Football, Life, Reach Out, Uncategorized, Writing

On Writing 2.0

As I write this it is 18:37 on the 16th of September 2016, you could be anywhere. Alongside of me; in the Amber lit sitting room turned kitchen, my Nan potters on. The kettle is filled and the television drones on in the background like a far off sirens. 

You could be anywhere. You could be anyone. You could be reading this five years down the line in a cafe in some thriving metropolitan cafe or a sleepy and silent cafe, wondering, “whatever happened to him and his stories” . You could be at home and seeing this on facebook and wondering where is this going. You might be laughing at me, cringing, crying or actually interested. Whatever, where ever you may be: hello. It is nice to talk.

I hope your well. I hope your tea is warm and sweet. I wish you a world of walks through fluttering autumn leaves and reading books in the rain. I wish you all the friends and family in the world to write and text you at every moment, to smother you in support and good wishes and never a fret of tomorrow’s worries. I wish for your time.

Time. You can neither see nor touch. Yet, you are the worlds oldest friends, the most bitter of enemies. Time moves on. Time is never sits still. Time is the girl who got away. Time is the goal that never will be. Time is the punchline you will never get.

This year. I’ve gotten older. But, for once in my life I’m not looking back with a wince but a smile. It has been a good year. A nice year. In 12 months I went from the awkward bumbling City fanatic to the bumbling writer who even once got called “successful”

It has been a year since I made the decision to write part time. A year since John and John took on my work at the Evening Echo as a freelancer. A year of breaking Rob and Brian’s heart week in week out. Another day of pitching and working with the Irish Examiner. 

I don’t know where to go with this. But, in a great grand hall of moments. This was the day, the actual moment where I can say that I became the person I wanted to be. 

I remember being in schooland feeling like a broken Lego block. I couldn’t sport. I could do maths or spell or Irish, I scraped by as someone who was average. Standing out was making a fool out of yourself.

For some reason now I’m a writer and get to dress like a writer and get to sip really pretentious coffees in little coffee houses in back streets and lanes that my mother best not know of. The Express have become family. When you wake up and grow into your shoes it’s scary. 

What’s even more scary is the time. It’s 18:55 now and the news has finished. Words have been written and stories have been told. If you’re still reading; I thank you. To everyone who has read me: thank you. To everyone who called and greeted me: thank you. 

Someday I will write something cool and happy and it will be funny and sweet with little heroes and villains in even littler houses in streets with nothing more than a loaf of bread. Hopefully we will all laugh and shake hands and feel a bit happier going to sleep at night as we tuck it away. Until then they’ll be even more god awful poems and endless match reports.

Time is boring. Let’s stop the clock and tell a story.

Thank you. It has and always will be a pleasure.


Art, Life, Reach Out, Uncategorized

CIVIL WAR 2: My Mental Health and Me 

In a little tucked away part of the book shop, hidden deep with it’s own brandish title, swashbuckling heroics await. 

While the forefront is the yellowing threads of yet another book shelf, another brick in the wall; what lies behind is deeper. The imaginative spectrum dips and dives and slides through the system, creating a twisted tale of death, destruction and the end of days. Welcome to tomorrow. Universes are dying, our heroes have failed and here I can clamouring away for the next chapter.

Then the heroes win and the world is safe. 

The end, right?

Now that’s it. The end. Everything for nothing. You’ve wasted your time to get back to where you started. Aren’t you a fool for reading the same book again and again, to expect a different outcome? Quite don’t tell anyone you’re still reading!! 

Usually that’s when I leave the book shop and step away from my head.

On fave value; I’m a happy person. Today I past first year college, saw Cork City beat Dundalk and stepped up in my journalistic career. My mother says “I won the treble!” My Nan says “you’re then person you wanted to be!”

In turth, in the bare boned honesty: behind doors and looking in the truth is in the bookshop.

Like comics, it’s another issue another event. I’d give anything to stay busy, stay in projects. Working two jobs. Volunteering with St. John’s. Writing. College. Comics. Football. Never a moment to think to dwell but in the next big thing, keep the momentum going. 

And like the great bust of the comics industry in the 90’s; things fall apart before me. Sitting on thought I realised who I am: an arrogant, ungrateful, stupid, wannabe, pity case; the embodiment of shit. An excuse of a person.

From waking up to feeling nothing and wishing sleep had swallowed you, even the massive highs. Bouts of happy, sad, and the blurred lines between. 

I’d be left hitting walls, wanting to get stuck on myself. I once said that if I stood before myself I’d hit myself over and over. 

Through bouts of self hatred and apologising for existing  I carried myself through college; afraid to talk. Afraid to slip up and be an attention seeker; but to save everyone and to help anyone.

What I’m getting at here, isn’t about tags. One day I snapped and realised I needed help. So I went to my parents, broke down to my best friend about looking over my shoulder, embarrassed and red in the face booked a counselling apoinement.

In a nutshell; there isn’t a massive dramatic diagnosis. There isn’t some big reveal. Words like anxiety where thrown out, but I  was told that I was on the verge of a breakdown and depression after. 

There are no tags. I am Dylan. A 20 year old comic book fan, Cork City fanatic who still thinks asking for the premiership scores is a good chat up line. 

What I’m getting at here, isn’t a big reveal, but when people say mental health; it’s not about tags. It’s not a tattooing Oxford English Dictionary definitions across our foreheads. 

Everyone has to deal with it. By tagging someone you’re taking away any individuality there. If something isn’t right (me not being able to sleep, avoiding food, hitting walls, constantly angry, tearing into myself at the littlest of think, afraid to talk without a G20 summit on what to say) say something. Go reach forward and talk.

No one is alone. No one is ever alone. My sister is in the next room, my parents asleep, my Granddad watching some movie and my Nan counting sheep. We’re a few of many. Everyone has a life a story. Sometimes we meet villains; or own Thanos and we need to team up with others to defeat them before they can their Infinity Gaunlet. 

Never tag or label. We’re all the same, all step in puddles, sample poor pastimes and dine at the wrong tables.

What’s important isn’t polarising each other or strapping on tags; but embracing what we are and talking.

Batman has Alfred. Spider Man has Wolverine. Superman has Martha. 

I may not be making a fool out of myself; but to get one person to talk, or to listen to someone out there, is a victory. Bigger than beating the Skrulls or stopping an inter deminsional incursion.

Sure, what harm?
(Disclaimer: Counselling so far has lifted the weight and helped **slowly** rebuild my sense of self worth and esteem; the right road. Thank you mother father, Emma, Dan, Rob for puttin up with this!!