Because sometimes projects change….

Stones,

So, I’m so happy I’ve been consistent with posting on my blog thus far. I’ve been having the worlds’ worst case of writers’ block. I can’t write to finish my last book and I can’t be inspired to start the next book. This is getting out of hand. I have never had it this bad before. The only thing that I can write is “I have writers’ block!” Maybe I need to write a book about writers’ block. If only I could write. If you guys have any ideas to help with this let me know in the comments.

So, I may have found a publisher for my first book. The only thing I’m wondering is if I should submit this for the contest portion or should I just submit it just as a regular manuscript. The idea of losing the contest is just horrifying for me, so I might just submit it as a manuscript. However, if I was to win the contest I get an immediate boost as an author and the book gets an immediate boost. I still haven’t made a decision, but what I do know is that I need to finish the book first which I could do if I could just write. UGH! You may be asking how I can finish this blog post if I have such bad writers’ block. Welp, very simply these are just my thoughts.

I have some exciting news. In a few short weeks, I will be launching Hollisway Comforts which is a line of homemade crocheted items made by yours truly. You will be able to buy them on this website in the shop. I will be selling shrugs (sweaters), dolls, rugs, baskets, afghans, scarves, and fingerless gloves. They will be in various colors and then I will stock the stores in batches because it takes a while to make enough of these items.

Okay, that’s all the news I have for the day. Until next we meet.

Bleed and Exist,

S. Hollisway

Pick up Scarred and Faceless Here

Because sometimes UGH!

Stones,

UGH! So there has been another senseless pointless violent mass shooting. My heart is full of sadness.  I empathize with the victims and the victims’ families. I’m saddened because even worse, nothing more but thoughts and prayers are going to be done about this situation. It’s like a revolving door. There’s a mass shooting tragedy, multiple press conferences, thoughts and prayers, and then…nothing.

Silence.

For an undetermined amount of time, there is silence and these shootings and the lives lost are forgotten until the next tragedy. This should have been dealt with years ago. One shooting is too many. But everyone just wants to bicker instead of coming up with solutions. Some people want gun control, while others want to want to argue about the mental health aspect of it. Why can’t we tackle both? Why can’t we both make it unstable human beings to get guns while tackling the mental health issue? But why have this argument for nine months before deciding not to do anything?

Ugh! This cycle is getting old and it needs to change!

We deserve better from the people we that were appointed to be in charge of us. We deserve better and we deserve safety. This isn’t fair and we shouldn’t stand for it.  What should we do to break this cycle?

I’m pondering this question and I have no idea how to answer it. I have no idea how to rectify this situation. It then dawns on me that it’s not my job to fix and yet I feel so responsible and I don’t know how to transfer this responsibility onto who it belongs too. We can yell and scream sure, but who’s really listening? I’m so over living in fear and depending on “thoughts and prayers” to make a difference.  Our fears have fallen on deaf ears for too long. What do we do to make a change? Something to ponder until next week, and until next we meet…

Bleed and Exist,

S. Hollisway

Because sometimes inspiration vanishes….

Stones,

This will be my second week in a row posting so for that I am very proud. This will be a stream of consciousness post because life has left me currently uninspired.  I have no inspiration. Sadly, I am an artist in a rut. I feel dull, lifeless, and just dead inside. This is awful because life is going relatively well. I just feel myself slipping into this uninspired, noncreative state of being where I am just existing. I’m not quite sure how to get out of it.

My dad had this problem before. My dad is a visual artist. He does tattoos, draws, paints, things of that nature.  The problem was that his slump was causing him to drink all day and hid in his room. Getting out of his feelings seemed like an impossibility.  A family to another state seemed to cure him. He is back to his “normal” artistic self. (What’s normal anyway?)

THE REAL ISSUE

I can’t pinpoint what my issue is. It might that I’m getting married soon. It might be that I’m too complacent in life right now. Like, okay I get married. Then I’m a wife and someone’s mother. I fear that my identity will end there. I’m working towards getting a job then I’ll just be someones’ wife and mother who works a mundane job.  I don’t think I’m ready for that solidarity. That’s not to say life has to be like that.  But I crave adventure and I think I need a new challenge. Not to motherhood and wifehood aren’t challenging enough. Life comes with all sorts of challenges. But those challenges involve other people. I need to challenge me and need to figure out who I am and what I want for myself. I love being  Oscar’s mother and the future Mrs. Briggs but…I fear it won’t be enough to keep inspired or to keep me thriving. Now, I kind of feel ungrateful or selfish. That’s not a fair or accurate depiction of my situation.  I just, don’t want to lose myself and I feel like I’m slowly slipping away.

The Solution

I’m actually kind of at a loss here.  What do I do? If I knew I wouldn’t be in the position now would I? The easy answer is to continue the way I am with life but I feel like that would kill me.  No one should live like that.  Any tips, comments, concerns? Maybe I should ask my therapist. Well, she doesn’t have all the answers. I could take a trip, a family trip. Or maybe just a long one by myself to a cabin somewhere. I don’t know, I don’t have all the answers.  Maybe, oh maybe.

Until next we meet

Bleed and Exist,

S. Hollisway

 

Pick up Scarred and Faceless Here

Because sometimes purging is necessary…..

Stones,

I do apologize for the hiatus. The surgery took more of a toll on me then I had hoped.  It makes it very difficult to post once a week. Hopefully, I am back now for good with the regularly scheduled post on Wednesday. I also unintentionally blocked most of my post which I was not aware of. Thankfully, I fixed that.   I wish I had known that earlier, it’s been like that for weeks now. It’s so frustrating.

Okay, so you know the phrase, “No Good Deed Goes Unpunished”? Well, after a recent experience I highly doubt that.  I went out of my way to help someone and got nothing but turmoil and heartache in return. Worst of all, I have to shell out money to fix a door I didn’t break.  But let me start from the beginning.

My “Good Deed”

So, I reached out to an old friend who was having a rough time. Let’s call her…Bella. Bella expressed that she was in a dark place and was suicidal and couldn’t find her will to live.  Of course, because Bella and I were close once, I was very concerned. She expressed that she had no one to help and that she alone and had devised a plan to end her life.

For those that have been with me for some time, you know my history with mental illness so (before all my post got blocked) and the last thing I wanted was to lose another friend to mental illness.  I suggested that since her living situation was so subpar and she was so alone that I had an extra bedroom and perhaps she’d like to stay with me on a temporary basis (HUGE MISTAKE NUMBER 1).  She didn’t know what to say and doubted the genuineness of my offer. Looking back, I shouldn’t have pressed the issue. A couple of days later she agreed. After talking over the next few days, I found out that she was having serious money troubles (Red Flag Number 1). I told her not to worry and that we would help her get on her feet. (HUGE MISTAKE NUMBER 2).

So, we are talking over the next few days and steadily making plans she tells me that she has absolutely no one in her corner ( Red Flag Number 2).  A therapist once told me that when people are in exile there is typically a reason. I should have asked more questions.

So we reach the day she is scheduled to come and she does.  Things are great…the first night. I make chili, everyone eats themselves silly. We talk and laugh and Bella and my fiance get to know each other. Everything is great, we talk about each other’s triggers. She said that she was still nervous and then I told her I wanted her to be comfortable. I told her to make herself comfortable (GIANORMOUS AND FATAL MISTAKE NUMBER 3).  So we had rearranged the house for her. We gave her my sons’ room because he’s only 1 and he sleeps with us most nights anyway. We brought her a blow-up mattress and new sheets and blankets, the whole nine yards. She had her own space that she quickly made her own and she had that space to be comfortable as she wanted. What could possibly wrong?

The Demise

The next morning, I woke up to my entire kitchen rearranged. Cabinets were reorganized, food was moved around and thrown away, tables were reorganized and all without permission. It was chaos. My fiancee has OCD and likes things a certain way and Bella also had OCD and wanted things her way.  There is nothing wrong with compromise but as a guest, you would think it needed to be discussed first with the owners!  Things went downhill from there. She made unsolicited “suggestions” about our parenting style, was wasteful with food and toiletries, and interjected herself into our private disagreements.

You have three adults with mental illness living in one house, there are bound to be disagreements but this was unbearable.  They argued over everything; tobacco, coffee, my son, our relationship, her being the oldest,  everything! They got into an argument so bad, it resulted in the door being broken! It was just terrible. Then, the pettiness started. Things were hidden, things were stolen, and kept in rooms. Things got pretty bad and I didn’t know what to do.

Then one day, like magic she found another place to live. She said she couldn’t do it anymore and someone had offered her a house to live in. I was relieved and asked when she was leaving. She said she would let me know. She promised she wouldn’t leave without saying something. That same day, I had a health scare and had to go to the hospital. I got back and she was gone. She took all her belongings, plus the bed we bought, and for some reason, I’m sure just to be petty she took all the sugar and all the creamer.

The lesson learned

I’m not playing the victim. This was my fault. I made a snap decision and made a rash judgment.  The good is, we don’t speak anymore. I purged her from my life and my world and she doesn’t exist to me anymore. She was toxic, always played the victim. It got old really quickly. But again my fault. Sometimes purging people is necessary. Purging all the toxicity out of your life should be a daily practice. It could save you a lot of drama and theft.

I hope you enjoyed story time. Until next we meet.

Bleed and Exist,

S. Hollisway

Pick up Scarred and Faceless Here

So… I’ve returned!

Stones,

So, two weeks ago I got surgery on my knee. It sucks and I’m sore and the pain pills make everything go wibbly wobbly. But I think I’ve been reinspired back to writing.  I’ve been writing more poems, mostly in my head but a few on paper. I’ve also been hobbling along trying to take care of my bouncing monster on one leg. My son really is the light of my life.

So, I’ve learned quite a few important things in the last few weeks. One thing that really hit me smack dab in the face, that I feel like does this about twice a year is that perfection doesn’t exist.  Now because this hits me really hard about twice a year it’s not for lack of a better term a new concept to me. It’s just something that I struggle with and sometimes oh to frequently becomes overwhelming. Even worse, I get into this place where I feel like can’t do anything because it’s not perfect. I can’t finish anything because it isn’t perfect.  Then I can’t start, finish, or fix anything because the conditions are perfect.

I tend to get stuck in this cycle that while knowing and understanding perfection is not obtainable, my never-ending quest for it leaves me petrified and paralyzed to move. When I actually do decide to start over, it always has to be at the beginning. or either a week, month, year. If I can actually convince myself, to shake off this immense feeling of dread it’s a disaster.  I feel like I’m struggling and playing catch up and it’s impossible.

So, I’m struggling to get out of this perfection phase.  It feels impossible. But what I can tell you is that no matter how far gone you are, don’t attempt to play catch up. Just start over, I promise the world won’t end.

Until next we meet

Bleed and Exist,

S. Hollisway

Because mental illness shouldn’t be romantized….

Stones,

Mental illness gets such a bad reputation.  It is either demonized or glamourized, there is no in between. In reality, mental illness is nothing but a grey area and a large one at that.

Movies like Girl, Interrupted, and A Beautiful Mind are entertaining sure, but they fail to illuminate the complexities that come with mental illness.  I’m not going to criticize or tear the movies down by any means, but it’s frustrating.

Besides movies, mental illness isn’t talked about enough. Or the stigmas run rampant and ruin if for the rest of us. Here is a little background.

I suffer from mental illness and have been given multiple diagnoses. Been tossed from psychiatric institutions to psychiatric institution and am plagued by own demons. I have been through hell and back but I have survived and I am thriving. It bothers me that on paper, I can be perceived as dangerous or unstable because of a combination of fear and ignorance.

While we are on the topic, why is it that most illnesses aren’t explained clearly.

Some common misconceptions about mental illness:

Schizophrenia is not that same as multiple personality disorder or dissociative identity disorder.

Multiple personality disorder or dissociative identity disorder are in fact real.

Anxiety is not just nervousness. It can be a crippling, debilitating disorder.

Depression is not sadness, and it doesn’t go away.

All schizophrenics aren’t paranoid.

People with personality disorders aren’t evil.

But most importantly

NO, WE CAN NOT JUST SNAP OUT OF BEING MENTALLY ILL.

Don’t promote the stigmas. Learn about this burden before you condemn us.

Until next we meet,

Bleed and Exist,

S. Hollisway

Pick up Scarred and Faceless Here

Storytelling is important sometimes because…

Stones,

I feel as though storytelling is for the masses.  Certain stories just have a way of resonating with people in a way that benefits them. This is not a happy story.  It doesn’t have a happy ending. It has an ending that is typical because life is typical. Although every story is unique, no story is special in the sense of tragedies. Everyone goes through them. Everyone suffers.

“Life’s a bitch, and then you die.”

-Narrorator of 1000 Ways to Die

Being homeless in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania was an adventure, to say the least. I wouldn’t dare use any word synonymous with “enjoyable” nor would I recommend this experience to anyone. It’s almost like going to prison, an experience you would exchange for just about else.

I was one of the lucky ones. I never completely got engrossed in the lifestyle. I had a job, had meager funds to buy things, and wasn’t active in my drug addiction  (over 2 years clean and sober!)

There’s so much to know about being homeless. So many unspoken rules to follow. So many secrets you need to know.

Like I mention before, I had a job.  So I’d wake up, go to work and endure the nonsense of earning a paycheck. I loved my job. It was a break from all the craziness and the politics of being outside.

On days, when I didn’t work, I’d go to the local homeless shelter where you could sleep and eat lunch a noon.  It was like being in school. There were rules that had to be followed and monitored very carefully by staff. There were all sorts of things you could do there. Like take a shower, get clean clothes, get mail, get your hair cut, it was a homeless paradise.  There was also tones of trouble you could get into to, so they kicked us out at.

Then it was back to killing time til Dinner time.

There were always people coming to feed the homeless. Some people were forced to but the majority were just decent people. They’d bring huge spreads with a variety of foods for us too. Granted with the amount of us it wouldn’t last but it was, it was still delicious. After dinner, all there was left to do was kill time until nightfall. And nightfall was when all the drama began.

Nightfall was when the drugs and alcohol came out. It was when all the drama started. There was no shelter to it. The best you could do was stay out of it.  It helped to stay with people who had a sense of immunity to it. Or at least people who favored you enough to keep you out of it. I was lucky.  I ran with people who had jobs as well. People who could separate themselves from the drama. People who took care of themselves. When you are homeless, it’s important to remember to put yourself first and not get absorbed into the world around you.  Always remember, that you don’t want to make this temporary situation a permanent one.

Mine was temporary. After about 3 months, my father invited me to stay with him. Things worked out for a while, but not permanently. My point is every situation, however good or bad is not permanent. Things change in the blink of an eye. Stay ready, and be prepared.

Until next we meet

Breath and Exist,

S. Hollisway

Pick up Scarred and Faceless Here

Because sometimes Odes are due….(Part 1)

Stones,

This is a poem I wrote for my son.

Until next we meet

Bleed and Exist,

S.Hollisway

Ode to Mommy’s Monster
For you, I’ll face a thousand demons
Battle any inconvenience
Rip apart
Every wound and scar
Because it’s you that owns Mommy’s heart
And I hate to see you cry
It rips me in two
There’s nothing I wouldn’t do
To shield you from my regrets and mistakes
Because the path you’ll take
Is filled with your own
I wish I would guard you against them
But that’s a battle you’ll never face alone
So I say
Be brave
And keep that smile upon your brilliant face
You’ve always made mommy proud
Without trying
And Now
It’s time for Mommy to return the favor
And join you
For Mommy knows you were born for greatness
But Mommy can’t set the path for you
It’s for you to choose
To be a champion in your own right
Painful it might
Be
But for me
I’m proudest when watching you fly
And when you’re designing your blueprint at night
With your dreams
Not mine
To My Child
With a mile long smile
I, your mommy
Will always be proud

 

Scarred and Faceless

Because sometimes passions fall short…(Breathe)

Stones,

So, I’m working on my second book. And it’s…draining, to say the least. When creating something, you put a piece of yourself inside of your work. Whether you are a photographer, painter, drawer, dancer, singer, writer, etc, we are all artist. Putting yourself out there is so ridiculously scary.  It’s like putting yourself on display for everyone to see. Because that’s exactly what we’re doing. It’s horrifying letting people in like that because who wants to be that vulnerable ever?

So why do we do it?

There is this thing inside of me,  inside of all of us. Our need to create. Our need to explore. Our need to test boundaries and open ourselves up to exposure and criticism. It’s doesn’t come from a sane place. It comes from a place of chaos and need that is suppose to make us sane. Or keep us that way, or something resembling sanity.

So, I will continue to write. Whether or not I place myself on display will still be up for debate. Or should I say whenever I decide to put myself back on display, is up for debate.  There’s still this need in me to express myself in a way that invites people to take pieces of me to examine. But the sooner this story is out of me, it will no longer “threatening the life it belongs to” (Anna Nalick, Breathe (2 am)).

So many cool points if you got that reference.

Until next we meet

Bleed and Exist,

S. Hollisway

Click here to pick up Scarred and Faceless

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Because sometimes self-care is needed…

Stones,

Pardon my may absences. Life is a bit overwhelming.  When things get rough I tend to push harder to try and get past it. The harder I try to push past this pain the worse things seem to get and it only once I am stumbling and rocking back and forth on the breaking point that I start to question my methods.

Why is it that self-care is always last on our list, even when we’re staring at the barrel of uncertainty and exhaustion? Why is it that we are last on our list of things to take care of? We give precedence to everything but ourselves. Why is that? What makes us put ourselves on the back burner?

When our car starts to go wrong we give it the once over to see what the source of the problem. When things are going rough in our lives we never give ourselves the once over. At least, I know I don’t. We as a whole, need to start taking better care of ourselves. We need to put ourselves first and take care of ourselves. Again, I know I do.

Here are self-care tips that I use when I feel burn out.

  1. Stop! I stop everything that I’m doing and take inventory as to how I’m feeling.
  2. Take a walk. I get moving and try to get outside to clear my head.
  3. Hug someone. Surround yourselves with those who love you and soak all of it in. Lean on each other.
  4. Journal. I write out my feelings that I dare not speak to anyone else. I get them out of my soul.
  5. Hydrate. The body functions better when it’s well hydrated.
  6. Listen to music. Listen to songs to life your mood or that will help the bad ones wash over you and then dissipate into nothingness.
  7. Bathe. Long hot showers and baths can work wonders on a wounded soul
  8. Exercise. I sweat out the anxiety and the bad feelings. I relish the rush of endorphins.
  9. Meditate. I try to focus on 10 minutes a day on my breathe. Longer on really bad days.
  10. Logic. I know that these feelings are only temporary and they can’t and don’t last forever.

I hope everything is okay with all of you. I hope you remember to always check in with yourself. Remember, YOU MATTER. The world is more beautiful with you in it.

Until we meet again stones,

Bleed and Exist

S. Hollisway