A Post for the Broken...the Loners

Sometimes I struggle with positive thinking. Sometimes I think it’s a ridiculous lie to wake up every day and tell myself how awesome I am and how amazing life is.  

Affirmations make me laugh and remind me of that old Stuart Smalley Saturday Night Live skit. (Yes, I'm old.)  Stuart's trademark line is: "I'm Good Enough, I'm Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like Me!" ~ Stuart Smalley

I know don’t if they do. 

I don’t know if I care that they do.

Do you ever wonder why the people who tell you to think positive and love yourself are beautiful people? Who’s gonna listen to fucking quasimodo tell us to think positive and love ourselves? That won’t sell. That’s not a brand.

And, sure, a lot of those beautiful people telling us "ugly" loners that we should think positive are that way because of their hard work. I’m absolutely not taking anything away from the hustle… 

But let’s be real: there might also be a touch of youth, genetic make up, maybe plastic surgery--I'm not hating. If I had the cash I'd do an extreme fucking makeover on my face.

Insecurities weave themselves through my thoughts constantly. Even as I try to keep a positive and motivational spirit. I can’t help it. It’s how my brain is wired. It’s why I chose the tagline: Be Kind. Love Hard. Because it’s not hard—or inauthentic—for me to be kind. I want to be kind to people. I LIKE being kind to people. I LIKE loving (certain) people with every fiber of my soul. I really do. I want other people to feel good because I’ve been in their life. I don’t know if that’s narcissistic or not. If it is, then I’ll take that title. Happily.

But being positive all the time is difficult for me.

Just the other day, a friend grilled me—in one of those awesome I-needed-this ways. And the real insecurities came out. The ones that I never admit to anyone. The ones that are still there when I strip away all the positive jargon I try to make myself believe.

Here’s how I explained it: One of the most disappointing and depressing moments in my life came after an author photo shoot I did a few years back. I got my hair done for it. I got my make-up done for it. I hired a photographer who took beautiful photos and had MAD editing skills!

And when I got the pictures, I cried. I sobbed actually. Because I tried so hard to be beautiful. I pulled out all the stops I had the power and money to use…and I looked at every photo and cried. Because even after all that effort...I was still ugly. 

I feel that same way about writing. The same friend asked me what I was afraid of in trying to get to the next stage in my career. 

My answer: I’m always afraid of putting in all the effort…writing the words, perfecting the sentences, running themes throughout, using literary devices—making it the best book I can possibly wrIte—and for it to still suck.

I’m proud of every book I’ve ever written. I like the product I release. I have grown as a writer. But every time I put a new work out there, a new piece of my soul--I still think it's not good enough.

For what? For who?

I don’t know.

I’m not looking for sympathy or attention or compliments with this post. I’m giving you the story straight out of my head. These are the battles I face every day. 

What if my next book becomes a USA Today Bestseller? Will that “validation” be the catalyst to make me feel differently?

No. I can’t stop the voices in my head. I'll always think it was a fluke. I'll think it was luck. It's not my writing. It's not all the books I've read to learn from others. It's not my creative writing degree. It's not my hard work over the last seven years of intensely studying the craft and working to be published.

So I choose positivity. I choose kindness. I choose strength. Because if I don’t, what do I have? What is there in life? What impact do I have in the grand scheme of things? I’m gonna be on this earth, live a few unimpactful years, and then die. And when I let my head go that way…who does that help?

It doesn’t help me. It doesn’t help my kids. It doesn’t help all the wonderful, beautiful, broken people who I’m so grateful to have met in my life. 

So there you go. Even after anti-anxiety medication. And motherhood. And XYZ number of books sold. There’s your glimpse into what I struggle with every day. 

I don't have the answers.

I can't save you.

You can only save yourself.

I can be here for you. I can listen. I can talk with you. I can care about you and let you know how much of an impact you have made in my life and how amazing you are as an individual. I WANT TO DO ALL OF THESE THINGS!

But I can't make you love yourself.

If you're reading this, I truly hope you don’t have these struggles. But if you do, know that you are not alone. And that every single day we have to keep pushing. Push to impact the people you come in contact with. Push to support and be kind to and LOVE the people in your life that you cherish--or that need it. Push to make your slice world a better place—because I truly believe it is, just by you being in it. I LOVE YOU LONERS!

 

Follow @missiomusic on Twitter/Facebook/IG for inspiration and motivation....and people who understand... #Loners

 

Swim for the music that saves you

“You gotta swim
Swim for your life
Swim for the music that saves you
when you’re not so sure you’ll survive”
 

July 2002

I have no recollection of how many pills I'd swallowed.

It was at least 20--because that's how many I'd counted out for myself "to start with."


“You gotta swim
Swim when it hurts
The whole world is watching
You haven't come this far
To fall off the earth
The currents will pull you
Away from your love
Just keep your head above”

Deep down, I didn’t really want to die. But I couldn’t see a way out

from the Anger. Loneliness. Anxiety. Insecurity. Rejection. Self-Loathing.

My eyelids were heavy. My mouth dry.

With every breath, I willed myself to fall asleep, knowing it might mean I was dead.

at the same time, I feared falling asleep, because it might mean I was dead

“I found a tidal wave
Begging to tear down the dawn
Memories like bullets
They fired at me from a gun
Crack in the armor, yeah
I swim to brighter days
Despite the absence of sun
Choking on salt water
I'm not giving in
Swim”

Memories like bullets...real fucking bullets. Real fucking blood.

The horrific memory of staring out the front window of our old house in the Detroit--the one we didn't even live in anymore--

and seeing my mother's body crumpled in a pool of blood on the sidewalk.

“You gotta swim
For nights that won't end
Swim for your families,
Your lovers, your sisters,
Your brothers, and friends
You gotta swim
For wars without cause
Swim for these lost politicians
Who don't see their greed is a flaw"

Most people don’t know how to talk to others who are contemplating suicide.

They tell us we’re selfish.

They ask if we realize what it’ll do to our family.

They accuse us of doing it for attention.

And I understand--to an extent.

If you’ve never been pulled underwater from the absolute hopelessness of depression, you might think we can snap out of it.

But that’s not how our minds work.

It completely warps our brain, making it impossible to think rationally or logically at times.

At my darkest point, I could rattle off a hundred reasons why my family would be better off without me.

How could taking my own life be for attention if I was alone in my apartment?

I wore the guise of happiness in public, never showing anyone how much I hurt inside.

 

“The currents will pull us
Away from our love
Just keep your head above”

I remember lying on the bathroom floor of my apartment in Charlotte thinking…

I have tickets for a concert next week.

I don't even know what show. 

Because that's not what's important in this story.

 

“I found a tidal wave
Begging to tear down the dawn
Memories like bullets
They fire at me from a gun
Crack in the armor, yeah
I swim to brighter days
Despite the absence of sun
Choking on salt water
I'm not giving in
I'm not giving in
I swim”

I’m jolted by the memory of locking myself away in my bedroom as a kid—eyes closed, headphones on—getting lost in the music.

The lyrics. The bass line. The guitar riffs. The drum beat.

I remember how much I love the feeling of being at a live show.

And how it feels like the singer is belting out the songs just for me.

 

 “You gotta swim
Swim in the dark
There's no shame in drifting
Feel the tide shifting and wait for this spark
Yeah you gotta swim
Don't let yourself sink
Just find the horizon
I promise you it's not as far as you think”

I see the horizon.

I hear the waves against the shore.

I roll on to my stomach, grab the rim of the toilet, and pull myself onto my knees.

Then I shove two fingers down my throat, trying to bring up the pills.

 

“Currents will drag us away from our love
Just keep your head above
Just keep your head above
Swim
Just keep your head above
Swim
Just keep your head above
Swim”

I still swim.

I may falter when the dark thoughts try to seep into my head and pull me under,

but I gasp and choke and spurt, until I regain my stride.

The horizon is constantly changing.

It’s getting my kids back on Friday afternoons. It’s seeing them smile at the most mundane things we do together.

It’s starting a new book. Seeing a concert. Dinner with a friend. A trip to the beach. A drive through the mountains.

It's very hard to retrain your brain. 

But I'm trying to do that every day.

The only person who can make me feel happy – and worthy of being in this world—is ME.

I may not be remembered for anything grand in history books a hundred years from now,

but hopefully I’ll be remembered by the people I touched

with Kindness. Love. Encouragement.

And that’s good enough for me.

 

Thank you to Andrew McMahon for writing this amazing song - the lyrics I used in the post. This song was written well after the events of July 2002,

but I love the message and the strength I get from this song. I hope you do, too. Have a listen.

 

 

 

WE DID IT AGAIN!! THANK YOU!

 

I feel like Dora and the gang with that post title, but it's true and I'm dancing around happily to this uber-annoying song!

YOU have helped me reach my goal of donating $500 to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the charity I selected for UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT, in the very first week of the book being on sale!

 

That's the FOURTH time in FOUR books releases that I've been able to make my donation within the first week of release! That is so unbelievably spectacular!! I don't have the words to express how humbled and grateful I am to each one of you. 
 

THANK YOU!!! 

 

Sometimes I think: How can I --one tiny human being on this gigantic planet--make a noticeable  change in the world? Then I realized, I may not be able to make major changes, but if I can make a small impact to those around me--and help others make a small impact--we WILL see that. Someone WILL benefit from that.

We can't give up. We can't surrender. We can't stop because it's too hard or because we can't see the impact. It's happening. And if more and more of us make our small contributions we WILL see the larger impact. Our children WILL see it. We WILL be able to say that we had a hand in making the world a better place. Just by being a good person. A compassionate person. 

You don't need to have a lot of money. You just need to have the drive. And the heart. And the vision to support people who are working for good. 

Even if it's just buying a book. Or downloading a song. Or buying a certain brand because they give a portion of proceeds back to something. 

You are making a difference. You are helping. You are a super hero!

 

"To every single person who lives their life with love, respect, and compassion for all.

We can change the world. Together. #BeKindLoveHard"

~From the UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT Dedication Page