Life Goals

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We all have our signs.

We all know when we’re slipping a little bit into that dark hole, whether it be a slight change in mood or sparks of panic at the slightest noise or a whisper in our head and there or something scurry int he corner of our eyes. Although we can’t predict the intensity, we can sense the way it falls into a predator stance, stealth it’s way through the overgrowth of weeds, and keeps its eye on our fragile frame drinking innocently at the water hole.

Sometimes it feels like we’re at the mercy of fate. 

Speaking from personal experience, and now that I think about it, my depression has never been much of a touch and go kind of thing. Some people have periods where they go through year long depressive episodes and then come out of it and live their life for a while before it hits them again.

I’ve noticed I’m either horribly depressed and on the verge of suicide, or mildly depressed–not enough to fully impair my functioning but enough to make functioning difficult, enough to make me aware of it, enough to where if some trigger came pouncing along I’d fall helpless back into the pit.

Come to me

I often say positive things. It’s how I keep myself out of that hole and even though it’s something I have to work on everyday, it keeps me in school (barely) and it keeps me alive. But being positive all the time is creepy. It’s fucking weird. You know those people who walk around with The Joker smiles on their face and laugh at every joke you tell and always dress nice and drive nice cars or ride nice bikes and wear nice shoes and always know the latest style Kim K rocked . . . or, most recently, her nude line she seems to be rockin’.

Those people scare me. What are they hiding from? I’d rather be sobbing in the corner fighting against the beast in my head than acting like he isn’t there.

Everyone is tormented by something. Perhaps not to the same extent, but something is always going to go wrong. If they didn’t, we wouldn’t realize when things are going right.

quote-you-may-proclaim-good-sirs-your-fine-philosophy-but-till-you-feed-us-right-and-wrong-can-wait-bertolt-brecht-213084Then, you know, there’s the whole philosophical argument asking what right and wrong even mean, but we won’t go there. And whatever you do, please do not comment below that right and wrong are entirely subjective and only an individual can decide what is right and wrong for them. Because then you make it alright for someone who thinks it’s right to torture babies to torture babies and I don’t think you want that guilt on your shoulders.

We all have out way of handling things too. Some people read, some people exercise, some people do homework (which I should have done), and some people immerse themselves in things that usually make them happy but really only lift their mood for a brief period. I have a tendency to do that. So today, since my morning class was cancelled, I spent a totally of eleven hours on the computer dicking around on the internet. As you can see, it’s eleven hours and counting.

Because that’s my new drug.

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I remember one Heroin addict explaining that all the problems that were the cause of his issues never went away when he used, they were still in the back of his head, he just didn’t care. It was easier to ignore them, easier to not give two shits that his life was falling apart. I use the internet to the same extent: everything that I should be doing is in the back of my head but I just can’t bring myself to tackle them. So instead I watch countless hours of comedy videos hoping the laughter will stimulate a natural dose of dopamine.

Sometimes I have the arrogance level of an early Kanye West. Sometimes that’s what keeps me afloat: the more I act like I’m the shit, the less likely I am to call myself a piece of shit. I try not to let that arrogance influence how I speak to people but I’m pretty sure it has before.

I’m a work in progress.

anchorman-ron-burgundySometimes you need that faux confidence to take you where you need to be. Kanye West is as famous as he is today because of it. You can be the judge of whether that’s good or bad, but the point is he made it because he refused not to make it. And whether or not he actually believed in himself as much as he made it seem like he did is up for questioning. When Dave Chappelle first met him in the studio of The Chappelle Show and Kanye received a phone call, Chappelle recalls him saying something along the lines of “No, I can’t go, I’m at the Chappelle show watching clips no one has seen before.” There was a pause and Kanye said blatantly “cause my life is dope and I do dope shit”. And then hung up.

It’s one thing to let that mindset carry you to “success”, it’s another to let it go unmanageable to the point where you start tweeting things like “Ima fix wolves”.

Or

“You build up one school in Africa and think you fixin’ the country; if you’re going to help anyone . . . help me . . . “

Or

“Mark Zuckerberg, invest in Kanye West Ideas”. 

tumblr_n0y460ugyg1rwcfrqo3_500First, what the fuck is wrong with wolves? Are they broken? How does he intend to fix them? Do they want to be fixed? What kind of dope is Kanye on these days?

I used to envy his ego because it pulled him to the top so quickly. I’m not looking to be a power-hungry, attention-whore superstar, I just want to be successful at I want to do with my life and I can see there are several ways to go about this. I also see that I think more than I do and I believe this contributes a lot to my depression.

But if I didn’t have as much anxiety as I do, I’d be doing a lot more than I’d be thinking.

There’s got to be some way to balance this all out. I have my eyes set on my goals and while Kanye is busy fixing all the broken wolves of the world, I’m going to build up a true confidence and a healthy level of arrogance (I believe there is such a thing). I know I’m determined to share my story with the world and create a legacy for myself that, if I’m lucky, can influence at least one person on this earth.

If I could stop one person from pulling the trigger or help one person reestablish the life they want, than I’ll have done my job.

If you were a close friend of mine, you would know one of my most infamous come-backs to people who get taken back by the words I say is “I wasn’t put on this earth to be nice”.

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Sometimes they misconstrue the meaning of that. I certainly wasn’t put on this earth to be nice, I believe that whole-heartedly. Because being a “yes man”, being someone who just says “well that’s how it is I guess” isn’t my personality. It’s part of my anxiety, but never my personality.

To me being supportive to someone isn’t being nice, it’s being humane. It’s being normal, if I were ever to define normal.

I’d much rather be the reason they say “I love life” than be stuck asking myself “what if” as I watch them get lowered into the ground.

Because it’s never really been done for me, I want to do it for others. That’s my reward for having made it through as much as I have. 

What Are Your Goals?

 

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Something’s lurking. I’ve been much too content this last month. It’s like I’m the delicate fawn at the drinking hole and I can feel the lioness crouching in the weeds a half a mile off, waiting, watching, and licking her teeth in anticipation of my floppy fawn flesh on her tongue and my blood dripping down her jaw.

Floppy fawn flesh.

Alliteration phrase of 2016.

Is fawn flesh actually floppy? I suppose it could be. The next time I’m around fawn flesh, I’ll make sure to flop it around and report dutifully back to you all.

Floppy fawn flesh fears fire.

Say that ten times fast.

Tongue Twisters. Most words are tongue twisters to me. If it wasn’t bad enough that the world cherishes extroverts over introverts, they are also much more fascinated and give much more respect to orators than they do writers. Most fantastic writers aren’t recognized for their talent and their intelligence until their death.

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I guess I’ll let my soul be flattered by your recognition while I’m hiding in your fucking closet and haunting your every step.

 

I’m suspecting most people who are different know they’re different. I assumed I was shy until I reached the age of 14 and started researching how I felt–my first real introduction into psychology.

Before that I had my eyes set on Musician’s Institute.

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Then I figured I’d become a millionaire writing a best seller. I’d be the next J.K Rowling in the realistic fiction section. The next Fyodor Dostoevsky. The next Mark Twain.

Then I wanted to study theoretical physics and philosophy.

But as a teenager I identified strongly with social anxiety disorder. I spent a few days crying over it then wondered what other disorders were out there.

Where would I be today without that one moment in time? Studying theoretical physics, probably. Or producing music at Musician’s Institute.

I learned I have something different to give back to the world. That’s kept me from many breakdowns and it’s why I say it’s important to have goals in your life. I learned I have an external family, all of you who deal with their mental health, whether it be mild or “severe”, and that means I belong somewhere.

How did I get interested in psychiatry? It’s not because I’m a smarty pants, it’s not because I’ve had to take care of my alcoholic father like he was one of my patients instead of being a kid.

I read a book called Brain Disabling Treatment In Psychiatry.

Can you guess what it’s about?

51v59e07qel-_sx329_bo1204203200_I read it at 15 before I understood the scope of the overlap between mental disorders, environment, neurology, and biology. Obviously it’s a book with a very strong opinion, and he had many facts to back up his argument just as those pro-psychoactive drugs have many facts to back up their strong opinions.

I got interested in psychiatry because I saw the disconnect between humanity and medical treatment caused by the introduction of business into the industry. You don’t see doctors poppin’ their new drugs to see their effects like we saw with the man who discovered the possible benefits of lithium. Now you see the same drugs being reproduced with a different name for a higher price and available only on certain insurance plans.

Quickly I learned it’s not the drugs’ fault, nor the people who take them, it’s the people who sell it. 

Some people don’t have the luxury to just stop taking medication like me. Those people can be taken advantage of easily and find themselves either drug hopping from pill to pill with no relief and no explanation for why, further inducing their sense of hopelessness which could, in turn, exacerbate depression and low self-esteem, and spark the idea in a doctor’s head to prescribe even more. Or they find themselves on four or five or six (or more) different medications, many of which they might not need.

That’s why I’m interested in psychiatry. People whose rationality gets disrupted don’t always have the cognitive ability to choose how their treatment goes. I want to be that one trustworthy person they can come to who they know won’t ever feed them lies or misuse them.

Psychiatry to me isn’t about “oh heh, you get to dish drugs, hurr hurr derp”. It’s about being a doctor. If you think doctors are good for dishing drugs, than you see the issue I’m stressing.

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I haven’t decided whether I want to do adolescent psychiatry or not, but I’m leaning towards it. Children and teens can be taken advantage of even easier because their parents are in such a desperate state of mind. They need someone who isn’t going to take the easy way out. They need someone who looks at their child’s behavior as a family unit, not someone who blames the child’s chemistry, not initially at least.

There are children like Jani Schofield who are different. I’ve been following her story since she was 6. Her parents are getting divorced now, right? Or are they already?

Then there are children who aren’t like Jani and get diagnosed with something when really they just need someone to talk to or their parents to stop letting them play on an Iphone, a tablet, and a laptop 24/7.

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This fact keeps me pushing through each semester. I think about it whenever my anxiety and depression tells me to quit, whenever it keeps me up night after night. I think about it whenever I have a panic attack or feel the urge to self-harm again resurfaces, whenever I rage or my mood gets confusing, whenever I get the urge to attempt suicide or whenever the little people in my head tell me I’m worthless and everyone hates me.

I hesitate to say “voices” for obvious reasons. Besides the hypnagogic hallucinations, I’ve only ever heard voices once. That was during a deep depression. If you’ve been depressed, you’re probably familiar with your brain expressing how worthless you are, but you might not be familiar with other voices, other people , external from yourself and rather loud, telling you that you are. You might not be familiar with them telling you to kill yourself or hurt yourself. I can’t remember a lot. I can remember their voices and I can remember feeling confused, but I don’t remember the moments before I heard them or when I snapped out of it. I can’t remember how long it lasted. I just remember being confused.

The only other hallucinations I’ve experienced were olfactory in nature: smelling wood smoke in the shower water.

Through all my experiences, I’ve learned mental “disorders” overlap quite a bit. I learned environment chips in. I learned genes chip in. I learned biochemistry chips in (not to the extent you’re told about) and I learned thought patterns chip in.

I learned we don’t know as much about the brain as we think.

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I learned a lot of research is biased and I learned a lot of what is published is biased. I learned some of it isn’t biased. I learned it’s hard to tell between the two.

I learned there are good psychiatrists and bad psychiatrists. I learned some people do well with medication and others don’t.

I learned the brain is as unique as a finger print and deduced the wide-spread idea that mental “disorders” are due solely to a chemical imbalance is about as accurate as my hand being my foot and about as creative as this painting:

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Green White By Ellsworth Kelly. Sold For 1.6 Million Dollars