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!!  

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Life, Writing

Random Thoughts…

I genuinely have no idea how to open this blog post. Usually (or at least I try to!) I try and have some shape or form of an introduction which somehow makes it seem that I actually know what I’m taking about and not throwing random words out onto a page and hoping for the best (people tell me it’s good, so I’m not complaining!). For the past couple of weeks though, things have started to speed up. Where once I could have stopped and sampled the little anecdotes of everyday life and the inner goings on across Cork City in various alleyways and suburbs, now everything is almost constantly on the go, days are going by like tablets in water.

Amongst it all though; the changing of the calendars and all the nitty gritty crossing of my t’s and dotting of my I’s, I have to say it is fun. Every day there’s new people and ideas to explore. Everyone has a story to tell or their own different opinions and tastes on the world. Even in my own head; I’m finally starting to creep open the door and get stuck into things (I’M AN ACTUAL WRITER! AND HAVE GOTTEN A CARTOON PUBLSHED! My Nan is very impressed!). Regardless though, one thing is on my mind; in the pace of everything, can you lose who you are?

Okay, stop laughing.

Alright… it’s a little funny.

I’m a nineteen year old college student with a job and in a few weeks I’m going to be watching my boyhood club play in the national stadium; I have no reason to have any questions or queries about anything. Yet, somehow, this one though prevails over it all. Have I lose myself? Am I now trying to be myself too much just because I have to? Don’t worry I’m not going mad or anything. It’s like, these days with everything going on; LECTURERS, TUTORIALS, ASSIGNMENTS, WORK, everything that was once myself has been put to the side. Every morning it’s almost like, “I’ll read the comics later!” knowing full well the stack has been there since June and I somehow have yet to commit myself. Even with sports. At the 2014 FAI Cup semi-final, when I travelled up to Bray with my best friends, I found myself only at 90%, my eyes on the match yet my head 20,000 miles away thinking of what else has to be done, for when and will I be good enough to do it. Even past hobbies are starting to face the blunt of it. Once, I’d have lived and died on a stage, these days I couldn’t recite two lines of Shakespeare even if you asked me, nevermind get up onstage. I’m trying to stay involved in St. Johns, but due to work my hours are suffering.

I think this is what growing up is like, where I start turning into the person that people talk about at dinner parties and when driving home from their child’s match. Still though, against everything and with my Batman comic in my bag on Wednesday and City jersey on, I might as well grin and bear it. Growing up isn’t fun, seeing our own innocence chipped and ebbed away by the sheer pace of life isn’t nice, but there isn’t anything we can do. But deep down beneath the masks we throw upon ourselves every day; the busy bees who dart from one destination to the next, we’ll always be the five year old watching cartoons on a Saturday afternoon. No matter who we are; whenever Doctors, Nurses, Politicians, Accountants, we’ll always laugh every so often and take time to watch some out of this world random cartoon show which anchors us to our innocence. We’ll never shake off who we are, just build upon it; sometimes for the better.

Even myself; at the moment I seem to be getting political, cynical and my jokes even worse. Underneath it all though, I’m itching and dying for a Simpsons reference or the new Batman movie!!

Thanks for reading as always,

Dylan!tumblr_lqqgtlws731qlq731o1_500

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Life, Writing

Growing Up… Growing Down and Everything in Between…

Well four weeks have come and past, freshers week has come and went, and through it all I’ve emerged my bag intact, a stationary supply as weak as water and about as much knowledge of politics and economics as I do on how to speak Hebrew. All things considered; college is fun. I’m waking up each morning and meeting new people, studying subjects I actually enjoy instead of force feeding myself one more geography essay, and I actually (don’t) know where I’m going this year (in trying to find buildings in UCC I successfully located Galifriey, the Chamber of Secrets, a rather peculiar wardrobe and Wonderland).

Meanwhile, when I’m not inside the Booles frantic for that one last slide on something long and psychological (which I won’t begin to spell as my dyslexia will have a field day) or staring into space in the students centre in the morning pontificating the inner most meanings of my tea cup  (COULD be talking to girls. But it turns out that, “Any milk?” isn’t a chat up line much to my best efforts), I’m stacking shelves in Tesco in my first proper part time job.

On paper: I’ve a job and I’m in college doing a REAL degree with REAL career prospects and a REAL job that’s not me at my keyboard thinking I’m Stephen King. I’ve been in college a month and already I feel old, which raises a question which I’ve thought about since I was 10… HAVE I GROWN UP?

Back when I was 12, there was something about growing up which seemed to freak me out and confine me to my bedroom up until about six months ago. For years instead of going out and actually living and going out there and exploring the world I spent my days trapped inside the cosy panels of the new issues of Spider Man and Batman. While most of my friends were out talking to girls and testing the boundaries; there was me at home with 100 or so issues of Avengers trying to figure out the best continuity for them and a way that would make most sense for reading. I also wore black, listened to bands named Slipknot and seemed to have some problem with society and life which eludes me to this day. Looking back I can’t help by cringe at my vain attempts at protecting my innocence and handcuffing myself to a ghost.

Even when I repeated last year and spent a year in the College of Commerce; the trudge to nineteen began. By trudge; I mean it was a one legged man limping through a quagmire blindfolded. Throughout the year I began basic traits of nineteen; what not to say to girls (turns out making constant Liverpool jokes and expressing your disdain towards Dundalk FC isn’t the best way to open up), what guys to for fun (pints, pool and random road trips to Fermoy!) and also how to do a good leaving cert*.

In college now; it’s not that scary. With every new goal I get (job, college, writing stints) new challenges and responsibilities prevail over and sense of complacency and each day I’ve to fight that little bit harder and harder to keep up with the pace.

If life is a race, then I’m getting fit and joining in. No point in strolling in behind, you’ll only miss out. Give me a few more weeks and I could be doing a few marathons even.

Now… if you don’t mind, I’ve a small bit of training to do there. Thanks again as always,

Dylan.

PS: Always hold onto who you are. Don’t cover up what you are with masks and false promise. In between everything sure; you’ll still see me in my Spider Man tee shirts, watching Doctor Who and listening to metal. I’m not trying to change who I am, but adapt to the pace.

*Little bits in moderation, do what you can, don’t over stress and take public holidays seriously and not say you’re going to study and end up stumbling in the door at midnight after supposable two pints.

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