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  • Writer's pictureNick Hartkop

I fell in love with fall when everything started to die

There’s something about the way the air smells, cool and sharp

The way it feels when you walk under grey skies

I feel something in my chest

Like exploring abandoned castles with hills of green

Do you hear the wind, my friend?

The way it makes these empty halls talk

The way the window panes on the church are broken, and the way the empty pews are now covered in leaves

Crumpled and shriveled, to crunch underneath our steps

Do you feel any different than last year?

Something in this wind,

feels lost but also found

It’s that feeling in my chest

Of corn mazes and hayrides

Pumpkins and Apples

Of an excuse to be sad

I close my eyes and listen to the way the wind makes the trees talk

Do you feel any different than last year?

I feel sad for empty people.

But like the owl twists it’s neck, I fear there will come a time where I twist mine

To see the world clearly for the first and last time

And spin around my head, to see the seasons pass before me

Grey skies and cold air that talks me to sleep.

Do you hear the wind, my friend?

Asked the wide-eyed owl

I’m getting tired and the cold is here,

It’s almost time for bed

But I have to ask before I leave

I hear your home is haunted, and the ghost that sleeps there looks like you

Is that true?

Do you feel any different than last year?

The clouds are feeling sad today

I can see them crying from my window


"Fall"


-Nick

  • Writer's pictureNick Hartkop

Updated: Oct 12, 2021

I was nervous today because I had a meeting with a new psychiatrist. I am looking to have a meaningful long term medication manager, and I haven’t found someone I feel entirely comfortable with, even over a year and a half into treatment. I have anxiety surrounding meeting a new doctor because when you have your initial meeting I have to talk about myself, my struggles, and my life. I really don’t like talking about my struggles or my life out loud because I am paranoid the doctor will not like me or think I am “crazy.” When I tell my story and struggles, I always study the doctor's face and eyes to see how they react. When I describe my anger, do they raise their eyebrows and look shocked? When I talk about my thoughts, do they seem uncomfortable? I’ve had some doctors I didn’t feel comfortable sharing my story with, and today I was hoping to set up a relationship with someone who specializes in BPD and BP. My meeting was at 11:30 and I was there early because I was nervous. I didn’t sleep last night because I got so scared of the mental image of me sitting with the psychiatrist and telling my story and them not understanding. I’ve gotten so upset before that I’ve walked out of meetings. Unfortunately today the doctor forgot about my appointment and I waited until 12. I called the office multiple times, and left messages, but they never got back to me. I was really upset when I left a message for them explaining I was waiting and very nervous, and I ended it by saying “thanks for nothing.” I felt embarrassed and regretful when I said it because it was inappropriate, and I was overwhelmed and frustrated and felt like I was disposable to them because I made the appointment 3 weeks ago and have been in frequent communication. They got back to me after my message and said they had a “scheduling conflict”, which I absolutely understand, but sitting in the meeting just waiting really got to me, and I over reacted. I told them I wasn’t interested in seeing them anymore because I felt disrespected that they didn’t even text me or let me know there was an issue and that I had been waiting for 30 minutes. I wish I hadn’t told them thanks for nothing, and I scheduled a meeting with another psychiatrist. I am sad that I wasn’t able to meet with them today, and that I was overwhelmed so easily. It was immature and wrong of me to say “thanks for nothing.” I said it because I wasn’t going to pursue a relationship with that psychiatrist, and that still falls into an inappropriate dissolving of a relationship because I know I won't be pursuing it. It was the wrong thing to say, and I regret it. I feel like a failure for saying it. I was putting a lot of pressure on the meeting because I have been feeling like my medication is not strong enough for my mania. I have been struggling with functioning day to day, and have been having anger and sadness that are debilitating to me and my home. I have days that are better than others, but I want to be a fully functioning member of society, and I'm not there yet. I am still facing challenges with delusional thoughts. and I want to continue working on them. I need to get out of my head and start being happy. Lately I’ve been going to bed and feeling like “you’ll get it tomorrow. Tomorrow will be the day you wake up and live like you aren’t wasting time.” But then the day comes and I wake up and am still paranoid, angry, anxiety stricken, manic and miserable. But I don’t want to be, and I shouldn't be. I have a lot of good things in my day to day, but I feel this weird dissociation that’s started in my life where I don’t feel like I am living in the moment. It's something I struggle with, especially when I go out. I don't feel like I am really in my body, and I have trained myself to go on autopilot. For example we went to Target to pick up some groceries, and the entire time I just sort of put my airpods in, and let myself sit back while just going through the motions. Emily will be talking to me and I will be completely zoned out, scanning my surroundings making sure there isn't an active shooter. It's something that I am so paranoid about and I can't go out because of it. I struggle with being in the moment because I am in a constant fight or flight state, and I feel like I miss being in reality with my partner. I'm not going to waste any more days living "outside my body." I sometimes wonder that once this point in my life passes, and I have lived more years healthy than I have ill, will I think all my worrying was silly? Will I think all these posts and sleepless nights weren't worth it because everything passes? I don't think I will because they are a defining part of my growth and transition into adulthood, but I wonder how I will feel about it. That's to say if I even live to be old, I used to think 28 was ancient, but time passed so quickly that I feel young. I hope I live to be at least 60. I think If I can fix myself and continue to live like this for the next 30 years, I can die happy. But the world is cruel, so I need to start being in the moment, and being happy. I can still feel the happy person I was as a kid in my heart, and I hope I can find them again and bring them out. I can still feel the way I felt when I was a kid and felt invincible at times. Just that feeling of endless possibilities and excitement for life. I'm gonna continue to focus on that feeling.

On a positive note, I did reschedule with the same psychiatrist because I want to create that meaningful relationship, and it is okay that they forgot. I need to work on creating and keeping healthy relationships and I want to work with them still. I am looking forward to it

Nick




  • Writer's pictureNick Hartkop

Updated: Sep 28, 2021

When I was a kid, I volunteered at the public Library during my summers because I loved books. I loved being surrounded by stories that let me escape my reality. I always loved putting books away and studying the covers, and reading the synopsis on the back. I wanted one of my stories to be in the library I grew up going to as an adult. I thought that would be pretty cool, to be able to escape where I was from and have my stories be there still. So I started writing stories, and I discovered quickly that I wasn't a great author. I struggled to keep the same story going. My bursts of inspiration would fill up notebooks that would just... sit. I never came back to the half finished stories I had, just kept writing new ones.

I love writing.


I love looking at a blank piece of paper and thinking about the endless combination of words and stories that could shape its figure. In a lot of ways, It's kind of like playing God. You have this power to create a world that can change others' realities and build a universe from nothing.

I love the mental imagery when creating stories, and I love horror stories. So I always wanted to write a horror story, but was able to create from start to finish. But I knew that I always wanted to write and publish, and that's when I discovered something I loved more than writing. I loved writing music. When I discovered writing music on a guitar, it changed everything for me. I no longer wanted to sit at a desk and brainstorm stories to fill up notebooks, I started pouring out my feelings into poetry. And That poetry transitioned to something else, which was being able to create melodies. I Realized that music was what was missing from my writing. The thoughts and sounds in my brain were meant to be. And I fucking loved writing music. I loved it. It was like finding my true love.


I loved sitting by myself, talking out loud as I strummed chords, and then finding chords that gave me visuals and putting words to those visual feelings. It was like putting a puzzle together. I could feel which words fit in what parts and the picture they created. It was a dream for me. I would play all day, everyday. And I never practiced things like technicality, I just continued to write my stories. I never came back to songs. When I finished them, they were done. But unlike my notebooks filled with half written stories, these were done. Because they were short stories.


But then I transitioned to college, and my family wanted me to pursue a normal career, and I lacked the maturity to advocate for myself so I went for teaching. My dad wanted me to be an English teacher, but I switched to Special Education because I have a calling to help those with disabilities. But, I hated teaching and going to school. I wanted to do art, and my job was so far in the opposite direction, that I had to hide music as a part of me. I remember taking down my music because I was told by my school that I couldn't have anything publicly that could be questionable. My struggles with mental health, sexuality and life were documented in those songs, and I was told to be ashamed of them and hide them. So I did. And it was a mistake.


I strayed from my writing, which is my calling. I met my wife through my words, and for the longest time I was ashamed of them because I was ashamed of who I was. But I am not ashamed now. I have shame for my failures, but they are a part of my story and growth, and I am not ashamed of who I am. Without my struggles, I would not have started treatment for my BPD/BP.


McCafferty is the best thing that ever happened to me, and it's journey is something I live for. Writing music makes me feel whole. It makes me feel understood, and happy, and sad, and angry, and true. It makes me feel like I am effectively expressing myself. And I love it. I love everything about writing music. I love the way the chords feel, and the endless possibilities of the stories I am telling. I love getting stuck on a melody or lyric and looking for that puzzle piece to complete it. I love being able to use my mania in a safe constructive way. I love singing and screaming my lungs out and feeding into the energy of the song I am making. I love doing chants and being goofy and screaming fuck. It excites me. I love making a new EP or Album and thinking of the name and the art and the stories it will tell.


I love writing, but I fell in love with writing music.

I am excited to release new music. I love the melodies, and the colors it makes me see, and I love the sadness and fun it has. I love listening to demos and adding new things and thinking of effects to add in the studio, or hearing where Emily's voice would add to a song. I love the challenge it gives me of having a blank slate, and shaping it.


In my adulthood I hope to publish a few novels as well though. I want to continue to grow as a writer and overcome the obstacles I faced writing in my youth to finish stories. Over the last year I have been writing a screenplay that takes inspiration from my public failures and struggles with BPD. I am on my second rewrite of the script now. It is a story based in reality, but I also want to write a horror story afterwards. I think it would be really cool to have some screenplays/novels that I could publish and put on my site, and that's a goal I have after this next release.


I have always loved horror, and specifically gothic horror for its aesthetic. Earlier this year a game called Resident Evil Village was released, and it has one of the best characters I have ever seen. It's a doll maker named Donna and her doll, Angie, and there is a painting in the game of them both you come across in their home. I loved it so much I was able to get a print of it signed by the actors. I will include a photo of it in this blog.

I am really excited for Halloween this year. Emily and I are dressing up as Freddie and Daphne from Scooby-Doo and are going to pass out candy. It's going to be a really fun, special memory, and we will take pictures to post. We are looking for new horror movies to watch this fall, so if you have any recommendations feel free to send them through the contact form. Thanks for reading

Nick






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