Shit a couple of people have told me:
David, you’re the least sunny person I’ve ever known.
David, you’re a strange and evil little man.
You know what happens is that you lose sight of things. Your own little world becomes All and you lose sight that your demented worldview is so far from “typical” that it might actually alarm a lot of people. You lose sight of this because you are so accustomed to your own little slice of deranged reality that you forget how whacked you are. Your thinking, your reactions, your outlook…none of it bears any resemblance to the behavior of normal society. This is particularly dangerous when you tend to be a withdrawn sort who avoids society (which is the best laboratory for discovery of normality). If you live your life in a cocoon for a long enough time, your reality becomes an alternate universe with its own laws of physics and dimensions. Your “reality” is distorted beyond recognition to those who live in the land of the normal. Emotions you take for granted and consider unremarkable may seem horrific or hilarious to someone whose self-concept is average.
Once in a while, after taking a deep breath upon surmounting another bizarre personal tangent, I am able to “step back” and realize that what may have been very refreshing and cathartic for myself may have been worrisome and unnatural to others. This happens a lot to me. I get so trapped in my private mental world of mirrors that I become severed from the real world.
I’ve always been a “dark minded” person, ever since I was a child. I was a gloomy, brooding child; I grew into a gloomy, brooding teen, which coupled with all the normal teen and young adult issues, made for a flammable concoction of despair and defiance. Everything that teens go through, I did too, but due to my stark nature, it was multiplied by at least a factor of 5. Nothing but trouble, I was.
Not realizing the irrefutable depth of my nature, I bought into the civilized lie that there was something wrong with me because of my “darkness.” I was judged to be depressed among other choice clinical descriptors. The mental health profession is in the business of diagnosing and treating. It does not know how to sit back and assuage your torment with the conclusion that you are “fine.” There is nothing wrong with you. You merely think differently. You see the world differently. The psychological field is bound by this mentality that there can only be one way. All others that deviate deserve a colorful, glossy page in the DSM. The mental health field is adept at “pathologizing” cognitive and behavioral irregularities. By pathologizing, they transform inconsequential and harmless behavior into a fearsome identity. If you think darkly and see the black shadowy underbelly of life a little too clearly, you are surely depressed or plagued by some seedy personality disorder. There is something wrong with you! Surely normal, mentally “healthy” people do not perceive the world as you. You are ill. If you are young and impressionable (hell, if you are impressionable), you will submit to the diagnosis and think worse of yourself because you don’t like feeling this way and are seeking a way to be “normal” because you believe you should be normal. Normal is the way to happiness and success, right? You should be able to perceive the world like everyone else, but you never can. The mental health professionals are here to fix you and make you a vital and profitable member of society. Shrinks stimulate the economy! You are built this way but they try to fix you with drugs, with therapy, which is nothing but talking and the therapist attempts to disentangle some wound up mysteries about your persona which is impossible because we can never truly know what makes people tick. After all the meds and therapy, you are the same and now you feel really helpless.
At this point, you either jump from doctor to doctor in search of help because they all fail you, or you kill yourself, or you eventually discover that you are who you are and that there is nothing wrong with that. This is the what happens when we see our diagnosed “mental pathology” for what it truly is: professional fear-mongering. Once you see this, you are seeing the full picture; this step allows you to accept yourself which is the first step toward “depathologization.” You throw off the shackles of clinical diagnosis and for the first time, feel empowered because you now understand you are not defective. You are content with yourself and your manner of perceiving and you take pride in your uniqueness. You stop feeling sorry for yourself.
Before the internet, before blogging, I wrote stories.
Now, I write stories that I’m surprised to learn actually live and breathe.
I embrace the shadow in me that the mental health industry wants to erase with their medicated mind control. It is me, it is right. I am dark, but that is fine. I am happy, believe it or not, happier than most so-called sane, civilized people. I know this. I see them everyday. This blog is a narrative of man’s failings. Things couldn’t be better!