Up early again—woke at 5:00, gave up and got out of bed at 6:00. Feels pretty messed up when you can’t even sleep. And I was up till midnight again too. Am I that messed up? It’s been a month now since I moved out.
I guess I get to be a little messed up. I suppose it wouldn’t be normal if I weren’t. Normal… I’m tempted to remark “Who needs it?”, “Who wants to be?” Personally, I’m very glad I’m different. I’m different enough to have lived a pretty interesting life, and I think I’ve run into more than the usual incidence of non-normal people. Spices up my life. But I’m cognizant that it often comes with a price. Probably my estrangement from my wife and kids is a case in point. But I don’t feel that abnormal. I mean, I have a bona fide diagnosis, but if you had to pick a diagnosis to live with, AD/HD, if under control, is not such a bad one. In fact, I think it usually comes with some up sides that are pretty nice. But that’s a subject for another piece. It really doesn’t dominate my life or even concern me that much. Looking around me, I can see that I’m one of the lucky ones.
Now, as I dabble in blogging, I really don’t want to out anyone. Meaning I really want to protect others’ privacy. I want to stay anonymous too, though I’ve pretty much come to the conclusion that that may be impossible with anything posted on line. I’m sure at some point I’ll have put down enough stuff that someone could google out who I am. So, I’ve kinda given in to that. I mean, I won’t make it easy. You’ll have to be a bit of a stalker to do it. I’m okay with that, just please be respectful and don’t go gossiping and passing on stuff so that it propagates to someone that could be hurt by it okay? I’m trusting you. If you want to open up a dialog with me, that’s fine too—in fact maybe I’d even appreciate knowing who’s following me more closely and what they’re thinking about it.
Okay, so back to the subject at hand: abnormality and disability. I seem to be running into a lot of people that are abnormal enough that you could only call it disability. God, my heart goes out to them. One of them seemed pretty well adjusted but I’ve found out recently that he has struggled with wanting to kill himself all his life. No insurance, so he’s gone for long periods of time without medication, and anti-depressants really do help him. (God damned barbaric lack of public health care safety net IMO.) Another suffering from depression is so de-motivated that he can’t work and is on disability. He’s very intelligent, and a pretty decent writer. He’s got a nearly endless supply of material for a magazine in his native land, and could make a decent income writing for them, but he just can’t seem to force himself to focus on it. I’ve been told he just reads books from the thrift store all day. Then there’s my boss. Now there’s a interesting case: highly successful research scientist, university professor, M.D. One of those cases where there’s one professor in the department that’s specialized in a hot research area and is super-intelligent and and works incessantly, the one professor that always seems to have all the money. I’ll label him Asbergers, tho I don’t really know. But I can tell you one thing for sure: he’s Type A on Steroids. Pretty much everyone dislikes him. He went through 6 administrative assistants in 7 years—basically till the last one quit and was very frank about what she thought of his rude and demanding and demeaning treatment. I think he may have gotten in trouble with the department, because he got a lot nicer for about a year or two. He really can’t control it though, and has begun slipping back. Really just doesn’t get it about other people’s feelings or how he comes across. One day when I was struggling with my mom’s recent death, he yelled at me about something. That was hard. When I told him my wife and I had just separated, I’m not sure there was more than even a 3 second pause; there was only that little pause, and then he just went back to talking about something we were working on. Now that’s disability.
Anyway, I want to wrap this, and you want me to also. I’m just feeling very lucky this morning for being as normal as I am. I’m thinking of friends with disabilities and how hard life gets for them sometimes. But I was struck this morning while thinking about them just how common their abnormalities were. It’s kind of like the “We’re here, were queer, get used to it.”, only so many of us can’t even get used to ourselves. I just want to say to any of you out there that are beating yourselves up about some kind of disability or personal challenge, it seems like you’re really not that abnormal. Give yourself a break. Count your blessings. It could be worse, and it is for some people. You’re beautiful. I know 5 different people that struggle with suicidal thoughts and every one of them is just a wonderful person. I know it’s hard. I know you can’t help it. I know the conflict in you between the rational and the emotional—I’ve experienced some of that myself. Just know that you are loved and that you’re beautiful. You will dip down again and again, but the other side is there even when you can’t see it. Wait it out when you have to, deal with it when you can. Put on something bright and put a few smiles in your pocket this morning, we’re looking forward to seeing you today.