super natural

i am back in the dining hall for the first time this semestser. there are some new signs and a salad bar by the deli counter, but it has stayed the same for the most part. brower is the same as i left it, but nothing else is.

there is no massive group, no excited screeching, nobody stabbing apples or carving words into bananas – i am by myself and i have changed since i was last here. and thank goodness.

i see a boy i know, one i had a crush on. i greet sam. he’s nice. i get sushi – i eat fish now – and sit back down, scroll through my phone to decide what tonight will be. sitting in my apartment on my bed, sitting in my friend’s house, or standing at a show. i haven’t made a choice. everything is choices here. will you eat the california roll or just the avocado roll? will you pick the tofu and the cous cous salad? will you come back even though your anxiety tells you no?

the answer is yes. california or avocado – yes. tofu or cous cous – yes. come back – yes. i am the comeback kid. i am the girl who went crazy and came back. i am the girl who crawled out of the world she felt trapped in and built a new one. i am the girl dancing in the front at the show, i am the girl without a roommate, i am the girl with that accent, i am the girl who is the other girl’s friend. i am. and i say yes.

say yes.

love and light,
shalom xo

open hearts club

alternatively titled, where the hell is spring?

friends, i’ve been on a mission as of late to keep my heart open despite all the very obvious reasons i should have closed it off…until i realized what a boring phase of my life i was setting myself up for. now, i’m not saying that you need gut wrenching heartbreak for life to be exciting, but i am saying that closing yourself off to experiences because of fear of said heartbreak will probably leave you bored.

it’s been a weird mix of weather recently, but i am doing fine. i have been doing a lot of things wrong recently – overwhelming myself, slacking on my medication, not appreciating my desk in front of a window – but i’ve been trying to keep my heart open. i think i’ve found that despite how icy out it my be, an open heart is always warm. i think the snow storms are over, my friends.

spring is making a very slow, but very anticipated appearance. the other day it was 7C (which is like…40?F?) and i was thriving in a tshirt dress, petting dogs and going to class, experiencing love in its fullness. i am ready for more days like that.

i am learning how to be the best kind of human, and i don’t know much about it yet. but my heart is open, and heaven knows that if there’s one thing i’m good at, it’s learning.

love and light,
shalom xo

lighten up, buttercup

i started this post without any intentions. i haven’t even properly looked at the lyrics for buttercup, so i know i’m not writing prose for it, but i do think i’ll be writing something about lightening the fuck up.

i’m in quiet, tree filled suburbia for the next week (check maryland off the list of states) and i’m trying to regroup and recoup after the first half of semester that started well and ended quite horrifically. crash and burn horrific, my friends. it was me crashing and burning, and let me tell you that i could do with less scars on my body.

in any case, i’d like to call your attention to the fact that despite the very obvious baby breakdown i am going through, i will 100% be fine on my own. i think because i trust people so easily – and in turn rest in them fully when they say i can, even if they don’t mean it – many people believe that i’m incapable of being fine on my own. that’s funny to me in a totally not funny way. one, why? two…why? if i could and can survive moving across the ocean and living with my brain on a daily basis, why on earth wouldn’t i be fine on my own?

i’ve done much more difficult things than live without a roommate for the last two months of the school year. i’ll be fine, i’m alright, it’s my body. honestly, i don’t deserve the beating i put my brain through because of overthinking. she goes through enough thanks to chemistry, and it’s unfair of me to keep ruminating over things that will never help me in any way. really, it’s about time i lighten the fuck up.

lighten up, buttercup. get a hobby.

love and light,
shalom xo

don’t cry, 2020

my name is shalom and i am in the terrible ten year habit of understanding that doing something will directly impact me negatively, and doing it anyway. simple things, like don’t pick at a pimple, or a scab, or a tattoo. my name is shalom and i have done all of these things in the last 72 hours. good day, pals.

the weather does a weird thing on this side of the world. on saturday night, the campus was covered in snow and we went sledding in garbage bags, and two days later it was shorts weather. global warming is really doing her thing, and it’s a big shame.

the point of this was to tell you all that the abec has started. if you’re new around here, abec stands for annual birthday existential crisis. every year without fail for the last ten years. guys, i’m turning twenty this year and i have no idea what to do with myself. i’m trying to get around to finishing the exercise guide that i bought while very manic and also trying to be comfy in my flesh suit. it’s the only one i’ve got, so i may as well start getting settled if i’m gonna be in it for another twenty years (and hopefully a couple more twenty years after that).

these days when i get dressed in the morning – which isn’t very often. i spent a disgusting amount of time of the day unshowered and in pyjamas, and my pj’s are often just the clothes i wore yesterday (but enough about my gross habits) – i’ve been saying some lyrics to myself. sometimes it’s pinegrove, sometimes it’s walk the moon, but recently it’s been coin:

put on your make up
i laid out your favourite swearter
it’s just a number, darling
dry your eyes

it’s just a number. it’s two decades of open hearts and messy words, and at least one decade of trying to appreciate myself, but it’s just a number.

dry your eyes, friends. tonight is just another day.

love and light,
shalom

wide-eyed and so damn caught in the middle

excuse me for a while, while i’m wide eyed and so damn caught in the middle of ending what was the biggest year of my life so far.

2017 taught me so much. i don’t know where to start except by saying that on new year’s eve last year, i was in the ivory coast, taking awkward photos with my sisters. we were at some event that we didn’t fit in at, but it was okay because (corny as it is) we were together. if you put that shalom in front of december 31st, 2017 shalom, she wouldn’t recognize me. i look different; i cut off all my hair, i sound different and have this weird english / south african accent going on, and i feel different.

apart from the awful respiratory infection i seem to have managed to contract thanks to the new england phenomenon of snow and frozen everything forever, 2018 is the first year i will be starting off as an unbroken person. for once, my brain is in check and my life is something i’d imagined – i am alright. 2016 shalom would not have recognized that, but she sure would be happy to see it.

i am wide-eyed and taking in everything for the first time in a long time. i wrote about this previously, but my eyes are open wide enough and it’s such a change from the usual brain fog i’d become accustomed to. i can’t begin to say how grateful i am for the help i’ve gotten while i’ve been here. i’d like to think my existence is a testament to it.

in any case, this year i: completed the monthly me series for 2017, started the currently series, wrote so much prose for music that i adore, moved countries, started making peace with my body, started to understand what i want to do, went to the beach in winter, saw more live music than i have in all nineteen years of my life, became the manager of a band, got over my ex, threw up more than i have in a while, saw snow, got hit in the face with said snow, taken a road trip and then some.

excuse me for a while. see you in twenty eighteen.

love and light,
shalom xo

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

here’s to your fucking alibi

 

maybe i wish you were mine
maybe i wish you took time
to see just what you’ve done to me

hey, hey, you ever been a spent wreck at 2:19 in the morning? because same. baby, same.

i’ve been listening to alibi by clans for the last couple of days because of how i’ve been feeling. if you’ve been here a while, you’ll know of my self destructive tendencies and how i empty myself into bettering other people after i’ve run dry twice over. i went back to uni after six-ish months off, and nothing’s changed. how foolish of me to think otherwise of myself, yes?

alibi is a good song. the more i listen to it, the more i see every interpersonal relationship i’ve ever been a part of in it. the more i listen to it, the more i want to laugh hysterically and also climb out of my skin. the more i listen to it, the more i want to ask every single person in my life: where’s your fucking alibi?

she’s gonna tell you exactly what you wanna hear
she doesn’t mean it but she needs someone
who will dry up all her tears

i got food poisoning today! yesterday. whatever. i got me a dose of that good ol’ food poisoning and ended up skipping a really important class this morning. i thought i was feeling better, but i have this sinking feeling that i’m not as better as i had hoped. maybe it’s the food poisoning, maybe it’s the tightness in my chest that makes me want to fling myself into the outer reaches of the universe — either way, i still feel like i’m about to throw up.

i’m good at being good for something. which sounds…fine. until nobody needs that something anymore. it’s a shame, really, and i’d give almost anything to get out of this mindset. as for now, i’m doing the same things that 2014 and 15 and 16 shalom begged me to stop: being because someone else needs.

and though i know just what you’re doing
i’ll still pretend you’re right
and even though i see straight through it
i’ll still put my heart on the line

you know what’s the worst about this? it’s that the more i try to fix this for myself, the more invested i become in learning how to be a person for myself, the more collateral damage i cause within my already fragmented thought process. it’s a lot like a frank conversation i’m having with several versions of the same self. “there’s nothing wrong with mothering, shalom.” there is something wrong with it being your be all and end all. “i do this because i like to, and i happen to get validation from it so i like that too. it’s fine.” shalom, you’re running yourself into the ground because you’re feeding people by starving yourself. who feeds you? 

well, shalom,  i don’t know.

i see through it. i see through myself, and through those taking advantage of my nature, and those who can’t stand it. and still, my heart is everyone’s starting line – a good trampling is a reminder that you’re still alive unless it’s all you feel. is this getting a bit melodramatic? maybe. but also, i feel so so shit, so. yes.

she’s gonna make you feel like you’re the only one
when she’s done with all her fun
she’ll tell you it’s all in your head

people aren’t disposable, and yet, here i am. boy, do i wish i could get my head out of my ass. it’s a direct result of my being the way i am and also my existence in a world that doesn’t cater to it. it is all in my head. i only think people are finished with me because i convince myself that they need me more than they do, because that’s where i find worth. problematic? yep. fixable? ah. well.

at the end of the day, my interpersonal relationships are lopsided because of how i view myself and my worth. i know it. there’s no blame on the people who meet me and are simultaneously met with an outpouring of love that shocks them three ways to sunday. and yet…i still want to ask every person that’s seen me destroy myself time and again, and then allowed me to ruin myself for them once (twice, ten times) more: where’s your fucking alibi? where were you at the time of my overzealous self-sacrifice? what were you doing? why?

the thing is that it doesn’t matter. it’s on me. let me make it clear that i know this, alright? it doesn’t make it less shit. so, regardless of the when and where, those reports will do nothing until i find a way to stop doing this. @ everyone who does provide them, well.

here’s to your fucking alibi.

love and light,
shalom xo

diane young

 

hello friends. i started class again this week, which was great. i also had a very fun series of anxiety attacks and stress vomiting episodes, which was less fun. it’s a friday afternoon, and i’m feeling shit – per usual – and now i’m going to take apart a song that tears 2013 shalom out and makes me feel less shit.

pals, today we’re diane young.

i’ve been trying to keep my brain in a healthy space mostly out of necessity, since i got here. i don’t have immediate access to a psychiatrist who gets me, and i don’t have a doctor sister who i can text to come pick me up when i feel some of that good ol’ l’appel du vide. the last week has been an example of spectacular failing not for a lack of trying. i got caught in a stadium separated from the only person i knew and her friend, so ended up sat next to a stranger (a nice man at least) crying for 40 minutes through an anxiety attack. was i ready to be done? you bet buddy. you fuckin’ bet.

dy1dy2

live my life in self-defense, you know i love the past because i hate suspense

diane young is a funny little song. apart from the obvious play on “dying young”, the concept is lost on little to no one. a good time, not a long time; live fast, die young – the ever blessed yolo – as a generation (though i think a sense of this has existed forever) we’re mostly ready to be done with the living of it all.

there’s not much to look forward to if you’re between the ages of 18 and 30 these days. pardon me, alright – let my excessive optimism or mental health rambles take a break. the obvious aside, we’ve inherited a mess. all we do is live in suspense. will you be able to eat tomorrow? how close are you to not paying your rent this month? if you had a dollar for every dollar you owed in student loans, you know you’d still be broke? i guess the reason everyone hates millennials is because millennials hate everything because we’ve been dealt one of the worst cards.

my biggest kink is financial stability. student loans paid off? kinky.

dylaurabeckman.com

maybe the kennedy curse has a clause written for millennials, only discoverable at the ripe age of “well, shit. responsibility.” maybe all we are doing is waiting about for the grinding we’re doing to turn impossibly turn into something that isn’t exhausted piles of dust. maybe i need to get out of this mindset? maybe? yes.

where there is no hope in the future, there is no power in the present.

we’re all out of control, all playing a role. while modern vampires of the city is an album all about death, we’re still here. even if it’s somewhat flakey, somewhat torturous. whether we’re torching cars or dancing in the street or running from the government. we keep doing it. i suppose dying young can’t change our minds, so baby, we’re right on time.

love and light
shalom xo

// h e a r t o u t //

it’s just (3,752 of) you and i tonight; why don’t you figure my heart out?

physical heart: anatomically correct (i’d hope). doing fine, bit stressed out by the amount of pizza i’ve eaten in the last three weeks and the fact that i don’t do enough cardio at all.

metaphorical brain heart: fervently passionate about the renewal of vows that i’ve had with the 1975 – we are an even happier couple now and i can’t go a day without them, it appears. also wants to write about heart out.

i like heart out for more reasons than i thought i would. in my re-listen of their first album, i wtried to figure out why i like the 1975 at all. i tried to find my favourite songs off the album, i tried to see if i liked the song more if i liked the video, and i watched so many sets of live shows to see whether i still liked the song when it’s performed live.

i like heart out for all of these reasons and obviously because i’m a gratuitous oversharer, i’m going to put more of my heart out here. if that’s even possible. if you ever need to piece me back together, i share my innermost secrets and emotions with thousands of strangers on the internet – you’ll find me there. i’m a very private person, see. can’t just be telling people you know these things.

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well, first: i love heart out now, more than i did in 2012. maybe it’s because i’ve learned how to properly listen through matty’s manchester accent, or because i really enjoy the way the video was directed and understand it  now (thanks drama directing prac). i guess because i’m older there are people who i can sing this song to and have almost every word relate to them. i’m not 14 anymore, and there are people that i  found when we were both younger much younger; people that i liked no matter what i found out about them. and now…now i sit with them after three or five or ten years of knowing them, trying to know them. still.

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the second verse always makes me laugh – it’s so very high school. it’s girls twirling their hair far too much until it tangles while talking to boys, and seeing three people in your year actively trying to mirror a girl in the year above, and that small circle of rich kids with drug problems and too much money. a reflection on their mental health? certainly.

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while i’ve (thankfully) never been addicted to cocaine and heroin, or sex, i wonder what my rocks and brown would be. what’s something i was, or am, obsessed with that most adequately reflected my mental health? perhaps how addictive my personality is to begin with and that moderation isn’t a word i can get my brain and body to understand. maybe how much i liked skins when i was 13. (that was stupid. who lets a 13 year old  with a new depression diagnosis watch skins? the internet. that’s who.) maybe my knack for self destruction by bringing other people up and quashing my need for self care? i guess i’m figuring my heart out, and figuring out what my heroin is. it makes for interesting self to self conversation.

i’ve always been good at one thing though, and that’s a lotttttta feelings. yes ma’am, that’s me, center of the feelingsverse, feels HQ – “haver of every and any feeling” is my official title. how very cancerian of me. if you’ve been around here a while, or even if this is the first post you’ve finished, i’m almost certain you can tell. i still do live in my head a massive amount. i guess…i am the adolescent on the phone; speaking like i’m bigger than my body.

heartout1heartout2

my birthday is on tuesday and i’m trying not to be scared about it but all the trying is tiring. but i don’t want to be afraid. my impulse control is non existent. i really want to take my meds every day this week but a morning dose is hard if i only muster the strength to get out of bed after noon. my room is mostly clothes and i’m tired of going shopping for my move. i hate seeing attractive boys with kind eyes because i do stupid things like repeat myself to my friends 100 times. i’m still scared that everyone who’s ever said they like me don’t, and that i’m not actually a likeable person. i think that maybe my idea that i’m good is wrong, because am i? could i really be? i have worse posture than people think – i just stand up really straight in public because it’s part of the things that i do in public. i’m so bad with money.

there it is.

/ / H E A R T   O U T / /

love and light,
shalom xo

some thoughts about writing

y’all, i don’t KNOW what is going on in my life.

right. since the last time we’ve spoken, i’ve spent most of my life in bed breaking almost every record there is for the number of depression naps TM taken before noon. i’ve also maybe been to the gym twice, and have written nothing (until today. today i wrote something and also this! so. yes. carrying on –) despite my alarm that goes off every day at 5pm asking me in all caps and too many exclamation points: “HAVE YOU WRITTEN TODAY??!?!!!” the answer as of late is almost always no.

i don’t know if what i do here means anything on the grand scale that i hope my life will be. i don’t know if i’ll ever believe that my writing is good enough for me to finally stop thinking that i’m stealing everyone else’s work and that i don’t have an original bone in my body. i don’t know if i’ll ever not feel like there’s a big blazing LIAR sign above my head every time i tell someone that i’m a writer. i’m a writer? i…ah, man.

“You can’t tell anybody that you want to be a writer, or you’re trying to be a writer. If you’re writing every day, then you’re a writer. You may not be a working writer, but you are a writer. And if you’re not writing every day, and you tell me that writing is your passion and is who you are and who you want to be, you have to examine why you’re not writing every day… maybe you just like the idea.”

– Shonda Rhimes; powerhouse, writer of Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy, icon

i try to write every day because i feel like i need to write every day. some days are hard, and i’m working on that, but i want to write every day. whether working or not, i want to know that this thing – this idea that i’ve assumed to be almost all my power since i was 11 – is real, regardless of how very real the impostor syndrome is too.

i’m a writer and i’ve always considered that i am other things but the core of me is really as simple as the first line of my instagram bio. i am of mess, of words, of love, and of christ. an infinite, overflowing, overfeeling mess first, but my words…man, do i love (haha) them. i love the strength they give me and that they can clean my mess while adding to it. i love that i don’t have to think too much about how i want to say something because i know words are my preferred medium. i love how difficult it can be to find the right ones even though they’re everywhere. i love words and my words and the ones that aren’t mine.

is this making sense at the moment? i’m not sure if i’ve really cared about things making sense on here since 2014.

well, here we are. it is nearing the end of june, and the only consistent thing i have in my life are my monthly me posts. so, expect one of those shortly. i need to write the rest of my atlas series. i was really loving it and — you know what? writing every day allows you to keep the momentum from a day where you wrote something good, regardless of how long ago it was. i think that’s why i enjoyed writing the first half of that series; because after every post i would start the next one and know that i could write because i had written.

i want to write every day again. i’m a kind-of writer. i’m an aspiring writer. i’m a depressed, terrified, sleep deprived writer, but i am a writer. today, that will suffice.

love and light,
shalom xo


featured image from death to stock