velocity

my name’s shalom and i have bipolar disorder, amongst other things. friends, i am manic and i wanna write about it. it’s 11:05 pm and i can’t get my fingers to move fast enough because my brain is going far too fast, but we’re here, and now i’m gonna talk about it.

mania is a little weird, to say the least. everything is amplified and i can’t open my eyes wide enough. i get weird bursts of energy that translate to “hey, you need to spend money right now.” mostly in the form of buying stupid things like hangers, or too much tide detergent, or stickers.

according to science and medicine, my mania is hypomania. i never get to the point that i do potentially life threatening things because i’m manic, and i’m really grateful for that. i do, however, have energy levels that exhaust me. man, am i tired. my brain is a never ending “wowowowowowowow” and my body is trying to keep up with it but it really can’t.

in girl interrupted, susanna kaysen expresses it really well. she describes the two poles of mental illness as viscosity and velocity. viscosity is slow, thick, and dull. velocity is a hundred kilometers a minute. did you know that the earth moves at 1000 miles an hour to complete its rotation? i feel as though every part of my body is trying to keep up; like if i don’t move that fast i won’t rotate and make it to the next day. i know my logic is flawed, friends. overperception is one of the things that i’m very good at, manic or no. here we are. welcome to the brain.

it’s midterm season and i am spinning. i’m spinning past logic and past what i’ve worked so hard to fix, past dysphoria that i can only fix when i have long braids in, and past what i thought i knew i did when i am manic. i’ve spoken about how i feel like i’m in a plane but nobody’s flying the plane – how i dissociate and what the depersonalisation and derealisation feels like. i’m dealing.

i miss my home, and i miss my habits. i miss the island in my kitchen and the couches in the upstairs lounge. i miss crawling into the corner of my bedroom when i needed to turn things down to zero, but i’m dealing. my doctor sister told me to find support structures when i got here, and i think i have. you’d be proud, sharon.

ya girl manic, but she’s tryin’. always trying. i wonder what it’s like to be the universe, experiencing itself ironically?

love and light,
shalom xo

TV Break | Blogmas Day 14

To be quite honest, I don’t know what it is. I’m not sure in the slightest why I find myself watching Nigella Lawson after midnight. I don’t know why she tells people to whisk ferociously or calls mayo “gorgeously voluminous” or olive oil “rounded”. I have no clue what any of this means. I don’t know why she wants to excommunicate people over green peppers. I have no clue why she calls leeks “slave workers”.

What I do know is that I haven’t yet been back to the doctor to get my meds for December, so I haven’t managed to get much sleep or be in the best mental state. Also that the Food Network is the only quality thing on TV.

Why does she keep peppering in bad jokes and Italian words? (Possibly because the show is called Nigellissima. Idk.) What is the difference between Extra Virgin Olive Oil and regular olive oil? Why do “the purists hate garlic oil”? Maybe it’s a cooking thing, but either way, I don’t get it.

I also don’t know why I turned to the TV for a Christmas recipe that I will never make as opposed to the internet. Why is Nigella making an hour’s cake in a 40 minute episode? WHY DID SHE JUST CALL THE CHICKEN A BIRDISH BIRD AND WHY DID SHE JUST SAY I WILL HACK THIS TO PIECES? My poor vegetarian heart.

I have found no recipes I can make, but I have sat through a terrible, terrible lot of shows on MTV. Geordie Shore, Ex On The Beach and Are You The One – I’m looking at you.

I JUST SAW AN ADVERT FOR THE DOCTOR WHO CHRISTMAS SPECIAL OH MY DJAKLDKFJSBHDFJGBSJFBG. Engie LOOK. So that’s why people still watch telly.

How do TV Chefs have net worths of £32 million? I suppose it’s a job like any other job, and people work just as hard to become five star chefs as they do to become Doctors? Perhaps that’s an insult – to the doctors or the Chefs? Ooh, Eastenders is coming back!

I have only been awake for 14 hours today, so getting to sleep now won’t be easy. But I do have an interview, and as they say in the land of capitalism, cash is king.

To better days, and better TV!

Love and light,
shalom x

Never Let [Ophelia] Go

So. Hamlet.

“There, on the pendent boughs her coronet weeds
Clambering to hang, an envious sliver broke;
When down her weedy trophies and herself
Fell in the weeping brook. Her clothes spread wide,
And, mermaid-like, awhile they bore her up;
Which time she chanted snatches of old tunes,
As one incapable of her own distress,
Or like a creature native and indued
Unto that element; but long it could not be
Till that her garments, heavy with their drink,
Pull’d the poor wretch from her melodious lay
To muddy death.”

Well, isn’t that cheery? Ophelia, singing to her death, oblivious to the danger of drowning.

I’m the proud owner of two CDs: Brett Newski and The Corruption’s Tiny Victories and Florence and the Machine’s Ceremonials. Tonight, I have masses of homework and prep to do for my exams. Tonight, I have been organising my room (shock horror) and crying (expected) and listening to Never Let Me Go on repeat for the last 2 hours.

In any case, the song usually sends me back into the waves of grade eight and ten and eleven, and I wonder how I managed to get to the point where there are people I’ve known for ten years. How did that happen? Reflections still look the same to me as before I went under. How did everything just move so quickly, and how did I manage to see it all and do nothing about it?

The crashes are heaven for a sinner like me. Perhaps I’m condemned to relive moments past, or maybe I’ll just become a part of the scenery and never leave. Maybe I won’t find out. Maybe she will. In any case:

The arms of the ocean are carrying me.

Love and light,
Shalom


How Big How Blue How Beautiful is out today! You can download it here.

On St. Jude

<<please note that the teenager that wrote this is not very sure what’s been happening in her head, and she just wanted to share this with some people. she’s having a nasty existential crisis. n-a-s-t-y.>>

the patron saint of the lost causes

Aloha amigos! I’ve been missing for a while, in and out of rooms I shouldn’t have been in, discovered a hatred for eating yoghurt at school, I’ve been crying a lot and crawling through the last two weeks of the first quarter of matric (IT’S ALMOST OVER) – I’ve been being extremely regular and there is no problem with that.

(pah. that was a lie. i have been very not regular.)

In any case, several things have happened since I last posted something.I don’t even know what that was. What I’m saying is that I have something new to say.

I’ve felt very lost recently. It could be because I’ve been reading too much Sartre and not moving enough, but it could also be because I really am lost. South African universities opened applications for 2016 weeks ago, and I’m yet to take action. I’m too scared. Yes, I know I’m a wimp, that’s why I admitted it, but what I’, saying is that I’ve been crawling and crying and breaking things because I feel like a lost cause.

This brings me to beautiful things that assist on not so beautiful days. Florence and the Machine recently released two of the videos and singles from the upcoming album, How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful (available for pre order here). What Kind of Man is brilliant, but at this time, I’d like to bring your attention to another song: St Jude.

Some of these lyrics have hit me quite hard. I was crying again a couple of minutes ago.

And I’m learning, so I’m leaving
And even though I’m grieving
I’m trying to find the meaning
Letting loss reveal it
Letting loss reveal it

“Yes, but WHAT are you getting so emotional about?”

St. Jude, the patron saint of the lost causes
St. Jude, we were lost before she started
St. Jude, we lay in bed as she whipped around us
St. Jude, maybe I’ve always been more comfortable in chaos

St. Jude is the Patron Saint of Hope and impossible causes. I feel like I am the conversation without a destination, I am another lost battle, I am both sides that are losing, and that’s why nobody cares who fired the gun. I am…what am I?

A lost, impossible cause. I don’t know what it is that I’m grieving for, but I feel as if I’m in mourning, and perhaps, as Lady Welch says, loss will reveal meaning.

And there’s this big storm that surrounds us and we’re in the middle of it
It’s calm but I can feel it, like it’s everywhere.

love and light,
?

On Being a Mediocre (but not really) High School Student & Person

<<prompted by Jessica Craven’s post here>>

I used to be clever.

Screw clever: I was brilliant. I started talking at 3 months of age, and I could read when I was two. I was sent to several educational psychologists because at the age of five, I was ready for grade two. I had an impeccable memory, I didn’t forget anything. When I was eight, my teachers would give me extra books to read and then would send me to the other teachers for more, because I would finish 30 page books in 10 minutes.

My point? “WAS”.

I think that people don’t realise how difficult it is to feel like you’ve gotten less intelligent. Granted, it’s believed that losing intelligence can’t actually happen, but it’s easy to feel that way. Using myself as an example for the tonnes of other students like me, let’s carefully look at where thing went wrong:

Everything was fine, kind of, until grade six: I was quiet, got into competitions, beat myself up when I wasn’t first, absolutely adored my title of “Smartest Girl In The School” and was constantly looking for ways to be better than my main competition: a boy named Slade. Granted, my unusual sadness scared me a little from grade five, but it was okay – I was still clever.

Grade seven came, and I started to feel the effects of depression. I felt lethargy at its worst, and felt the most lonely I ever had, up until then. I got my first detention. I tried to cut my hair (DIDN’T WORK). I tried to accept that I wasn’t pretty so there was no need for me to talk to anyone. Then I tried to talk to everyone. I tried to be friends with the pretty girls (DIDN’T WORK) and I tried to be friends with everyone (DIDN’T WORK). I tried so hard to be popular and became the confidant of many, the carer of most, but the friend of none. NOT. ONE.

My grades started slipping. I remember a meeting with my head of year, because I wasn’t in the top ten in the grade. I was 13th. From 2nd to 13th after 3 months of hardly eating, trying to become less less less, utter loneliness and extreme confusion. I was told my slacking was unacceptable and that it didn’t look good. I was externally apathetic, but internally sobbing- I just wanted to be enough. I was sad because I wasn’t as special anymore.I was just at school, not even mattering. But I was still smart enough to laugh it off,I was still brilliant.

Most people have the people that they leave primary school and go to high school with, or the friends they’ve had since they were tiny. I never had that. I never had anyone who was my friend; I just knew everybody because I talked a lot.

High school came about and I tried to create a new name for myself – Shalom became Scoot – and went to a completely different school than my brother and sister. I tried desperately to re-invent myself.  I coasted through grade eight and nine and was a B student, shocking all of my primary school teachers. I studied for subjects I enjoyed. I laughed at the ones I didn’t. I was still put into the ‘smart classes’. But then, I noticed something: I wasn’t as smart as they were. 

I started thinking, “what if I studied? Would I be as smart as Nina? Or Jessica or Sarah or Tamsyn or Slade, all who managed to stay smart?”

I found myself in trouble: I had never studied before. I felt no need. All of these people had spent their time working hard, and I hadn’t. I had been great, or at least alright, without the work they had to do.

Then, grade ten. Read: the first year I failed a subject (kinda).

I got really bad at maths despite my new attempts to work hard. People laughed at me and my efforts because I got moved into a weak  maths class. I studied ridiculously hard and only just managed Ds when I would get a B+ without any effort just a year prior. The people I sat with? All super intelligent. All taking AP classes, while I barely managed to stay in school. All swimming, while I choked – despite my flippers and floaties.

I’m in grade twelve now, and I’m still sad that feel that I’m not as brilliant as I used to be. Simply because I used to think that I could move mountains with my mind, because I was told so. I was told I would change the world because I would have the potential to do so. And all of a sudden, my mind switched off. I don’t know how or why, but I wasn’t smart anymore, and people tried to make it better by assuring me that I was smart, just not at school. That didn’t help at all, because I SHOULD be smart at school – I used to be.

I should still have the potential for brilliance.

This year, I’m trying to do well at school, because it does matter to me. I’m trying to get better at eating, because I value my health. I’m trying to have a positive outlook because I want to manage my depression better. I actually care, people! So many people think that I just waltz around, looking into people’s faces, giving sound advice, saying “wow! Cool! Lovely, wow!”  and pass through.

Learn this: I AM NOT JUST THAT.

Last week, a foolish boy called me a shallow character. I stopped, and looked him dead in the eye and said,

“I am not a character. I am not shallow. I am a hurricane with more brilliance inside of me than you will ever dare to find, and I am stronger than you will ever know.”

Dramatic? Yes, God yes. But true. I felt so powerful, and so plainly honest, that it couldn’t have been anything but the truth.

I tell people this:

Another person’s beauty is not the absence of your own.

I’ve decided that it applies to brilliance too.

I’m still brilliant, and that’s all I’ve been trying to get across. I refuse to treat myself as less, and I refuse to be treated as less.

apologies: this may have been a load of utter, utter crap.

love and light
s

there are so many things a new year can possibly bring.

that being said, a new minute can also bring hope; a new day inspiration, a new week depression. new years are supposed to bring joy, prosperity, and excitedness.

friends, i am excited.

there is so much of this world, so much in it, too. this year, i’ll be throwing so much out into the world. at least 40 pages of applications to universities (11 so far) will go out across the world – to the uk, the usa, and south africa. everything that you write your name on is a piece of you, you know.

i’m going to be in my final year of high school. well, i am. i am in my final year and i’m going to have to work harder than i ever have before. i’m going to do a lot of head shaking and nay saying. i’m going to have to look out for myself.

on that note, without further ado:

shalom’s points for 2015, vol. one

+ drink more water. just do it.
+ laugh genuinely.
+ work for yourself.
+ remember that the world is still yours.

+ slow down.
+meditate.
+run. just run and when you’re tired, come home. but run if you need to run.
+ be self sufficient.
+ save R1000. without any help.
+keep lib balm on call.
+light candles whenever.
+remember to put on lotion!
+take care of your hair.
+do your  maths homework.
+ask for help.
+ take your medication when you need to.
+talk to people before you get bad again.
+talk to people because they’re lovely.
+  do your part to make your dreams reality.
+remain hopeful.
+wear more arm candy.
+stop apologising for your existence and preferences.
+be lovely and kind.
+

thank you for a beautiful blogging year of 2014. i can’t wait to see what this year brings, and i’m sending lots of nice things your way. *super brain transfer*

So speak of all the love we lost, and what it cost us,
Left us beg our breath to stop but we kept on and
We were strong. We stayed bright as lightning,
we sang loud as thunder, we moved ever forward.
We are not our failures. We are love.

The Castle Builders, La Dispute

love and light,
shalom

An Open Letter To You All

Dear friends,

Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. Granted, most of it is hungry 2AM thinking that shouldn’t count, but it’s thinking, so it does. I’m on vacation (what’s the difference between holiday and vacation?)! I have 36 (including weekends) days left, and after a really long time of doing nothing, (read: browsing the internet and lying on the ground) I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t like having nothing to do.

But Shalom, you say, you DO have things to do! What about that YouTube channel of yours that you so excitedly started over here? Ah, well, here’s the first part of this letter:

PART ONE: BEING A YOUTUBER IS HARD WHEN YOU DON’T OWN A CAMERA

I feel like the title is self explanatory. I shall be uploading and apologising again tomorrow, and I’m sorry if anyone was (is?) actually waiting in anticipation to see it. I hope it’s satisfactory. This is not how I wanted this blog post to go so I’m stopping part one.

PART TWO: WE NEED TO LIVE MORE

Partof my nothingness time hasbeen spent on Ella Grace Denton’s blog, We Need To Live MoreNote: I feel really strange about calling her Ella in this post, but I’m going to do it anyway. Cringe. Ella is twenty years old and extremely insightful and fantastic. I feel like a school teacher writing comments on a frightened child’s report card. Cringe again. Cringes aside, I’ve spent a lot of time on WNTLM and I’ve come to the agree with her. We really do need to live more. Yes, another teenage girl is being a cliche and writing about happiness and experiences and such. Come to think of it, it’s really difficult to NOT be a cliche. You do what you’re expected to? Cliche. You do something overdone? Cliche. You do something completely different? Oh, look! Other people want to try it out because it seems positive! You’re a cliche.

Less about cliches and more about Ella, she gives all sorts of tips and advice and recipes and all in all, cool things to possibly make your life more awesome if you try them. I advise you all to give it a look, and do something different today or tomorrow (today, because tomorrow never comes). Thus ends part two!

Kidding. You can follow Ella on twitter and instagramNow it’s done.

PART THREE: I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO CALL THIS PART

You’re a cool person. And life can be so crap and awful and I’m so sorry because it’s really important to note that regardless of anything you have EVER done, you never deserve to feel like you are unimportant, unloved, or unworthy. Mistakes get made, and some people never get that. But you know what? At the end – or whatever time suits you- of the day, you’ve got to tell the haters to back the hell off. Why? Because you’re fricken’ magical and anybody who tries to hurt you sucks. They suck more than I suck at combing my hair. THAT’S A LOT OF SUCK.

I think that so many people forget how much life there is in them when the life around them gets shitty. That’s not very beautifully phrased, but I can’t think of a better way to say it at 11:42 PM. Look, what I meant to say through this letter is that you should believe in your magic. God damn, I believe in your magic. I believe in my magic. This is rare, because for me, believing in myself is a hard thing. I have 35-ish days before I head into my final year of high school, and I’m going to try my darndest to believe in and act on my magic. The magic is real, people. The magic is your dream of going to the sea by yourself, your first mirror selfie, the second CD that you bought and the feeling that you get when you scream. That’s magic.

Believe in yourself and have a time while there is time.

With Magic,

Scoot X

Scoot on ~ this jealousy, man.

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about why I feel the way I do, and how ridiculous some of the reasons are.Today, a friend of mine finally asked out a girl. They were both really happy, and everyone who was nearby was also really happy, and I was really happy for them both, and I stayed behind with her so she could fawn over teenage girl things with me, and it was lovely. I was really glad to know that she was glad.

Problem? No problem!

Except this conclusion that I’ve come to: I’m jealous of everything.

You have a cat? I’m jealous.

You get a good math grade? I’m jealous.

You find a good study system? Still jealous.

You in love with a boy? Very jealous.

It is said that jealousy is the human condition, and more so that of the teenager.

“If you swim effortlessly in the deep oceans, ride the waves to and from the shore, if you can breathe under water and dine on the deep treasures of the seas; mark my words, those who dwell on the rocks carrying nets will try to reel you into their catch. The last thing they want is for you to thrive in your habitat because they stand in their atmosphere where they beg and gasp for some air.”

Am I trying to sabotage everyone with a cute cat and a brilliant math grade? No. Am I trying to kill/injure/ruin/negatively influence the boy you’re in love with? No. I suppose it’s more of a longing than jealousy, because heaven knows I’M LONGING FOR A GOOD STUDY SYSTEM.

I don’t know, I’m trying to stay felony free and not do anything illegal because of longing. Am I Miss-Steal-Your-Boy? Maybe. (NO I’M NOT)

Remain sane,

-Scoot xx


ALMOST A YEAR. HELP.

July 20th 2014

Please put up with this and I’m sorry if it disappoints you.


 

Listening to: Little Black Submarines by The Black Keys

What has been happening in my life? Well, quite frankly, I don’t know if that’s any of your business, but I want to tell you anyway. I don’t know if you want to know, but again, I want to tell you. Most probably because I don’t know who you are, and I think that is where my comfort lies.

Listening to: Home by Edward Sharpe And The Magnetic Zeros

I’m starting at my new school tomorrow. Well, my new old new school. To summarise, I was there in eighth grade and left after that year, then moved to Northcliff and stayed there from ninth through to tonight, I guess. Now, the second half of my junior year and my senior year will be spent in the same place I started high school. I guess I’ll have come full circle, going around in a cycle. I’m really quite scared, though.

Listening to: Awake My Soul by Mumford and Sons

I have quite bad anxiety, though That was phrased quite badly. I think before I do some explaining, I should let you know that I’m just writing because I don’t want to get bad again, because that really screws things up. I’m going to swear now. Close your eyes if you’re sensitive. Fuck. Okay, you can open them now.

“In these bodies we will live, and in these bodies we will die, and where you invest your love is where you invest your life.”

Listening to: Thistle & Weeds by Mumford and Sons

Basically, No, no, let me assure you that this is not basic, and not much is, and I really think that that word is used far too loosely. I have spent a lot of time crying because I forget how to talk to people and nobody expects me to forget because I am always talking to people. It’s not a self pity cry, though. It’s really a desperate cry because when I forget to do things that I shouldn’t forget, I also forget how to breathe and how to calm down, and how to reach for my calming tabletty things. I usually climb onto my bed and shove myself into the corner of wall and wall, and hold my knees to my chest and cry. When someone knocks, or barges into my room, I never let them see me.

Listening to: I Gave You All by Mumford and Sons

I don’t think anyone knows how bad I can get, but I also don’t know if it’s their business. I’ve been telling everybody lately that everything will be okay and I don’t know if I believe what I’m saying. I’m trying to, very hard. But it’s so difficult, and I don’t know if it should be and I don’t know what should be or if I’m giving myself more credit than I’m worth or if I just need a nap and then everything will be fine and I won’t think like this anymore.

“If only I had an enemy bigger than my apathy, I could have won.”

Listening to: Roll Away Your Stone by Mumford and Sons

I think that maybe if I keep saying it, I will believe it one day. I used to think that I would never believe anything ever again. That was when I was quite bad, but not at my worst. My worst was bad, and it’s not pleasant to remember or forget. Does that make sense?

Listening to: Winter Winds by Mumford and Sons

“Let the memories be good for those who stay.”

I couldn’t wish anything more for all the beautiful people who I have left behind over the years,and I hope at least that some memories involving me were good, and that they are okay, and that the person remembering cherishes them enough to want to relive them, but at the same time, not relive them without me. That sounded very selfish in my head.

Listening to: Roll Away Your Stone by Mumford and Sons

I almost cried, because I just wrote some of the best writing I think I’ve ever done, and then my internet refreshed and only left a tiny piece of my work. Damn you new WordPress editor. I feel like my heart has been ripped from my chest and not even looking at the ceiling is helping. I can’t even remember what I wrote to rewrite it, because now it feels like lies. I’m going to swear again. Look away and cover your imaginary/real life kid’s eyes. FUCK. Okay, all’s good now.

Listening to: Lost Kid by The Apache Relay

It was something to do about being okay, and the existence of love. I’ll write about it again on another day.

Listening to: Cornerstone by The Apache Relay

Listening to: Head Full Of Doubt/Road Full of Promise by The Apache Relay

I WILL BE OKAY AND I WILL GO TO MY NEW SCHOOL AND BE OKAY AND YOU WILL BE OKAY AND YOU ARE LOVED AND THERE IS NEVER A MOMENT IN THE ENTIRE OF THE INFINITY OF TIME WHERE YOU ARE ALONE BECAUSE YOU ARE A HUMAN BEING AND YOU ARE STRONG AND MORE POWERFUL THAN YOU CAN EVER IMAGINE.

We’ll all be okay.

This I believe.

Listening to: Could It Be Another Change by The Samples

-Scoot xxx

Birthday.

FIRST AND FOREMOST, I’VE BEEN OFFICIALLY VEGETARIAN FOR A YEAR TODAY!

I’ve always secretly had difficulty with birthdays. The major start was when I turned ten and I was in fifth grade, and the whole double digits thing terrified the crap out of me, and I would cry every night about how scared I was that another day was gone and in my entire decade of existence, I’d done nothing worthwhile.

I told everyone how excited I was, and my parents even let me have a party. And from the outside looking in, all was good.

For me, birthdays kind of signify the end. They make me realise how truly insignificant I am. It’s like a, “sixteen years and you’ve still done nothing?” kind of air. Also, I get really scared about time. Another day gone. Another day that I’ll never get to do over. Another day that’s totally gone unless I remember it. Ha, no pressure, right? Another day comes, and suddenly I’m dying faster than I was yesterday and I’m the youngest that I’ll ever be. It’s not the aging, it’s just the time, and the lack of control over it, I guess.

What else? The Facebook messages. I sometimes call myself the queen of Facebook because of how often I’m seen on there and how I take up most of everybody’s newsfeed, but the birthday posts kind of overwhelm me. Suddenly, all 780 – no, 781 people know I exist,and even remembered my birthday, or at least cared enough to look up into the corner of their screens to be reminded.

I’ve been suffering a major existential crisis lately, and I hope it dissolves once the birthday hush-hush comes down.

It’s July fourth. 16 years ago at 1;31AM in Prince George’s County in the East Coast state of Maryland, USA, I joined this massive dysfunctional, surviving population. My birthday last year was fun. I went out with three of my guy friends, and it was one of their birthdays too, so the attention really wasn’t on me. We watched Man Of Steel and laughed at shop windows until it was almost midnight. It was like being a proper teenager for once. Fun.

Happy birthday, Jordan Pascoe, and happy Independence Day to all the Americans reading! Happy Lesotho family day to anyone observing, happy Friday to every human being, happy unbirthday to you if your birthday isn’t today, and congratulations on living this far – I didn’t even think I would.

Fifteen was difficult. Perhaps sixteen would be better, perhaps worse. I’ll keep you updated, I promise.