Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Dear Daniel

Dear Daniel,

People want to know what my secret to recovery is. None of it’s a secret. Here recently our little film that could has suffered some setbacks. It has stressed me out. It’s made me question whether or not it is worth forging ahead with the dream that is Letters to Daniel. You see stress is a big trigger for me. The more stress I feel the more unbalanced things become, the more vulnerable to manic or depressive episodes I get.

Is it anyone’s fault that this is the case? Of course not. It’s not even mine. But when the stress bears down on me it becomes difficult to function properly. It often pushes me to the edge and that can be hard not just on me but everyone around me who must deal with the person I become under these conditions.

It is incumbent upon me and those around me to make sure I don’t make a rushed or rash decision. No one deserves that. Not the other producers, the cast or the crew. Letters to Daniel is a team, a family. One that is reliant on each working part doing its job to see to it that the film makes it to the finish line.

If there is one thing I am most proud it’s my ability to acknowledge when something becomes too much to deal with. And when it is, to lean on those around me for support and encouragement.
Perhaps things would be much easier if I could just learn to roll with the punches. Alas it is a specific skillset I am sorely lacking in. I absorb each punch and feel its full force. These punches hurt. They often sending me flying only to land hard on my ass each time. It takes time to recover. Some punches aren’t as hard as others. Therefore they don’t take as long as to recover from them. 

Sometimes you absorb multiple blows in a short time and it leaves you questioning whether or not you should be on this path at all.

But then my best friend on this journey, Missy absorbs some of my attitude, picks me up dusts me off, and drives me through the park and brings me to the bookstore where I go to get in touch with the true joy of what I do.

The writing.

Writing is where I keep my balance.

Writing is where I find my joy.

Writing is where I find my healing.

Writing is where I find the strength to get back up to fight another day. It’s where I find the purpose of why I started writing this blog in the first place.

Letters to Daniel has never been about the fame and the fortune. It’s been about following the light your work has inspired me to follow my own creative endeavors. It’s been about shining my light so that others might be able to find their way out of the darkness.

Sharing my hope and day to day recovery, and showing them that, even when there are setbacks, as they will happen, it is possible to keep going, one foot in front of the other.

That it’s not about when you get knocked down. That it’s more about the decision to get. back. up.
Already, with the penning of this blog I feel better. I know that the journey ahead, although stressful will be worth it when all is said and done.


Amy McCorkle

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Dear Daniel

Dear Daniel,

As my mood seems to have a will of its own these days I struggle to put two words together. This last week my beloved pet, Luke was seriously ill with an upper respiratory infection. I rushed him a vet, as he had taken to hiding back in the bedroom. It was a traumatic experience for us all as Luke is than two years old and we lost three cats within six months of one another almost 2 years ago. I miss them all very much. They were my furbabies. And it just dawned on me why I’ve been so utterly freaked out. It is the year anniversary of Scar’s death and with Luke getting sick at the same time as Scar passed on, well it was truly too much.

My aunts Sally and Rosie have been in from out of town so the house is always full of people these days, adding to the stress. I’ve been manic for a while and now can feel the skid downward.

I’ve been angry and irritable to everyone around me. You know that feeling that just anything and everything is just pissing you off for no reason at all? And I mean it just sets you off as if they had just cut your heart out. Plus coming off of a traumatic experience really hard to handle.

I’ve had people tell me you gotta roll with the punches and for people built like me navigating the world just isn’t that simple all of the time.

The last 28 days have been stressful as well as I have been running a Kickstarter for the film Letters to Daniel. It has been a long, arduous, journey. Asking for money isn’t my favorite thing to do. Most of my friends are like me. They have no money. At least not to spare. So when they do give it’s not much I can offer them except some really cool things. Like a photoshoot. Concept Art Pieces. Stuff that usually is locked away from the public’s eyes to keep from destroying the movie magic.

But as the saying goes. You do what must be done to get your film made. At ICFF we made some terrific contacts. Producers who wanted to read the script. And even one possibility that would be amazing.

Twice a week I’m supposed to unplug from the movie completely. We’ve had setbacks. But I try not to dwell on those. So much for unplugging, right?

That being said I am waiting on movie swag from our Marketing Artist. And covers for a book I am self-publishing, SCARS. The contract I’m signing a lot is expected of me. Honestly I hope can deliver on. But I know if I get back into a routine I’ll be fine.

On nights and days such as these I’m grateful for this forum, where I can come and unwind and be myself. Warts and all.

Things have been a bit of a roller coaster since January. I’m happy but my eating is back out of control. Back on top of it.

Also stressful. My mom wants my family at my birthday e.g. my sisters and their families at my birthday dinner. Not really what I want. But it’s what Mom wants and since they’ve co-opted my birthday weekend for a graduation party for my nephew and dad has an OA meeting he’ll be sure to be rushing through the meal. Lucky me.

I know I’m going to be 41 but for me there are less days left with Mom and Dad and while they “get” better than they have in the past I have to remember I don’t have the respect that my other sisters have from them. I have their love. But they measure respect by a different stick. I don’t have a college education. I have 1 year of college and two film workshops. Although I’ve attended several festivals, conventions and won awards and published several books and have the respect of my peers I don’t have the respect of well, maybe even of myself.

I had that hard won confidence only to have it slowly chipped away at during the first part of this year.

That being said.





And even though I’m having trouble now I know soon enough I’ll be on feet running full throttle towards all my hopes and dreams. That confidence people chipped away at I’ll get back. That respect I desire I’ll get it. And the people who stand and stood against me will only be able to watch as I rise. I have the best support network out there. To them I am eternally grateful.


Amy McCorkle

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Dear Daniel

Dear Daniel,

My road the last 8-10 months have been rocky. I haven’t been psychotic by any stretch. But my disease has been front and center in my life. Testing me. Stretching me. Triggering me. Impulsive decisions leading to complicated situations for me and everyone around me.
In December the film Missy and I have been working hard to bring to the big screen, Letters to Daniel, suffered a major setback when the other producers on and us decided to part company amicably. This was very close to actual production starting. Although I had no hard feelings towards them I was devastated just the same.

In the wake of the setback I was forced to function as any film producer would. I had to inform everyone involved with the film that the shoot was being pushed back. It was a terrible as I had been incredibly stressed and probably manic at the time. I cried all day. I was raw with grief. In the midst of a depression I had to put my big girl panties on and contact locations and explain the situation over and over again.

The cast we had worked so hard to put into place, well, some of them left the production. I can’t really blame them. Cancelling nine days out from production looks unprofessional and we took a hit to our credibility. Some did not want to stay with us. We have lost people since. Some for creative differences, others wishing we could guarantee pay, which I truly wish we could have. The talent and patience of our leading ladies has been extraordinary.

In the months following the pushback I have not been on the most even of keels.
I know to look at me one would think nothing is wrong with me because I don’t appear to be suffering. Bipolar disorder is sneaky. Just when you think you’ve got it licked it will bite you in the ass. People assume you are making correct decisions because well, someone like me, when things are good can conquer the world. Bipolar disease is something that makes you vulnerable because your judgment is not always the best.

In the months following the pushback there have been incredible highs, lows and everything in between. I’ve made some questionable business decisions. Ones that I have paid dearly for. Fortunately the Universe has a way of letting you know when something is wrong. I saw this quickly and the Universe made a way for me to make amends to those who perhaps who do not completely understand my reactions, or why they can be so intense.

On the good side Letters to Daniel, the screenplay has really picked up traction. Including being nominated for three awards in the same weekend at three separate festivals. Of those I represented Missy and me and the to-be produced film at the International Christian Film Festival. I attended it with my now agent and co-producer on the film Julie Fink. There were multiple requests from producers and even one contact I’m not at liberty to discuss.

I was “on” there and had a wonderful time. But as with anything some previous decisions I had made were on impulse and I had potentially burned a very important bridge. Fortunately when I approached her about making amends re-establishing a working relationship and making amends with our friendship she left the door open.

That was very important to me. As she was a casualty of the crisis I was in. And to some extent, am still in. My agent before she took me on put this caveat in. Before making any decisions regarding my career I clear them through her and Missy first.

She came to me through my book Letters to Daniel and our connection is one of friendship and family. She unlike some recognizes how crucial Missy is to my mental health. I trust her. And as I move through my healing process and push to make Letters to Daniel the independent film happen it is crucial I have people around me who not only believe in me and my talent, but recognize that I have disease. That at times can be triggered by outside events or even bad relationship choices.

My family has come to an understanding of my disease and its mercurial nature that I don’t present like others in the family. That symptoms aren’t always as obvious. I think the last five months especially they have seen what a crisis looks like on me. As I seek to find my equilibrium again it is my sincerest hope that others like me become aware of this blog. And if they see themselves in it and need help, that they will seek it out. Older readers of the blog I am most vulnerable right now. I hope in reaching out I find the same supportive audience I found in the beginning.

I will get better. I have the tools. What that will look like this time around is anyone’s guess. But I know the meds, therapy, and support all make a difference. And I hope I can make a difference too.


Amy McCorkle