We Could Be Heroes

What does it mean to be a hero?

I’m listening to my blogging playlist and thinking about just that. David Bowie’s “Heroes” got me thinking and it’s a real question – what does it mean?

I used to think that heroes were these people who were good and pure who rescued people and helped them. Now, I suppose, I am more of a cynic. Some of my favorite heroes in fiction are those who are dragged into it or are morally gray. I find that the virtuous heroes don’t appeal much to me anymore. I think that’s because I’ve found that the world isn’t filled with these virtuous people. Everyone is flawed, everyone has problems. But everyone has the potential to be a hero to someone.

I think that to be a hero, one has to possess one special quality. They have to make a positive impact in someone’s life. Heroes don’t always do physical rescuing, but that definitely could make someone a hero. Do you have to be pure and good to be a hero? That’s up for debate.

There are several people in my life whom I would consider heroes of mine, but I want to highlight one special hero. My psych provider up here is a liberator. She saw a problem and started to take action instead of standing aside or feeding it. The problem was that I was that I was overmedicated and she saw that in me. She knew her stuff and said that she had never seen a dose of one of my meds that high in her entire career. Because of her intelligence, intuition, and knowledge, I am where I am today. I am eternally grateful for her.

I don’t know anything about her personal life save that she likes plants and music, but I don’t think that that is necessary to be a hero. Sometimes heroes are just passersby. She is just one of my care providers up here who has changed my life for the better.

Now that I am coming down lower on some of the meds I’m on, I feel like I’m climbing a mountain and I’ve come out of a thick layer of clouds. The sun is bright, but I can see everything – the trail I’ve climbed to get here, the valley below, the next ridge over in the distance. It’s the best feeling in the world.

It’s also vindicating – I’m not crazy for having feelings that are larger than life. I’m alive, I am human. I’m not afraid to say that anymore. It’s liberating – I can find out who I really am. It’s exhilarating – I am blooming, I am not afraid to live. I was fine all along. I am able to bounce back and not drown.

I got some lab work done today and I didn’t panic or cry. I got out of bed on time. I took my meds on time. I talked with friends. I feel as alive as springtime. I ate a bagel, which was delicious. The proof copy of my poem book comes today. Life is good.

To my provider – thank you.

Love,

Meg

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Happy

“i’m afraid
i don’t want to be out of control
what if happiness scares me?
she follows me like a shadow
found in drumbeats and embraces and the feeling of
pushing forward
the song i’m listening to flutters
i have fluttered before
i will flutter again
i don’t like it because my happiness comes
out loud
shout it to the heavens
i’m happy and i don’t know why”

For some reason, people have always said I’m resilient, as if that’s something I want. All it meant to me was that I didn’t kill myself when my dad died, when XYZ happened, etc., that plodding on should be applauded. It didn’t mean that I was going anywhere. It didn’t mean I was proud of myself or living for anything.

When I met my husband, all of that began to change. I was living, at the very least, to be able to spend time with him and make sure he was happy. Even when I wanted to blot myself off the face of the Earth, he was there.

When I moved to Alaska, things changed even more. As mentioned previously, two psychiatric professionals took down the notion that I needed to be on hundreds of milligrams of meds a day, allowing me to cut back on my unnecessarily doses. He was the one who set all of this in motion. He was the first one actively involved in my care to challenge the idea that I could be crazy.

With all of these changes, I feel more energetic, hopeful, and happy. The happiness baffles me. It now rents out the space where sadness used to be, and it is almost persistent in its pursuit of me. It’s wild, loud, and feels dangerous. I still don’t trust it, and still confuse it with going crazy. It involves a lot of shouting for joy.

It can be compared to the end of a hero’s journey story where the hero arrives at the same place they started, but changed. It’s like, this is new, what do I do now?

I’ve been throwing myself wholeheartedly into my tutoring, which is awesome. Lots of new music has been made, and this long overdue thing is in the works…

People have been wanting to read my poems in a book for a bit, so I will make it happen.

If you’re happy and you know it, what do you do?

Rain Is

red on red

not what you think

red on red reflected

on slick concrete

pitch reflected in raindrops

someday i’ll make beauty

from a burning house

and the mind on fire that my

skull contains

will be doused with rain

“beauty from a burning house”, a poem by me

This is a poem I forgot about that I had written during my short-lived Poem a Day challenge last year. I was a long way away from believing in myself then, and I remember speaking poorly about myself in poetry and everywhere, really. I still don’t believe in myself in many ways, but I am coming to accept my mind on fire.

I’ve been working my way down on some of my meds, and I am feeling…alive. I am feeling. Feeling like myself, kicking the sadness in the pants, being my intense self and feeling mostly okay about it.

The one thing that bothers me is that I am able to laser focus, laser focus to nearly the point of obsession until my project is done. That bothers me because I want my ideas to come to fruition right now and that involves pestering people a lot. I don’t want to be annoying, but I need to get stuff done! According to my brain, that is. This has resulted in a pair of pieces that are nearly album-length apiece. You’ve already read about Light Steps, and last night’s jam resulted in Benson Boulevard Under Cover of Darkness.

My project last night was getting them on Apple Music, Spotify, and the like. I was so focused that I didn’t write a proper blog post, I’m so sorry! They should be live in a few days, though!

Before that, my project was recording Light Steps to cassette, which failed miserably. I’m starting to question my cassette quest since the jams are so frequent, so I’m setting that idea aside. This is what happens when I don’t try and put out the fire in my brain, coupled with staying off social media. I’m probably going to record a few hours’ worth of music by the end of April. I feel a lot better about myself.

all these cars

in such a hurry to get somewhere

i spent the day drinking tea

and wondering what it would be

like

to be okay

the simple answer is that i do not know

maybe it’s like being so

tired you cannot sleep

seeing the thing for what it is

but being unable to touch it

or maybe it’s

something like the moment

of clarity a person

first has at the moment

they plunge into ice cold water

they feel alive, don’t they?

This poem is called “beauty from a burning house”, and that’s honestly how I saw myself – as a burning house. Nothing more. I was under the impression that that was all I deserved, to be put out by a rainstorm.

I felt for years like I had to summon the rainstorm in order to make beauty from the burning house that I was. I didn’t see that the burning inside was okay to have. It seemed that I had to moderate my emotions. I had to have a valid reason to be sad, angry, very happy, or else I’d see myself as crazy and I thought others would, too.

In hindsight, it doesn’t matter what others thought. I was so focused on “being okay” that I overlooked the times when I was “okay”, and even worse, was being my true self. These were opportunities where I should have been feeling alive, but I crushed them. I was trying to look without seeing. I was looking to feel alive in all the wrong places.

Writing this blog was the first step to feeling alive, but now I feel real.

Feeling real to me is being able to embrace who you are without fearing how others think and view you. It’s not putting on airs, it’s not doing stupid stunts just for attention. It’s being unafraid to be creative and inventive and to also care for yourself. It’s being able to say “this is who I am” and roll with that.

I know I’m weird. I know I’m eccentric as all hell. I am excitable, I am smart. I deserve far more than to be put out by a rainstorm. You don’t deserve that, either.

Carry on.

-Meg

Bright

bright

bright

it’s never bright enough here

not for them

there’s this sickly thing called moderation

that i never nurtured and instead shied from

they said i should take it in

but who am i to listen

it’s grown up where i haven’t

(it was grown to begin with)

it’s coming for me and it is armed

with broken warning words

in a language i still can’t understand

even though they held me down and tried

to make me learn


(there’s nothing more to learn here

only repetition and broken mirrors)

an excerpt of “bright”, a poem by me

I’m coming to realize that I will never be right in the eyes of some people. I have worried that people won’t accept my mental state unless I’m either 100% happy or 100% calm and collected. I worry that any kind of anger or depression won’t be tolerated.

My husband is a miracle. I agree with this – he wonders if I really have bipolar disorder since most of my sadness occurs a week before my period (TMI Friday). So he came along to my psych appointment, which was already an appointment set to determine the course of action regarding my very high doses of some meds. After much talk, the three of us came to the conclusion that I may not even have bipolar and that if this is the case, the med doses need to be decreased or eliminated entirely.

a med smiley face.

We have talked about the meds before and he was the first one to propose this theory. I was at first unwilling to even consider talking to a psych about the possibility of not having bipolar for fear of destabilizing. Then we took a rainy car ride home from Anchorage and we talked further. We got on the same page.

When I had my regularly scheduled appointment with a new psych, she was baffled at the amount of meds I was taking. This didn’t sit right with her, and she gave me some education on what was going on. One of my meds has been proven to induce hypomania in bipolar patients. Two others are at abnormally high doses. So she referred me to another psych for a second opinion on what to do.

The other psych backed us up, and it was freeing. I have spent so long being told this and having it drilled into my head, and now I feel free to be myself. We even talked about gender, and she said that that is not abnormal to feel dysphoria and didn’t judge me for it! She understood what I was saying, too!

This excerpt from “Bright” sums my feelings up perfectly. It’s also the most Mago thing to not be on Mago.

there’s some long meter stick

i haven’t found

my anger doesn’t measure up to

my sadness doesn’t measure up to

I never seem to measure up to

even though we’re taller than that

I find that I struggle with a lot of anger, and a lot of it is directed at the fact that I worried for so long about whether or not the emotion I was feeling was valid or if it was just my insanity. I’m just about done with that bullshit. I’ll keep you updated on this journey.

Love,

Meg