Saturday, April 4, 2015

Super Duper Update Post--Away!!!

It has definitely been a while since I've posted on here, but for good reason!
I have been a busy, busy bee. Here are all the things going on. Stay tuned, you might want to hear about some of it if you like books!

1. As some of you may know, I'm the head editor at Metamorphosis Editing Services and we have been SLAMMED with clients, so I have been filling my days becoming part of other writers' processes. It's been rewarding and fun and awesome! So awesome that in January, I was able to quit my part time job and concentrate on it full time. If you are or know of anyone needing an editor, beta reader, or proofreader, email us fast! The rate is going to change (only slightly, I still want to make it cheap for us writers--we're not made of money) in a month or two--I'm starting to save for a house!


I'm also a part-time editor at Booktrope, and I've had the pleasure of proofreading books by the lovey J.C. Hannigan. You need to get her books. I feel like if we knew each other in real life, we'd be best friends. lol.
And I've just started Forbidden Darkness by Alec John Belle. It's amazing.


2. Animal was released and just yesterday, the paperbacks came out! It hit the bestseller's list on the FIRST DAY it was out. Thank you. : )
Look at this beautiful, big baby!

3. The Sunshine Series is FINALLY being put together into one massive volume and will be out on April 30th! There's going to be a TON of extras (poetry, interviews, Q&A, a sneak peek of Animal, etc) in there and currently the ebook sits at over 500 pages! I don't have a cover yet, but I'm working on it. If you want to see it as soon as it is released and if you want a chance to win some cool prizes, you should totally come to the Facebook party!



4. I will be at the Yo, Philly Author event on May 16 from 10am-5pm! If you live nearby, come see me and over 60 other authors and their books! Tickets are FREE. Buy them HERE!

Spot my name!

5. Speaking of book signings, I'm actively seeking more out and I may be doing more this year, so keep your eyes peeled! Follow me on Twitter and Facebook if you want to keep up.


6. And speaking of signed things, you can now purchase SIGNED SWAG AND BOOKS directly from me! So many people have asked, and I've been trying to figure out a way to make it happen. Right now I'm utilizing Google Forms. If you want something, fill out the form(s) and I'll send it to you! Check out the links up top!


Literal picture of me on a good day.

7. I have a new book schedule. Right now, I'm working on two books that I absolutely need to finish: one for self publishing, and one that I will hopefully be pitching to agents. I haven't done that in over 10 years, so hopefully I've learned a few things since then and hopefully I don't chicken out.
If you're wondering what books they are, you voted for them and they were the two most popular. That's all I'm gonna say. ; )



8. And here comes the BIG news!
Some of you may have noticed that you can't find The Donor on Amazon anymore. That's because I took it down. I had to take it down because it got PICKED UP BY A PUBLISHER. 


I am happy to announce that I am one of the newest members of the Vamptasy Publishing Family, an Imprint of Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing. It's all very new (just signed the contract last week) and strange having people to help when I've done it all by myself since the beginning, but I'm excited to see where this goes! I'm going to be updating on Facebook and Twitter when the new cover will be revealed and when the story will be re-released, so look for it!

And that's it so far. I know I always say I'm going to blog more, but I just don't. lol. Hopefully all this awesome news makes up for it! I just wanted to thank you all--readers, friends, other writers, and everyone I know in general. This year has been a lot more easy and a lot more rewarding than last year. I can't wait to see what happens next!


Sorry. I had to.

Monday, December 29, 2014

My year in books and YOU get to help me pick the next one I write!

It has very quickly become that time of year again where it is simultaneously a period of reflection and moving forward. This year started out rocky and uncertain to say the absolute least, but even I was surprised at how quickly I bounced back, learned, and asked for help. And that was just in my personal life. If you’ve been following me anywhere, you know exactly what most of these things are.

I’m not gonna write a post looking back at my whole year because...bleh. No. Don’t wanna. But this is what I am going to do: I’m going to recap my year in the books I wrote and then there’s going to be some reader participation as to what books I’m going to write next year. I did this once before and it worked out super awesomely, so stay tuned till the end. Or, you know, just scroll past the boring stuff.



The first thing I did starting in March was finish The Sunshine Series. I had originally planned on having Sun Damage out in January of that year, but last January was awful for more than one reason and it just didn’t happen. This is the first ever series I have written and it was the first group of characters I really got to know, so it was really sad saying goodbye. 
Some people truly got the ending and others were angry with it (and weren’t afraid to voice their opinions) but there isn’t a single thing I would change. This series was my baby for so long and now it’s off in the world doing big-book things. I’m proud.
Then I took a break. I was so drained from the personal stuff, graduating school, and all that that I just fried my brain whenever I tried to start something new. In the meantime, I read. I workshopped, I dug out old stories and worked on them, and then I stumbled into The Donor.

Originally, I wrote The Donor as three separate parts (One, Two, and Three). The first was released in July, the second in August, and the third in September. I had never released things so close together or under such strict time constraints, but I wanted to challenge myself after such a long break.
Boy howdy was it a good idea.
Not only did Part One make it onto more than three Bestseller Lists (yay!) but it actually hit number one when it was free for a weekend. Thus, the second thing I had written became an Amazon Bestseller (is this real life?).

In October, I decided to put all three parts together and sell it as one. You can still get the first part on Amazon as an ebook for real cheap, but if you want to read more than that, you have to get the whole thing. Which is a good idea because it has an afterword from me about the process of writing this book. The Donor is the most challenging thing I have written to date and though it’s small, I am most proud of it.

And...that’s it. Unlike most indie authors who can crank out books every month or so, I write longer fiction and take a LOT of time editing and revising (at least a month). I had planned to have my latest release, Animal come out by the end of December, but now it’s set for the end of February. Such is life.


Which brings me to the meat of this sandwich.

In the new year, in addition to working on my editing company, finding that elusive “real” job, blogging more, using my youtube channel more, and promoting, I am going to be writing a LOT more. I have no shortage of ideas, inspiration, or motivation when it comes to writing, but sometimes that’s the problem. I don’t know where to start.

So here’s where you come in.

Below are a few ideas. Some are old and some are new, some I have written half of the book and some I only have a sentence. None of them have any real names yet, of course. But it is up to you to help me decide what to put out into the universe next.

Of course, some things may change. Some I plan to query agents with, some I plan to directly publish myself, maybe I’ll start writing one idea and it will form into another, but regardless, I want to include you all in the process more. Afterall, I can’t be an author if no one’s reading, so why not put the choice of what to read next directly into your hands?

Without further ado, here are your choices. Vote for the one(s) you want to see most and I’ll tally them all up in about a month. After a wee bit of a vacation in February, I’ll start with whatever gets the most votes. : )

Happy Holidays and Happy Reading.

1. The Poetry Collection


If you want to read examples of my poetry, go HERE. Some of these will be included in the poetry collection of at least 100 poems, along with plenty of unreleased poems and prose. It's going to be mainly dark, personal, and even creepy, but there are one or two hopeful pieces in here as well.


2. Human



It's probably going to be hard to pick this one since Animal isn't even out yet, but this is going to be the sort of sequel to that book. Like Animal, it would be able to be read by itself or along with Animal and The Sunshine Series. Rather than focusing on the main character that was in Animal, this will be told from Michael's perspective after he is forced to become human after living such a violent life for so long. He goes through his past and present, trying to make sense of it. Myles and Evan also appear, and if it works...Sophie and Ava. : )



3. The Alien Story




This is an idea I've been toying with FOREVER. There will be mermaids and aliens, abductions, sexiness, darkness, and since I'm terrified of aliens, probably a health dose of creepiness and scary parts. I'm still in the brainstorming stages for this one so I can't really tell you much else about it.



4. The Box


This is my first entry into the more "adult" side of New Adult. There's a painter girl and a mysterious figure that haunts her dreams and seeps into her reality. Is she crazy? Is it real? There's also going to be some illustrations done by me if I can figure out how to do it and a style that works. If you remember the last time I made a poll like this, The Box was on there. I wrote a good chunk of it during NaNoWriMo and I must say, it is very sexy and very mysterious, even to me.




5.The Donor (Jonah's Story)


Not much of a description needed here. It's going to pick up where part 3 of The Donor left off and will continue Casey and Jonah's story from Jonah's perspective. I literally only have a paragraph of this one, but it will be told in much the same way the first three parts were and I think it might be even darker and emotional than the first section. Just a guess.



6. The Android Story


Again, this one was on the last poll I did. It's revamped and redone, but the main idea is still intact. A woman wakes up in a hospital with no memory of who she is or what's happened. Another woman wakes up on a train with the same problem. Which one is real and which one is a machine? This is the one I want to try to traditionally publish. At the very least, send it to a few small presses. So depending on the response, it may be a while before you see it if it wins, but I thought I'd include it anyway.


7. The Complete Sunshine Series with bonus material

Not actual cover. Just playing around.

This is going to be a deluxe version of all three books into one neat, little package. At the end, there's going to be Sophie's Notebook, which are poems and ramblings from her secret notebook that she never shows anyone. There will also be a Q and A and maybe some character interviews and deleted scenes. : )


 8. The Short Story Collection


This will probably be the most challenging thing I want to work on. Mainly because everything I write is so LONG. But I do have a good chunk of short stories already written and a good chunk of ideas for more, so I figured I'd give it a try. There's one about a bird-man, there's one about running over a dog, a zombie, and a storm. Some have appeared on the blog before and some haven't even been born yet.



9. The Dark Contemporary Story


This actually started out as a joke. I mean, I started writing it for a ghost writing position that never paid me so they never got the partial manuscript. It was very freeing, writing something I thought would never be attached to my name. But the more I wrote, the more I liked the characters (damn characters!) so I decided to work on it more and maybe publish it. It's the most adult fiction I have and there are definitely scenes not meant for younger readers and even leaning on the erotica side, but I want to have all of my branches in all of the genres, so why not?


Phew. That was a lot. Now's the hard part. Cast your vote below!


What book by Nikki Rae do you want to see next?
pollcode.com free polls

Friday, November 14, 2014

What it's like to be with the same person for nine years




I never realize just how long I’ve been with my boyfriend until we’re in social situations, mostly with new people, who ask, “How long have you two been together?” Or when someone says something like, “Well, we’ve been together about a year and a half--nowhere near as long as you guys…”

The truth is, I don’t really think about it. Al is one of the biggest parts of my life, yet I never really sit down and think that nine years is a long time. To me, it isn’t. It’s not long at all.

But here we are, thinking about it.

Nine years ago, this is what my life was like:
I had just gotten over the death of my step-dad and a round of self-destructive and not-healthy behavior.
I didn’t want to be in any type of relationship.
All I wanted was to finish high school, go to college, and move far, far away.

Then my junior years rolls around and there he is.

--But let’s back up a little--
Rewind to three years or so before I met Al. My sister was dating a kid who invited us to a Halloween party at his youth group. I think I was like, 15? 16? Anyway, I was the only one who dressed like a “scary” thing so everyone was staring at me in the middle of the church basement and I immediately wanted to go home. But one of the stares seemed different than the others.
Boom.
There was a guy dressed in black and tripp pants sitting in one of the folding metal chairs, not talking to anyone. He had also dressed kind of scary. I didn’t know what it was about him, but I wanted to talk to him. I didn’t, of course.

Then I started high school. I had to take the bus because I didn’t have a car or a license or a friend with any of these things either. I looked out the window because something just told me to.
Boom.
He was standing outside of school, waiting for someone, the sun shining on his dark hair. He was wearing a sweatshirt and light colored jeans. His hair blew into his face every so often, which he was quick to flip away.
It was the same guy from the church basement.
I don’t know this at the time, of course, and the window was too thick, too much of a barrier between us, so again, I said nothing.

The way we actually did finally meet is kind of hazy. Like I couldn’t believe it was happening and so I just didn’t pay too close attention to it. But he had a friend that we were both friends with, and we would kind of play a game of telephone between her, both of us too shy and socially awkward to do anything else.
We got to Iming and Myspace messaging next.
It was weird, we lived so close to each other, yet we decided that putting computers between us was better to get to know each other.
One day, in the hall, he actually said hi to me.

I remember that day because I was having an extremely bad morning, and then he comes out of nowhere and talks to me in person. I didn’t know what to do, so I think I just smiled and maybe mumbled a “hey”. I don’t remember that either.
But I do remember that day in the gym locker room I put my pants on backwards because I was thinking about him.


I do remember that after that day, he waited for me outside of my first class and we walked through the hall together before we had to part ways at our lockers. Always silent, always awkward, yet somehow, okay with it.

On one of these days, he hugged me. I forget why, but it happened. And as he let go, he asked me something that I didn’t hear. I asked him to repeat it, and he said, rather nervously, “Will you go out with me?”

and I did.

We walked through the hall like always, quiet as ever. He was staring at me a lot so i asked, “What are you looking at?” to which he replied, “Nothing”, even more nervously. (This is a story he swears he will tell at our wedding one day. I’ll never live it down).
Later (like, two years later), he would tell me that he was staring because he couldn’t believe I had said yes. And I would tell him I asked the question because I was afraid he was regretting his decision and didn’t want to talk to me so I wanted to break the silence.

How much did this whole process take? Three months.
It seemed like a week to me.

Then what happened after that?

Life happened, for sure.

My first cat died, he helped me move (twice, I think), he waited patiently on the phone while things at my house were crazy and I was waiting for a quiet moment, but didn’t want to hang up, afraid to lose my life line. I published my first book, I started college, I published MORE books, my nana died,  I moved in with my dad, I moved out of his house a week later, my best friend had two kids, my other cat died, the hurricane happened, my dad died, I went on medication, I graduated college.

Life happened. Lots of life.

And it’s only when I look back at a specific memory that I realize that for a lot of the hard times, Al was there, either in the background, waiting to be called in, or right there with me, holding me up when I couldn’t stand anymore.

That’s what’s important to me. Not how long we’ve been together, but how MUCH.

I don’t mean this in time spent per day together; I mean, when you look at the person you call your significant other, do you see someone that you want to see you fall when you’re walking into a convenience store and although they laugh, they don’t think any less of you? Are you prepared for them to see you at your absolute worst? I’m not talking about waking up with no makeup on. I’m talking about being so upset that you can’t even look at yourself because you’re afraid you won’t look the same in the mirror. When you’re so broken that you don’t think you can ever be put back together? When you cry and have snot shooting out of your nose and running down your face and all they do is hold you and let you rub it into their shirt. When you think that one Disney movie is really dumb but the one scene makes you sad regardless because it reminds you of when you were a kid and even though they’ve heard you tell this story a million times, they let you tell them again without interrupting.



That’s what I mean.
Love is not some pretty thing covered in white lace.

Not for me, at least. And I wouldn’t want it that way.
Love is being secure, knowing that there is at least one person in this fucked up world that gets you (at least most of the time); that you aren’t alone, even when you’re drifting out at sea.

The past year has been hard. I’ve lived through it, and I would have probably lived through it if I was alone. But I wasn’t. Al was there, in the background, as well as holding me up. He didn’t judge me when I told him I was depressed. Instead, he took me on a walk in the woods and we talked. When my dad died alone and I blamed myself, he let me crumple in on myself on his living room floor until I had cried every bad thing out of me. When I was afraid of relapsing with self-harm, he talked to me, he held me together.

I’m not saying a “boyfriend” will solve my problems. Love does. Love is so simple, and the answer to nearly everything.

These words always seem to fall short of what I want to say, but I am so grateful we met. I’m so thankful we’ve been together for this long, that my monsters haven’t scared him away, that his “normalness” hasn’t scared me either. There is no one I can better imagine spending the rest of my life with than this person. I don’t care about marriage. I just care about time.

Because nine years isn’t enough.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

What I've Learned Since Graduation


Today, I went to Wawa. Exciting, I know. Stay with me.
I’m dog sitting right now and they like to get up at five, so that’s when I was awake. I went to Wawa early this morning to get something to eat, and forgot that in this general area, Wawa is Mecca, the end all be all of places to get gas and crappy breakfast sandwiches.
Anyway, I saw them all in their various work clothes. Construction workers, men in suits, women in scrubs, a few people my age in uniforms for places like Target or Best Buy.
And it occurred to me, these people probably do this every day. They look at me in my pajamas and probably think I’m stumbling in after a night of partying or that I’m sick or something, ordering soup from the touch screen before retreating back to my house.


Hell, even when I tell people what I do, they don’t think I have an actual job. They think I sit at home watching cat videos and Ancient Aliens all day or something.


I’ve been out of college for four months now. I have just completed my first resume. And I have applied for zero jobs.


I work on the weekends at Petsmart (a job where I get to work with animals, so I love it, but it’s not something I see myself doing forever, or even full time), and during the week, this is what I’ve been doing:


Writing two books at once
Promoting my work
Answering emails
Designing book covers
Editing my own work
Workshopping the work of friends
Going to a few book fairs/library events
Freelance Ghostwriting
And I am also one half of Metamorphosis Editing Services, an editing company I made up with little hope of succeeding, but I wanted to try it out anyway. So Freelance Editing (it’s going better than expected, btw).


Let’s just break down the monetary value of these things, shall we?
Petsmart: $150/week
Writing two books at once: $0
Amazon Book Sales: depending on the month, $100-$200 per month
Promoting my work: $0
Answering emails: $0
Designing book covers: $150 per cover
Editing my own work: $0
Workshopping the work of friends: $0
Going to a few book fairs/library events $10-$100 (depending on how many paperbacks I sell)
Freelance ghostwriting: $150-$300 per book (yes, per BOOK)
Freelance editing: $25-$400 per manuscript (depending on word count)


What does all this mean? Well, I’m a poor-ass writer/editor for one thing, but let’s not think about that, shall we? What it means, on some level,  is that I do a hell of a lot of work for little to no money.


Writing is my first love, and I’m proud of whatever I write, even if I never sell a single book, but I’d be lying if I said I’m not more proud when I get paid for all the hard work. It’s as though I have a “real” job, one where I can support myself with something that I love doing.


The same goes for the rest of the above listed “jobs”.


But there are people my age (and younger) who are doing more, and getting paid wayyyy more. They go to an office every day for a fixed amount of time, do the work given to them, have paid sick days, health insurance, and vacation time.


I don’t have any of that. I stay up odd hours writing, I spend eight hours a day editing/ghostwriting, then I work at Petsmart on the weekends.


Like I said, I have yet to apply for a “real” job. (I find that’s a term people use a lot since I’ve gotten out of college. When am I going to get a real job? Why are you tired? It’s not like you have a real 9-5 job. etc.)


The fact of the matter is, like many people caught between college and real life, I’m scared. Plain and simple, I’m terrified of applying for jobs I probably won’t get, going to interviews I’ll probably be too nervous to get through without embarrassing myself, and maybe getting hired for a job that I may or may not like.


I don’t have extra money lying around. I don’t go out and party with my friends, and the only pair of jeans I have has a hole in the crotch that I've sown three times.


But I’m happy.


I love going on the computer and working all day. I love connecting with people and helping them with their work. I love creating my own worlds and characters and putting a book out into the world after a long journey.


This is by no means a steady source of income, but I don’t really care about that.I’m slowly learning that I can either do something I love (while building my resume) between now and getting a “real” job, or hate every second of my actual “real” job. Sure, I could fix my car or get a cat, but I’d be miserable.


I guess what I mean to say is that I’m in no rush. I’m okay with being poor if I’m happy. I’m fine with writing and editing when it could eventually lead me to the right job. I see people my age scrambling, applying for job after job even if it means it’s not what they went to school for or if that they may be stuck behind a desk counting beans or whatever people in cubicles do all day.


I spent most of my college career worrying about getting a job.
They train you, with or without knowing, to apply yourself and stick to deadlines, pay close attention to detail, and to work harder. But how do you tell a company you have these skills when they've heard it from a million other applicants? How do you make them notice you when you are just one more voice, shouting into the void that you too, would like a “real” job.


I feel like we’re all pretending to be Pinocchio or something, telling ourselves that some day, we’ll all be real boys. We’re so concerned with the goal of having an “adult” life with a “real” job that we kill ourselves in trying to make all the pieces fit together and form a life we want to live. We tell fibs about how well our lives are going post graduation, some of us even lie about what we've done in order to impress people, some of them being the ones who we want to hire us.


But I’m already living the life I want to live, for the most part, and I don't have to make any of it up. Yes, I’d love to own a house and go to California to visit my aunt and my cousin, but for now, I’m content. I’m not scared of what I’m doing because I know what I’m doing.


And right now, I’m okay with it.


So this is what I’ve learned since graduation: It doesn't matter.
Don’t look at what other people are doing or what jobs they’re getting. Don’t compare yourself to people who are living a different life than you. If you’re happy and surviving, you’re alright. You will figure it out. Maybe soon, maybe years from now. It doesn't matter. In the words of my stepfather, do what you want and fuck everyone else.

: )

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Three AM thoughts: How I'm dealing.



It’s been a long time since I’ve woken up in the middle of the night with the undeniable urge to write something that wasn’t fiction. I woke up last night with that urge, and I don’t know how any of it turned out because I don’t want to chicken out of posting this. Because I feel like it’s important that I get these thoughts out there, for anyone who can gain something from them. I don’t do stuff like this that often, and it’s been a while since I got personal on my page, but if you click back through older posts, that’s all I used to do.


Over the past six months, maybe year or two (I can’t remember shit lol) I’ve been struggling with some issues. I’ve tried many things to cope. Writing is one of them. It always has and always will be. But it isn’t often that I write non-fiction. Fiction makes it so I can deal with what I have through a filter, but sometimes I don’t want one. Sometimes I feel the need to deal with things in a raw and unobstructed way. I think that’s what I was doing early this morning.


For me, it’s important to not just show my successes and have people think I live an amazing life full of writing and fun stuff. Don’t get me wrong. What you’re about to read may have you think that I’m hopeless and ungrateful. I’m not. I love my readers and bloggers and friends and family and a lot of times, these are the things that help me the most. But a lot of my life hasn’t been so fun lately and I think it’s worth it to show that to people as well. I hope at least some of you appreciate this.


Here are my Three AM thoughts from last night, unedited and unrevised:




Having anxiety and depression is a lot like being thrown into the deep end of the pool when you don’t know 
how to swim (for the record, I hate water and I don’t really know how to swim. So this is a great analogy, huh?). When you first experience it, you don’t really know what’s going on. As a result, you flail around, kicking, screaming, crying, pleading—doing anything it takes to keep your head above water so you don’t drown. 

I was diagnosed at a very young age with anxiety. I don’t remember much about it with the exception of the panic attacks. I’ve always been able to remember each and every one of those. I know that I was in  third grade, in the middle of story time, when I first had one. I remember how I scared the other kids in my class and how I didn’t return to school until the middle of fourth grade because I couldn’t function like everyone else. I don’t really know what caused the anxiety. I wrote about that a little HERE.
My doctors and therapists seemed to have thought it had something to do with my parents getting a divorce, but I was so little that my parents always spoke for me, so I don’t know how much of that theory is real and how much of it was them trying to explain why their daughter was acting out. It probably didn’t help that my parents’ toxic relationship was even more toxic now that they were leaving each other, unwillingly placing their children in the middle of a war-zone, but I think there’s probably a lot more to it that I don’t understand. Even now.

The double-whammy of depression and anxiety is just plain evil. That saying of “I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy?” Yeah. That makes a lot of sense here. I don’t sleep. I have trouble doing “normal” things like hanging out with friends and driving. I have a hard time enjoying things, I have a hard time believing what I’m doing is worth anything at all. Then I get anxious about what’s wrong with me. 
When I step back and look at my life the way an outsider would, I’m happy. 

I think it’s important to point out that sadness, depression, mental illness in general, is not a straight line. Things can be good and bad at the same time. You can be happy and sad at the same time. Confusing? I know.

That’s why I thought it was important to write this post. So very few people understand what it’s like, and I’ve been struggling to explain it since I was very, very young. I still don’t know how. All I know is that I’m more aware of my “issues” than I was before, and all I can do is try to float around without bumping into anything that will make me start flailing again.

I was doing okay until January. I was having anxiety issues because of school and stress and whatnot, but in general, I was alright. Functioning.
I cannot explain what it’s like when a sibling calls you to say that one of your parents has died. That two police officers showed up on the middle of the night to tell them and they were too upset to call you until morning. I can’t explain that at all, but I can tell you how the snow was falling outside the window, how quiet everything was. And how loud.

I also can’t explain what it’s like trying to plan a funeral when you didn’t talk your parent for the last three years of his life. People have told me that it’s better we weren’t close, that if I really loved him, if we were really in each others’ lives, it would have been harder. That’s where they’re wrong.  It’s like he left us an enormous puzzle. One with missing pieces and even the pieces that are there are warped and don’t fit in the right places. Six months later, and we’re still trying to put the pieces together, still trying to move on when he’s everywhere and nowhere. When we have no answers.

Depression and anxiety affects literally every aspect of my life. It controls everything. It tells me what to think, how to feel, what to eat, how to dress, what to write about, what to worry about. It doesn’t matter that I know that some of these thoughts (a lot of times most of them) aren’t rational. Hell, sometimes I’ll pace the room anxious just about the next time I’ll be anxious. 
I don’t sleep. My stomach hurts all the time. I never feel healthy. I never like or enjoy anything completely. I question everything (good and bad) that happens in my life and wonder if I deserve it.

This is no way to live, yet I’ve lived this way for as long as I can remember. However, I think my dad dying the way he did put everything into perspective. He was alone because of his mental illness, and although alcoholism and my issues are completely different in a lot of ways, I’m drawing lines from one to the other daily. I’m realizing that we aren’t that much different. And it scares me.

I’ve been told that anxiety is a “fight or flight” response. That when my brain doesn’t know how to deal with something, it just shuts down—something maybe left over from an earlier time. I don’t know about that. I think it could be true, but I also think it’s something that I can’t explain away that simply.

I am so grateful to the people in my life, but I honestly don’t know why or how they find the strength to put up with me. How I can flail around and there’s always someone there trying to pull me out. Al and I have been together for eight years. When I first told him about anxiety, I remember  the confused look that passed over his face, like so many others. I remember how nervous I was to tell him that I had depression, seeing that same confused look. But he just hugged me and told me he wanted me to be happy. He still does that. And I don’t know how or why he does.

Part of me will always be afraid that I’ll tell him I’m under a bad wave and he’ll decide he’s had enough. Move on to a normal happy girl, but I know that I’ve never loved anyone so completely and so without question that it scares me even more. I’m afraid of myself and what I do to the people around me. I make them worry. I make them sad or upset. They feel helpless or like they aren’t enough to make me happy. What they don’t understand is that they are. They are more than enough, and although I don’t say it to them as often as I should, they make the whole getting out of bed and trying to live life normally thing worth it. If I didn’t have my friends and sisters, I think I would be a lot worse.

Love is something I’ve never truly been comfortable with. I think it has a lot to do with how I was brought up, how easily things changed for the worse and how easily it was for someone to tell you they loved you and then turn around and drink themselves sick while you were around.
I’m beginning to realize that while I didn’t always have a good relationship with my father, I know he loved me. I remember we would ask him to stop drinking as young as nine years old, beg him to for hours on the phone when he called drunk, asking why we didn’t want to see him. I never believed I was enough. I always thought that if he loved us, he could stop putting something that hurt him and everyone around him above us. I think I’m slowly starting to understand. He did love us. There were just other things in the way. There was some part of his brain that didn’t let him love me completely, that didn’t let me believe him completely.

It’s my biggest fear that this is how the people I love will one day see me. That despite how much I tell them I love them and how much I try to show it, they’ll never fully believe me because they know that deep down I’m not happy and that they aren’t enough.
That’s why, after years and years of struggling to do this on my own, I’ve decided to be put on medication. I’m leaving to hang out in the mountains tomorrow night and when I get back, I’m starting on it. Real, honest-to-god, not-herbal-all-chemical medication. Understand me when I say that this scares the living shit out of me. I don’t want to be taking pills that alter my mood or who I am, I don’t want to end up more screwed up than I am now. I am anxious about taking medicine that will help me be less anxious. Come on, it doesn’t get more confusing than that. Lol.

I know that the people closest to me will be supportive no matter what. I know that there are strangers reading this now who will support me because they’ve been through similar things. I think it’s important to point out that I am not writing this for attention, I’m writing this for the reason I write anything: to help others. I want it to be okay to talk about issues like this. I want it to be okay to be scared, to ask for help, to say that you’re tired of flailing and you need someone to pull you out of the deep end. If I can be something like that to even one person, I’m happy.

I guess I’ll end this here. I’m writing this at 3AM in the dark and it’ll all probably look different in the morning, but I wanted to get this out there. I just wanted to let you—whoever you are—know that I’m trying. I really am. That’s all any of us can do. Stay with me. We’ll be okay.
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Thank you for reading this post. I love you. Your regularly scheduled book news and so forth with continue soon.  : )