Books I’ve Read In 2018

bookish, Writing

If you remember last year on the blog, I was accomplishing a lot in terms of reading. I put a tbr up every month and I posted reviews at least once a month. I read 30 books in 6 months last year so I set a high goal for myself back in January. Unfortunately, along with 2018 came my return to college and I was so busy with schoolwork that whenever I did have time to read, I was spending it napping or watching Netflix. However, 2018 was not completely fruitless in terms of reading, so here are the books that I have read this year so far.

  1. Beowulf//translated by Seamus Heany: The first 2 books on this list were ones that I ended up reading for my intro to literature course during 2nd semester. For a long time they were the only two books I had read. Despite the fact that it was for school, I actually really liked Beowulf. If you care at all about the origins of literature, I think this book is really important. This translation in specific is also amazing and really made me think about language as a whole.
  2. Othello//by William Shakespeare: Once again this one was for class. I read this play in a single afternoon, and I think it has taken the spot for my favorite Shakespeare play. I think Othello is completely underrated. I love that it’s set in Italy, I love the characters, and I love the plot. A classic that definitely deserves to be a classic. image2 (9)
  3. Crush//by Richard Siken: I don’t have a picture for this one because I borrowed it from my friend. I read it to write a review on for my advanced poetry class, and it was a very easy assignment because this book is beautiful. I don’t want to say too much about it because I have a post about my favorite poetry books in the works.
  4. The Body Project: An Intimate History of American Girls//Joan Jacobs Brumberg: Okay, I lied, I guess the first 5 on this list were technically for school. This one was for Women’s Studies and OH MY GOD is it important. If you are a woman or care at all about the way women are perceived you need to read this book. I learned so many things I didn’t know from this book. Give it to your daughter, give it to your mom, your aunt, your dog, I don’t care, everyone needs to read this book.   image4 (3)
  5. Love’s Last Number//Christopher Howell: This was another book for my advanced poetry course. Usually when I read poetry books, I pick ones that are by people like me, and also usually women so this was very different for me. I didn’t love it but the language was nice and I keep a favorite line from it in my notes on my phone. “Rocking with you through the twilight suicides of moths against the bulb”
  6. Snotgirl Vol. 1: Green Hair Don’t Care//Bryan Lee O’Malley : When I started getting back into my personal reading, I started with graphic novels. Graphic novels are some of my favorite books and this has made the “top 10” list . It’s by the same author who wrote Scott Pilgrim, which is cool and it’s just adorable, hilarious, and a little dark. I cannot wait until Vol. 2 comes out.image5 (4)
  7. Paper Girls Vol. 4//by Brian K. Vaughan: The fourth installment of one of my most loved graphic novel stories. I don’t have a ton to say about this except that it is entertaining and absolutely lovely. I would definitely like to do a series review of these in the future.
  8. The Four Agreements//Miguel Ruiz: I have an aversion to self help books but this one is an exception. It’s more of a book about spirituality and overall it made me feel a lot better about where I am in my life. It reminded me of how important letting things go is.                                                                                                                                image3 (4)
  9. A Conjuring Of Light//V.E. Schwab: I’m not going say anything about this one because there is a trilogy review coming VERY SOON for the “Shades Of Magic,” Trilogy. This is one of my all time favorite series’ though, and the finale didn’t disappoint.image6 (4)

I’ve been reading quite a bit more lately so if I keep this momentum, I will hopefully be posting a December TBR. Let me know in the comments what books you’ve read this year!

image1 (10)

A Really Big Excuse

Personal, Writing

While, I have seemingly dropped off the the face of the earth this past month, I promise you my life has been anything but uneventful. My sporadic internet hiatus was unintentional and accidentally a lot longer than it should have been. My social media has been half-dead with the occasional OOTD post and a strangely active tumblr page. This isn’t a new thing for me. If I could pick one word to describe my brain to body connection it would be apathetic.

I think one of the biggest misconceptions about personality disorders, is that when your not sad, your happy. Another big one, is that when good or exciting things happen you automatically feel good or excited. These two misconceptions honestly haunt my conversations, so let me spell it out for you. A pill cannot make you happy. Pills treat symptoms, they’re not a cure.

For those that are curious; I take Effexor and Wellbutrin (both in fairly high doses).  The Effexor stabilizes my mood and the Wellbutrin (supposedly) gives me more energy. Although the Effexor prevents me from having a breakdown every hour, it works on both ends of the spectrum, meaning that it’s hard for me to experience intense feelings of joy or excitement, and I think that’s what most people don’t understand. For a lot of people, that might not seem worth it, and I understand that. Sometimes the highs are good enough to help you get through the lows. Other times the lows are so overwhelming that you never even get a high. I’m fine with my pill regimen right now. For me, it is much more important to have the consistency of my mood but it’s really frustrating to have people get mad at you for not being excited enough. It’s like since I’m taking meds, I’m no longer supposed to show symptoms of my disorder, which is honestly ridiculous and also exhausting.

In the last month my life has had some drastic changes, and while I think change is good and necessary it also means that my brain has kind of been on autopilot for weeks. I wake up and do the things I need to do and then sit on my phone or go back to bed. The constant fear of having something happen, that could divert me from important tasks, such as a depressive episode, is greater than the fomo of daily social life. And this is why, I haven’t posted in a month or two.

I realize this post is one big, tangled excuse for why my mental illness is keeping me from doing things. I also realize that this whole post is counterproductive to the point of blogging which is to help move forward despite my mental illness. But I’m self-aware ok? And sometimes that just has to be enough for everyone. I’m a large pile of vomit as far as my brain is concerned. But the first step to cleaning up a large pile of vomit, is to realize there’s a large pile of vomit there in the first place.

Art Journaling

Personal, Writing

Disclaimer: Not all of the art in my journals is my original work. Some were recreated from images I found online. I in no way take creative credit for these drawings and give it fully to the creator of the original work.

I have been keeping journals and sketchbooks for as long as I can remember but it wasn’t until fairly recently that I began to completely finish them. When we were younger my mom showed me sister and me how to make collage journals and a few years later, I elaborated on that idea by starting my  first art journal. It was red, with thin blank pages, and I found it up in my mom’s art stuff. It had french writing down the side that meant draft book and with the addition of a couple stickers, it was incorporated into my daily life. All though I consider it the first journal I finished it is in fact blank for the last ten pages because the binding broke from overuse. Since this journal that began in 2015, I have completed two others and am in the middle of my fourth.

IMG_1154

from left to right: oldest to newest

Everyone is always impressed by how full they are and I attribute that to the fact that I don’t give myself a lot of limits with them. Except one which is that I’m never allowed to rip pages out. If there are pages I absolutely hate, then I cover them up with scrap paper drawings when the journal is complete. Other than that I keep my journals completely free. Sometimes other people draw in them, I write lists in them, and I doodle in them when I am on important phone calls. Besides my work notebook and my planner, my art journal is the only journal I have so it literally holds everything.

I think that once I let go of the need for my journals to be chronological and aesthetically pleasing, I was able to fill them, and usually by the time they were done I was pretty pleased with the final result. It’s nice to just have something that has no limits. Something that can hold all of my bullshit in one small place.

I also became a lot more comfortable with expressing my feelings and more confident in my drawing skills. Art journaling was one of the main ways I combated my social anxiety in high school.

I love looking into other people’s journals, so I thought maybe you would like a peak into mine.

Happy July everyone! Look out for lots of new things on the blog this month!

Seeds: poetry collection

poetry, Writing

Overgrown

Sometimes my brain gets too crowded and my thoughts start pouring

out of my ears.

They land on my shoulders and drip down my skin to embed themselves

along my spine.

A thought pressed under my skin to sit against my vertebrae and to grow

among goosebumps.

Mushrooms crawl up my back nourished by my bone marrow.

Vines crawl over my shoulders to wrap around my ribs.

Thorns stem from my collarbones to make sure no one can get in

to the body garden grown from my thoughts.

The hair on my arms stands on end as it turns into blades of grass.

My fingers sprout dandelions

and forget-me-nots sprout from my toes.

My breasts grow bleeding hearts

and honey drips from my nose.

Bees live here now, and beetles and moths.

They crawl around my stomach lining,

up my throat,

and out my mouth.

My heart slowly turns a tulip bulb and my brain’s a clump of poison ivy.

Ring Around The Bathtub

If you ran your hands down, they would roll along small hills

Bump bump bump bump

The contours of my back bone

Weak, warped, and sharp like knives

Don’t cut yourself on my lethal body

Let the water run down the stretched translucent canvas

Blue lines painted in textured brush strokes

Paint running down the shower drain

Humanity swirling down the shower drain

Clumps of hair clogging the shower drain

Dark spiders plucked out of my skull

Leaving paste white bone showing

Through the hole in my head.

Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk

Beat up sneakers hit the pavement

In an uneven rhythm matching the beat

Flowing through the earbuds

That no one else can hear

Chilled wind painting a blush

Over her freckled face

Kicking rocks across the street

Sleeves pulled down over her hands

Walking into the corner gas station

Going to the very back of the store

And getting the chocolate coffee in a can

Pulls her debit card out of her pack of camels

She takes a cigarette out at the stop light

Cups her hand around her lighter

To keep it safe from the breeze

She inhales deeply

Nicotine fills her lungs

Cigarette smoke clouds her thoughts

The taste of ash sticky on her tongue

Mentally feeling her body rot

She cracks open the can of coffee

And swallows the sweet syrup

Inhaling the caffeine her body runs on

Ashing her cigarette on the ground

Caffeine and nicotine

Cigarettes and chocolate milk.

Recurring Ache

the knowing,

you’ll never be mine is the hard part.

The absolute sureness that I will never touch your naked back.

Connecting the constellations of freckles along your spine,

The knowledge that I will never hold you

or kiss your tear stained face when you cry.

I’ll never get to see the sun hit your body just right

as your laying next to me with your eyes closed.

Never get to run my fingers through your hair

until it gives me all your secrets.

The ache

that sits in my ribs for you nestled right next to my heart.

House Guest

I hate that my body has learned to accommodate pain

It walks into me and I ask it if it would like a glass of water.

I exhaust myself trying to figure out what it needs

Doing everything I can to keep it from becoming enraged and taking over again

@baby_caleb

After a full blown facebook investigation

I found your Snapchat and added you.

And you added me back

Your Facebook is depressing

You’re a real sadboi ™

See: that’s an example of the correct use of you’re and your

Which according to Facebook, you don’t understand

But you’re real cute

Even though your teeth are crooked

It’s ok mine have a gap

I want to tell you I’ll be your friend

I want to tell you I think your the most beautiful boy

I want to tell you that it could be worse.

You could be me.

In person I said

“I have annoyingly thick hair but it falls out in clumps from anxiety”

I don’t know why I said it but you said

“Me too”

I want to tell you a lot of things but instead

I just asked if you had to work today.

You haven’t opened my message yet

Satan’s Poster Child

The disgust in your voice when you say the words “cancer stick”

As if you think it can change me.

As if I didn’t already know

The concern in your eyes as you explain the importance of your god

My blank eyes staring back at you

So you can look through and see the hollow soul.

I bet they tried to tell Lucifer how to live too

Your help is judgement

Making me fall farther from your heaven

Satan’s poster child.

Heaving through hell and back

Long black nails curling around your throat

If you tell me one more time

I’m gonna die young

I already fucking know that and I wish it would happen today

So please climb up on your precious pedestal

I’m fine in fire

Sitting on my throne of cigarette cartons and bic lighters

Onyx horns protruding from my skull

Dressed in ash and lingerie

Making you all uncomfortable as I

Cry freely for no goddamn reason.

The Ice That Cracks In Your Lungs

Personal, poetry, Writing

So this is the first compilation of poetry that I wrote for second semester. I hope you enjoy!

Winter

I’m feeling a lot.

The icy numbness melting.

This is almost worse.

 

Which way would hurt less?

Feeling no pain or all of it?

 

Mermaid

Stuck underwater.

Voices of those above speak,

Muffled without pain.

 

Why can’t anyone care when

I can’t ever seem to stop.

 

She go lost somewhere

Now she only floats around,

Faking who she was.

 

Poem for a Yandere

Standing there across the yard,

A girl with a knife in her hands.

 

Slowly stepping closer,

This girl holds your life in her hands.

 

Imagining sticky red blood flowing out,

Veins pouring into her hands.

 

Seeing pain mirrored in her eyes,

Memories of you holding her hands.

 

Coming to hurt you like you hurt her,

Heart barely beating in her hands.

 

It’s too bad you didn’t think to call,

Her phone sitting silently in her hands.

 

It’s too bad no one will help you now

Today you die by my hands.
Ouch.

That’s my heart lying on the floor.

A limp organ pulsing unsteadily

Dripping in a puddle of my blood.

 

Sticky and

Dirty and

Oh so alone.

 

That’s my empty chest cavity.

A hole gorged where that heart was

My ribcage

 

Cracked and

Bruised and

Hurting to breathe.

 

Pick it up.

Force that ugly thing back in your chest

Choke through the pain in your lungs

 

But I can’t and

It wont fit and

This hole is too big to be filled.

 

Who’s gruesome heart is that.

Filled with swollen veins.

How’d it get so torn up and cold.

 

The scars and

The aches and

My heart still lying on the floor.
Have Fun Throwing Your Petty Little Fucking Fit Avery

 

New Message: sorry the only thing

You have to deal with is

 

Mental illness. I’m sorry

Too, that I can’t function

Like a normal human but

 

Believe me when I say that

I wish I could take care of that

Baby that you leave alone instead

 

Of taking care of the crying child

That is my mind. Give me something

I can control. New message:

 

take your fake ass shit somewhere

else everyone sees through it anyways.

I wish I was faking, so I could feel

 

The pain your words are

Supposed to inflict but I don’t

And I won’t so

 

I hope you like being alone because

I do. It has become my home.
Vacation Pt. 1

It was raining

The rain dripping down the car window

Like the rain dripping down my cheeks

Mom staring with worry

 

Bright red emergency, and my hand being held

Like a small child who might wander

Sat in a chair as they pulled up sweater sleeves

sticking to severed skin with dried blood

 

Nurses eyes filled with pity

Led to a room and placed in a bed

Removed of clothing and belongings

Fragile, pale, staring at the ceiling

 

Hours passing

Eyes dry up and gasps grow silent

My brain feeling like it has melted

Green-blue scrubs on a shivering body.

 

Down the hall

Someone is crying in pain

The world continues around

But time stood still in my tiny room

 

Two in the morning

How are you feeling?

mom sits in the corner crying

I explain the feelings in the brain that turned against me

 

More waiting

Picking at scabs forming in long clean lines

It starts to rain again when I hear what I already knew for the past 5 years

We recommend you be committed.

Note From The Devil, My Lover

Dear you’re my human sacrifice

A gift to those in pain

Your sad solemn words that entice

Umbrellas protecting those in the rain.

 

Nothing you ever write is nice

Because you do it to sustain

To fight against the constant malice

That I stuck inside your brain.

 

How did it feel when you started to slice

When you pierced those precious veins

The blood that dripped from that vice

It left a very large stain.

 

Dear you’re my human sacrifice

Heart dark and deep and maimed

Happiness will never suffice

Because I made you to be insane.

 

Vacation Pt. 2

Eyes blurry, ears ringing

We’ll give you a minute to get ready

No phones allowed. your mom can bring more clothes the next day.

Here’s phone numbers and your socks, I promise you’ll be ok

 

Are you ready

You have to go in a wheelchair. Why? Because you’re sick.

Eyes filled with pity staring sadly at me

Skin becomes itchy. Ok I guess I’m ready

 

Through winding hallways

The nurse and the security guard talk about who didn’t come to work that day

Their lives so normal, and mine so crushed

Eyes glazed over but out of tears to cry

 

Nurse said I like your socks

My socks said bitches get stuff done

I didn’t get stuff done

If I had I wouldn’t be in this elevator

 

Finally sat in a dimly lit room

3 a.m. with rules set out in front of me

Paper titled “Your Fall Prevention Plan”

Too late for that, I’ve already hit the ground.

 

 

Doing College With Depression

Non-fiction, Personal, Writing

If you’re like me, then you are a person that the modern world was not made for. When they were building the schools, and the jobs, and the basic human interaction they forgot a whole group of us who, you know, can’t function. How are you supposed to go places if you can’t move from your bed? How can you learn new things when your in the middle of disassociating? How are you supposed to write a paper about what you want in life when all you really want is to die? Well here are the answers…not really answers though. Here are the ways to kind of make things easier maybe!

  1.  Doing The Most – Everybody has good days and bad days. In my case, I have highly productive days and what I like to call, “slug days.” One of my number one tips for acquiring a higher education with a mental disorder is to get ahead on the good days. If you are feeling productive one day, and have already finished your homework, do tomorrows too. Take advantage of every moment that you feel like being busy to do all the shit that you know you won’t when your curled up in a ball eating ice cream and crying.
  2. Keep It Manageable – There are tons of classes that I want to take and it would be great to get all my courses out of the way as fast as possible but I know how my brain works. I know that if I was to take a full 15 credits I would get overwhelmed and ultimately give up. If you know you don’t do well when you have a large amount of work then don’t give yourself large amounts of work.
  3. Make A Routine – It really helps me if I make a plan for my morning in advance because then I’m more likely to do it. If I come up with something I want to eat for breakfast and what I’m going to wear then I’m a lot more likely to actually get out of bed.
  4. Don’t Skip – This isn’t really a tip that I follow because I skip a lot, but I find that if I skip school, it is very likely that I will skip the next day too. However, If I go then I usually end up going the next day as well. If I do skip I always try to find something class related to work on at home.
  5. Using College As Therapy – you obviously have to write a lot of papers for college and sometimes you can tie your paper topics in with your mental illness. It’s a lot easier to write a good paper when the paper is making you feel better as you go. Writing stuff out always makes me feel better and if it also helps me finish my homework, then why not kill two birds with one stone.
  6. Know Your Mental Limits – This kind of ties in with tip #2, but it’s important to know what your brain can and can’t do. Know what times of the day you work better, and how long your attention span will last. If you cater your schedule to your needs then you will have a lot more success.
  7. Use College As An Excuse – Personally, I find that sometimes I can convince my brain out of a depressive episode if there is something else I know I have to do. If I tell myself, “Hey, you can’t take a 6 hour depression nap right now because your paper is due in six hours,” sometimes that’s it takes for my brain to come back to earth and get some stuff done.
  8. E-mail – There’s this handy dandy messaging tool, where you can just e-mail your teachers and classmates to get answers about your class or find out what you missed. This way you never have to make eye contact or worry about your voice being shaky.
  9. Online Classes – If you are someone who can work from home and still manage your time wisely, then online classes are ideal for depressed people. It’s a class you can do straight from your bed on days when you are feeling crappy and always be caught up on subject matter.
  10. Know That It’s Okay To Fail Sometimes – Sometimes we fuck up, or procrastinate a day to long, or forget to study. That’s Okay. We can’t always do everything perfect. Just because you messed up something doesn’t mean that it’s all over. Just say “well fuck,” and put everything into your next assignment or class.

So there are 10 tips for going to school with a mental illness. I hope you find some of these tips helpful. Do you have any tips of your own? Let me know in the comments and share this post with people you think it could help them. See you Wednesday!

These pills are getting hard to swallow.

Personal, poetry, Writing

A poetry collection by: Avery Jam

 

How To Be Better

I am constantly saving myself.

Pulling myself up from the sad things that put me down.

 

Hardly anyone notices and hardly anyone cares

but I keep doing it so I don’t drown.

 

I fight so hard for myself.

I fight so hard against people who lie,

 

or say I’m hormonal,

 

or say it’s natural

 

or say I need to take vitamins.

 

The pain I feel is not normal. This can’t be normal.

Because if this is normal then I don’t want to fight anymore.

 

So I will rage against anyone who tells me otherwise.

 

Disturbed Sleep

I keep having nightmares about you.

 

Ones where we get back together.

 

In the dream I let you hurt me just to feel less alone.

Like I did before

I left.

 

I relive that year and a half every night and every morning

I wake up with a new memory of something

that you once did to me.

 

The only thing worse than the nightmares

is just how stupid I was to fall, for any of it at all.

 

Good

Apparently personal

Not supposed to talk about it

Bringing everyone down

Am i making you uncomfortable

Good.

Being sad all the time makes me uncomfortable too.

Sorry I’ll keep my pain to myself

 

His Bird

When I left you,

i thought I could walk out

of the cage

 

But when I look around me

i see

steel bars with a lock and no key

 

In the anger

i haven’t felt

for so long

 

In the smoke

of my memories that you lit on fire

until I forgot

 

In the stab of guilt

i feel

for things I never did

 

I walk in circles

untangling the rope of lies

that you tied me up with

 

Your precious rare bird

wings clipped so she can’t fly

always stuck

 

Fucking Asshole

Fuck you.

I was always sad.

Now I’m just sad

And angry.

 

Vanilla Flavored Vodka

It burns

It stings

It warms

It aches

It helps

It calms

But I can’t stop remembering

That I’m supposed to forget you

My mouth overwhelmed

By the taste of vanilla flavored vodka