Writing the Miserable Character

This is a personal post.

Triggers for descriptions of mental illness, notably depression, mentions of suicide and brief mentions blood and sharp objects.

A few days ago a friend said to me, an edge in his voice, “You’re not a cheerful person”. I never bothered asking why he said that, so suddenly and sharply to my agreements that I was a cheerful person who was miserable on the inside. I like to think I know the answer, and hearing it from them would do me no good.

But it got me thinking. It made me think about the fundamental truth of my being, the one that manifested itself years ago and never ceased to be. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not proud of being depressed and that being an obvious aspect of my personality. All I’ve ever wanted to be was a good person. In my mind this meant being cheerful, being open, spreading good vibes where ever I went. My entire dream self is someone people loved because he could love them and, perhaps most of all, love himself.

I’m starting to wonder if I could ever be that man. But most of all I’m starting to wonder if the reason I’m so far from him is because I’m spending so much time trying to be him. I can’t force my depression to go away. I can become better at hiding it sure, which is essentially what I’ve been working towards but… It should be obvious why that’s not an optimal way to live. It’s easy to tell myself “Tomorrow, I will make my friends happy and pretend everything is okay”, but it’s so fucking hard to do that. There’s no point in kidding myself.

I’m a miserable wreck and everybody who knows me knows it.

So, what does this all have to do with writing? Well, if I’m not a cheerful person how can I force myself to write cheerful character? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come up with a nice, cutsey story idea and failed to write it. It’s not in me, I get a few lines in and I putter out.

I think I’ve been scared to write horror again because something inside of me feels like if I allow myself to, I’ll somehow make everything worse. What person in my life would read the kind of terrible things I’m itching to write and even think to continue befriending me? In these wee hours of the night I listen to stuff like Linkin Park and Disturbed, cliche emo bands that people like to make fun of. I used to listen to them a lot back in Middle School… I reflect upon how so foolishly I romanticized violence and self-harm back then. I wondered what it was like being mentally ill. I would’ve never predicted that I’d be sitting in college some night, unable to stop myself from cutting into my flesh, over and over. It was fucked up, a lot of my life has been.

Yet, why do I keep going back to that place back in Middle School? What is it about that romanticization of blood and pain that entice me to write gore-fest masterpieces? What is it about the past I tell everybody I condemn that I want so badly? If I know now how horrible it is to experience why do I want to replicate it on paper so much?

Even as I write this I’m scared to see what my friend my think, if he ever does read this piece. If I were him I’d accept that I’ve been stagnant and would probably not be writing anything for quite some time.

At any rate, at around 3:30 AM I will write my first dark piece in quite some time. I will publish it on here, for better or for worse and then in the morning proper I will reflect on it. Who knows? Maybe I’ll actually get somewhere.

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Writing the Miserable Character

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