I am a Madman!

10 Aug

I’m mad.  Quite mad, indeed.  Okay.  Nowadays, we like to say mentally ill, but as a fan of old horror and science fiction, I prefer to call myself mad.

I’m better than I was.  I take medication that keeps me manageable.  But once upon a time….

My madness is called Bi-Polar Disorder now, but it used to be called manic-depressive, and before that, madness (or eccentricity in polite circles if you were wealthy).

At its worst, I would overreact to the smallest of situations. I have attempted suicide a few times.   Once because I couldn’t start the lawnmower and I didn’t want to have to explain to my mother why the lawn didn’t get mowed.

I could get so angry I’ve been known to throw furniture at my work supervisor.  I’ve been paranoid.  I’d hear things that didn’t actually get said.  I’d have delusions.  Sometimes the lines between fiction and reality were blurred.

Now, with medication, I can seem to be quite normal….sometimes. I am still pretty introverted, except for the world of the internet, of course.  I have a huge ego, and yet I have extremely low self-esteem.  I don’t like to leave my apartment.  I keep my shades down and don’t let people over very often.  I don’t socialize.  I never answer my phone.  And that’s the way I like it.

I love to write, and at times I will pour myself into research, and in what seems like just moments of research will have been six hours.  I will lose total track of time, which is weird if you consider that I am obsessed with time and schedules and lists.

My mind is constantly obsessing over what most would consider things that don’t matter.  I can’t watch a TV show without analyzing how it fits into various fictional multiverse and shared realities.  I can’t watch something without studying it.

I can’t manage my money.  I’m always over drafting.  I’m extremely poor because I can’t handle money, and because I can’t seem to hold a job without freaking out, which is why the state considers my madness to be a disability.

At home, just me and my cat, I will sometimes pace my apartment at 3am because I’m coming up with great ideas for stories, which I’ll never have the patience to actually write.  Then I’ll sleep for 16 hours.

I often find myself talking to my cat, only because he’s there.  Otherwise, I’d talk to myself.

I’m actually quite happy with who I am, and how I live, though I do get sad and lonely.  I only care about my finances because it affects my relationship with my son.  And of course, there’s the lack of companionship.

The problem of course is first that I’m quite mad, and that’s a lot for people to deal with.  It’s hard to make friends or a girlfriend who can deal with my weirdness, my social anxiety, or my financial struggles.  And then the fact that because of who I am and how I am, I’m also very much used to doing things my particular way, on my schedule, or lack of schedule, depending on if I’m up or down at the town.  Not easy.

I was out tonight. I go to AA meetings, not because I’m an alcoholic, but because there aren’t any good mental health groups so it’s the closest thing I can find, and it gives me some serenity.  But when I go, I find that I’m the only one who doesn’t socialize before or after.  And I’ve realized why.  Of course, there is my own social anxiety, but also, my madness (even when controlled) is still clear.  And people fear me.  Not in the way that they fear getting hurt.  But they fear talking to the weird guy will be, well, weird.

So I am me.  And I’m mad.  Quite mad.  It’s a gift and a curse.  I’m quite brilliant.  (Really!)  And I’m a mess.  But it’s who I am.  It’s how I am.  And that’s all to that.  And tonight, I felt like I had to express that.  Because I’m not really great at talking to people, but I sure love to write.

 

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