• Nick Hartkop

July 17th, 2021 (Rehabilitation/Mental Health: Bipolar/BPD)

Borderline Personality Disorder is the worst for me in regards to the distorted self-image it gives me, and wanting some sort of confirmation that I am doing well. It feeds intense feelings of grandiosity and narcissism. When I was younger, I had this drive to "be something" because of the insecurities I had from the abuse I experienced from my parents. That grandiosity mixed with my mania made me feel invincible as a way to put up a permanent wall of insecurity to shield myself from criticism. I believed that if I kept writing that narrative for people to think I was a good person, eventually I would make everyone believe that and I would feel content and happy.

In reality, I wasn't anything I made myself out to be. I had this super fake salesman-like energy that just didn't feel honest, and that's because it wasn't. I would get into these manic highs and jump on social media pretending to be the best version of myself, because I would be sitting alone thinking about things and think "If I don't post something right now letting people see I am doing great and a great person, they will forget about me." It was that feeling of not wanting to be forgotten that drove a lot of my mania. It's cringey and embarrassing, fake, obnoxious and manipulative. I think a lot of public figures feel like that, maybe not driven by BPD, but just that narcissism of not wanting to "be forgotten" and the over compensation of trying to not only be likeable, but the best. When in reality they are the worst. I still can't hold a job and fail continuously in public situations, and wake up with no drive for my future and self-worth, but the thing I am most thankful for is the empathy that my situation has given me for other people. Before starting my treatment, I had such a discontent for people. I really hated human beings and saw them all as selfish animals. It was a really weird, angry way to live, and now I see people as I should have. I know everyone on this planet is going through something and that each individual person has struggles. I also like to think that they want to be the best version of themselves.

If you have been something you regret and truly want to get better, it is possible. It feels weird picking a day and going, "Okay, today is the first day I start to get better," because it feels like the journey may be too big for that, but every journey starts with that first step. One clean day turns into two, two turns into four, and it continues. But it can also reset if you are not accountable, and that is the daunting part. 100 days can become 0 days if you subject yourself to the same unhealthy routines and behaviors. Whether that is mental illness, drugs, abusive behavior, or anything else. If you feel helpless, send a message through the contact form, I have been trying to answer everyone back when my team sends me the messages. I will do my best to respond. Sometimes its just helpful to know you are not alone. Every journey begins with that first step.


Nick

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Up until my second album, I never wrote any lyrics down. My writing process consisted of me just starting to talk about anything while playing some chords, and once I found the right random thought that came out, I was able to follow it by just talking to myself.

That’s how I wrote a majority of my songs and I think that’s what worked best for me, because each song became a manic venting story. I became lazy and started writing lyrics down as time went on for more recent releases because it was easier and faster. I’ve returned to the style of lyricism I wrote back then, nothing on paper, just all spoken words as I write. I think it makes words go together thematically as well as being better written because it’s a challenge for me to write a line then remember that line as I write the next line.

When I wrote Trees and Snakes, I wrote them consecutively (Snakes first then Trees) in a single session, and I remember struggling to remember the lyrics as I wrote them, but I think the opportunity to practice memorization made the songs better because they captured exactly what I was feeling then, without the barrier of pen to paper.

My memory isn’t as sharp as it used to be, but I’m trying to challenge myself again like that in hopes of making something honest and raw.

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