Being Human and Mental Illness pt 3


Being Human is a constant learning endeavour. One of which the awareness in our culture is damn near instinct. But some remember, and many more are remembering to remember. This piece was written the second week of April, 2018.

“it is in the nature of humans to forget how to be one sometimes” – Stephen Jenkinson

I forget sometimes, it is less and less that I forget as I continue my path; but sometimes it still arises. Sometimes my mental state takes me over and I forget everything about why I go on; I lose myself in “the nowhere place”.

“The Nowhere place” is a place that devours my humanness, a place that tries to convince me I am nothing but food.
This was my experience during the month of March. This past lunar cycle I felt as if I was drowning, and yet everyone around me could breath just fine. I lost my voice, and even if I had it I didn’t know how to communicate what was wrong, or what I needed. I needed something, but I had no idea what.

The nothing place whispered to me:
“Just let yourself die, your weakness is a burden. Do not let them be poisoned by the vacancy where your heart should be” and to this I nearly listened.
I felt myself fading each day, and my face becoming a plasticine mask, a twisted and posed version of myself.
My perception of what “fine” looks like.

I have a mental illness, this will never go away. It is the shadow to my passion, my artistry, my quirkiness, my inspiration, my magic. Sometimes I will go 10 years without a deep depression, sometimes it will be just a few months a part. But this is part of me, and loving me means loving me when I am ill. I’m not saying this for you to hear, I am proclaiming it so I can read it over and over again. I am not broken, I am just a little scribbly sometimes.

Two Fridays ago I hit a rock bottom, I say “A” rock bottom because I am clever enough to know that every rock bottom as a trapdoor where you can fall further. But I had spent a month falling, descending into this particular rock bottom. Alone, and imprisoned by my own thoughts; for the first time in 6 years I felt as if I was watching myself from the ceiling, in shock by whomever had taken the wheel of my body. This was it, the crescendo of my manic breakdown, and I had little to no control over it. Those of you that know me well know that control is my favourite thing to have, and the thing I often need to let go of the most.

That evening for the first time in 6 years I went what I would describe as “crazy”. My conscious voice became the voice in the back of me head, and the voices of disesteem took front and centre. I hurt myself in ways both physical and mental that I am not fully comfortable talking about in detail here. I relapsed into a place of self loathing of which I thought was long gone from my grasp. A desolate place where all that exists is me, and the wolves that I set upon myself. “Everything that is wrong with your life, and those close to you is your fault. You are a disgusting, horrible failure of a person” Those are the kind of words that exist there. Kind of a mixture of narcissism and self destruction. I don’t recommend the visit, although I imagine many of you have frequented there at some point in your life.
My voice of reason finally dug it’s way out of the hole it had fallen into and went from a murmur to a fierce scream. I stopped myself before doing anything too damaging, and while I came out physically a little more broken, mentally I had a clarity that I had not had in at least 6 weeks.

I had been possessed by the ghost of who I used to be, perhaps because I never allow anyone to hear the stories of the things that happened to her. I have buried my stories of trauma and pain from the fear of being burdensome, finally the ghost of past me snapped. She wanted to be heard, to be seen, and she still does. What happened to her was not okay. This mixed with the recent deaths in my chosen family, the impending homelessness, and the chronic pain broke my walls down and allowed her to come crashing through.

“Travel far enough you meet yourself.” – David Mitchell

You know that meme of the cartoon dog drinking tea while his house burns down proclaiming everything is fine? Yeah that has been me as of late.

Although strangely enough once I reached that rock bottom, that dark night of the soul which called forth that clarity, things started to be actually okay externally. A beautiful (but not perfect) housing opportunity presented it’s self, my chronic pain subsided, and I started being able to write and make music again. My fear was this was a mania, that I dropped so hard that I spiked right back up. That suddenly everything was beautiful because it had to be for me to be able to survive it. It seems that is not the case though, I am present in mind and heart, I am aware that I need to speak more to close friends, and very much a counsellor who is well knowledgeable in breaking lose past traumatic events, I need to take better care of myself, and I need to allow myself to be aware that sometimes the shit hits the fan and it’s fucking okay to ask for help, even if I don’t know what that help looks like.

If I could set the words “burden”, “selfish”, and “failure” on fire I would. and I wouldn’t do it alone, I would allow everyone that has ever been hurt by those wounds of mine to also set these mother fuckers aflame. These things are ghosts, they only exist because I allow them to.

This is my underworld, last time I spent a lot of time here I wasn’t much. But now? I am a Queen in my own right. That evening was not my day to be devoured.

So I came out, alive, nearly well, and a hell of a lot more Human. The evening following this breaking I went and I performed at a good friends birthday party. Many of my old mechanisms told me I was too broken to do as such, but funnily enough another mechanism kicked in harder when i realized how horrible I would feel if I let said birthday gathering down. At my core though I wanted to be with them, through them I saw beauty, and through them I saw mirrors of myself that I couldn’t see alone. How could these amazing people love someone that wasn’t worthy of it?

Being Human it is a constant process of trial and error, humanness is an end goal that only comes with the knowing that you’ve lived a fine life and are ready to die well – dying well does not mean alone, in self loathing, and hiding from all the beautiful things that you’re able to achieve in this world. Being Human is it not something we are born with, it is something we are constantly being taught, and should we be so lucky; eventually we be able to teach. I teach on occasion, and more often I learn.
Sometimes I learn from the process of forgetting. Funny thing isn’t it?

“You’ve met me at a very strange time in my life” – Fight Club

I am a scholar of my own and other’s often clumsy humanness. I am dedicated to making mistakes, and getting back up again, I am ready to go on if even I cannot, I am cultivating the worthiness that goes far beyond my lifelines sight, but doesn’t exclude it. I don’t need to be remembered, I just want people to live in our collective wake and to continue remembering.
When we live knowingly in the wake of those that loved us enough to go on, we step into being a conscious rippling wake, or rather we become awake one could say.
Someone loved me enough to go on, and I love myself, my chosen family, my vision, and those that will come after me enough to also go on.

I am not the first, nor am I the last to struggle. But that doesn’t make my story one that shouldn’t be spoken to. So what does Mya need now? I don’t really know. To be heard, I guess that is what I am doing by sending this rock skipping into the digital ether of the internets shores.

What else? I like hugs, I like patience, I thrive on words of affirmation, and creative collaboration. I am moving to an alien to me island in two weeks and I would really like if sometimes people came to visit me, I fear my tendency to fall into my own head. I love it when people poke me to respond to messages and phone calls, but even more so when the pokes come with an understanding that my lack of response is not personal. Patience, diligence, and a love of my shadow. That is what I need. And ironically enough I am pretty sure I already have that on most parts.

I don’t know where I am going from here, but I know it’s going to be fucking harrowing, absolutely gorgeous, gratifyingly difficult, and ever curious. I have shit to do, and external/internal shifts to catalyze, I have a world to change and a me to mend. And I know for sure that I cannot do that alone.
I know that it’s speaking out like this directly after the thing has happened that will bridge the gap of my self exile.
Speaking now of my experience instead of speaking a year from now. A year from now when the story perhaps inspires and benefits you, but really doesn’t really do a whole lot for me in the realms of present me’s vulnerability. Because by then I will have already externalized it and processed it myself, and I’ll tell you holy hell am I good at doing that.
Sure it’s scary exposing your past self, but being open and honest about your present state is even more terrifying.

I am not looking for pity or attention, I am looking to be transparent and cultivate accountability with the people I care about.

I am looking to shatter the stigma that on whatever level this type of rock bottom doesn’t effect absolutely everyone.

This is me speaking, this is actually what I look like when I feel actually fine, taking the space to retrieve the pieces of myself. Kind of like when you have to clean up after a flipped board game. I won’t always be this fine, often I will be much better; and sometimes I’ll tumble as I have this past month. But if anything at all I become more and more human every damn day. With you, my fellow humans in the making.

With Deep Bows,


Being Human and Mental Illness pt 2


My relationship to music is a very intimate one. I have often said that if it wasn’t for the presence of music in my life I would be dead. Perhaps physically, perhaps just emotionally. I cannot say for sure. But I have my guesses.

Throughout life I have been dealt some heavy instances, somethings I am only now understanding where not at all okay for a child to endure. And in my darkest hours music was there for me. From my walkman, to my discman, to my ipod, to my smartphone – it was and is rare that i didn’t/don’t have my comfort blanket on hand. Music, It never hurt me, it never abandoned me, and it held me and those I held dear when no one else would – or could.

Today was a dark morning for me, Dolores O’Riordan the lead singer to The Cranberries was found dead in her hotel room late last night. I’m crushed, and a sea of torrential tears followed. Dolores was not just her music, she was a Female lead in a country that certainly didn’t encourage that, she was fierce Irish Woman battling mental illness, she was an artist and a revolutionary, she was a Mother of three, she was 46, she was a heroine of mine since I was a small girl. She was art, and her art saved my life.

In Dolores I saw my own reflection. She taught me it was okay to be a rebel, to be a poet, to be different. In the end, in her ending, Music couldn’t save her, but it saved me.

Growing up my Mother loved The Cranberries, my mother loved music in general and most of our days were filled with the shared dance that came with knowing that all we had was each other, and our music. The Cranberries, The Stone Temple Pilots, David Bowie, Queen, and SoundGarden were all a staple. Now their front people are elsewhere than in the living realm. Dead, but not really.
When things got hard, as they often did, music would blare out our car window as we drove, just drove anywhere and listened to music. When my Mom and Stepdad’s domestic abuse would reach a crescendo, music would cradle us in our shared strife. Music was a Mother to me when my own Mother couldn’t be there, Music was her Mother too. The Cranberries often took this space. Her heartfelt irish wails cascading over our shared sorrowing. It encouraged nourishment, grieving, and going forward – only because of the fodder these sounds provided us.

I found home only in my Mother, but something in Dolores’s songs, in her voice reminded me of a home I had not felt yet. It reminded me of my blood’s mother land, it reminded me that revolution, courage and endurance ran through my veins. That I was put on this earth to be brave, that I was put here to receive and to give back ten fold.

Fast forward to me, age 15 – I’m sad, I’m lost and I have no fucking idea what am doing. I need guidance, I need support, I need something – but I am alone, scared and in that strange place in-between being a child and an adult. I reach a space of breaking, and for the first time in my life I go further than just contemplating suicide. In the Fall of my 15th year I took every pill in my house and waited for death to retrieve me, I was tired – and now looking back I understand that I was more tired than any girl my age should have been. The world was on my shoulders and I didn’t know how to ask for help. So I waited, and I listened to music. I listened to The Cranberries album “No need to argue” on repeat, and I cried whilst clutching my “last slurpee”. Melodramatic, hell yes. I never claimed anything different.

The immense physical pain hit, and the music played on. In my delirium it sounded as if she was singing to me, good gods I just wanted a strong, kind, Woman to sing to me. She sang her sonnets, these songs that effected me in a way I had no capacity to understand at that point. And suddenly my breaking point hit a wall; No. I didn’t want to die, I really didn’t. I just wanted someone to sing to me, hold me, and to empower me to make change in my own way. I just wanted a world where people would sing to each other when things became broken. I called 9-1-1 and they were there within 10 minutes.

I lived, obviously – and while I would like to say I was healed completely, I cannot boast such a thing. There were many other slip ups over the next ten years, the scars on my body only a minor reflection of the scars inside. But I was a little bit healed, and a lot less dead than I had planned. Bonus!
Music, has always been the salve that enabled me to pick myself up again, music has saved my life so many times. My desire was only to return that favour with my own artistic expression.

But Dolores is dead, and while this is shattering news to me I am proud that I do not feel the need to join her. We live in a world that does not know how to tend to the mentally ill, A world that sees it as something to be swept under the rug, as a cultural burden. This is bullshit, as it was the culture it’s self that enabled these woundings.

I woke up this morning and I sobbed for an hour, at first I sobbed for her death, and then I sobbed with terror – if she one of my heroines could not do it, then how the fuck could I? Much like I felt when Michael Stone and Chris Cornel had lost their battle with mental illness. They were so strong, how could I possibly keep fighting a battle they lost? And then I cried for her Children, I cried for her fans, her band, and then the plethora of people in the world that felt weaker knowing she had succumbed to her grief.

And then I cried for my mother, she was my best friend, my sister, my home – and now we are estranged. She choose a much different, and very much conflicting path than I. And after Amplify Her came out what little remained of our relationship imploded. These past 3 months I have lost a hero, a home, a Mama, and a very toxic relationship between them all. I cried because I knew somewhere, she was crying too.

I miss my mom, I miss Dolores, and I miss all my dead heroes.

But I still have their music. In addition to that I have my own. and perhaps that is the only respectful form of immortality available to us. One day, I will die, I will feed life with my death and that is proper; but perhaps having lived in such a way that the music and art flowed through me authentically I would be offered the ability to keep giving after my dying. Much like Dolores has.

Her death was too soon, I will not fuck around and say otherwise. She lived in a sad world, one that we all lived in – and she gave until she could not anymore.

I have much to give, far past my young age, far past her age of 46, I have shit to do and a world to fill with art and love. And I promise you I will not do this alone.

There are no lone wolves in the wild, lone wolves die.

Thank you Dolores, thank you so god-damn much for holding me and the others that you did, in the way that you did. Thank you for stirring my ancestral memory as you did, thank you for fighting as you did, thank you for the revolution. We will continue on where you left off.

In my blood there is music, art, magic, power, grief and an infinite amount of love. And god damn it one day I will be in my 90’s telling my great grandchildren all the stories I have been fated to collect. Surrounded by the living, and surrounded by my dead.

This I promise you.

Being Human and Mental Illness – Pt 1


This was first written inspired by Self Harm Awareness day. In the spirit of taking some of my greatest wounds and transmuting them into my greatest gifts. This is my consistent practice, and my ever pushed edge.

TW: Self Harm, Depression, Mental Illness etc

#SelfHarmAwarenessDay – seems kind of trite doesn’t it? But I would put forth a wager that the part of me that believes this triteness, is also the part of me that doesn’t like to talk about these things. Not in regards to myself at least.

Self harm, what a vastly misunderstood subject. I’ve been exploring through my thoughts on the experiences and pain that many of us share – yet seem to continue thinking are completely individual to each other. I’ve come to understand we cling to individualizing pain because we attach ourselves to it, see it as what defines us.
“I am not in pain, I am pain, and as such I am in control.”

I’ve been sifting through on my own ordeals of doing that exact same thing – my previous refusals to release the sovereignty of trauma. As if it was the only that actually made me special.
So if not the individual, where does it come from? Oh gosh thats a pandoras box of a question. Let’s open it just a crack.

The disregard and nonchalance that our society scoffs upon those openly experiencing loneliness, depression and acts of self-harm is abhorrent. The act of pushing away our psychologically injured is an obvious banishing of a bigger cultural mirror, one most would rather not accept. We all feel this ache, some just feel it louder, some feel it for those who can’t. Often it’s those who can’t bring themselves to feel their ache that offer the most apathy around the subject of “mental illness” and self harm.
Self Harm is much more than a cry for help or attention – it’s a deep festering cultural wound that touches us all. Perhaps thats why many are so reluctant to talk about it without triggering an influx of medicinal adhesives and pillow talk of “Shhh it’ll all be okay”.
What has befallen a peoples of whom it has come to this level of toxic concealment?

Let me make something very clear, not all people who inflict self harm upon themselves are suicidal. More often than not they aren’t seeking death; they are seeking release, punishment, and sometimes even sanctification. This isn’t always true, but often it is. Many people who practice self harm feel so fucking much, and they have no idea where to put those feelings – so they bleed them out.

Another note: self harm is a huge umbrella statement, most people think of solely cutting/burning/etc. Self harm is exactly that, an act of escapism that is hurtful to the self. This could be, alcohol/drugs, workaholism, eating disorders, bad relationships, etc. It all comes down to escape, punishment, distraction, pain.

After copious years of self harms prominence in our western world, I see it now as learned behaviour. Passed down through generations. It’s very much developed in to genetic and environmental trauma.This is far too big to be swept under the rug of demanded and addictive positive thought. Addiction to positive thought can too be a form of self harming escapism. Isn’t that a twist?

It’s not a coincidence that in a culture devoid of elders, initiation rites and village that 1 in 12 of youth teeter towards suicidal thoughts and acts of self harm…. of which generally starts around puberty. It isn’t a coincidence that those the least valued in our culture are the most prone to suicide, those two being teens and the elderly.

We all ache. Some of us wear it on the outside, some of us hide it. Hoping to the powers that be

“Please don’t let them find out I am broken, please don’t let them leave me”

That’s the core of it all really, feeling broken, fearing being alone, feeling so fucking much, all of the time. As if feeling made us broken.

This isn’t some ambiguous story I’m speaking about, this is my story.

For over 15 years, starting at age 12 I consciously self harmed. Even today only the brave ask me where all my scars came from, most just look away uncomfortable in their quiet curiosity. And those are just the scars on the outside.
Some call me brave, for speaking of these things. Yet I have barely mentioned anything of my personal story, and at this point this is all I will mention of it. Brave, maybe, tired of seeing my friends suffer? Definitely.
I see when the people who suffer speak up. They are often met with dehumanization, condescending coddling and made to feel like an infectious pariah, like infants, or burdens. The majority at large do not want to be reminded of their own shadow, their perceived life failures, and even more so want nothing to do with that of which reminds them of their mortality; especially death. Our culture is inherently deathphobic. Funny thing considering one way or another it is absolutely going to happen to us all. You would think we would have gotten used to it by now.
I made it out of the deepest depths, mostly. Many of my peers are dead now, thats the damn truth of the matter. Many did not make it out, and even more will not. Something has to change – like now, yesterday even. You know it, I know it, and it’s doable; but not in conjunction with the continuous ignorant acts of peremptory blind-sightedness.
Our shadow is screaming to be acknowledged and then respectfully tended to.

We are all here together floating in space, hurting, loving, feeling, longing and creating – If we want to heal ourselves individually it’s time we start to comprehend what it means to truly heal as a collective first. What would it mean to support each other, regardless of the fearfulness that surrounds us, regardless of the mirrors that it provides.
We need to heal this together. No more heroes, no more villians, just humans doing the hard work as a collective.

As a life long advocate of extreme independence and “leave me the fuck alone I can handle my shit” syndrome this is a damn hard thing for me to say

I was wrong, this can not be done alone, I cannot do this alone. No one can, and no one should feel they should have to.

Ponderings from the essential shadows of Humanity

To be continued….

The Accidental Addict


I have a story to tell, and I will prefix it by saying the very idea of this vulnerability terrifies me. That said I am inspired by my recent admiration of the recovering alcoholics and addicts in my life.

I’ll start by being blunt. July 14th, 2014 was the last day I ever took an opiate into my body. Codeine was the vice that took me by surprise. It was the one I hid from the world, the one I normalized because it was legal – it WAS normal. Codeine is a hell of a drug, one that wears the face of a medicine, and for some really is medicine. For a time at least. Profound empathy and emotions have always been both my gift and my burden, imagine my shock when I found a way to turn them both off nearly completely. This was the most dangerous form of seduction I have ever endured.

TW: talk of depression/suicide/opiates

I have never celebrated this anniversary, I guess it’s because a part of me still doesn’t want to admit that I was/am an addict. But that doesn’t stop it from being true, in 6 months I will be celebrating 3 years sober from codeine and other pain killers. I will admit that not a week goes by that I don’t feel the tug of oblivion, that said thats a hell of a lot better than when i felt the tug every day, or every hour even.

In the spring of 2009 I had my first tooth abscess, the mixture of several bulimic relapses over the course of my teens and then becoming pregnant wreaked havoc on my teeth. Over the course of 2009 and 2015 I suffered 7 abscessed teeth. Now let me tell you something, I have the pain tolerance of a masochistic horse; but infected tooth-nerve pain is a special kind of hell I would wish on very few. Electric, hot, blaring and absolutely unignorable this was the type of pain you would do anything to stop. And betwixt raising the thousands of dollars for dental work I tried pretty much everything to sooth the anguish. The doctors in their piteous gaze were more than happy to provide me with a plethora of pain killers. These I learned worked a lot quicker when you mixed them with hard liquor – and actually wait! Not only was my physical pain gone, but so was my emotional pain, and mentally I felt better that ever. Really fucking great, oh hot damn I could take on the world. What I didn’t understand then was that much like my physical pain, the emotional hurt wasn’t going away, it was just building up. Waiting to crest in the moments where I wasn’t cavorting in euphoric numbness. Those moments were the worst.

So I guess I became an addict, but I had no idea. Throughout my years of being around substances and as a “bad kid” using various party drugs I never found myself particularly pulled to continue on taking any of them. It got the job done sure, but it was merely experiences. Even with smoking I was very much aware that I did it for the social lubricant, the connection. In my hubris I had thought myself immune to such an affliction, how could I be an addict? I know better than that.

I once was given the reflection

“You are a very real person, in a very fake world. That is why you hurt so much”.

While the expression was well meaning it only plummeted me deeper into a space of emotional exile. Why did the whole damn world get to be fake and I had to deal with realness. I wanted to be fake too, I wanted to stop hurting.

So around 2010 life got hard, really fucking hard. I, awash in stereotypes tried to balance life as wounded knight, a single mother, a private dancer, a vengeful lover and a starving artist. Even after my teeth were fixed I still continued to pop these pills, openly I would state I had migraines, or that I took them to stay awake at parties. When you’re so nonchalant about something so frequent people start to believe you’re just fine, I certainly believed as such. In late 2010 I went to the doctor, at the end of my rope with my depression. He gave me a test and after spending 15 minutes talking AT me concluded I was indeed dangerously suicidal and needed to be medicated right away. He prescribed, Effexor, Ativan and Quetiapine. I expressed my trepidation in being given the possession of drugs that could result in overdose, he scoffed and told me they would balance me out enough so that wouldn’t be an issue on my mind. For the record it did very much continue as an issue on my mind.

“Don’t worry” he said “I am on effexor, and it works fantastically. I feel great”

Desperate and bamboozled I agreed. What he neglected to tell me is that Ativan should never be mixed with alcohol, and effexor’s withdrawal has been described as more intense than trying to quit a heroin habit. But thats a whole other story. So the next year was a whirl of fog and self medication, and as it was utterly endorsed by my doctor I still had no idea I had a substance problem. I knew my life was a mess, but for a variant of other reasons.
I couldn’t have a substance problem. Not me, I was wild, sensual, silly and fun – unless of course I was behind closed doors being a total venomous bitch or feeling inconsolably hollow.

2011, I go to burning man, the Temple breaks me open in every way I need to be broken open, I soon after leave Effexor, Ativan and Quetiapine behind me and never touch them again.
“I’m cured! I no longer have a dependance for anything. But, you know. I get these headaches still…..”
Post Burning Man I start to get my life in order yet I am still fluctuating between elation with life and crippling depression, but at least I can feel again. And when I don’t feel like feeling, I have the pain killers.

“I don’t NEED them though”

2012 I am off to Burning Man again, two days before-hand I get another abscess in my tooth, stubbornly refusing to cancel my trip I go to my doctor. He prescribes me 80 (eighty!) Tylenol 3s. I feel the joyful glee of one hell of a time in the cards. It was a hell of a time, probably one of the best times of my life. Even though I can’t really remember much of it, I’m pretty sure it was fun. Right.

The years pass and while my life has balanced out significantly I am still battling depression and frantic bouts of rage/suicidal thoughts – mostly in the privacy of my own solitude. Where was this coming from? Or was I just broken by nature?
In 2014 my Partner at the time and I were having a heated argument, he went to the bathroom and while he was gone I popped a handful of pain killers and washed them down with whiskey. He returned and I was subdued, my eyes glazed over, a perfect apathy washed over my face and I motioned him to continue. He looked at me with a bewildered pain in his eyes and asked

“Where did you go?”
“I’m right here” I smiled
“No Mya, no you are not” he said.

He was right, I was gone. That was the end of the conversation. He later told me he had never felt so abandoned by me. Abandoned? How could I ever do that? What was I running from? The next few days were a blur of emotions, me alone at home by myself, feeling irritable, heart broken, suicidal, erratic, physically worn out; the intensity of it all didn’t hold any logic to me and suddenly I had a thought.
“Is this withdrawal?”

I hopped on my laptop and consulted Dr. Internet on symptoms of codeine addiction. “loss of appetite, depression, irritability, anxiety, stomach pain, psychosis, mania”

Cue life bomb in 3….2….1….boom.
Holy shit. I was addicted to pain killers. And I had been for a very long time. Life happens fast, and sometimes you pick up some crazy demons along the way, never even noticing they have latched on to you. So I stopped, I admitted it all, I quit. It was far beyond anything I would call easy but I quit, cold turkey. Catalyzed by stigma, shame, and guilt I haven’t touched pain killers since, even though gods know I wanted to. This addiction was like biting the proverbial apple, when you are always well aware that there is a magical little pill that can make your intense emotions stop dead in their tracks. Not just the negative ones, all of them, even the amazing emotions are a lot to deal with. The seduction of that knowledge is always there, whispering its pillow talk into the back of your mind.

That was July 14th, 2014, in addition a few years later I would also quit hard alcohol because of the triggering connection I still held between the two substances. I never gave a shit about craft liquors, what year they were, what their history was. I just wanted to stop my heart from expanding so rapidly, I wanted to douse my fires with an apathetic “nothing”. It’s been nearly 3 years (if you round up) and it’s taken me this long to even begin to tell people that I had a problem. It started in my shadows, and that’s where it ended. There is something very sad about that.

It’s true, I am a very real person, and much of the world is very fake. Much of this is because of the same reasons I fell into addiction. We are lonely, we have lost our village mindedness, many of have no sense of home, family, and beyond the mask of ego we are constantly fearful of losing love, or that we at our core are ultimately worthless. This isn’t true, but it sure is easy to believe.

The world isn’t fake, the thick veil of worthlessness that most of us are smothered with, THAT is what is fake. On a micro scale I am a recovered addict, on a much larger scale I am in the process of recovering from a very shattered culture.
It’s when I am alone that my cravings are by far the strongest. There really is something to be noted about that. So I am taking the time along with others to peal back those voices of disesteem and go deeper. This can’t be done without emotions, without love, anger, grief, and without each other. It’s hard, but baby it hurts so fucking good.

So yeah, theres a little piece of my story, heres lies my little tale, still in the midst of being written. Each day I step more and more into me, although sometimes it’s hard – I wouldn’t wish to be anyone else, or to have become as such any other way.

‘I assure you, I am not put together at all. Nor am I broken. I’m recovering – finding the beautiful in the ugly and stitching it into my life’

Ponderings from the essential shadow


I’ve been exploring through my thoughts on the experiences and pain that many of us share – yet seem to continue thinking are completely individual to each other.
I’ve been sifting through on my own ordeals of doing that exact same thing – my previous refusal to release the sovereignty of trauma. As if it was the only that actually made me special.
So if not the individual, where does it come from?

The disregard and nonchalance that our society bequeaths upon those openly experiencing loneliness, depression and acts of self-harm is abhorrent.
It’s so much more than a cry for help or attention – it’s a deep festering cultural wound that touches us all. Perhaps thats why we are so reluctant to talk about it without smothering it with medicinal bandaids and pillow talk of “Shhh it’ll all be okay”. It’s a shameful trigger that something has befallen upon us so vehemently that it has come to this level of extremity.

After copious years of it’s prominence this has become learned behaviour. Passed down through generations. It’s very much developed in to genetic and environmental trauma.
This is far too big to be swept under the rug of demanded and addictive positive thought.
It’s not a coincidence that in a world devoid of elders, initiation and community guidance 1 in 12 of youth teeter towards suicidal thoughts and acts of self harm…. of which generally starts around puberty.

Myself included. For over 10+ years, starting at age 12 – and still only the brave and some (not me) would call crass ask me where all my scars came from. And thats just the ones on the outside.
Yet when the people who suffer speak up they are instantly met with dehumanization, condescending coddling and made to feel like an infectious pariah. The majority at large do not want to be reminded of their shadow, their perceived failures and even more so want nothing to do with that which reminds them of their mortality; especially death.
I made it out of the deepest depths, mostly. Many others did not and will not. Something has to change – like now. You know it, I know it – and it’s doable; but not in conjunction with the continuous ignorant acts of peremptory blind-sightedness.

We are all here together floating in space, hurting, loving, feeling, longing and creating – If we want to heal ourselves individually it’s time we start to comprehend what it means to truly heal as a collective first. To support each other, regardless of the fearfulness that surrounds us, regardless of the mirrors that it provides. We need to heal this together.

(and as a life long advocate of extreme independence that’s a damn hard thing for me to say – IE “I was wrong, this can not be done alone”)

Ponderings from the essential shadows of Humanity

To be continued….

What is the Sacred function of the Artist?


We as Human beings come in many shapes and forums, many talents, skill-sets, and a multifaceted mindset collectively filled with all the tools it takes to build a culture that sustains and celebrates all that is alive; or once was – and on another level still is. Some of us identify as Artists.

We cannot afford to waste these human gifts – some in the midst of fading in to “the nothing” through lack of use. We urgently need to learn how to nurture the creative nature; not be consumptive of it. This Balance of magic and science, of masculine and feminine, of Darkness and Light; this will save us from oblivion.

Creatives are at an all time high risk for mental illness; in particular Depression (I can vouch for that personally) and according to Psychologists it -at least partially- stems from “a problem with filtering or gating the many stimuli that flow into the brain.” For this reason some Writers, Artists, and Musicians craft their lives in order to be isolated from human contact for prolonged periods of time.
But what if there were people taught and put in to the esteemed position of nurturing those wandering in their art’s pilgrimage?
Not seeing them with pity as the “Mentally Ill” but with respect as the Mentally Courageous.
What if it didn’t have to be done alone? What if it was never supposed to be that way to begin with?

Depression is never an sudden onset – rather with a molasses approach so slow that it tends to sneak up on us; as it “it just suddenly happened”. Depression rather is a process that begins with a denying or refusing to acknowledge painful and difficult feelings; laced with the stigma of weakness we are taught to sink or swim. Depression is usually triggered by a significant trauma; whether self aware or not, or a reoccurring trauma. Of which often leaves us feeling “different”, “Lonely”, “weird” (lets face it If being creative means being “odd” to some extent) or as a whole “UNSEEN”.

Through this we develop defence mechanisms and “walls” that keep us from fully expressing and processing our grief, and as such from fully stepping in to ourselves because we -and our gifts- are not outright held and honoured by a community. Sure there are often spikes of praise and admiration – but those don’t always lead to worthiness and social standing – beyond plastic transient celebrity status. We become terminally independent and gravely reluctant to trust anyone (even those we claim to and desire desperately to trust). As such this sense of worthiness ebbs and flows far too much to build credence or a solid foundation underneath it. So it shatters, again and again.

These consistencies in denying painful and difficult feelings lead to a significant struggle in being able to identify pleasant and positive feelings; or the deep sorrow that is needed to work through our shadows. And then a struggle to feel them at all.
So comes the “dead inside” feeling (if you can call it a feeling at all) – a neither here nor there; neither positive or negative state of being that harbours no space for inspiration; progression, and go ground to sow the seeds of love – externally or internally.

So we crave the small bits of validation and attention that feed us – then we will purge them at the first sign of dependance; we seek that of which we have no lived experience of. And we remember; only through pure ancestral reminiscence and perhaps blind faith that it must have existed once, that there must have been a time or place where everyone was honoured and seen in their individual way.
For clarities sake when I say seen, I mean not in a hierarchal fashion but as a small part of a larger story; as something of value outside of the instant soup, vending machine; jukebox broken culture that houses us now.

We as artists lament these feelings in our work, the only way we know how to and still be heard. Even if we don’t mean to; we subconsciously leave ourselves bread crumbs of recognition and recollection – not just for our own benefit but for those in our wake; as well as for those others around us that cannot step in to and digest the darkness that we do
– From behind the veil of what is corporeal and physically tangible we bring back for them (even if we don’t mean to) what they could not fathom gathering. We bring back philosophy, and stories, we bring back song and dance, we bring new vision. We bring these gifts back from a place so obscure, so wild and treacherous that in the midst of it all – we often lose ourselves there

And for what?

Because of some level, we remember the sacred task of the artist. And on some level we long to be held within that task as perhaps we once were.

So until then we wait – we build foundations and journey on in the wild untamed imagination; half blind and half mad – we wait.

– AppleCat​

Art Credit:



These battles we fight from within; demons called forth by a cracked culture and fed by -and from- the self; or malignant darkness created by the disillusioned self and fed by the ravenous unquenchable culture. The pendulum swings both ways; whilst we tread water from bellow, swimming in a tumultuous sea; swarming with hungry pharmaceuticals and commercialized dead end solutions.

A helping hand
a kind regard;purpose and faith in the form of progression and community; this is the prescription that may not cure; but subdue the so called mentally unstable; the bi polar; the differently wired folk….. who aren’t as different as it may seem given the populous.

Becoming is the most painful thing we will ever have to endure; aside from the consequence of the lack there of.

“You are a very real person in a very fake world; this is why you feel so much pain”
– Unknown

My time, my subjective wisdom, my inspiration, my empathy, my joy, my chaos, and most of all my heartbreak: they can be held back but never quelled. Rushing like a mad river of savage humanity once the faulty foundations of societal bullshit crumble
and again

I do not wish to be alone; yet as we all tumble with, I do not wish to be burdensome.

These wars we fight as singularities; I fight too. Each day I stare in to the nothing place and it threatens to devour me whole. Each day I spit in the face of it’s appetence and whisper softly

“Not today my friend”

Oh Captain

Becoming is the most painful thing we will ever have to endure; aside from the consequence of the lack there of.

Robin Williams was a man I used to have deep elongated fantasies about as a child, I dreamed he was my Father; in nearly every character I saw him as I wished so hard that he (or the personification of him I had imagined) would look at me the way his characters looked at the children/family he loved.
The Birdcage, The Dead Poets society, Mrs Doubtfire, Good Will Hunting, Hook, Patch Adams. In all these movies within my child self stirred the desire to be lead, guided, loved, held safely, defended, understood and taught.
His kind crow footed eyes, cheeky smile and knowing grin never seised to give me hope; not that I would ever have that; but that I had the capacity to be that to others.
He was my ideal of strength; and now he is gone.

It hurts so much to exist, truly exist not just be. Sometimes it seems just so easy to give up, or makes attempts to do as such.
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