Again, the irony of my birthday happening to be on the same day as #worldmentalhealthday is far beyond me. Is this karma kissing me on the mouth? Maybe so.
I suppose that I could confess to all of you that I have/had this problem with depression around my birthday, probably because of rather personal and and or dark reasons. Perhaps I might’ve even tried to kill myself on this day (years ago) and on many other times as well because these are of the side effects of living with Bipolar disorder and Ptsd.
And the truth is that when you live with any form of disease or disorder we all have our ups and downs. The trick is to not allow your diagnosis and or downs rule you. For me I’m not my disease and yet still-I still have to work at being welland in control and because of this I’ve gone from a former professional mental patient into being the artist I’ve always wanted to become, along with becoming a teacher of creative expression, mental health care giving and soon to become a future talk therapist myself.
Quite a lot of heavy bombs to be dropping off on instagram right? Well, if I don’t say anything about myself and my life, how could I expect others to become more open and honest in regards to mental health and illness? If we at least talk to one another about it, perhaps all of this might not seem so heavy and or daunting. Perhaps we all wouldn’t get so quiet when someone says the words: depression, bipolar, mental health and or mental illness and ptsd.
Okay then, I must get away from everything that is being the nstagram addict that I’ve become as of late.
#suicide #suicideawareness #worldmentalhealthday #bipolar #biopolardisorder #ptsd #depression #depressionawareness #preventsuicide

Robin Williams didn’t die from suicide. I only just heard the sad, sad news of Robin Williams’s death. My wife sent me a message to tell me he had died, and, when I asked her what he died from, she told me something that nobody in the news seems to be talking about. When people die from cancer, their cause of death can be various horrible things – seizure, stroke, pneumonia – and when someone dies after battling cancer, and people ask “How did they die?”, you never hear anyone say “pulmonary embolism”, the answer is always “cancer”. A Pulmonary Embolism can be the final cause of death with some cancers, but when a friend of mine died from cancer, he died from cancer. That was it. And when I asked my wife what Robin Williams died from, she, very wisely, replied “Depression”. The word “suicide” gives many people the impression that “it was his own decision,” or “he chose to die, whereas most people with cancer fight to live.” And, because Depression is still such a misunderstood condition, you can hardly blame people for not really understanding. Just a quick search on Twitter will show how many people have little sympathy for those who commit suicide… But, just as a Pulmonary Embolism is a fatal symptom of cancer, suicide is a fatal symptom of Depression. Depression is an illness, not a choice of lifestyle. You can’t just “cheer up” with depression, just as you can’t choose not to have cancer. When someone commits suicide as a result of Depression, they die from Depression – an illness that kills millions each year. It is hard to know exactly how many people actually die from Depression each year because the figures and statistics only seem to show how many people die from “suicide” each year (and you don’t necessarily have to suffer Depression to commit suicide, it’s usually just implied). But considering that one person commits suicide every 14 minutes in the US alone, we clearly need to do more to battle this illness, and the stigmas that continue to surround it. Perhaps Depression might lose some its “it was his own fault” stigma, if we start focussing on the illness, rather than the symptom. Robin Williams didn’t die from suicide. He died from Depression*. It wasn’t his choice to suffer that.

Tom Clempsom (via jewist)

I’d have to agree as I also suffer from this disease called Depression/bipolar disorder….or whatever you’d like to call it….

The thing is before they announced Robin Williams death-I was afraid to post this. He’s gone now and I feel like a part of me is gone too. 

The thing about internet personalities, celebrity, and or blogging is that, often we only share what we want you to know about ourselves. We hide the rest often ashamed of what we feel or don’t feel. We project an image out into the world of whatever we “think” you’ll like to see. Who wants to hear about someone else’s sadness right? Not Robin William’s sadness, as he’s only supposed to sing and dance for us-like some entertaining puppet, but the thing is-he’s not-none of us are. We are people-human beings.  

I’m not comic, and I can’t even pretend anymore either. I can no longer escape this real world truth beyond the internet tweets and or photos I have written/created. I can’t do it anymore.  

I am sad, depressed and I’ve been this way for months now. I’ll be better one day, but maybe not today-I can hope for tomorrow though. I do prefer to say that I am feeling sad as opposed to saying depressed as that’s just me-it helps-every little bit helps. 

It’s all kind of ironic as well, as I feel like I’m even producing lots of what I might consider to be “worthy pages of writing” and I’m editing almost daily. Part of me thinks that this book I’m editing is partially driving me deeper into whatever this harsh emotional state happens to be. Some chapters seem easier than others. I guess life either on the page or out in the world is never really easy is it? 

Besides that, I feel like this fire took a picture of a few months ago. I hope I don’t burn out anytime soon and I am trying to remain lit, and burning-burning and burning. 

And now I feel the need to say that yes, I know where my limits are and I’m safe right now. And yes, I’m seeing both my therapist and psychologist quite frequently. This is not some end game note, but more so just me being an open, depressed, and bipolar person. 

I do want more out of this world, but right now I am just overwhelmed with sadness and hurt. And why wasn’t it me who died and not him (Robin Williams)? I mean hasn’t he made us laugh more than I have? What is the difference between him, me or you? Nothing really-we’re all just bones, blood and organs-and somehow we work in a way to connect to each other. I don’t understand anything better than you, but I hope to live a long time-as long as I can.  As long as I can despite all of my past suicide attempts, depression and or ups and or downs. 

I will keep you posted-

Incidentally I am on some new meds and I do hope they will kick in soon, but we all know-it’s more than just some meds we need to keep those fires burning.

Be Well-

Carmelo 

Earlier this summer, I went on a small trip back to Boston for a number of reasons like: business (of writing), the pleasure of unexpected life, and or-the obviousness of death. 

It was all of a sudden, during my little trip when everything went sideways. From sideways, to right side up, and then into a sort of epistemological pilgrimage/journey regarding Sylvia Plath’s personal history and childhood home. And so when I visited her house, I of course I had to visit Otto Plath-i.e. her father’s grave. 

Was it really such an odd thing to investigate? I then wondered, was it a mere coincidence and or was it synchronicity that I was staying in her hometown at a friends house? Either way, it was enlightening and even helpful regarding my own thesis writing, my life’s work related to poetry, memoir, the world, and much, much more…

I soon realized there was no such thing as an obvious/easy answer to what we (or I) often searched for i.e purpose and or simple wonder.

It then, during my deeper gaze into her life, that I saw it. It helped me see some of my own mysteries. And then-poof! I become more self illuminated. I had a shiny, even newer ray of light that spotted me by the water, and then by an old tree that Otto himself had planted. I think it was from a lighthouse that only I could see. It was all followed by a heavy sadness.

As odd as it sounded-it was illumination beyond the everyday. Beyond the things we try to shut out of our minds and or hearts, i.e. The End.

In The End: We’re all just plots in the ground or ashes that blow away in the wind. And yes, regardless of this looming future truth, I still think it’s still something I (and or we) all should explore and or at least try to understand.

Can I (or we) take off the blinders long enough to try and figure it all out-on our own terms? Is that still possible?

How does any of this relate to my own poetry/memoir/life/thesis etc? Am I making sense-or am I just another mentally ill person that says way too much than he should (online anyways)? 

(insert long sigh here…)

In closing, I kind of felt like that unreal yet real secret to writing poetry came to life for me. What secret you ask? I think it was Mary Ruefle who said that every great poem has a great secret in it. And maybe I’ll add to that in saying that (for me anyways) writing poetry is at least 87.5% contemplation and or meditation on: whatever it is that ails, haunts and or drives you. And then maybe the rest of it-is one’s own father issues. 

I never asked for any of this, I mean who does? I never asked for any great enlightenment, nor the sad mood swings, nor the wonderful and or heartbreaking thoughts to all exist in the same space in me, but they do. If you are still reading this you now know I am the king of over-sharing my own personal demons/issues/sadness/happiness.

But hey, maybe it all exists in you too, or maybe it’ll all come out if you let it. That’s all we have right? Trying or should I say: Doing. 

Create as much as you can while you can-if you can.

I hope you all are having a great summer.

-CV

Ned Vizzini is dead of suicide at 32? A heartbreakingly huge loss, one of young bright stars of young adult literature and film/TV writing. We had a few tiny Fb chats about depression and writing as we both had that same ailment. His books are amazing on so many levels, and I always admired that he never condescended or stereotyped his ‘teen’ characters. He saw true depth where others saw just angry/sad teens.

Depression is never a joke, it’s a very real disease, don’t ever hesitate to talk, shout, cry, howl to others about it, but do something…