‘Here I am with all my insecurities, all my imperfections, crying out to a world that just won’t listen’
Someone recently told me that ‘I’ve changed.’ The comment was meant in jest; the individual in question was referencing the self-destructive Chris Nicholas of days gone by who was so bitterly angry that he’d cut off his nose to spite his face. Delivered by an old acquaintance with a cheeky smirk and a chink of beer glasses, they never could have imagined just how devastating their words would be. I’ve been feeling flat lately and the comment hit a lot closer to home than intended. In the days that followed I spent a great deal of time mulling over the idea in my head. I asked myself over and over if I have changed, and if so when this metamorphosis took place.
So have I?
You better believe I have. You only have to take a look at this site to see the shift.
In July 2012 I started this site as a means of confronting the mounting depression that had overtaken my existence. I was struggling with family illness, low self-esteem, being broke and away from those that I loved. So I wrote shamelessly; cutting open my chest and offering the small audience who read my first few posts a piece of my heart. From there I transitioned into an arrogant child who preached my narcissism and willingness to maim and self-destruct. I became wayward in what I was trying to achieve and my writing suffered greatly as a result. For the longest of times I was stuck in a cycle of frustration and self-deceit. Recently however, I’ve managed to get my shit together, produce some better quality work and actually start to make a name for myself in this industry.
I’ve come a long way from the teenager who struggled so much with his English studies that his parents forced him to undergo tutoring. And even further from the lost soul who cried out to the world for help on July 17th 2012. But no matter how far I reach, how much I achieve, or how wonderful my life is, I will forever have to live with my insecurities and imperfections; namely depression. For a long time I tried to deny this. I tried to tell myself that I had overcome the demons inside my mind and that I was cured. I mistook my arrogance and aggression as overcoming my illness rather than recognizing that it was just another phase of self-loathing. I foolishly thought that if I didn’t feel down anymore I was normal once again. But there is no such thing as normal.
The truth is that it’s alright to not be OK.
The shift in this site’s content, my success as an author, and my life in general came when I began to accept that I will never be normal. I will always have a flaw in the biological makeup of my brain that makes me feel insecure or down at times. But that flaw is chemistry, not character. No one should ever feel ashamed about suffering from depression or mental health. It takes so much bravery and strength to stand up and tell the world that you need help, and I have nothing but the utmost respect for anyone courageous enough to do so.
I’m not OK, I never will be. But it’s my insecurities and imperfections are what make my life so beautiful and worth living. It’s through embracing these weaknesses (and I say the word loosely) that I am able to write and thus reach out and connect with you the reader. No one is infallible, no one is perfect, and at some point in our lives we all feel low. I’ve just been fortunate enough to learn how to use this site to turn those negative thoughts into something greater than I.
The person who told me that I have changed did so because I told them that Midas had been put into print. Whenever I tell people about my proudest achievement to date they inevitably do the same thing. They congratulate me for the success, purse their lips and ask ‘do you mind if I ask how much money you’re making from it?’
While I’d love to tell them that since the book was released in February I have become a millionaire it simply isn’t the case. I’ve sold a few copies (hopefully enough to please Meizius Publishing) but financial gain doesn’t mean a thing to me at this point in my writing career. Right now I just want to reach out and connect with readers so that once they put complete my novel, or finish reading my posts they are grateful for the experience we have shared together. While in my days of anger and frustration I used to brag about how much money I could make when I became published and tried to base my emotions on fiscal gain, the truth is that I’m not doing this to become a millionaire.
I’m doing this because I, Chris Nicholas am a depressive person who has the ability to see both great beauty and despair in the world around me. I’m doing this because I want to share my experiences and my love with readers. And I’m doing this because through writing I have learned that it’s perfectly normal to feel fractured, broken, down or low. I have learned that it’s alright to not be OK.
So after a great deal of thought I’ve decided that I have changed. But I’ve done so for the better. The boy I was three years ago when Renegade Press isn’t shit compared to the man I am today. I am Chris Nicholas; writer, man wolf and world eater. I’m not perfect and I never will be. But that’s what makes what I do so damn beautiful.