Apprenticeship Week 9

A snapshot of some mental health from the last couple weeks as well as some project updates and announcements.

This is late. I should not be writing this on Monday, but here I am.Not a lot happened last week. I don’t know if that’s a skewed look at the week, but I think it is. I’m going to do something I haven’t done in these posts so far. And that’s discuss some of the more mental side of things. I don’t have a lot to say for how I tangibly spent the week, but I do know that I spent it.

Work and Mental Health

I’ve talked about struggling with mental health here and on Over the Invisible Wall (which has sadly died). What I haven’t done is give a glimpse into its affectations in the present. Everything I’ve previously discussed wasn’t so now.

For the first month, I was on an emotional “I’m getting my life together!” high, and it was fantastic. I was sad to leave Panera because of the friends I’d made, but I was also moving forward.The last couple weeks have blurred and have felt the same. I feel disjointed, almost, seeing the positives of the steps forward but also feeling like I’m standing still. I see the work I’m doing at Original One Parts, but then a cloud obscured my motivation. It doesn’t feel like drudgery, exactly, but it appears like a huge, monstrous project to slog through. I see the paradox of what I’m writing. That it isn’t what it is. And maybe that’s me trying to stay optimistic. Because there’s definitely trends to suggest that’s been a struggle of mine.

And these last couple weeks have been new instances of the same old winds.

Personal Projects

This weekend I decided to start my next poetry collection. Coincidentally it is one presenting a lot of the darkness I went through, mostly not super recent. The darkness lately hasn’t been as dark or as long lasting, for which I’m thankful. It’s going to be a sensitive, difficult collection both for me to make and for people to read. I think it will be good, though, to publish it, because it could help shed light on what it’s like to be depressed and even suicidal. It’s not pleasant, like Inside a Writer’s Head, but by being able to see and start to understand the darkness, it could make it easier to help people who are struggling with it.

The second project I only just settled on last night. It was a difficult decision, but I’m putting Mystical Warriors on hold. I’m going to start a new novel. I am not going to share what it’s about yet, though. This one will be a surprise.

The main worry I have in starting a new novel is that I will run into the same problem I’ve always had, which is that I get tired of the idea. I managed to fall in love with Mystical Warriors, become “obsessed” with my own world and story enough to spend time writing. I got over 30k words. But then I didn’t write for a long time, and I feel disconnected from the story. I’m going to combat this by writing every day in Blurt. I’m not going to write the story in order, because that has proved difficult. Rather, I’m going to write short bits and pieces and scenes as I desire to and sort of cut and paste them together later. Almost like a collage. If it works, I plan to take this approach with Mystical Warriors when I return to it, too.

“Rock Climbing” (Poem)

A short narrative poem by Alyssa Wright about someone practicing rock climbing.

A glance up,
A glance down inverts my stomach.
First the right hand, then the left.
Now the right foot, now the left.
On and on and on,
Up and up and up
I go, looking down no more.
The bell! Yes, the bell!
Ring, ring, ring!
Triumphantly, I rappel down the side
of the rock climbing wall.

“Songbird’s Haunting Death Song” (Poem)

A short narrative poem by Alyssa Wright about a songbird who sings of Death, Nightmare, and Danger.

The Songbird sang her sonnet,
A darkly melodious tune, tinted
by ominous and haunting swoons.
Soon she’s found herself an audience,
drawn by her curious tune:
He draws nigh,
He comes close
In the night,
Coming by to
Bear you home.
It is of Death she does so speak,
though Death’s duration she cannot leak.
Her sonnet moves on with her enraptured watchers,
Singing first again of Death then moving
To hauntingly mention Nightmare.
Then darkening her tone with the twilight,
her melody moans of Danger’s lurking near.
Enraptured becomes terrified and gone-all are the listeners,
just as Songbird finishes her last moon.

“At the Beach” (Poem)

A fine, gritty powder
beneath my feet,
A cool, wet, salty foam
lapping at my ankles,
A wetting yet thirsty spray
breathed into my mouth and nose,
A rhythmic whoosh, impatient yet calm
echoing through my ears,
A bright yellow light and soft green-blue
colored in my mind by my eyes.

“Sleepless Night” (Poem)

I would like to go back to bed,
As early as it is,
for last night
I didn’t sleep
at all,
Not even a wink,
as the cliche goes.
It wasn’t even insomnia,
per se, just discomfort.
I tried to sleep,
I really did.
But I tossed and turned,
Longing for the comfort
of my own bed
and later lamenting
the lack of a door and walls
Around the couch
To block out the noise
from my brothers in the kitchen.

“[Headache] Nature’s Torture” (Poem)

Tonight at work I got a migraine, likely from stress. The drive thru was short one person for a good portion of the night and we were busy. I pushed through, not just finishing my shift, but doing the best I could despite the pain.

For that reason, I decided to share a poem I wrote that captures my experience with migraines. It was originally written in March 2016 but it fits tonight very well.


My head’s almost dead,
Throbbing and crying out
in pain with every
movement that I make.

When, oh when
will this torture
cease? When will
life return to the
now-ruptured peace?

The painkiller was
ineffective, inert,
as I expected ‘twould be,
The waves of pain and pressure
steadily increasing.

The torture won’t stop,
it’s hooves continue to clop,
clop, clop, moving onwards yet
nowhere but circles in my
brain, nearly driving me
insane with the increasing pain,
discomfort, and pressure.

How much longer can I handle
this Headache without breaking down?