Posts Tagged ‘Brain’

So I’ve been a nail biter for the majority of my life.habitnails

I’ve managed to not bite my nail for some extended periods of time but usually end up finger in mouth again. Right now, I have once more but aside this habit. I am maintaining my nails with clippers and file, and keeping the skin around them, smooth and tended to. I hope to make this the norm for the rest of my life – because… it’s a bad habit.habitno

I used to smoke. Started late, at eighteen – no really, for most people that is late. Smoked for years, tried to quit but failed, failed, failed. I tried quitting because it was too expensive (back when it was a whole 6.50 a pack) – fail. I tried quitting because it was unhealthy – fail. I tried quitting because my brother-in-law had children…and succeeded. I didn’t want to be the uncle that smoked. However, I won’t lie – there was no way I would have stayed clean if it wasn’t for vaping (e-cig). Not smoking is good, because we all know (despite how much we may love it while we do it) that it is a bad habit, in so many ways.habitsmoke

Bad habits, the above. Worthy of the time and effort to quit.

Some people say not writing everyday is a bad habit.projectblank

There is a school of thought that says ‘Get so many words down a day. Even if they are rubbish, write them’. Is that a good habit…or is it personal style? I can’t produce words if my Muse is not whispering them to me. I am not the source of my stories. I can’t come up with much beyond, what if my protagonist didn’t like the colour orange?habit orange

But, when my Muse starts to caress my brain… Oh wow! The words form a miraculous torrent of imagery that spins down from my mind and out through  my fingers.habit magic

So what exactly does writing ‘It had been a bad day for Bob. He didn’t like the day he had had. Tomorrow Bob hoped would be more fun.’ or its equivalent, everyday, when ‘m not inspired? Especially when, if I wait, I can get. ‘It felt as though he walked down a giant dogs mouth. Robert’s cloths clung to him and the world reeked of garbage. This summer day might have looked idyllic from behind cool glass, but for those forced to live it, as he was, it was hell. Tomorrow, he reminded himself, it would all change tomorrow.”

Seems a straightforward answer there, right?

But… it has been months since I really wrote anything. In fact, that was probably the most I’ve writing that wasn’t in this blog for over a month. Would forcing myself to write sh*te drive my Muse so insane, she comes running to plug up the drivel and get real words on the page?habit muse

I used to write at night. Sit down at the computer around eleven, and go until a bit after one. But I was sleeping in until ten-thirty and my wife got up to deal with the menagerie of livestock at five-thirty, six. So we saw little of each other – she would stop doing whatever she was doing, just to join me for what was, my morning coffee. Eventually, I decided she needed to start waking me at nine, to mesh our lives a little closer. Now I don’t write at night, but I usually can get a good bit done in the morning – if I’m writing.

Staying up late and sleeping in – bad habit or personal style?habitnight

I don’t believe there is One Right Way or The Golden Approach to writing – or life. I do believe there are bad habits. I guess the trick is to truly examine yourself and daily routines and decide which is which.

So I seem to be entering the next step up in my mental health cycle.cyclesteps

I shouldn’t be surprised – the timing is just about right for it.Cyclestairsman

This means I’m now even a little less ready to deal with the real world and a little more prone be irritable about nothing. I am more likely to ‘latch on’ to something and obsess on it, or gnaw on it in my head.  My general ability to relate and adapt to situations shrinks and I lose even more ability to focus.

And Yet….cycle mantunnel

This is the same time when, if I’m writing, I’m able to push out a couple thousand words in a sitting. I’m able to just immerse myself in the creative and produce. I seems that is also true with the more hands on projects I’ve now returned to, having joined the SCA. Tackling logistical problems, is being slippery, but carrying out the implementation of the solutions to those problems, is very controlled.

cyclefallingrockA life time ago, when I wasn’t on medication to help level my brains response and reactions, this would be a very bad time for attempting physical manifestations of my creative impulses. My anger control was shot, so the slightest issue would drive me into a state that resulted more likely in smashing my project into a twisted lump. I couldn’t make the connection to the image in my head and the way to manifest it in reality, and I would deal with self-esteem issues when I failed to manifest the thought into the physical.

Now, I have the ability to lean back, sigh, and tap my fingers on my temple, as I try to make the brains desire and the fingers skill mesh. I can struggle through and either try, and try again, or know enough to turn my attention to a different project in hope of finding some satisfaction from that one. This ability really changes the game for me. Now I’m not saying that it is easy – it is still hard, when the cycle is high, to fuse desire, intellect, and function – but it is now at least possible.

I can, with the help of the meds, turn the negative obsessive nature into a laser beam directed at one single project. I’ve also found music helps me stay relaxed, loose, and focused during this stage – sooth the savage breast and all.  I can even switch from one project to another. What I can’t do is come out of the intense focus on making a thing or writing a scene, into the real world. It’s a lot like waking for me, their is disruption, befuddlement, and a jarring sense of disconnection. Luckily my wife is used to this and waits while brain scrambles to put context to a wider reality.

2015-11-22 15.20.16 B
So I am progressing on my edits – just got chapter 18 and 19 for the next White Dragon Black novel ‘ Bindings & Spines’ this morning so, after my morning social media routine, I will have to take a look at them. I finally figured out how to put together a tiny pomander bead and actually implemented it yesterday – I need to recreate the technique once more for the project – and I started on making a face in one of the bone beads I’m making for the rosary challenge I signed myself up for. 2015-11-21 16.27.29

So I’m cresting and plunging to a degree, as the waves of my mental disorders slap the little dingy I’m stuck riding this life on.cyclestorm

I’m still seated however, and the view, once you get over the initial panic, is pretty spectacular.

Yeah – having one of those mornings.angryman

I’ve already bitched, moaned, and sniped. I’ve been depressed and just figuring it was easier to toss important things ‘out the window’ as it were.

I really had no patience to write a blog post – and what’s the point of doing it anyways. I certainly couldn’t think of an interesting topic to share from my pointless, and pathetic life.dont_even_talk_to_me_coffee_mug-r114ccca9f9f54f3b97fd89c0ba66affa_x7jg5_8byvr_1024

So I decided to write about the fact that I didn’t want to write a blog post. That’s what you get for following a blogger with bipolar, I guess. Seen those coffee mugs with the levels on them about when to talk – I think there should be stickers t go on the foreheads of people that do the same sort of thing – or maybe more like the radiation stripes that give colour change to indicate expose. If those strips did exist mine would be showing a red line this morning.

hulksmashThe problem with waking up in this sort of mood already, besides not being fair to my wife, is that now I have t expect the rest of the day will be wasted. A long drawn out day of frustration and boredom. I’ll decide not to do projects I care about least I screw them up – because, you know, I’m a useless failure. Or something will go wrong and my irrational angry will take hold and I’ll smash like the Hulk.

Sometimes I can actually find something to do, and do it well. This can either help draw me out of the episode I awoke to, and sometimes not – because mental follows no set rules and is not here for your understanding or convenience. 
brain-lies

So there is my boring, rant on this morning where I entered reality more cantankerous and self abdicating than usual – which really is saying a lot.brain -outof order

So I have this theory – you are born with ‘sleep cells’.

sleepbaby

sleeprechargeThey are like fat cells, only they store sleep. The human body only has so many of them however. Now they can be recharged but once they are truly burnt out – unlike fat cels – they are gone. This explains why in our teens, and twenties, we can go, go, go, forever, without sleep – and not really notice. We crash, eventually, recharge and get up and go again. What we don’t know is that when we are doing this, some of the sleep cells have been totally burned out to maintain the sleepless activity. Then, suddenly, in our thirties, we can no longer stay up all night, all weekend, and still function during the week. We keep needing more sleep to function as well as we did only a few years before. This is because the number of sleep storing cells have been radically reduced. And if you’re a parent …. Forget about it!

There are many stages of sleep, but generally they have broken it down to four parts. The ‘just drifting off to sleep’, the ‘in sleep starting to rest’, the ‘deep sleep’, and the most well known REM stage. Now everyone thinks REM is the most important. For a while, it was believed if you didn’t get REM you would go crazy! This isn’t true though, REM is not the most important, nor will not getting it drive you crazy.

Don’t get me wrong – REM sleep is important and it can really effect you life… but we will get back to that.

sleepchildThe most important stage of sleep, actually, is probably the ‘deep sleep’, or the delta sleep. This is when your body and mind are, essentially, shut down. This is the sleep that is hardest to wake someone from and, if you manage it, the sleeper will wake groggy and take time to ‘activate’ – essentially because they were, in fact, shut down and are rebooting the system.
Scientist have discovered that delta sleep is when hormones related to growth are released in children and young adults. It has to do with proteins being broken down during that stage of sleep, and that protein, is what builds and heals the body. So during this time is when you also deal with damage from stress and ultraviolet rays and well, life. Now here is a scary quote from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke web site,

“Activity in parts of the brain that control emotions, decision-making processes, and social interactions is drastically reduced during deep sleep, suggesting that this type of sleep may help people maintain optimal emotional and social functioning while they are awake.”Insomnia

So if you don’t get enough delta or ‘deep’ sleep, your ability to have healthy emotional and social function decrease.
Now I’m going to let you guess what kind of sleep I don’t get enough of…

sleepscreamI wake often from REM during the night, I can sleep for 7 or 10 hrs a night, and I still wake exhausted. I don’t ever get that ‘rise feeling rested and content’ crap that others go on about. When people say ‘I had the weirdest dream the other night’ or ‘ my dream felt so real’ sometime I just want to back hand them through a wall.
I ALWAYS have ‘weird’ dreams. There are no other type of night for me but one filled with emotionally wrought, twisted, highly tactile, stress filled, negative, often dangerous, ‘adventures’. Trust me, it isn’t something you want… in fact, when describing them to people, I’m often told that what is considered a nightmare.

sleepimpSo here we are back to REM sleep – see told you. So yeah, REM is important. If your sleep is falling down on it’s job to ‘repair’ you body from stress by not getting enough delta sleep, and then pounds you with stressful REM sleep. The thought of going to bed is not always a pleasant one – often, because you know it will only lead to having to wake up, numerous times, from a hell your own brain cooked up for you.

Now here’s a fun fact – Seroquel, one of the medications I’m on to help stay somewhat sane, is known to cause more vivid, warped, dream states….yay.

About two years ago I had a good dream – first I could remember. I woke from this pleasant, soft bunny kisses, and hugging flowers dream. sleepbunny
First thing I did was curse. WHY? Because of two reasons: One, I now knew what everyone else was getting that I never did, Two, I knew the next nights horrors would only be worse because of the comparison.

Sometimes I think I should just stop calling it sleep, and refer to it as ‘Wes World’

sleep freddy

 

rejection-letterThese past few days I’ve been getting strong signals from my Muse. I have a short story set in my White Dragon Black world that is a good 60% there, which has a strong actual ‘detective’ feel to it. I’ve been hoping for another of those as I’m longing to to submit to the ‘The Strand Magazine’. They are a long running detective magazine that says they take paranormal. I don’t know if I’d get in, but it would be nice to write something that has a firm enough detective vibe to submit. I’m not the sort to wilt under rejection; better a rejection from such a long standing magazine than a ‘never know’.

zombie-house1I am also getting more of the zombie novel I started, and I think it might have to come out of my skull before any further WDB novels do. I even have something I never had before – meat for the ending. There is a travel component to the tale… an almost quest like story of getting to a house. I never knew why before. I knew it was the protagonists parents house, I even knew they had died a bit before the outbreak but I never knew just why my protagonist wanted to go there. They would have to pass a lot of other places that would, in truth, be just as good, or maybe better, than this house he was gunning for. Just the other day, as I was driving (when many a revelation or inspiration hits), my Muse showed me the why. I got the moment in my soul, saw the scene, and understood. It isn’t really surprising to me. I knew that, dotted throughout the story, had to be snippets of his old life, memories and the like. But now I understand, and I love it. It is both sentimental and twisted. It makes you call into question all that happens during the trip, and yet… and yet, if I write it just so, it will touch the heart.

Writers-BlockBoth of these sound pretty good, right? Two projects to delve into – and I can, in fact, write a short while writing a novel. I should already have aching finger tips, and an extra numb ass!  So why don’t I? Because my brain is dumb!

I’m rearing to go, got the material, got the connection to my muse, and yet… when I open the screen to write, my brain freezes up, pulls in on itself, and stubbornly shakes it’s head.
Stupid brain.

I’m not sure if I should be gentle and slowly try to ease it towards letting words trickle out, hoping the trickle becomes a flood, or if I should bludgeon it with a sledgehammer until it cracks and gets swept aside under the sudden deluge of creativity.

I just have to hope my Muse is patient with me, and understands that it is my fault I’m not writing.