Personally, I don't care for the way this life has turned out. I want a do-over. Or maybe I don't. Perhaps I just want to fade.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

The Cheese Grates It: Sticks and Stones

I recently signed up to become a participant at a site which encourages people to write a certain number of words every day. I am not going to "name and shame" the site, as they were not being intentionally mean-spirited. They did, however, use the old "shame as a motivator" principle, and this is an approach which I cannot abide.
I have been working hard at becoming my own boss during the past six weeks. The situation was forced on me by a lack of hours in the home care nursing field. However, during this unplanned hiatus, I realized that I no longer wish to work for other people, and I am willing to do whatever it takes to make that goal a reality.
I have been dividing my time between delivering food as an independent courier for Uber Eats, taking the necessary steps to become a rideshare driver with Uber and Lyft, and attempting to build my independent recruiting business. I would need a Venus-length day to accomplish all of my daily goals. A day on Venus is equivalent to 117 Earth days.
I do not want to let my craft fall by the wayside while I pursue my chosen trade. Thus, I need tools to help me hone in when it's time to write, as my mind can be a bit of a jumble. A word count goal or a story spark, generally both together, can help me shift from business mind to creative mind.
I don't enjoy the NaNoWriMo model of writing. When I am forced to produce a large number of words (1667 daily for a month) to meet my goal, the result tends to be garbage, and I never want to see it again. However, I fully approve of the Office of Letters and Light's encouragement of participants. There are clear winners with NaNoWriMo--a participant has to write 150,000 words during the month of November to claim prizes. However, while there are clear winners, there are no losers. If you participated, go you! Pats on the back all around.
Hence, I joined a site which features a challenge to meet a certain word goal daily over the course of a month. I felt that having such a goal in mind would motivate me to carve out time to write regardless of everything else currently demanding my time.
I ended up very quickly withdrawing my membership from the site when I saw that they have not only a wall of winners but a wall of shame.
Seeing the word "shame" literally made me sick to my stomach.
This is an extremely loaded word. Many people who have a history of abuse in their backgrounds feel ashamed constantly. Shame should never be used as a motivating factor, particularly, I feel, with creative pursuits. Creativity should be healing. It should not be yet another damaging element in a difficult life.
I wrote a letter to the site owners explaining my very strong feelings in regards to this matter. I will share this letter with you here.

Dear Site Owner,
There should be no "failures" with writing or other creative pursuits. Nobody should be "shamed" for not meeting a certain goal. 
I would very strongly encourage you to change the name of the "wall of shame" to something like "Runners Up" or "Other Participants". Change it to something encouraging rather than discouraging, in other words.
During my entire life, I've felt ashamed for not being some sort of Grand Prize Winner Superstar. Most people are not Grand Prize Winner Superstars. We are simply trying to do our best. 
Shame and browbeating, even done in a "humorous" fashion, can be extremely daunting to some people, particularly those with a background of psychological abuse. I learned early on from my family that I seemed to be incapable of doing anything right, and, even at 52 years old, I continue to impart this message to myself.
The word "shame" is so upsetting to me that I cannot possibly participate in a challenge which places me on a "wall of shame" for not completing it, particularly when I am unlikely to be able to. I am working massive numbers of hours a week. Being able to engage in creative pursuits should be a gift, not a punishment.
Of course, those who complete the challenge should be awarded a prize for doing so. But those who do not should not be "shamed" or called failures.
I like to support anything that encourages people to engage in creative pursuits. However, my money is limited, and I cannot support anything which shames those who do not "measure up" to an exacting standard.
I know it's only a word. But some words hurt--a lot.
I will be glad to become a member of the site again if the Wall of Shame becomes a Wall of Participation of some sort. Until then, my money is very limited right now, and, sadly, since I literally cannot participate in something where the cost of "failure" is being "shamed", I must cancel my subscription.
I wish you well.


We all sometimes need a little "kick in the pants" to get ourselves going.
However, that kick should not come from a steel-toed, hobnailed boot, and with creative pursuits, shame and degradation should never be used as motivators.

~The Cheese Hath Grated It~

Thursday, June 1, 2017


Image by Dora Wednesday

If it gives me a charge
To escape this miserable world with its forced marches to an early grave 
And run away to a realm extraterrestrial, extradimensional
To find a small portion of imaginary happiness
I care not if you believe
For I need to retreat to this realm which is often more real than the real to survive


Prompts Used: