Insomnia, procrastination, and the bane of my existence.

I can’t sleep. For weeks I’ve been battling through the nights in a desperate search for the mythical sandman who can bring about the sleep that has been so consistently deserting me. My nights have become a mixture of time wasting feats such as watching episode after episode of Family Guy, re-watching the Dark Knight saga, and staring at the roof of my bedroom contemplating the direction of my life.

It’s not the first time that I’ve been struck with a serious bout of restlessness and I’m sure that it won’t be the last. The key to overcoming this stint of sleep deprivation is to break down and identify why my mind has gone into overdrive as of late and develop a means of overcoming the affliction. It’s not like I don’t want to sleep. Between you and me, I’m fucking exhausted. I manage to stumble through each day fueled by a dangerously high level of caffeine coursing through my veins, but it just doesn’t compare to a decent night’s sleep.

My insomnia could be stemming from any number of things both professional and personal. My work life balance has spiraled dramatically out of control recently and I am spending increasingly large portions of my day trapped at my desk, which in turn has seen a reduction in time spent exerting physical energy. This in turn could be enough to spark a serious case of restlessness, and in the past this has been the reason behind my inability to sleep.  But I honestly believe that my current bout of insomnia is stemming from a little thing called procrastination. Since my last post I have completed the first draft of my manuscript, traveled overseas and survived the crazy time of year we know as the holiday season. What I haven’t managed to do though is start the all-important editing process that I alluded to back in December’s blog update.

I’ve had a few sporadic half-hearted attempts at editing, however if I was to be truly honest with myself I’ve been avoiding diving headfirst into the process, and now my mind and body is suffering as a result. Editing is the bane of my existence. There’s nothing worse than moving from the dizzying highs of completing a manuscript to the horrible realisation that you now have to track back through the document dozens of times until every minute detail has been rendered perfectly. I’ve been through the process a few times before, and it usually results in me despising a piece of work that I once loved. When you spend hour upon hour deconstructing something you worked so hard to create you can become so obsessed with the process that you begin to view your manuscript as a broken artwork in desperate need of a rewrite. 

I think that it’s this last point that has seen me so content to procrastinate over the editing process of my latest work. As I mentioned last time it has been over six years in the making, and I just don’t know if I am ready to shatter the love affair that I have created with my characters just yet. I know that it is a necessary evil, and the sooner that I edit, the sooner I can re-enter the slush-pile of writers bombarding publishers with manuscripts in the hopes of seeing my work in print.

So why am I still procrastinating? Even now I should be editing, not writing about it. I’m doing it again.  But hopefully this post with be therapeutic. People say that admitting your issues is the first step towards dealing with them. So here it is; my issue is that editing is the one part of my craft that I despise. Now that I have admitted this hopefully I can move forward and start to tackle the process and see it through from start to finish. God knows that I need to; if not for the sake of my manuscript than for the sake of my own sanity. I don’t know how many more nights I can spend mapping out the landscape of my bedroom ceiling. I need sleep, and I need to finalise the editing of this manuscript so that I can move onto the next. My head is already overflowing with ideas and plot points just waiting to spill onto pages, but I need to close one door before I open another. 

The long awaited closure of a manuscript.


Have you ever had an idea so fantastic that you knew if you could just clearly convey it to others that they would love it just as much as you? Yet when you try to take this concept and verbalise it to your peers or put it into print, it fails in comparison to the whimsical ideals that you have developed in your mind’s eye? I have.

Lately I have been adding the finishing touches to the first draft of a manuscript that has been six years in the making. During that time I have produced a number of other finished manuscripts, poems, short stories and micro-fiction pieces, but all have fallen short in comparison to this one idea that has been caught up inside my fucking head.

Over those six years the plot of my story has changed dramatically: from its humble beginnings dealing with the implementation of the Kyoto protocol, to a version involving serial killers in Las Vegas, to the inception of what I can honestly say is my favourite protagonist and cluster of antagonists that I have ever created. The idea has varied so dramatically that I look back on my earlier attempts to complete the manuscript and can’t even fathom what my imagination was attempting to create. But through all of these changes there has been one solid ideal that has remained constant. That idea is that this is to be the first of a four novel saga. The concept behind the creation of my protagonist was to create a series of novels that documented his turbulent life as he sought retribution from the men who have wronged him (a feat that fills me with trepidation considering it took six years to complete the first draft of novel number one).

Without giving too much away, I would just like to say that I am incredibly excited that I have finally produced an (almost) completed version of my story that I deem worthy to present to the world. However in saying that, I am also somewhat saddened that I am moving towards the end of an era in regards to the relationship that I have formed internally with some of my characters. No longer will I be able to talk to myself in the shower or while scrubbing the dishes and refer to myself as Jason, Rapier, Pestilence, or Joshua, as at least half of those characters have been met with a horrific death over the past few weeks.

As soon as I complete the draft I am going to do a number of things; my first reaction will probably be to burst into tears and run down the street screaming I did it at the top of my lungs. After that I will probably sit back, put my feet up and have a beer to celebrate the hellacious yet unbelievably rewarding six years of writing that has been. Then, when I am finished indulging myself, I’ll get down to the nitty gritty of what I do; the editing cycle. When you have produced a manuscript that has amounted to roughly eighty thousand words on a first draft there is a huge chance that you’ve made a few mistakes in there somewhere. Misspelt words, grammatical misconstructions, and general plot errors are going to become the bane of my existence as I prepare to finalise my manuscript to place before publishers.

It’s going to take some time to edit my work, in reality it will be a couple more months before the manuscript is finalised and the editing process is complete. I’m going to hate it. I always hate editing, it’s time consuming and incredibly draining mentally. But when it’s all said and done and my work is completed and ready to be shipped off to publishing houses I’ll be able to run down the street once more and with tears streaming down my face in celebration. Then when I pull myself together, I’ll sit down, take a deep breath, and begin penning the opening lines to novel number two of four.

Great expectations and my own inevitable relapse


I sometimes feel as though my mind has fractured into two. As though there is two very different people living inside of me who battle it out on a daily basis to see which one is allowed to control my every emotion and mood. To plagiarise the title of a famous album cover; sometimes it literally feels as though God and the Devil are raging inside me.

Since the inception of this blog and the admission of my depression to the world my life has become infinitely more wonderful, and with every day comes new and exciting prospects for myself both personally and professionally. Yet through all the positives, there are still moments when all of my demons return to haunt me. For you see, depression is like an addiction. It’s something that you can conquer, but never completely overcome. That bastard monkey will always be on my back and there will always be moments of weakness during which the devil inside me will overpower all that I have achieved and leave me feeling lost and alone. But each time my mind begins to conjure up these feelings of helplessness I am afforded the opportunity and privilege of learning from my shortcomings and growing into a more internally aware human being.

Lately I have come to understand (with the help of my beautiful girlfriend) that one of the greatest reasons for my dark days is the great expectations that I place on myself; particularly when it comes to my writing. I believe that I have what it takes to be a successful writer, and as such I push myself to my limits at every conceivable opportunity so that I can continue to develop beyond what others would believe I am capable of. In my mind, this is my greatest asset as a writer: my unrelenting drive to flourish and develop through self-assessment and reflection is what will eventually see me break into the industry as a published author. But my continued self-assessment can also be my greatest curse. Being hyper-alert of my own strengths and shortcomings causes me to reassess everything that I do, and when I feel as though my writing is falling short of my own expectations I beat myself up over my inability to achieve at the level that I know I am capable of.

When you commit yourself so completely to a task such as writing a novel, it is all too easy to overcommit and leave the rest of your life on hold why you retreat into a world populated solely by the voices inside your head. Trust me, I’ve been here before. I’ve been at that point where my entire life has suffered because of my craft and my own frustration at failing to produce just what I believed I should have. When you hit this point, everything spirals out of control and before you know it it’s 3am and you are sitting in your wardrobe crying as you try and edit your manuscript for what feels like the hundredth time, or you find yourself setting a ninety thousand word document alight in the family fireplace because you just can’t stand the sight of it anymore.

While it has been some time since I let my craft consume me to that degree, about two weeks ago I felt as though I was having a slight relapse into a depressive state. It was nothing major; I just began to notice the reappearance of the misomaniac version of myself; the man who hates everyone and everything (if you need proof take a look at my previous entry about my university lecturer). But just being able to notice this small change in my perceptions was a monumental step towards overcoming my issues once again. Being able to stop, take a deep breath and channel those small instances of hatred into my creative thought process has done wonders, both for my own sanity, and for my writing.

Right now I am writing every day. I wake up at 5am and punch out a thousand words before breakfast, and if possible I back that up with another session at night, and you know what? Between my writing, work, exercise, and enjoying the company of my beloved partner, I genuinely don’t have the time to be negative. My everyday life is so jam-packed with happiness that the misomania has vanished once again. My demons have disappeared, and while I am positive that they will live to fight another day, right now they remain out of sight and out of mind. God and the Devil will continue to rage inside me for the rest of my life, and while it does often feel as though I live a fractured existence, it is within the fractured fault lines of my two personalities that I find my inspiration to create.

For as long as I live and as long as I am a writer I will place great expectations on myself. And although at times I will falter and fail in my quest to succeed (and burn an entire manuscript out of frustration), these great expectations will inevitably be what drives me towards success.

Roadblocks & One Man’s Misconstrued Perception Of Self Worth

It has been a considerable time since I posted my last blog entry and there has been a great deal happening in my personal and professional life since then. I have relocated, completed my second year at university, submitted a manuscript to two of Australia’s largest publishing houses, and continued to write through all of this. I have been meaning to post a blog update for quite a while now, having written numerous pieces that were destined for the public forum but never quite made the final cut. But now after a few months lost in translation, my misguided, misinformed weblog is back.

In all the blog entries that I have written (both published and otherwise) I have attempted to remain positive, as for someone who has come through a spate of depression it is integral to keep your chin up and your mind focused on the positive aspects of everyday. Yet today I am going to digress away from my usually uplifting and playful banter to have a stab at something that has really rubbed me up the wrong way as of late. It’s nothing major, and if I was to be truly honest it is something that I have been aware of for a long time. In a blog that is dedicated to my writing, and the advancement towards my goal of seeing my work in print, it seems only fair to pay homage to the roadblocks that stand in my way. So, here it is: my rant will be predicated around one simple fact: the writing industry is full of fucking wankers.

The previous statement can be misconstrued as my frustration towards my continual failure to crack the ‘big time’ and receive a publishing deal, so let me explain myself before you judge me as a spiteful arsehole. I recently contacted one of my university lecturers to ask if it were possible to submit an assessment via post as I was unable to attend the University and deliver the item in person. During this incredibly brief interaction I referred to the lecturer as ‘mate’; a colloquialism that has come to be known as a term of endearment in Australian pop culture. I call everyone mate. I mean no harm by it, I actually use the term as a way to subconsciously inform my peers that I consider us to operate on a level playing field of equal importance and mutual respect. However, this particular lecturer took offence to the term and made an effort to berate me for referring to him in what he deemed to be an inappropriate manner. His exact words were “when you address a senior lecturer at university I’d advise you to avoid mate“. Seriously, where does this fuck-head get off? I’m a twenty four year old man who works full time and studies; I’m not a fucking twelve year old school boy who just called the teacher ‘mate’ by accident.

Herein this little tale lays my problem with the world of academia. Every cock-head with a degree, doctorate, masters, or otherwise suddenly becomes caught up in the hype of their own self-worth and status. To me, a senior lecturer at a university is nothing; nor is a doctor, lawyer, or any other profession. It’s the man or woman behind the title that earns the respect of those around them, not the pretty certificate that cost them four years of study and tens of thousands of dollars. This is especially true in the creative writing industry. Yes, I study creative writing, but I do so knowing that my entire degree is bullshit, and that the chances of me gaining employment from this are slim at best. So for someone who teaches students what is essentially a ‘nothing degree’ to be riding their high horse in such a way is nothing short of pathetic.

Or maybe I am wrong. Maybe I should go back and read my course summaries for university, and see if there is a correct way to address a senior lecturer written somewhere in there. Maybe ‘Sir’ would be more suited for a man who so highly values their own self-worth. Whether there is or not is irrelevant; for you see the point I am trying to make here is that the title does not make the man. The man makes the title. There are leaders. And there are those who lead.  A leader has a title, a fancy degree, and a spine a crooked as a paperclip. They lead from their pedestal and earn the respect of no one. Those who lead place no value in their title, they have a spine steeled from hard work, and they lead from the front lines, redefining just what it means to lead.

The infinite number of hopeful writers that I have come across in the past two years at university can only be described as a bag of liquorish allsorts. There are the quiet achievers, the loud-mouths, the silent assassins, the sci-fi nuts, and a myriad of other types filling the same classrooms as myself. But now at the halfway point of my degree there is a clear division between two types of people in my course. The fuckwits – those who consider think themselves to be leaders, to be the better writers, the supposed (and self-appointed) illuminati of our course. And there are those who lead; the men and women who believe in their craft and work tirelessly to succeed for no other reason than their own self-fulfilment. This second category is the men and women who will go on to find success as published authors. And every single one of them deserves it.

As for the first group. The fuckwits. Their own ignorance and misguided perceptions of self-worth will stop them from ever achieving their goals. And when they do finally realise that they haven’t achieved success they will almost certainly move into a career as a cock-head senior lecturer at a university, where they can get their rocks off over berating students for referring to them as ‘mate’.

Time to put up or shut up.


On recent reflection something rather trivial has struck me about my sporadic blog entries. I have written two entries now about the trials and tribulations that I have endured as I strive towards my (ambitious) end-goal of becoming a published writer; yet I have never actually presented anything creative that would allow my admittedly limited followers an insight into what I am capable of producing. It sounds almost ludicrous that I have created this digital soapbox to preach my thoughts and feelings from, yet have kept the very subject that I speak about shrouded in secrecy.

Today, I will present you with a small sliver of the somewhat creative works that I produce. The following poem is far from my best work. It is simply a piece that I created as part of a university assessment last semester, and was actually the only poem that I submitted all semester that wasn’t deemed sexist, offensive, gratuitous, or downright obscene by my tutor. So if it’s not my best work, why present it? Two reasons…. Firstly, it’s short. I typically write novels or novellas, with word limits that range from fifty to a hundred thousand words. I doubt that if I submitted something of this length that anyone would actually bother to read it, and I don’t want to submit anything for your perusal that isn’t a complete piece of work. The following poem is exactly that: beginning, middle, and end all tied into two paragraphs.

The second reason, well that’s even simpler. I’m keeping a bit of an ace up my sleeve here. I’m not ready to show my best to the world, because then what have I got left to show? It’s a selfish motive I know, but it’s the honest to god truth. I’m not showing you my best…. Not just yet anyway.

So here it is, a short poem created by yours truly. It’s time to put up or shut up.

Thick ropes and heavy anchor bind a weather-beaten heart to the floor of an ocean of anguish. Swells of agony, of torment, drift beneath its bow. Ropes strain, groan, resisting their pull; the anchor digs deeper. The captain is alone. His crew abandoned ship. But this captain will go down; will drown alongside his anchored scow. Monsoons assault the deck; torrents of rain lash scuffed wood. Lightning flashes as thunder cracks overhead. The captain has survived these rains before, but now, alone, he will surely go down with his ship. His crew no longer stand beside him. No longer shoulder to shoulder. No longer hip to hip. A swell rolls beneath the bow. Ropes groan, the anchor digs deeper.

A whip crack of thunder, a vulgar finger of lightning; the anchor’s straining rope hit. A fast burning ember becomes a starburst of colour. A deafening whoosh as the thick rope ignites. The ship lurches, no longer bound to its tether. An anchored vessel now adrift in an ocean of desolation. Carried by swells; tormented by the endless pull of a power far greater than its own. The ship tumbles, rolls, and bobs. Its anchor no more.  The captain eyes an escape, a last remaining raft. But alas, he will not flee. This captain will go down with his ship. This captain will drown alongside his free floating scow. An explosion of sound. A flash flood of light. A fast burning ember as the raft’s tether ignites. The captain’s musket smokes, glistens in moonlight as the raft tumbles free.  A lurch from a swell, larger this time, the captain holds his breath, memorises the old line. The captain goes down with the ship. He takes a final breath, as his ship’s bow groans and then breaks, this god of the quarter deck falls into an abyss. His shipwrecked heart sinks. Lies broken beneath the sea.

The lonely process and the linguistic lens.

Creative writing, in any form, be that short stories, flash/micro-fiction, poetry, lyrics, novels or novellas, can be an harrowingly lonely process. Any writer worth their salt (and even some that aren’t) will tell you that spending your days staring at a lecture pad or computer screen can feel incredibly isolating. Sometimes it feels as though the world is passing you by while you stare in mild confusion at your own creation, wondering just how the fuck you managed to digress so far from your original thought process that you can’t even fathom what plot line or stanza comes next.

So why do we do it? Why do writers withdraw from a world filled with so much wondrous beauty and choose to spend their days attempting to take a crisp white page and fill it with little black letters? While every single writer will have a different answer to this question, there are a few general pigeon holes that most writers’ catalysts can be crammed into. But almost every writer (aspiring, published, or otherwise) across the globe will tell you that we do what we do because we have stories to tell; stories that we want to share with the world.

My reasoning for writing is simple: I’m a fucking terrible photographer. As much as I would like to tell myself otherwise, the truth is that when I’m handed a camera I just can’t manage to do justice to the incredible people, places or things I am trying to capture. So, rather than fail miserably at capturing moments in time that will allow the world to see itself through my eyes, I write. I create a linguistic reimagining of everything that I see, everything that I imagine, and everything that I dream of, and arrange it all into a string of tiny black letters printed across a crisp white page. I truly believe that this world is a wonderful, frightening, beautiful and hideous place all rolled into one, and if I can’t manage to capture its strength and fragility through the lens of a camera, I will create my own.

Since my last blog, which was in fact my first, I feel as though I have continued to grow as a writer. I gained an incredible amount of confidence that I never would have achieved had I not dared to post online. And although it has taken a long time to follow up on that initial post, I’ve learnt something very important; at times writing can feel as though it is an incredibly lonely process, but it also gives you the opportunity to reach out and connect with people in ways that you never imagined possible. Good writing, and by good writing I mean well structured, coherent writing (as opposed to the woefully bad shit you see clogging up newsfeeds on social media sites every day) is an art form, and really must be treated as such. There is something inherently beautiful about a piece of literature that has the power to make someone, somewhere, feel something. And as a writer constantly working towards creating something of value, that will more often than not be lost amongst the abundance of artworks created by other aspiring artists, it is such a humbling experience to have someone tell you that what you have created has touched them in some small way.

My first blog was a very personal reflection of myself and the unfortunate circumstances that would take me to the depths of depression, and leave a tarnished, battered effect on my linguistic camera’s lens. Yet in my evolutionary path of creating little black letters, this depression was an entirely necessary component of my journey towards becoming a better writer. Alan Moore once wrote that as a writer you need to immerse yourself in the least desirable element and swim. For me personally, my least desirable element was admitting my depression to the world and standing tall while it judged me for my grievances. But when I did so, when I immersed myself so completely in an element that could have swallowed me whole, I found that the positive words of my family and friends gave me the strength and courage to swim harder than I ever had before. And when I emerged from that hellacious swim, the tarnished battered effect that had skewed my linguistic camera’s lens was washed away, so that now the world resembles what it truly is: a wondrously hideous, beautifully monstrous place.

Any writer worth his salt will tell you that the process of writing can be harrowingly lonely, but they will also tell you that writing can bring you closer to your family and friends than you ever thought possible.

My First Foray Into The World Of Weblogs

A few months ago I decided that I wanted to write a blog. It wasn’t a difficult decision to make; I didn’t undertake any ground breaking epiphany during which I decided that the world would be forever enriched having received my innermost thoughts on a sporadic basis. Rather, I simply stumbled upon the idea whilst sitting at my computer staring at a horrifically blank white page pondering how on earth I was going to break through a case of writer’s block that had besieged me for what would eventually add up to almost twelve months. You see, I am a writer. Or at least I would like to be, and therefore that case of writer’s block had become the bane of my existence. As it would eventually turn out, my problems actually ran a lot deeper than mere writer’s block, and it’s only now in hindsight that I can see the where my lack of enthusiasm to create stemmed from. So after months of procrastinating to avoid following through with my plan to blog, here it is, my first ever foray into the online world of web logs. I am now one of billions of undereducated, over opinionated and outspoken bloggers clogging to internet with their bullshit. Enjoy.

The aforementioned writer’s block was the by-product of what Lemony Snicket would call a series of unfortunate events that had taken place between February 2011 to August of the same year. To summarise some of the turbulent events that shaped those six months; I relocated interstate to attend university, sending myself broke in doing so (at times skipping meals because I couldn’t afford to feed myself). I witnessed a car accident in which a young mother lost her leg, administering first aid and phoning her husband to notify him of the incident. I travelled overseas. My father suffered an aortic aneurism and almost died, being airlifted to hospital for emergency surgery; his subsequent illness and road to recovery seeing him fall into financial difficulty for a few troublesome months. My younger brother suffered from anorexia nervosa, and subsequently failed to attend school before eventually leaving to pursue a career. And through all of this and more I worked my fucking arse off just to keep myself afloat and the debt collectors at bay.

Then, in late July of 2011 a funny thing happened, I found half an hour to write a short story that I submitted to the Heading North Young Writer’s Competition, and guess what? I won.  I kid you not. Through the eye of the storm that had become my life, a small victory was afforded to me for my toils. As part of the prize for winning this competition, I was awarded a seat on a panel of young writers at the 2011 Byron Bay Writers Festival, as well as a mentorship at the Northern Rivers Writers Centre. And for the first time in a very long time, things were looking up. I attended the festival, and spoke on the panel, even getting a few words of praise for my words. Then almost as soon as the incredible elation of this small achievement subsided, the depression hit and I stopped writing completely.

I call it depression upon reflection, here is where the hindsight I have previously alluded to comes into play. At the time I called this affliction writer’s block. Because that’s what it felt like; it felt like all of the turbulent experiences of the preceding six months manifested as one and built a roadblock inside my head that was trapping all of my creative thoughts. There were no inconsolable moods or days where I thought the world was not worth living in, no, there was just an extreme lack of enthusiasm to sit at my computer and create. Here I was, a young writer on the rise, with a mentorship to prove it, and I couldn’t think of anything remotely creative, inspiring, or interesting to put onto paper. So I abandoned it. I failed to undertake the mentorship and I packed my computer in its case, let my notepads of ideas gather dust and I walked away.

That’s pretty much how my writing implements remained for nine months, save for  the occasional attempts to write something imaginative enough to earn me a pass at university. I didn’t write, I barely read (when usually I would devour novels with an insatiable lust), and somewhere along the line I managed to shed ten kilograms of bodyweight from anxiety. At the time I was stressed to the max, I was pushing myself harder and harder with work, and the gym, all while trying to solve my family’s problems from four hours’ drive away, while burying my own. My life became a relentless grind, and I was too rundown and exhausted to realise it. And all the while I was depressed and angry because I had abandoned the one thing that had always kept me level headed; writing.

Then, after nine months hovering in a bullshit limbo of confused thoughts and no creativity, I decided to write a blog; this exact blog as a matter of fact. But at the time I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t prepared to face the fact that I was miserable and depressed, so I began writing stories as a means of procrastination. I started with something short; a thousand word piece of shit in which I managed to dump all of the rust accumulated on my mind into a menagerie of poor grammar, a shonky plot, and all round terrible writing. Then I started to branch out; to take on longer projects, and before I knew it I was writing almost every day, tracking my progress in each session with word lengths, content and thoughts upon reflection. And somewhere in all this writing, in all this time huddled away from the world, away from the demons that had crawled up on my bed and wrapped their fingers round my throat, I found happiness in what I was doing. I found the ability to let go of my nightmares, cast aside the shackles of dejection that had bound me, and let those that I love the most fend for themselves.  My father took greater care of himself, my younger brother discovered a passion that would help him overcome his illness, and my zest for life that I had always known lay dormant inside of me returned with unparalleled gusto. I found myself in my writing.

That was a couple of months back now, and during that time my life has turned a lot of corners. I am writing as much as I can, whenever I can, about whatever I can, and I am loving every single moment of it. I’ve also decided that I am going to spread my wings and swan dive headfirst into the writing industry again (my last two attempts saw me land a contract that turned out to be bogus, and fall agonising short of seeing my work in print with a legitimate print company), and I’ve even decided to chase up the writer’s centre and see if they will honour my mentorship from last year. I know that the chances of this are slim, but as I have learnt over the past year, you never let an opportunity go to waste; so if hassling the shit out of a desk jockey in Byron Bay helps put my career on the right track, then that poor woman has no earthly idea what she’s in for. My mind is creating stories again; stories that I want to share with the world.

So here we are, sink or swim time. Either I make it in this industry or I don’t. If I succeed then that’s great. If I don’t, then at the very least I want to be able to say that I gave it my best shot. Ten years from now, I want to be able to say that I had what it takes to look depression and misery in the eye, and tell it to fuck off.

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