Howdy to the imaginary audience in my head. Who has great taste and smells lovely and finds me enchanting. So. This Upside Down World blog o mine. It’s a thing. Maybe not the biggest thing in the universe, but I know that for some people it’s been a big thing. “Profound difference” is a phrase I’ve heard used repeatedly in reference to the effect that my blog has had. There are families and friend groups who pass my stuff between them and talk about it together. Not nearly enough of them, of course. But it’s a thing. (The imaginary audience in my head just smiled, btw.)
Anyways, if you’re reading this, odds are good that you’ve read one of the hundreds of essays I’ve written on religion and spirituality. That’s been the main subject around here. Particularly between 2011-2014, I produced a ton of essays which touched on nearly every religious and spiritual subject you can imagine.
If you read those essays, I was very open that I was going through an incredibly difficult time. A dark night of the soul experience was the only explanation that made sense at the time, so I went with that. But the even the dark night of the soul doesn’t last forever. Light finally broke through and I’ve spent the last 2 1/2 years coming out the other side and re-adjusting to life out in the open, free of the darkness.
I’ve mentioned before that judgment is really more of bringing everything into the light of day where it can be properly seen than it is about declaring good/bad – right/wrong. It’s simply about being able to see things for what they are which then allows you to respond appropriately. Well, when I was able to get a little light on the situation, what came out of the dark was some really heavy duty mental illness which had been badly triggered and I couldn’t resolve because I didn’t fully understand the root of it.
What I was experiencing turned out to be pretty characteristic of an active dissociative disorder. But I had no real way of knowing that at the time. And it takes, on average, 7-12 years of seeking help from multiple therapists for someone with a dissociative disorder to be diagnosed. So I sought help, but it was just taking the edge off a bit. It wasn’t helping.
During the time that I wrote the bulk of this blog, my circumstances were difficult, thus the reason that my underlying mental illness had been so severely triggered to begin with. Anyone would have struggled while dealing with the stuff going on in my life. But the intensity of what I was experiencing was on a different level. For much of 2012-2014, I flat-out wanted to die almost every day. Not only was I unhappy, but nothing good could get through to me. My kids would show me love and affection and it was like I could watch it pass me right by without touching me. I didn’t even realize it had happened until I had finally started recovering, but during this time, I lost my connection to my positive memories and even the memory of having once been happy was like a dream, probably a fiction of a wishful mind. It was awful. It’s nothing short of a miracle that I didn’t kill myself.
It’s also nothing short of a miracle that I was able to go through all that and not only recover, but come out the other side all in one piece with no lasting damage done to my family and our life together. Such as it is. (It is mostly very good, btw.)
Which is all to say, I’m here. I’m good. My brain has recovered and my life, such as it is, has recovered. I’m ready to start writing again. Except I’m going to be taking the blog in a different direction. The religious and spiritual stuff is my foundation. It’s who I am and forms the basis for how I see and understand the world. It’s what I kept my eyes fixed on during my darkest times. But it’s not remotely the only thing I’m interested in or want to write about. In fact, away from this blog, it’s not something I even talk about all that often. Partly because it’s a private relationship I’ve got going on here with Jesus and partly because the bible specifically says not to do stand on street corners and in the marketplace and make a spectacle of being religious. And I’m pretty sure that instruction didn’t actually come with an asterisk saying *unless you call it “being on fire for Christ”. No matter what your pastor says. IJS
Anyways, now that I’ve laid the foundations of this here Upside Down World, so to speak, I’m going to be unleashing my big mouth and overfull brain on y’all. I’ll be turning the site into an old school blog with multiple posts a day, covering a variety of inter-related topics such as religion, culture, politics, science, relationships, psychology and whatever other ridiculous thing I see fit to include. If you are one of the people who is connected to my personal facebook page, you’ll see a lot of the areas of interest I share there show up here. If you aren’t one of the people connected to my personal facebook page, um, well, I don’t know how to break this to you, but I’m super opinionated, kind of rude and much smarter than you. Probably. But you’ll either love what’s coming or hate it. If you hate it, don’t expect me to care. IJS. Nobody’s forcing you read my shiznitz. (You’ll love it.)
Anyways, I’ll still hit the spiritual and religious stuff. But I’m also going to be sharing a lot of writing on things I’ve been working on like trauma, abuse, racism, sociopaths and just general “how life actually works in the real world” stuff. And news analysis. And whatever other ridiculous thing I see fit to share. And you can all be appalled at what a flaming libraturd I supposedly am. Feel free to disagree with me and argue with each other in the comments. Just know that I am not a babysitter or a referee nor am I required to meet your standards of fairness. So if you hate what I say or if I randomly decide that you’re being too stupid to speak at the grown up table, don’t expect me to care. IJS. Get your own damn blog if you want to be able to make the rules.
So, expect an expansion of topics and a shift in tone, along with much more frequent posting. I hope that The Upside Down World will be one of those places that you come to catch up on a few times a week, if not daily. Multiple times a day would be appropriate and recommended. IJS. But if you are subscribed by email, you may want to modify your settings so you aren’t getting multiple emails a day. You can, of course, also keep up with me on Facebook and Twitter.
(The imaginary audience in my head is very excited about all of this, btw. Haha – just kidding, they’re super confused about why I think they should care about any of this and think I’m an idiot. The imaginary audience swings wildly between finding me enchanting and thinking I’m embarrassing myself. You should start sharing everything I write on social media with your friends so I can rub it in the mean imaginary audience’s stupid faces. 😉 )