What’s Been Going On Lately? :

Hi Hi Y’all…

It’s me. I know I’ve been making a lot of statements and promises since the beginning of this year and haven’t really been following through with them. In fact, I’ve seemingly half-assed works and developing friendships. I’m going to do my best to explain and have it somewhat understandable.

HEALTH

Some of you have had the opportunity to be aware of some of things that are going on with me. Recently, I’ve had to make the decision to take down a lot of what I had posted and change my decisions of what I will post. A lot of this has to do with what I want for the future and how it all has been affecting those around me and changes on what effects I’m okay with. This may be one of the few posts going forward where I am so open about these things so I will try to make it worth it.

Physical Health

Before I went to university I was a pretty healthy person. I mean, I had my problems like everyone and knew I was someone who would have to work hard with my weight my entire life. That was why I ran, did martial arts, yoga and tried my best to remain physical.

Things started to change in my first year of university. At first, I gained the stereotypical freshman 10 pounds from change of lifestyle and being on your own. I did my best to not let that affect me and try to continue working hard.

Soon I started to feel sluggish and tired. It was harder to do things and my head would hurt more often. I attributed it to drinking way too much coffee and going out and trying to have a night life.

By the end of my freshman year I started to notice something really was happening. Everything was 10x harder to do and required more effort. It made me tired and weary. My head felt cloudy and dizzy. I often fell asleep or found my body severely hurting. The worst was my back and joints.

I tried to explain all of this to my family and doctors and at first they pretty much came up with a lot of excuses that implied it was all me. But there is something about a person just knowing that there is something wrong and it is everyone else around you that is saying utter bullshit.

It took two really bumpy years of resulting life problems and a surge of sucky progression for people to start believing me. The problem was by the time they did my entire life had changed. I was now a completely different person. I was someone sick. Leaving my bed physically was hard and painful. My head felt like it was going to split open and reading paragraphs felt like a foreign language. Forget being able to sleep or go through a day without wondering why my body was trying to kill me. Everything was pain and struggle.

A whole another year went by full of tests and random medication and speculation that just prolonged the confusion and suffering. So many people I knew that I was lying, exaggerating or causing all of it since no easy answers were given. By the end of it, the doctors just laughed and smiled happily. I was lucky and should be relieved that it wasn’t Cancer or anything exotic sounding. It was simply other ‘easier’ things.

I was 23 years old and my body was simply acting as if I was at retirement age. First, they told me I had Ankylosing Spondylitis. Something I couldn’t even spell if I didn’t have to. Apparently, back stiffness and pain wasn’t from scoliosis and bad posture. My immune system was causing issues with my back and joints. I had disks out of place, disks fading away, disks fusing and inflammation wherever my body seemed to be able to cause it. It was such an easy and simple thing to everyone. Then I had Arthritis. It was basically, in their own words similar and a common result of having the first thing. It was meant to explain why I have even more inflammation problems in my joints and when my body tries to heal from something. Lastly, they were ecstatic to tell me that everything else was the result of Fibro Myalgia so I should be relieved. My body was simply processing pain more intensely than the average person. Great, right?

Everyone expected me to bounce back immediately to the person I was and be amazing again. I spent another two years going through different treatment options, meds, physical therapies and professional opinions on how to handle it. Also, a shit ton of judgement. All that weight I gained from being stuck in bed for two years? Why couldn’t I immediately work to get rid of it? I wasn’t missing a limb or dying. And so many people who are go out there and do amazing things. Who was I to be such a failure? My pain was simple and easy. By my name I was expected to always be a fighter.

The thing is I am still working on it. I’m working on the crazy flare ups with no schedule, the ever changing symptoms, the emotional toll, the sleepless nights, the loss of self, the joints that pop out of place, the inflammation that can cause me to look like a hunchback, the use of cane some days, the weight that brings judgement, and the attention I’m expected to pay to myself. Boy, I am really really really trying to work on it.

And sometimes, I am not the best at it. It affects me and what I do. I hate that. I wish that wasn’t true. But it is true and I have to always think of ways to be content with that and try to live a happy life.

Mental Health

I think even before my physical health issues I’ve been open and weird about my mental health issues. I don’t keep a diary (hate it) and I go back and forth with therapists that my writing has always kept a part of myself and where I’m at at the time.

Growing up, I dealt with a lot of expectations. My grandfather ended up with all girls and all of us with our own problems. He himself had dreams he wanted to fulfill but didn’t. So all those hopes and wishes everyone had all felt to me. I was raised to think that was right and fight to make sure I fulfill them. That puts a lot of stress and pressure on a child even when they aren’t realizing that is what it is. Even worse, I never knew how to talk to them or other people about things that weren’t about the expectations. My natural introvertedness and social anxieties just got worse. I never knew who I was or what I wanted.

Then came bullying. It seperated me into two halves. The one who was always on in public and the one who waited alone in the shadows. That does work for awhile. The split functions with one stable and holding you together. The thing is that all it takes is one thing to bring it down completely.

For me, it was middle school. By the time I entered it that shadow part of me hated myself. It knew I was a failure and that I was doing only enough to get by in fulfilling my expectations. It mocked me and reminded me that there was no one I had a real connection with. I became someone who pitied themselves and that was what brought me down- that pity.

I accepted a lot for the idea of creating the image around me. What ever it took to seem like I was fulfilling some of those expectations. Whether it was complete or off or not. Some of it was being done right. The problem is when you make the chose to allow pity into your life the price for things becomes even more expensive.

I won’t go into detail about these things but I’ll say this: during puberty I dealt with massive family issues, bullying, rape, molestation and the complete denial of the idea of being my own person. I thought I was a tool for others.

That lead me into forming a lot of unhealthy relationships and making a lot of poor decisions for myself. That shadowy part of me was pushed aside even more. When any sense of a connection occurred I poured too much into it. I entered an extremely unhealthy relationship and allowed that to be the new thing that defined me. I had at this point completely accepted I was whatever those around me saw me as.

This didn’t change much in high school. The only thing I learned by the end of it was that I really never learned much about social relations and making decisions at all.

So, I thought entering University would be that fresh start with the new knowledge I had learned and the new opportunities that would present themselves. Yea, I was still pretty naieve and thought those problems I pushed down would stay down.

They didn’t. I broke. I had to face things I didn’t want to face and face even knew things. New lessons had be learned and boy oh boy did I struggle with them. There was no idea on how to balance them all with this new environment and this possible new me.

But eventually, everything around me was exploding and so I sat down to try to. It didn’t go so well at first and even now it is rocky at times. I’m Bi-Polar. It runs in the family. I have Depression and Anxiety. That also runs in my bat shit insane family. I have ADHD. Welp.

I can’t run away and live in my feelings when it comes to this. It’s always on my mind that even if I want to live in the feelings and writings that can be born from not dealing with it I can’t. Life is going on around me and I have to participate in it. So, I take my meds every day and always try to put that first on my list of responsibilities. Still, I can’t stop that there will be days that I will feel extremely down or days that I have a panic attack at the idea of something stupid.

What I can do is be responsible for knowing that I don’t have to be low enough again where I think of suicide or high enough that I am super productive for three weeks in a row at the cost of sleep.

It’s always going to be my bumpy ride

SCHOOL

Growing up, I never had a problem in school. I was either great at something or if I spent some time on it could be better than average. It is something I began to define myself as. I was the smart one just like my grandfather. If I put my mind to it I could do anything I wanted. And yea, through high school I could certainly get by with being like that.

However, university is a whole different ball game. Especially, when you choose an elitist school in a foreign country that has a different system with different expectations. My first year, I had to realize I was not a special unicorn. I mean… I still was a unicorn just not a super special one or anything.

And that was fine… I like to be challenged and I wanted to prove myself. The problem was I wasn’t an adult ready to be independent. The school I attended expects a person to become independent.

Well, life hit me with a lot of challenges and I took them hard. School wasn’t the same for me and it fell way down on my list of things I need to handle. It came up only when feelings of failure and disappointment did. Or when I got angry and frustrated. When I wanted to lash out at the crappy things people did around me.

Now, I’ve been in University for six years and I haven’t finished my four year degree. Now, it isn’t completely me. There is medical leave and school class limit restrictions in there but still it’s on me.

All those feelings about it are really consuming. It’s not just the past me who expected to get through this successfully but the current me. I should be able to finish this at least and succeed in it in some way.

I am frustrated that there are restrictions on me causing this to be even longer and that there is a part of me that believes some of them are right.

All I know is that I have to figure out a way to finish my four years. That is a part of the old me that has remained and reminded me of what I always thought was me.

MONEY

My family since I’ve been born has always been middle class or above. One side worked hard for it and the other was born into it. I was really naive and privileged with it. Private education, fancy clothes, fancy meals, and all the activities I could want were normal.

When the first depression hit from housing my side of the family took it hard and they never really fully recovered. For them it was a reminder of how they worked so hard in the first place to get there and all the feelings from losing that consumed parts of them. They acted like the things they did to get to middle class wasn’t worth the same anymore. They also realized that the spoiling they did for us may have not the been the best thing for us an individuals.

Over the years, that realization has become a crippling addition to their personalities. They have become overly difficult and hard as if to make up for everything they did in the past. The problem was they never accurately prepared their children for it.

In some sense, my age was beneficial that way. I’ve had the time and chances to start to learn as I’ve gotten older and realize the worth of money. That’s definitely a big bonus.

The problem is I don’t have the time, resources or ability to rapidly change and become independent. Let alone, help my family and their financial difficulties.

Recently, my mother’s hours have been cut to the point where staying in her house is truly a questionable choice. It could be done if my mom changed her life style but even with the changes she made she is used to a life style that can’t be afford. Much of which still requires money to be maintained whether you want to or not.

I can’t get mad at her for that because it’s always been her life, she doesn’t have the tools she should have by now and I myself fall victim to the same problem.

The issue is now I’m expected to do more than just help and I have no idea how I’m supposed to really do that. Besides, the new idea of trying to balance a full time job Monday through Friday and a part time job Saturday and Sunday. While, also trying to get online classes during this crisis and be able to do them with that work schedule.

Maybe then I can get enough money to cover my family and the mess they have dug themselves in.

Also, I need to pay for my university semester no matter what and float my credit card as a new card to use.

I’m really panicking here. It’s hard for me to do most jobs with my health issues. They are too hard on my body right now.

I’m really struggling with this emotionally and physically.

DREAMS

Over the years I’ve gone through a pretty big self discovery process. I’ve learned that a lot of the things I thought I wanted I didn’t really want. They were either expected of me or things I wanted because I liked the idea of them or even liked part of them.

Instead, I realized what the things I like or could want. I started to take a look at my hobbies and passions. Were there things I could make money off of? Make a life out of? Enjoying doing for a long time? There were… And all of them had different ways of going about them.

I thought here would be where I could still have that ambitious part of me fulfilled so I jumped in. I was only half prepared for it. So there’s been a few years of trial and error and mistakes and stuff. Can’t deny that.

I can say I’m trying to fix that. Do research first and set schedules I can keep. To say hey this is what I want so I will do the work for it.

With everything that has gone down in my life and whatever version of myself I have become I will always be a writer. That is a part of myself I can’t deny or not pursue. Whether I end up working somewhere else on top of it or being able to work enough to make that my life is still undecided.

I guess I just want to say that I believe that even with struggles I’ll never fully disappear or give up on this. I want to be a writer and share stories. That is my gift. Part of my purpose.

All I can do is hope that there is patience and understanding when it comes with those dealing with me.

CORONA

My final subheading is about the current world crisis. It has basically blown up everything above to a level of extreme stress and wonder if I can handle it. The answer is I’m not sure. All I know is right now I am trying to survive and just keep going.

Because this pandemic has affected the system and structure of everything I deal with. From doctors and getting medication, to using online banking to pay bills, to taking classes, getting a job and to being able to leave my home at all has all exploded. Honestly, my mental health and physical health hasn’t been the only thing that has severely taken damage from all of these changes. I have in total of everything become over-worked, over-stressed, unsure, in unbearable pain, questioned myself to no end and have scrapped myself off my bed to try and just move through it all.

I couldn’t of even imagined the result of this pandemic on me and my family. On how it has changed everything. Like Taxes. Filing them was the most difficult thing ever this year. Like OMG WHY WAS FILLING MY TAXES SO DIFFICULT.

Conclusion

Anyways Guys, I’m trying. I’m really trying.

I.L. Knight

Fight Song – Rachel Platten

Why Things Have Been Like They Are :

Hi Hi y’all!

You know sometimes I feel like the Queen of Excuses. It’s not that I mean to be really. I am very aware I have a natural born trait to resist ownership and responsibility and thus it needs to be managed… I guess, the thing is I always feel like I owe an explanation. That is probably due to a whole crapload of childhood trauma and shitty insecurities but that’s not really important here. What’s important is not only do I cripple myself but I cripple the relationships I have with others by being shitty with follow throughs and commitments.

I think, for awhile, this will hopefully be my last explanation:

More and more I have been taking both more frequent and longer absences. Part of it is due to health. I can’t say anything more than learning to live a life with a chronic illness seems to be a forever challenge. The ups are high and the downs are low. Dealing with being in my 20s and being bipolar along with it just seems to be this almost immeasurable task.

However, there are two bigger stressors in my life than even my health problems: school and family.

When I graduated high school university was this magical thing I was heading too. It was a place where I’d have everything I ever wanted and be an ambitious bad ass semi adult. I mean reality does kick in, challenges do present themselves and you do eventually become an adult. Going to the challenging school wasn’t what I thought it to be. Looking back, as thankful as I am for the lessons it’s taught me, I don’t think McGill was the university for me. It doesn’t flex to those who need flexibility. How smart I thought I was doesn’t matter in the end if I can’t handle the lifestyle of a proper student. I’ve always had a major thing about failure and learning to live that failure is okay in a high paced environment with many geniuses KILLS a soul. Everything school related becomes so much more emotionally and time wise to me.

Honestly, just sitting here waiting for my grades and taking my first test of the summer session has me dying in agony…

The second reason is of course family. I mean… guys. We all know I have family problems. However, lately I can’t help growing more and more annoyed. I am incessantly put in a position where, even when they say no, I have to end up as the family manager from another country. Things had gotten so bad my grandparents were preceding with divorce options (instead of just shouting about it) and still they do nothing. AND YOU KNOW WHY WE GOT THERE!

We got to that because my Aunt who lives with them bought a new house and didn’t want to move out her old furniture…. The same furniture that is representative of a ten year hoarding habit that has infuriated my grandma to no ends. The only funny side note is that she’s moving from there house to a house two miles up the road and three doors down from my mom’s house.

People in my family, I swear, do not actually separate from the uterus.

That drama cost me 4-5 days of major anxiety, panic attacks and being the only one who calms down my grandma.

Family is too difficult sometimes.

Anyways, today is part 2 of my first summer session exam. I have recommitted to yoga and started to seriously meditate again.

Hopefully, I can remain calm enough to get shit done for y’all~

I.L. Knight

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Family Portrait – P!nk

A Change Of View On Drugs :

Hi Hi Y’all,

I wanted to take a moment to mention something a bit serious again. I have someone I know in University who just came out as going to a counseling session for drug use. Now, just because I go to a top notch university like McGill doesn’t mean the people who attend it are robots immune to the problems. I had known of this person as someone who was pretty straight laced A type student back in their first year of University. Thinking of this person as someone who was going to sessions about a drug problem was shocking to me. They always had it together. They said it started with taking ritalin to stay up and study for exams. From there it went to sleeping pills to then fall asleep and then to other drugs for fun or other things. I’m not going to talk about their story past this. It is their journey and story. However, I am going to talk about the issue as a whole, because my attitude towards it has changed a lot over the years.

I mention it all the time, but I am from a conservative family. Growing up, my family wasn’t big on medication. If you really felt like you needed something just take Tylenol would be enough to tide over the problem. This led me to have two different reactions to the idea of drugs as a child. The first was I thought that people who relied on them or took them were weak and sort of pathetic. The second was me wishing I could take them. Sometimes, as a kid I would try to exaggerate the problem I was having in hopes of care or recognition. I would be sent to school with fevers or colds without a second thought. Part of me felt like if they gave me medicine it would be the same as recognition of it. However, this part was buried down because people who used drugs were weak. I was not expected to be weak. I was the kid everyone pinned their hopes on and had to succeed.

I kept this up for many years. It was a problem I could push away and not have to deal with. Then in high school I started feeling on well more. More people I knew were starting to use drugs for either medicinal purposes or recreational ones. The line between drug use and an individual seemed to get grayer. The idea of a lot of family problems occurring because no one in my family wanted to be responsible and take the medication they should be on became clearer. Still, I pushed this problem away as much as I could.

However, once again in University I was forced to confront this. I had gotten sick. I had entered into a world of chronic pain. No matter how much pain I was in I would actually tell some of my doctors I refused to take certain medications. My own mother had started getting sick about a year before me and was now taking from my family’s point of view lots of medication. Specifically, she seemed reliant on pain medication. The idea of being like that scared me more then it conflicted with my views. What if I started taking pain medication, became reliant on it, dealt with horrible side effects and allowed myself to be weak. I couldn’t allow that, so for three years I avoided some medication I should of been on and only took stronger versions of anti-inflammatory. However, there comes a time where you have to admit that isn’t enough.

When that time came for me I was scared. My fear of failure and all my other problems seemed to load on top of it as if I now had to carry another boulder on my back. I can’t say I am 100% okay with it all yet. I can say that now I can make jokes about it and remind myself I am on medication I need.

However, the biggest change is when I hear about someone like this. I don’t look down on them like I used to. I guess, even if I still think they are weak, a part of me can understand how it came to be. I think I can empathize with them a bit and maybe one day I can grow past my fear of weakness.

McGill sucks,

I.L. Knight

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I Don’t Like The Drugs – Marilyn Manson

Sneak Peek: Poem From New Poetry Book – Coming Soon –

Hi Hi Y’all,

I just wanted to share one of my favorite new poems that will appear in my COMING OUT SOON poetry book, Confessions of a Teenage Poet. The book is a collection of things I’ve written in earlier school years and shows the feelings I kept hidden from a lot of people around me. I think this poem does a great job at showing the underlying feelings I had from moving to high school to university. Some of these feelings I think still are there, but buried under new fears and anxieties.

The Pink Hotel

It’s four a.m. and the crowd twitches,

Built up nerve born from youth

seeking to run free.

“Let us go for a walk.

We are paying for the view.”

A silent ride down.

I walk ahead,

Lost in thoughts,

Drowning in my twenty four hour soda.

I look ahead.

There are low scattered fountains,

Large  and tiled with Spanish flowers.

In the darkness, I see light.

So much light is reflected

In waves of eerie hues.

Another match is burnt away.

“Dammit it won’t light.”

What was it, ten matches?

All to light his first cigar.

I don’t know why he kept trying.

I continue to walk away

To a farther fountain,

Where grass is still gentle,

To collapse in dewy golf turf.

I look to see a snake, none.

The pink hotel is a tower,

Looming in the sky above me.

Endless, reaching heights

I could never reach even reach

Laying eager on my back.

Why is there no stars,

Just a black sky?

A lonely Mercury

out of reach of Venus,

light up the seemingly black oblivion.

One cares to find me,

Upset at the foolish antics of youth.

“Are you ok?”

I smile and admit his thought was right.

I had lied on a truth question.

He looked away

And soon the two others

Reappeared  with a slow burning

Rolled bark of success.

“Want to walk?”

I nodded and got up,

Running ahead of the

Shambling pack.

I was always ahead,

Never next to anyone.

Not much is seen,

But a lonely palm tree

Framing Venus’ Lone arms,

And a single fish darting

Between lighted Angel mirrors.

There is another fountain.

I jump to the highest peak

And look down at my youth.

I open my mouth to say,

“When you were Polonius is this how you felt?”

The guy holding the cigar laughs,

“Never my dear.”

I shake my head and point

at the cigar he holds far from him.

“To thine own self be true.”

They laugh and keep walking,

Remarks on wealth and status.

We were so young, so eager

To make an image of ourselves-

An image we didn’t really understand.

I walk back to the room,

Another silent ride in the elevator.

Quietly I slip inside.

I’m hungry for something new.

I’m lonely.

Why did I choose this pink hotel?

Here Ya Go,

I.L. Knight

kingdom-of-stars-6622

Adolescents – Incubus

What a week…

I know I am suppose to be better at posting and trust me it is still one of my goals. But this was just too hectic of a week for me to sit down and write something. Now that the week is over I’m all down for writing. I’ll start with a quick explanation of my week. Basically, I had an essay due Tuesday and a midterm on Thursday. I will not make excuses I was very much out of it this past week and this current week. So my essay happened to be written at 6 am the day it was due and i barely studied at all for my midterm. By the time Friday rolled around I was dependent on the news of my friend coming to town to fix my soul. This is the hectic part: my weekend. Friday was spent partying all night with my friend. Saturday I tried to catch up on work, but really just spent time eating Oreos and peanut butter with my friend. That night I had to pull a Second all nighter for sorority. Sleep finally happening at eleven am Sunday. After five hours I had to wake myself up to suffer so I could fall asleep again later that day and hopefully sleep through the night. The kicker of the week happened Sunday for me. I had been thinking about for awhile taking a semester off to take an Internship in North Carolina. I thought it would be good for me to return home and be in the environment I love. I don’t think it’s a secret I am currently lost and panicking way too much these days. Well, telling my grandma and my mom what I was considered turned into a huge headache. Although, also telling them I wanted to die my hair purple and that I messaged the father I’ve never met for names for a school genealogy assignment didn’t help the situation either. My grandma was most upset about the hair. My mother was upset about the Facebook message I sent. I guess the response of, “too little too late, sorry I am not here to be used and abused like this so…sorry but can’t help you take care of yourself and best wishes.” didn’t go down with a mom who already felted enraged by a fathers complete lack of caring for there sire. Trying to calm her down was more stressful then the actual message. I have many issues and weirdness, but having father issues over this man is not one of them. It may sound cold but I gave two shits about the man or ever pursuing a relationship. I just wanted an A on my assignment. I figured if he denied, I could show the message to my prof and be like “Welp. I tried.” But my mother, she freaked out. Laced into me about looking for answers and how he only signed my Canadian papers because his mother embarrassed him. I think there was also something about letting him stab my heart. I can assure you there was no such stabbing. This week really did end on weird note though. Not only am I exhausted and tired, but now I’m having to somehow formulate plans for all the weird thoughts and things around me. I really, really hate plans. If I could be anything, I suppose I would be some combination of way-word wanderer, drifter, lonely biker and isolated academic librarian. I think that role would suit me. 

Just a thought,
I.L. Knight

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I’m so tired- The Beatles

Wake Me Up When September Ends- Green Day

Tired Eyes- Neil Young

 

P.s. I am posting parts of the raps that occurred in my head on my drunk Friday escapade. 
 
RAP BATTLE: I.L. vs. Roommate (Rap of his written by me)
 
Yo Mr. Shin
Your the man made of tin.
Looking for a new heart
Just made up of old parts.
 
Yo Ms. Grace
Dependent on the Kawaii face.
Time to step up your game
Don’t just be the queen of the lame.
 
The next is just the last half of a long rap I did when I was out. I don’t have the whole thing :
 
I’m the mother fucking queen of my castle
a curtain with 92 fucking tassels
I’m epic
Making dough through the crowd of hectics
Don’t step up to me
Unless you’re ready to pay the toll fee
Because I got nothing to hide
Life’s just a joy ride
I have nothing to fear
There’s nothing to make me shed a tear.
 

-Sorry for the sailor mouth <3