Delusion


As a writer you reach a point in your life where you either have to figure a way to keep writing or give up on it.

This often happens when you’re close to reaching your goal of publication, but you’re unaware of that.

Throughout my life I’ve told stories of one manner or another. I told them to people so they’d think I was interesting, to myself so I’d like me and to my parents so they’d think I was a good kid.

I learned through those stories that I love to create characters from nothing and that with them I could do anything, but something stopped me on the way.

I felt insecure about my writing, which happens often to writers. Something Amanda Palmer has called the fraud police.

At some point I thought people would accuse me of not supporting my family in the “traditional way” and this led me to wonder whether I should keep writing.

In my early twenties, a friend who knew that I loved to write said I should write a book. So I did, a horrible, awfully constructed vampire book.

What I learned from that book is that finishing a book was possible and that I really enjoyed it, then the fraud police showed up in the form of someone else and I stopped writing as much.

It was after I started writing again and finished another book I felt the fraud police again, in the same form as the last time.

I stopped writing for a while, again and fell into a deep depression which I’ve talked about here, which led me to transcendental meditation and getting through my depression.

After I began TM I started writing again. Little bits at a time until I was ready to tackle something bigger.

The something bigger is the second novel I finished and I’m now in my third rewrite and fourth draft of it.

When my wife and I moved, with the promise of being able to write full-time and bartend part-time, I felt guilty about writing. Not because I was afraid of the fraud police, but because I wanted to follow my dream.

Following my dream of being a writer is something that’s haunted me for most of my adult life and I only now understand why.

I’m doing something most people can’t or won’t do. Follow their dream.

When we decide to follow our dreams and our life allows that possibility to creep in, we think we’re getting away with something, at least I do.

I see all my friends and I know they have dreams they want to follow, and some of them are, but there are others who I really want to help, but they’re so used to being in the life they have they’ve forgotten about the dreams they once had, and the fact that I’m able to follow my dream, makes me feel guilty.

Now that I’m getting past the guilt of following my dream and embracing it I understand who I once was as a writer and I love him because he allowed me to be who I am and create the worlds I love.


In our lives we discover there are always doubters.

These people believe that because they didn’t, or couldn’t do it, it’s not possible.

The reason they say these things are they tried and gave up on what they wanted.

They saw it ahead of them, but just before they got there it became too hard. They gave up because their will to be someone better wasn’t stronger than being satisfied with the life they had.

Along your journey through life, you’ll meet a lot of these doubters, and they’ll have good stories, but they always end in, “I couldn’t do it anymore”, and that statement is what makes us different from those who, “couldn’t do it anymore.”

They thought because they were near the end, or what they perceived to be the end, it would get easier.

Has life ever gotten easier when you were trying to do something difficult?

Have you ever sat and thought, “Climbing this mountain is going to be easier than the training?” Why do you think that is?

The training prepared you for getting to that mountain, tasting that cold air, feeling that snow on your face and the rocks under your feet. It never did the work for you, it was only practice.

That’s what every moment of your life has been up to the point where you believe you can do great things, practice.

Sure, you’ll deal with difficulties again, but they’ll be easier than the ones when you started.

If you ever think what you’re doing is easy, you’re doing the wrong things and not trying hard enough.

Living the life you want will be difficult, but it will be worth the moments of staying up late, of staying at the gym late, of trying to improve your life.

Each and every moment of your life until you reach your goal is practice, but once you get there, you’ll need to work harder to stay where you’re at, not because it gets easier, but because once you get there, you’ll never want to leave that life again.

When I worked in Las Vegas, I wore two name tags, one of them said my given name of Brian, the other said Lestat. The reason, well, I love Anne Rice and Lestat has always been my favorite.

People at work could tell what kind of mood I was in, just by the name tag.

A new company bought us and I wasn’t allowed to wear the Lestat name tag.

This is was somewhat heartbreaking, and I still have issues with things like Lestat. But being someone else is something we’ve always wanted to be. We want to have more money, the perfect spouse, kids and the whole thing.

When I wore that name tag, I felt different. Not that I didn’t know who was driving the ship, I was always available and at the helm.

I just felt different.

Neil Gaiman says you should think about the type of person who would write the kind of stories you want to write, and write like that person, well, okay Mr. Gaiman. I’ll take up that challenge.

Let’s see what happens when I let Lestat, or others run the asylum.

I’ll show you, and keep you updated on our progress.

We talk about life-changing moments, but until they happen we’re not truly sure until after the fact.

This past year I said goodbye to my wonderful dog Abbey, held my wife the morning her father died and discovered who I am.

Abbey was with me through my migraine sessions, always laying next to me until they subsided. My father-in-law was one of the most creative, imaginative and caring men I’ve ever met.

Both of these changed who I am, but it was the 20 minutes I took twice a day which healed my soul and saved me from suicide and depression.

My life up until this year felt as though it were a series of mishaps leading me toward the end of my life. By the end of 2013 I felt I’d lived my last full year and would not live through another year.

When I walked in to the TM center in Las Vegas, I discovered that there were others who had dealt with depression, addiction, and stress in the same ways I had.

They’d taken the pills the doctor prescribed, they’d had their share of being “on the wagon.” None of them felt better until they’d tried TM.

Now, I’m the one touting its effectiveness and leading others to learn the technique.

In the next few weeks my wife will be learning the technique. She’s had her father pass away, dealt with depression and bi-polar disorder. But I know TM will work for her. In the next year there will be a few changes on the blog to reflect my involvement with TM and I hope you’ll talk to a teacher or read David Lynch’s book.

2014 and Transcendental Meditation changed my soul. It made me want to live for myself. It made me want to be a better father, husband, son and human. I care more about the lives around me, though they may not know I’m there, I want them to be at peace with who they are, where they’ve been and the life they have.

TM put my soul to rest about my childhood, my parents divorce and the problems I’d had with my father. I love him, and always will, but I know that we’re different people than we were before and there’s a separation between us that will never be healed. I hope he has a good life, enjoys himself and finds TM and begins to learn.

We’re all going through life learning about who we are, but I feel TM makes us understand who we are and embrace that person and not care about the rest.

Happy New Year and I hope you have peaceful 2015.

Brian

 

It fell from the truck, rolling, flipping and resting on the edge of the water. It lay there against the shore, the water pushing it lightly against the bank until the rush of new water pushed it into the stream.

It floated down the river, its shape changed mildly by the water until it drifted below the surface.

Walking through life, we get caught in the pull of things which aren’t under our control and they push us and pull us against other forces until we see the pull of one thing as our life’s purpose.

I always believed I should write, but I never knew I’d write something which people would read the way Delusions of Ink has.

I fell from the highest I’d been. A new child, a great wife, but I wasn’t the person I believed myself to be. I was only pretending to be that person. My facade was I was great husband and father, though I’ve learned that I was much harsher than I should have been.

When we discover we’re not the person we’ve been telling ourselves we slip from the bank of life, slide into the roaring river and float until we’ve become waterlogged and slip under the rising tide.

When I slipped under I didn’t know how to get to the surface. I was afraid of becoming someone other than I believed myself to be and I felt that changing who I was wasn’t the problem, everyone else should change to accommodate me.

When I began TM, I wasn’t aware yet. I wasn’t functioning the way I am today.

I was depressed, suicidal and I wanted my wife and kids to be happy. I felt they weren’t happy with me and suicide would fix that. I believed they’d be better without me.

Nearly a year after I wanted to end my life, I’m reaching people through the blog and through what I write. I’ve had confirmation of this and to have someone say you’d helped them is the greatest gift I could receive this holiday season.

The holidays are when suicides spike. So, when you see someone who doesn’t seem like themselves, please ask them if their okay.

If you have a friend who’s recently divorced, broken up with partner or someone who has no one, invite them to your party, they’ll be grateful and you may save a life.

If you’re having trouble this holiday please call the suicide hotline – 1(800) 273-8255

Have a safe Holiday season and Happy New Year.

Brian

A soft flurry, like shredded tissue paper from God’s hands fell around me.

I watched the three of them play, one snowball, another.

Their laughter and smiles infectious as they struggled to stay upright on the damp grass.

I stood at the top of the hill, a smile from ear to ear as I watched my wife and kids play and I wondered, “how many of these moments have I missed?”

When I think about the selfish person I was a year ago (and I’m not referring to suicide). I wonder about the times days like the snowballs and laughter happened, but I was too busy worrying about myself?

I could have done more for my wife and kids, I see that now, but then, I couldn’t see anything but my own ambition and ego.

Ambition which had led me astray, ego which had nearly killed my marriage, but now that I’m better and see who I was, I think about moments, small moments that I may have missed because I wasn’t paying attention to the “moment’.

But what thing stands out among everything. The person I was missed some awesome things, things which I’ll never get back, but I’m trying.

I look at my children playing, my son tearing it up on video games, my daughter and her Palace Pets, and I broke a promise to them, one I’ve been working to repair.

For my wife, whose trust and love I often took for granted, I try to make new moments for us. Moments only we know about, whether it’s laughter about me acting out something that happened at work, or doing one of the numerous voices I’m able to do, I’ve begun to find myself in the ego I once held sacred.

I look for ways to make up for the person I was, whether that’s my son telling me about school, showing me the details of his new Lego collection, or my daughter explaining the intricacies of which Palace Pet belongs to which Disney Princess.

I listen more to them now. My wife, I truly hear her. I don’t judge her as I once did. I take notice of her more and that’s the one thing I’ve noticed about TM and who I am now, I find myself more in love with my wife than I believe I’ve ever been.

I see the way she fixes her hair to try to hide the grey and the way she looks at me as if I were an alien when I respond to a question in a way my former self wouldn’t have.

I see all these things about my family, and to think, I’m different because of 20 minutes twice a day. That’s all I’ve changed.

Each day we’re stuck living someone else’s dream.

We go to a job where oftentimes, we’re creating something for someone else, because it pays the bills.

What if we decided to live our dream, pay the bills and still keep people happy?

This was something I thought about the other day when I was writing.

I work a day job, which I had considered my main job, obviously neglecting my writing and anything creative in the process.

That was until this past week, when I was struck with something, I’m not a writer. I’m pretending to be a writer.

What I realized in that “moment of clarity” is that I’ve been looking at my writing as a second job, sure it doesn’t pay the bills right now, but as long as I treat my writing as the second job and not the first, it will always suffer.

In this realization I thought, “Damn, if I think this way, others do as well.”

What do we do about it?

We rethink our creative side, redo the way we look at our day and come up with ways to put our creative efforts first, and other things second.

I say this as a husband and father, “If your creative side isn’t in first place, it will never win.

I have obligations, it’s not like I’m going to quit my day job, not right now. I see the time coming when that will happen, but it’s not right now.

The thing is, we all have things we want to do, but we put them in second place out of fear, shame or other reasons.

Fear of rejection, fear of someone not understanding and the fear of failure. And shame, damn, shame is the worst. When we look at the things we’ve failed at there could be a big list, and because we failed at those the shame and fear of it happening again makes us not want to try, not want to do it again.

But, when we come to the realization, as I did, that what we wake up for in the morning should be first. That the thing we want to do most in our life should be first, then, and only then will we discover the will to do it.

I’m not going to lie, it’s going to be hard. There will be people who say you can’t do it, there will be that damn voice in your head and when the voice in your head talks, tell it to F off.

The only way you’re going to do what you want with your life is to put your creative pursuits first and anything else second.

We live someone else’s dream every day, isn’t it about time we live our dream?