Redemption

neelyoharadrinkingwithpills

My friends, God love them, have asked if I thought of turning this blog into a memoir. Why, sure. However, every story, every journey, requires redemption. It’s fucking predictable and boring, but look at most memoirs and mainstream movies and that’s what you get. The audience wants it and it sells. This ain’t some Go Ask Alice YA shit.

I’ve been meaning to go on a re-reading binge of Bret Easton Ellis, because he has nihilism without redeeming value down pat. That’s why I should write truth-based fiction in the same vein instead of a memoir, where readers would finish baffled, thinking “where’s the part where she finds prince charming, stays sober for years and makes amends with her family?” Like memoir turned self help guidebook.

The last chapter of my book, scene of my movie…whatever, is not meant to be a wholesome Thanksgiving dinner surrounded by my once-estranged family, a husband and a thriving child. It’s not meant to be my family acting awkward at my funeral due to suicide or self-harm or a cheesy AA meeting where I’m getting my five year chip or some shit.

Just like I don’t want some hoaky redemption, I don’t want that equally cliche’ “well she has to die if she keeps this behavior up” ending. I wanna write some female Charles Bukowski type shit. Like Bukowski, I’ll have a book simply called “men” about my mananizing. Might not go over well due to gender double standards, but whatever.

Please don’t interpret this post as delusional. I have some strong posts, but I have some weak ones and hope to hunker down and write a true fictional account of things I’ve experienced soon.

I don’t want to sound like a major hater, but I’m seeing a trend in successful females my age (mid-20’s-mid-30s) where they’re adorkably sloppy, instead of truly dark or living a tragic comedy. I’m no less guilty of narcissism than your average 20-something blogger, but I’m highly sensitive to those around me as well.

I know female bloggers faring better who are on a whole different level of self-obsession, and being rewarded for it. Cute commentary about Mad Men, OKCupid exploits and stories of drunken nights where nothing truly bad, just embarassing, happens, don’t do it for me compared to raw life experience.

That raw experience can be a tough childhood, military service, or in my case, and the Bret Easton Ellis cast of characters, being priveleged enough to self destruct for the shit of it, under the young, misguided impression of being bulletproof. I’m no riches to rags tale, but I took a priveleged background and kinda blew it to pieces.

I’m not a bored trust fund kid with too much coke and valium, but I’m supposed to have a real career and more stability, given my background. I don’t get to flop around NYC broke and indecisive like Hannah in Girls and squat at my friend’s place, while bitching she doesn’t “support” my writing endeavors enough.

I have flopped around NYC broke and indecisive, and I didn’t enjoy it much (though I kept up real well on NYMag and The New Yorker) but I haven’t capitalized on the concept like Lena Dunham. Respect to her for her actual success and work ethic, but her privelege got her where she is, while mine got me….not too far, but mostly cause I’m great at getting in my own way.

I want to be the anti-Lena Dunham! Similar age, similar theme, but less hipster and more dark. The fact Girls made a casual joke about their friend accidentally smoking crack was actually offensive to me. There’s no turning back from crack!

I have a redemption strategy, if you will. It’s twofold I suppose. I want to serve as a cautionary tale to others. I’m the oldest of six and was always the guinea pig getting in trouble, whereas my family friends have an oldest son with drinking problems that helped his younger brother avoid the same extreme drinking habits.

Being the oldest ain’t EZ and, contrary to most chick lit books, I’m not the perfect older sister on a pedestal or the perfect oldest of six ranging 20 years role model. I bumped into someone from high school just yesterday and was asked “oh you’re ___’s sister, right?” I will ALWAYS be known as the sister of ___ and not as me by the general population of my high school, ’cause she’s the hot shit perfect one a year my junior who everyone had a crush on and worshipped.

Such is life and yeah, I like feeling pretty in my own way without contanstly comparing myself to her when we’re apart. She’s ABOVE stripping, so I certainly don’t have to worry someone will choose her over me for a 2K VIP room or something.

Anyhow, getting back from that #sisterissues digression, that’s the first part of my self-prescribed redemption; providing cautionary information. The other means of redemption is transitioning into a public service job. I’m not planning to become a teacher, but I’ll just say I plan to help people.

What I don’t want (and I apologize to sex workers who bear this cross) is to get outed, lose all hope of getting a good job thanks to Google, and end up forced into a career of sex-worker advocacy. There comes a time when you want to end that chapter of your life. Move on, but never forget and learn from your experiences, like the trillion military guys I fuck with who do four years and move on to school, their service and friends, living and dead, always in memory.

Because I’m so thoroughly against the 12-step seeking ammends route, I hope to succeed in grad school and my future career and my family can fucking COME TO ME when they realize I’m actually a functioning human with something great to offer the world.

I hate having to lie about my source of income, and I DO do some vanilla freelance work, random focus groups, etc…. but following my recent trip abroad, my Gramma and Aunt both pulled the “How do you afford that?” question. I don’t care if they disapprove of how I spend my money. It’s he assumption the money doesn’t exist that offends me. The assumption I live a marginal existence check-to-check where a trip abroad would mean just blowing off my bills. Am I hypocritical in this complaining? Absolutely. But I refuse to be one of those mood disorder people who settles on bagging groceries for minimum wage, doing mindless work or living off disability like a complete loser. I’m already the loser of my family and I resent the assumption I’m a broke joke as well. You could call my sister a loser, too. She’s a waitress/wannabe actress dating a professional pot dealer (which she denies, but I know the truth). But she has higher moral standards and is more of a good girl.

I suppose my aspiration is to show my judgmental family and others the proof is in the pudding. The proof someone who’s struggled with a mood disorder, substance abuse and a highly stigmatized accidental career, can succeed later in life instead of being a casualty, a Britney Spears-esque zombie with no visible soul, or a disability-check-collecting loafer with no sense of self-worth.

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8 Responses to “Redemption”

  1. Lance Says:

    As someone who’s struggled with mental illness and drugs and alcohol and estrangement from family, I know the pain that can be self-inflicted.

    I thought writing my first book in February would bring some sort of acceptance for the twenty plus years of emotional turmoil I’ve caused around my family. Instead, they’re ignoring my accomplishment.

    If we work on ourselves, be who and what we want and need to be, then those chips will fall where they need to.

    Great blog. found you through the great Christine

    • mountingandcounting Says:

      Your supportive words mean a lot. I don’t wanna write a book or become a (career goal) just to stick it to them or get credit, it is for myself 🙂 And career-goal wise, for others, strangers I can help without bias. But I’m sorry your accomplishment was disregarded by the people who would usually be the first ones to show support or even be the recipients of your dedication.

  2. developergolf Says:

    That ones too dark for someone like myself to Bother with ..Would only bring me Down , but really its a summary of all that has been said before ..At some point you have to face yourself and your decisions . You are reprimanded me for saying that you simply are not suited to this life , But sorry your Not , you have never been able to handle it emotionally .

    At the end of the Day we are all in Change of own our destiny ..Possibly its time to face that head on . There are a Plethora of skilled writers out there who dont enjoy commercial success .

    A niche ( in any field ) is just that . Maybe you have to find yours .

    Associations like it ot Not , is something we can all control . When I think of your weakness’s , it the sympathy vote and emotions you pour on people which unfortnately only brings down your own mood .
    Like the Fat Chick in the Strip Club who spilled her heart , just forget the negatives , and face the current truth ..and how that truth is going to actually Change ???

    As always ..Good Luck . Your time has come ..Go for it , and committ .

  3. Patrick Bateman (@PatBatemanBlog) Says:

    “living off disability like a complete loser” *breathes in through teeth* I love your blog, but I’m not sure… In the UK Disability Living Allowance is only available to those with a disability (certain mood disorders will qualify) and you can still work for a living whilst caliming it. The form is HARD to fill in and EVERY detail of the disability has to be there. If somebody is not disabled and they blag a claim, the powers-that-be will find them eventually and they could go to prison. If somebody is disabled, they wouldn’t be a loser for claiming it. Isn’t that harsh on those who do? Also, in the UK, once you’ve proved you CAN work, they won’t give you benefits if you choose not to.

    • mountingandcounting Says:

      You are right, it’s a harsh statement I made. It actually reflects more on me than those claiming disability. The reason I get resentful and inclined to say “loser” is I’m from a family where it’s taboo to claim unemployment or seek any government assistance whatsoever; you manage your problems and WORK, unless you literally can’t. It’s also notorious and common “poor white trash” behavior in the US to con the system regarding disability status and abuse is rampant (as with welfare, workman’s comp etc). In any case, part of my resentment is due to outpatient treatment programs I’ve sought that make you attend outpatient therapy several times a week during business hours, thus interfering with your ability to work a regular job with typical hours; these programs, particularly ones on sliding scale fees that cater to low income, operate on the assumption that you have nothing better to do than show up for therapy and show up for the pills they give you. They’ll try to persuade you that “you need this for yourself” (which is not untrue) but you need to balance work with managing your personal life. I’ve checked into hospitals twice, and both times, struggled to convince the allegedly well-meaning staff I had to get out and back to work; they will convince you you “need” to stay and then suddenly decide that they agree; you’re ready to leave, when your INSURANCE RUNS OUT AND THEY STOP BEING ABLE TO MAKE CLAIMS ON YOU.

  4. Erwin from Berwin (@McTalko) Says:

    You should totally write a book. End of story. 😉

  5. Simone Says:

    Amen to this. Write your story YOUR way. I’d read it.

    As someone who has a blog that’s pink & cheery & slightly absurd at times, I when I do write a book about my life it will probably be way more Brett Easton Ellis than Candace Bushnell (or hopefully a happy ending) Many of us have our dark stories & sometimes you just have to get it out there (at least that’s what I’m hoping for myself)

  6. Rockit Reports Says:

    The best answer to the “how do you afford that question” is always “none of your damn business.” Unless it’s the IRS asking.

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