Month: November 2015

Memory Salad

DSC_0342The simple, unconditional Love that pets have for us.  This dog was so amazing, he kept bringing the water bottle back to me and it really made me feel cared for

 

the following writing is an attempt at ‘stream of consciousness’ writing in which the writer simply tries to let thoughts flow.  nothing x-rated, but it is hard to make things like this available to the public, very hard to admit that my brain isn’t normal, isn’t anywhere near normal and that my life can be a real challenge.

So many images floating through my mind.  So many past events, past mistakes.  I replay them all over and over.  They sneak into every thought, every word, every breath.  I pick up a comic book for that simple escape I used to enjoy so much and it seems each word is there just to taunt me.  An image of a cup of coffee.  Here it comes, I was just 16 and I worked at an all-night coffee shop.  One time a paramedic came in for a cup of coffee and he looked like he had been through the wringer.  I asked him how was business…  What a terrible thing to say, how can I be so horrible?  I walk with my head held low, so much shame.  There was a young woman when I was younger.  She was kind to me.  She was in some of my high school classes, we worked together on Shakespeare and even had after school jobs in the same places.  She would smile and I knew no joy in my life.  Every time she saw me she would smile.  What is she smiling at?  What is so funny?  Why do people smile?  The dialogue in my head never stopped.  Such depression, such severe depression.  I hated myself but just for my mom I wouldn’t kill myself.  I remember one of my first dates.  She was so beautiful, we had what I thought was the perfect night and at the end of it she kissed me like I had never been kissed before.  But for some reason she never wanted a second date.  I knew her brother and her neighbor and her friends and all of them got together in the darkest summer of my life to pull a prank on me that would make me hate myself even more.  I felt so unloved, so unlovable.  Everyone but my mom, who cared so much.   Cared so much but now she’s gone.  Six years now and still I think for brief moments that I could just pick up the phone and call her.  Then there was the other one, the girl I was in classes with.  I wonder if she liked me.  I liked her, she was beautiful, beautiful beyond description, million dollar model beautiful and she was always nice to me.  I barely knew her but a couple of times we talked–really talked, and she was kind and seemed to care and seemed to want to help me get help.  But I ran as far from any joy or peace I could run, all the way to the coast and still she was inside my head, my voices, my thoughts, replaying over and over all the things I ever said to her.  I made her into some kind of statue, some fake goddess that never could live up to the reality.  A couple of years ago I heard she got married shortly after.  Shortly after I tried to write to her and she told me to take a hike.  The guy she married beat her pretty badly but still it was her decision to make.  How could I love someone I didn’t know.  So many people ask if I’m married yet–how could I be married when I can’t even hold down a full-time job, how could I wed someone when I can’t fall asleep without pills and even then I wake up every two hours sometimes from a nightmare.  It’s all too crazy, it’s all too beautiful.

In The Wake of Halloween

DSC_0163                            Here’s a Little Friend Who Posed For Me At Hawrelak Park This Summer….

 

Well Dear Readers, I regret that I haven’t been keeping up with my blog entries, there really has been so much stuff going on in my life that I haven’t been up to the task mentally.  I have been doing a lot of presentations for the Schizophrenia Society which is very interesting work and rewarding in many ways.  What I mostly do for them is show a Power Point presentation and give a bit of a lecture on it as I go through.  It talks about a lot of things like famous people who had a mental illness, there is a video where Anderson Cooper from CNN participates in an experiment to replicate what it is like to hear voices.  Then I give a 15-minute speech I prepared about my own experiences.  I am kind of excited about this month because on the 19th of November I will be giving a talk to a lunch of faculty members at the University of Alberta.  So much has been going good for me, sometimes other people are a bit amazed at where I was at compared to what I have been doing.

It may seem a bit funny, but one of the most important things in my life right now is one of my friendships, with a friend who is an incredible author, an amazing storyteller and also a film producer and public speaker.  I first met him at the U of A writer in residence office and he has done so much for me and mentored my writing career and all kinds of stuff like that.  Sometimes it seems a bit funny at my age to value a person so highly, but this guy is really incredible and is one of the few people I have ever been really close to that didn’t seem to want to take advantage of me in some way.  He kind of inspired me to write the poem you will see at the bottom of this blog post, I hope you enjoy it.

A lot of things are on my mind.  The other day I went out to my home town of St.Albert and had dinner at the house of a friend I have known for a very long time.  We talked and talked about the people we grew up with, all the crazy stuff that used to go on and it was so amazing.  It is odd though because I am so used to isolating myself that I kind of decided to duck out early even though there really was no rush to go and I was having a great time.  Ever since I became mentally ill a lot of people except my oldest friends seemed to never invite me to their houses or seem to trust me much, but a lot of that is changing.  I not only went to see this old friend whose son is this amazing, cool little boy but we also hopped in her husband’s truck and went to visit her parents who I have always had so much respect for.  It was neat because the house they live in always used to be a great place to hang out, they had a pool table in the basement and her parents not only cared for her friends a lot and kept up with their lives, but they trusted them to use their house as party central.  I can recall this one incident when I went out with a different group of friends on New Year’s and got so drunk I couldn’t see straight then came back to St.Albert and ran into this young woman’s brother and somehow we ended up going to his house in my car and a bunch of us, girls included, curled up under blankets and watched an ‘R’ rated cartoon called “Fritz The Cat”.  I am so glad I don’t drink like that anymore but I miss those times when freedom and possibilities in life seemed endless.

Well dear readers, I don’t know much of what else to say except that I am working on another short story collection and possibly another poetry collection soon as well.  I am posting today’s poem below, as always anyone who reads this blog is totally free to email me with any questions or comments they may have, my email is still viking3082000@yahoo.com and I would love to hear from you.  Keep reaching for your dreams, keep setting goals for yourself and writing out plans and most of all keep being you.

 

Old Friends

 

Sometimes our lives can get so difficult

Make us wish we could just collapse and shout

Let out all our hopes, anxiety and fears

Lose ourselves in our self-pity and tears

 

In these times we long for friends to be close by our side

To talk; embrace them, to hell with our pride

Loving, dear friends can always do so much

With so few words; with a gentle touch

 

When friends are by your side in times of pain and doubt

It seems there is nothing that you and them can’t figure out

It can hurt when the passing years take things away

When true old friends have nothing left to say

 

Please don’t let your heart grow indifferent and cold

Because this is when one truly grows old

Hold tight those who have shared their lives with you

Hold tight to your close friends be they old or new

 

Some people have let things get in the way

Of those times of joy and bliss, of camaraderie and play

Don’t look down on those who are alone and sad

Think instead of how they must have been treated bad

 

Remember it is a noble thing to go the extra mile

Just to warm a lonely heart and make them smile

And know that if you show your kindness to them in a special way

Someone may do the same for you one dark and lonely day

 

 

Leif Gregersen

November 1, 2015