Author: daultondickey

Writer, artist, madman

Depression, Suicide, and Literature: How Undiagnosed Mental Illness and My Latest Novel Nearly Killed Me

by
Daulton Dickey.

Decoupled from Reality

img_4485At some point, severe anxiety decouples you from reality. Psychologists refer to it as derealization. As someone who’s experienced such a state, I find it impossible to describe. Imagine locking yourself in a virtual reality game with photorealistic graphics: you go through the motions, retain your habits, work, spend time with family, interact with people, and so on. It simultaneously feels real and simulated, as if you’re in a moment in space and time and also outside it, peering it. The VR analogy doesn’t convey the experience but it’s as close as I’ve come to describing it. In a way, it’s like trying to describe the color red to someone blind since birth—it’s not possible; you only understand “redness” when you experience its sensations. The same holds true for derealization.

In 2013, I experienced this state for several months. It threatened my job, my relationship, and, eventually, my life. Combined with mania stemming from undiagnosed bipolar disorder, my self-induced hyper-anxiety also fueled a sustained period of writing in which I produced nearly a half million words in less than six months. Two novels, one novella, one novel rewritten from the ground up, and upwards of a dozen short stories burst from my brain as I hovered in this state. (more…)

Manifesto of Surrealism (1924)

by
Andre Breton.

André_BretonSo strong is the belief in life, in what is most fragile in life – real life, I mean – that in the end this belief is lost. Man, that inveterate dreamer, daily more discontent with his destiny, has trouble assessing the objects he has been led to use, objects that his nonchalance has brought his way, or that he has earned through his own efforts, almost always through his own efforts, for he has agreed to work, at least he has not refused to try his luck (or what he calls his luck!). At this point he feels extremely modest: he knows what women he has had, what silly affairs he has been involved in; he is unimpressed by his wealth or his poverty, in this respect he is still a newborn babe and, as for the approval of his conscience, I confess that he does very nicely without it. If he still retains a certain lucidity, all he can do is turn back toward his childhood which, however his guides and mentors may have botched it, still strikes him as somehow charming. There, the absence of any known restrictions allows him the perspective of several lives lived at once; this illusion becomes firmly rooted within him; now he is only interested in the fleeting, the extreme facility of everything. Children set off each day without a worry in the world. Everything is near at hand, the worst material conditions are fine. The woods are white or black, one will never sleep. (more…)

Another Thinking Animal, a short story

by
Daulton Dickey.

26169523_533387417028677_3406170926569762977_n—So tell me why you’re here.

—I’m tired. Not exhausted, but … just, I don’t know, tired. Sarah’s wearing that gray face sad people wear, that mask with dead eyes looks like an unpainted statue.

—Can you describe it? “Tired” is so …

—Not clear?

—Mmm Hmm.

—I didn’t want no attention, she says. —Some people, I think, will think I did it for attention. But it wasn’t attention I wanted.

—What did you want? What did you hope to achieve?

—Shit. What you think?

—And that seemed like a solution?

—No, she says. —Not a solution. An escape.

—But an escape’s not a solution.

—Didn’t say I was looking for no solution. Escape sounded fine by me.

The doctor glances at his notes. He spins his pen between his fingers and clicks his tongue. Seems like there’s some place he’d rather be, like maybe drinking martinis on his yacht or whatever it is doctors do when they ain’t talking to suicides.

—It says here you’re on LexiPro and Wellbutrin, he says. —Were you taking them when you attempted …

—Hell yes I was, Sarah says. —They numbed things, but they didn’t stop the thoughts, the bad thoughts flying through my head. They didn’t make me feel full when all I feel is empty all the time. (more…)

Flesh Made World – Review Copies Available

img_4484Rooster Republic Press
https://roosterrepublicpress.com/

For Immediate Release

Review Copies for Flesh Made World, an experimental novel by Daulton Dickey, Now Available

fleshmadeworlddaultondickeyDeath surrounds Sarah and Daulton. While grieving for their loved ones, they each must navigate a universe where time isn’t linear, where memories and fantasies collide and merge with reality. The dead haunt them, the world shifts and changes, and time disintegrates. Slipping in and out of the present, they relive moments from their past—and they never know when they’re in the present. As the shifts increasingly dominate their lives, as their grips on reality loosen, Sarah and Daulton struggle to find a way to orient themselves in the present, to escape the infinite loop of pain, suffering, and confusion. If they can’t find a way out, then will they be trapped in a kaleidoscope of torment and grief?

 An experimental novel about death, the nature of memories, and reality, Flesh Made World thrusts readers into a hallucinogenic universe where space and time constantly unravel. Completed a day before the author voluntarily admitted himself to the hospital on suicide watch, the novel depicts people—and minds—in the grips of suicidal depression and existential terror. (more…)

Flesh Made World – Full Cover Reveal

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Click here to read an excerpt

 

“Daulton Dickey’s ‘Flesh Made World’ is a glorious mindfuck. The eloquence of Dickey’s writing style consumed me like a drug, whisking me through time and space until I didn’t know whether to go mad or fall in love. I did both and more, thanks to his evocative voice and characterization. Entertainment aside, this book has also been a huge inspiration to me as an artist.” —Jessica McHugh

About the book:

Death surrounds Sarah and Daulton. While grieving for their loved ones, they eachimg_4484 must navigate a universe where time isn’t linear, where memories and fantasies collide, merging with reality. The dead haunt them, the world shifts and changes, and time disintegrates. Slipping in and out of the present, they relive moments from their past—and they never know when they’re in the present. As the shifts increasingly dominate their lives, as their grips on reality loosen, Sarah and Daulton struggle to find a way to orient themselves in the present, to escape the infinite loop of pain, suffering, and confusion. If they can’t find a way out, then will they be trapped in a kaleidoscope of torment and grief? An experimental novel about death, the nature of memories, and reality, Flesh Made World thrusts readers into a hallucinogenic universe where space and time constantly unravel.

daultondickeyA self-professed surrealist, Daulton Dickey is a novelist, poet, and content creator currently living in Indiana with his wife and kids. He’s the author of A Peculiar Arrangement of Atoms: StoriesStill Life with Chattering Teeth and People-Shaped Things, and other storiesElegiac Machinations: an experimental novella, and Bastard Virtues, a novelRooster Republic Press will publish his latest novel, Flesh Made World, later this year. Contact him at lostitfunhouse [at] gmail [dot] com

 

Ten of Our Favorite Articles of the Year

#1

Andy Kaufman and the Physics of Human Response

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#2

Andy Kaufman: Architect of Reality

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#3

Tyler Returned, a Story By Jessica McHugh

img_4448 (more…)

Our Ten Most Popular Articles of the Year

# 1

In a Psych Ward on Suicide Watch: A True Story

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#2

How Misogynists Think: Confessions of a Former Misogynist

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#3

Gustave Courbet and the Origin of the World

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How to Fail at Crowdfunding and Get Tanked by an Old Celebrity

by
Daulton Dickey.

25552118_528693620831390_7355383202780091910_nFew things are worse than poverty. Struggling to make ends meet from week to week, month to month takes a toll on you, both mentally and physically. Stress and anxiety corrupt your mind, deprives you of sleep, destroys your appetite. Stomach pains are common with me. Sometimes excruciating pain prevents me from doing—or even wanting to do—anything. Toss bipolar disorder and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) into the picture and you’ve got a mess on your hands. Even on Klonopin and Prozac, I’m a mess. My anxiety slices through the mellowing effects of the drugs and locks me in a sort of stasis and I fight to overcome my anxiety and live a somewhat effective life.

Poverty spikes my anxiety, especially when bills pile up and rent is due and we don’t have enough money to cover everything. The stress sometimes paralyzes me, as it does now: currently, we’re behind on rent—we were short last month, we don’t have enough to cover next month’s rent, and no way of generating that money in such a short amount of time. In addition, my car tires are in rough shape. I have to fill them every day. It’s only a matter of time before I step outside to go to work and find four flat, dead tires. (more…)

Excuses of a Poor Bastard

Due to elevated anxiety levels and the stress of the approaching holidays, I’m taking a hiatus this week. I hope to return to form soon. Thanks for visiting the site and reading the articles.

I love you all.

Happy whatever-you-celebrate.

And if you suffer from mental illness, don’t put too much faith in meds.

Here’s a picture I made for you:

Flesh Made World—Cover Reveal

fleshmadeworlddaultondickey

About the book:

img_4484Death surrounds Sarah and Daulton. While grieving for their loved ones, they each must navigate a universe where time isn’t linear, where memories and fantasies collide, merging with reality. The dead haunt them, the world shifts and changes, and time disintegrates. Slipping in and out of the present, they relive moments from their past—and they never know when they’re in the present. As the shifts increasingly dominate their lives, as their grips on reality loosen, Sarah and Daulton struggle to find a way to orient themselves in the present, to escape the infinite loop of pain, suffering, and confusion. If they can’t find a way out, then will they be trapped in a kaleidoscope of torment and grief? An experimental novel about death, the nature of memories, and reality, Flesh Made World thrusts readers into a hallucinogenic universe where space and time constantly unravel.

Click here to read an excerpt.

img_4466Daulton Dickey is a novelist, poet, and content creator currently living in Indiana with his wife and kids. He’s the author of A Peculiar Arrangement of Atoms: StoriesStill Life with Chattering Teeth and People-Shaped Things, and other storiesElegiac Machinations: an experimental novella, and Bastard Virtues, a novelRooster Republic Press will publish his latest novel, Flesh Made World, later this year. Contact him at lostitfunhouse [at] gmail [dot] com