Writer of Stories.

Writer of Stories.

Friday, June 30, 2017

The Boy

It might not seem plausible for a 13-year-old to know what love is, but I can tell you even now with the feeling still resonating twelve years later that what I felt back then was real.
The emotion shaped me as I grew into a young woman. It tainted the relationships I had with others to come, and it stuck with me despite being perfectly content within the happiness that came my way. For it was that one “what if”. The one that got away. The one you read about and watch as it burns slowly on screen but never happens. It never resolves. And that, above everything else, is what hurts the most. Even to this day.
For the sake of anonymity, we’ll call him THE BOY. He’s no longer a part of my life, but we’re friends on Facebook, and well... even that’s a little too close for comfort. Given time and space, we are both now two very different people. I can’t necessarily speak for him, but I know that a decade has changed me in the best and the worst ways of which I wouldn’t want to trade for anything. My experiences have taught me valuable life lessons, and I have no doubt that he too has lived. That is, if you call having a job, a relationship and kids living. I’ve taken part in two of the three, but I have no interest in the other. It’s a personal decision, and I’ve settled on it. But does that mean he’s happier than me?
I have a best friend. Well, technically I have two, but the first came about in a very different way. He was my boyfriend for seven years, and then one day he wasn’t. The thing is, we still tell each other goodnight. He hasn’t gone anywhere, because the connection we share remains the same, regardless of relationship status or society’s way of forcing sex as a necessary evil. You see, I believe in emotions in their truest forms. I believe that you can love someone and it not be about titles. About sexual orientation. About whether or not you hold hands. I believe in friendship - companionship - and because of what I have now, I understand what I had back then.
THE BOY was a crush. For a very long time, I had a different crush, and THE BOY’s insistence that the other was a douchebag is what drew me to him in the end. It was sort of like opening your eyes and finally realizing that the thing you cherish most is right in front of you, and it has been the whole time. On the surface, THE BOY gave me attention. But back then, I thought there was a price to pay in return. Don’t get me wrong, there very much was… but THE BOY refused to let me pay it. I tried. I offered. I made it known that I was willing, but never once did he accept it. Never once did he allow me to be that girl.
Unfortunately, several years later, without his knowledge, I became that girl for many others, and I think it’s because back then I wasn’t aware of what he had done for me. I’d taken his distance as rejection. I’d taken his lack of a formal proposal to go steady as his way saying I wasn’t pretty. I wasn’t his type. Because he got what he wanted from other girls. But never from me.
Now, I look back on my journal entries - at the excruciating detail of every conversation and every movement of his body language - and I realize that he really did see me. He really did care. His attention was given in other ways that back then I didn’t appreciate for what they were. We talked on the phone about nothing. He was the first boy I ever did that with, and I remember being so nervous to hear his voice on the other line even though we spoke face to face almost every day. He made a point to sit beside me at school - not all the time, but just enough. We wrote notes in class, made up funny jokes and wrote them all down, and he hugged me. I vividly remember him hugging me. Sometimes for no reason. THE BOY just knew how to do the little things. And that was what kept me afloat.
I wasn’t incredibly popular. I was included in a very specific crowd, but I wasn’t the girl that the other guys talked about. At least, not in that way. I think THE BOY protected me from that, and I know now it’s because he loved me. He was my friend. A real friend. One that I still miss so many years later. You see, that’s what feels unfinished. That is the “what if” I always come back to. Like the seven year relationship I had with my once boyfriend, in the blink of an eye, everything changed. We went to separate high schools. We didn’t talk anymore. We ran with different crowds. And the one time we ran into each other after graduating, I looked at him, and the boy I knew was gone. In a way, I think he protected me from that too. He knew who I was - saw the person I’d become - and he was smart enough to acknowledge that he had no part in my world.
I dream about him all the time. So much that I forget he’s part of my past and not a piece of my present. The dreams are always simple. He’s just there. Sometimes taking part in the plot and other times he’s just in the background. But his presence is unwavering. I’m not an interpreter of dreams, so I’m not exactly sure what that means for me and my psyche, but it gives me incredible comfort when I wake up the next morning and remember those emotions. That connection and what it did for me as a girl trying to make it through middle school. I cherish every single memories, and like everything else, I wouldn’t trade them.
I guess the point of all of this is to say thank you to THE BOY. I’m too afraid to share this where he’d actually see it, and I think it’s because I’m even more afraid he won’t know it’s about him. But I needed to say it regardless, so here it is:
to the very first boy I ever loved, thank you for not being my boyfriend.


Megan.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

i'm not crazy

I approached my doctors this week and brought up my concerns about depression, and to my surprise, they already had an answer for me. I was told that it's something they've considered for a while - an underlying condition that was never addressed and snowballed out of control because of the autoimmune issues. My body will literally not allow me to get well, and it's not in my head. Technically, yes it is, but it's not just my mind. I'm not crazy. I have a chemical imbalance in my brain that prevents me from being able to function like a typical 25 year old. I'm already on anti-depressants to treat anxiety and what my previous doctors thought was fibromyalgia, so I secretly hoped that the pills would fix me without having to say anything. But that's not how it works. SSRIs are meant to balance out the serotonin and dopamine that you already have, but I apparently don't produce enough to begin with. So, I'm starting on natural supplements that will do it for me. Two weeks from now, I'll get back to you and let you know how I feel. So far, I've had trouble sleeping after being on the new supplements for two days, so that might be a side effect. However, today I had the motivation to get out of bed and be active. I walked around my yard for half an hour and the exercise helped the ache in my legs. We'll see if I can keep this up. xx

-Megan.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

the things I never said.

I will be the first to admit that I live a perfectly good life.

My parents have supported me and helped me throughout every mishap and every setback when it comes to getting to the bottom of my health issues and even supporting me financially whenever I can't work. My friends - the handful that I truly trust with all my heart - are no strangers to the past two years and just how difficult it's been. But even then, there are things that keep me quiet. There are ideas that run through my mind when no one is here and no is listening... that something is wrong. That something much bigger is eating me alive from the inside out. No one is to blame, because I choose to disclose certain problems I face and the fears that wrack my brain. But no one else is responsible for not being aware of the ones I choose not to share. It's not because I don't think anyone would understand. It's because I don't understand it myself.

I'm not unhappy. But I'm not okay.

My body has been in pain for two years. It started slowly, and I ignored it for as long as possible. I never sought help, because I didn't think anything to be truly wrong. But when I finally came clean to my parents, I started the endless loop of doctor visits. Appointment after appointment after appointment. I never got a straight answer. Fibromyalgia. Chronic Fatigue. Lupus. Hashimoto's. Anything and everything got thrown at me, and I never believed any of it. Finally, I took the holistic approach and eventually found a diagnosis I thought made sense. When I was 15, I contracted Lyme Disease from a tick bite. I was treated with antibiotics, but according to new research and theory, the medication merely suppressed the virus instead of killing it. If this was the case, my immune system had been under attack for going on ten years.

But here's the thing. I've been undergoing treatment for going on 5 months, and I was told that it would take a total of 9. The extreme pain has settled, and I don't have nearly as many bad days as I used to, but when I'm down... I'm down. And it's hard to get back up. It's not so much about concentrated pain anymore. It's my entire body. I just ache all the time for no reason. I've cut so many things out of my diet, thinking that certain foods might be triggers for inflammation, and I've stuck to my medications. My detox. But I still feel helpless.

What if it's in my head? What if everything I'm feeling is just my fucked up mind playing tricks on me? I've considered for a long time now that I suffer from depression, and I see the commercials all the time about how it "hurts" and it's very real and very different for everyone. But have I always had it, or have I developed it due to everything I've suffered from? What if I'm bipolar? My ability to go from happy to sad feels like a rollercoaster a lot of the time, but there's no pattern to it. And the energetic "manic" episodes never last more than a day, or a few hours. I'm already on Cymbalta for anxiety, and for that it's been successful. I secretly hoped it would help with everything else as well, but I know I need to find something more suitable for me.

Being in pain is stressful.
Living up to the expectation I set for myself with writing was overwhelming.

But here are a few other things I've never shared...
The first, my closest friends are aware of, but the rest I've kept to myself.

I recently came to the conclusion that my boyfriend of 8 years is really just my best friend. The decision was mutual, and we both came to a very conscious conclusion that we were no longer romantic. We hadn't been in a very long time, and in a way I'm not losing anything by accepting our new status, but it's new, and it's different, despite how right it feels.

I don't like to get out of bed most days, because it's easier to be alone. I waste hours watching tv or scrolling though social media, merely because I don't have the energy to be social in person. However, I'm lucky enough to have two very close friends that help me in very different ways. I have one friend that is always a phone call away, and has been through everything I'm feeling, so it's the easiest thing in the world to share my struggles, because she gets it. My other friend can raise me up from that low I feel no matter how deep I get, and I don't even know if she realizes it, but she's the most important person in my life at the moment. If I feel myself slipping, I'll text her to hang out, because I know as soon as I see her I'll feel better, and I can be myself. It's strange, but it's probably the truest friendship I've ever experienced in my entire life.

There are times when I've dragged sharp objects against my skin to distract myself from the physical aches in my muscles. I don't want to die. I don't cut myself. I just enjoy the distraction, and it puts my love of tattoos and piercings into a unique perspective. I redirect the pain into something I can control, and it eases everything.

I fear that one day I will be addicted to the pain medication I receive for flare ups.

I fear that one day there won't be anything that provides relief, because my body will have built up a tolerance to whatever I try.

I'm afraid that everything I feel - both mentally and physically - is all in my head.

I'm afraid that I'll never know what's actually wrong with me.

I have no right to feel sad. I've lost people I cared about, and I've struggled with my health, but I can't understand what would cause my mind and my body to unravel so destructively.

If you read this, know that my life is not in danger. I have no thoughts of suicide, and I doubt I ever will. But I am slowly going insane trying to understand why I feel so lost and so sad and so pained.


“So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad, and I'm still trying to figure out how that could be.” 
― Stephen ChboskyThe Perks of Being A Wallflower



Megan.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

for a friend.

Today is your birthday.
It will always be your birthday.
Whether you're here or there, it's still the same.
It's still your day.

I tend to forget a lot.
It's not that I don't care.
It's that it still feels like a bad dream.
Like something that happens in movies and television,
but not to us.
Not in this life.
It does though.
Every day.
And it hurts just the same.
Whenever I think about something you'd enjoy -
consider sharing something or asking your opinion -
that's when it comes back,
and it's worse than before.

I can only think about the many things you've missed.
All of the good and terrible things that have happened since you disappeared.
I wonder what you'd think of it all.
Plenty of it would have deserved your smile.
Plenty of it could have broken your heart.
But you weren't here to see it.
And that is the greatest disappointment of all.

I hate to think that you've been missing everything.
But maybe you haven't.
Maybe you've seen it, wherever you are.
Is it beautiful there?

I'm asking for a friend.






Happy Birthday, Laura-Lisa.



Saturday, January 21, 2017

2016 Moonshine Awards

This is completely fandom oriented, so if you're not a fan of The Walking Dead... or you think fan-fiction is beyond you.... please don't look any further into this post. I'm sharing this merely because it has to do with something I wrote, and well... that's what this blog is about, right?

When I stepped away from publishing, I burrowed into a little hole known as fandom. Most of you know this because I posted about it here on my blog, as well as on all of my social platforms. It became a bit of a refuge for me, and for that I am forever grateful - not only to the relief writing about Beth and Daryl gave me, but to the dozens of new friends I've made in the process.

As such, I've written several stories surrounding the ship famously known as Bethyl. Stories about what could have been, and stories about what was. Their relationship latched onto me in so many ways that I'm pretty sure despite them not being characters of my own, I could write about the two them for the rest of my life. It's that tragic. So, because I wrote so many stories, I now have six - yes, SIX - of my fan-fictions nominated in a little something called the Moonshine Awards. This is an annual fanfic awards celebration thingy hosted by a girl known as sillymommy2010 on Tumblr. She runs a blog called Ultimate Bethyl Fic List, where it is what it states: the ultimate list of all Bethyl fan-fiction.

This year (2016), I was nominated in the following categories:

Best ZA
Best One Shot
Best Multi-Chapter 
Best Reunion Fic
Best Fix-It Fic
and Best Work in Progress.

The reason why I'm sharing this is to encourage you to vote. I know that most of you don't care about the The Walking Dead, much less read fan-fiction inspired by it, so here's my pitch.

I know you've been deprived of new books from me in the last year, and I've explained the reasons behind it as much as I can by this point. Now that you're going to be able to read Negative Spaces & Instead of This online, I hope that the void I create will be filled in some fashion. However, the time I spent away from publishing was not wasted in my opinion. I still wrote almost every day, and by doing so I honed my craft. These fan-fictions are some of the best work I've ever done, and I'm extremely proud of them, in spite of the content. So please, if you are a fan of my writing and want to support me, show some love and vote.

My username is "rednecksaints".
You can vote once a day and choose up to 3 stories per category, so anything you see by that username you can vote for.
Here is the link: https://ultimatebethylficlist.com/2016-moonshine-awards/
Just click on each category individually to vote.
Voting is open through Feb. 8th!







Thursday, January 19, 2017

The New Plan

Hello and welcome to the new MEGAN DUKE BOOKS.
Now known simply as REDNECKSAINTS.
Yes, I've changed the name of this page because I'm changing a lot of things. Facebook being a very small, very insignificant part of that plan. However, it is still important that I share those changes here because most of you that follow this page are following because you enjoy my work. You read my stories and you have been anxiously awaiting the next book in two series that I've been promising for quite some time.
Well folks... I'm here to say that I am giving you a little taste of BOTH.
Yep. Starting today, I will no longer be publishing in print. All future publications will be written serially, and posted on Wattpad... FOR FREE. I am branding myself as a strictly digital author with zero profit, and I know that it's the right decision.
This past year has been hard on me mentally, and I've had to face some pretty enlightening facts about myself as a person and as an author. In light of that, I discovered that the real reason I write is to make other people (all of you) happy, so that's why I'm choosing to step out onto a new platform that will make it more convenient for all of my readers to hear my words.
This page will be a hub of sorts for all of my work, both original fiction and fan-fiction alike, so look out for new posts featuring updated chapters from all of your favorite stories, including The Mind Breaker Accounts, Negative Spaces, and Never.
First on that list:
Carter's short story from Negative Spaceshttps://www.wattpad.com/361453229-negative-spaces-part-1-carter
and the first chapter of Instead of This (Book 3 in TMBA) - https://www.wattpad.com/361451337-instead-of-this-book-3-of-the-mind-breaker
I'm so excited about this, and I hope that all of you will be excited for it as well <3 span="">