Archive for June 3rd, 2007

I just got an email from someone asking me if I was in a funk.  Nope.  I’m simply bored.  This post is just in case anyone else is wondering the same thing from reading my blog.

However, in my sheer boredom I decided to go back to the very beginning of my blog and start reading (or at least skimming) my posts.  Wow.  How weird.  I don’t know if anyone else has ever done this.  For some bloggers who have been in existence for a long time, this might be a real exercise.  I’ve only been around since November 1996 so it wasn’t too bad.

But after reading some of them…shit, no wonder D.’s flipped out! I’m really not that scary…I promise.

After I did my first cutting that required median nerve reconstruction on my left wrist, I was invited to stay with my aunt and uncle on my (non-biological) father’s side. I must admit, this was probably the most support I have ever been given by my extended (or immediate) family. I didn’t feel like being alone for the weekend so I took the approximate two hour drive to their house.

At the time, my uncle was dealing with a transient form of depression. He was taking a med (Effexor) and we went for a coffee/tea and spent some personal time talking about being ill together. He told me that dealing with it had “made him a better person.” I asked him what exactly he meant. He told me that for one, it had made him more compassionate. It made PA think for a bit. She wasn’t quite sure what to say as she was just beginning her own journey into madness.

She has spoken to a few other people that seem to share similar views about how being mentally ill has somehow “changed” them for the better. It seems the “C-Word” comes up a lot among other various positive qualities about their character or person. Well, PA only has one thing to say about that: “Just what the hell were you like before?!”

PA hasn’t changed at all. She was just the same before she went nuts. She was the same sweet, kind “compassionate,” generous, sensitive, “sugar and spice and everything nice” girl that she is now. If anything, she is not any “stronger” but she might express that strength a bit more so and perhaps she’s become a bit more of a mouthpiece. But not in a rude or idiotic way–or at least she hopes not! Apologies are always offered if so.

feartheseeds (old moniker) senators in six posted this quite some time ago but it’s worth a read. It speaks to the fact that Bipolar/Manic Depression does not make you a better artist–among other things. He’s pretty outspoken and forthright so fasten your seatbelts.

I’m not ripping it off as I had posted something similar about this myself some time ago but I didn’t go into great detail about it so it’s really not worth doing a linkback. But what I did say was that in my (hypo)manic state, I did feel that I was more creative and had the ability to produce better work as a writer. That is a myth. Absolutely, totally, completely. I will admit that I could write faster, I had more energy to produce and I could crank it out like you would not believe but was it any better? Unfortunately, PA threw out all of her essays when she quit university for the second time so no one can argue the point. And really, putting together a paper–is that art? Another point to argue. Within them is simply arguing points and citing references… A lot of point arguing there.

Along with senators in six, I do feel that indeed, there have been some great artists that may have suffered from some form of mental illness (how can we prove these people from the past had these illnesses? I want to see their charts!) but has it been what was responsible for their creativity? Look at all the people that are not mentally ill and create equally great works of art.

It seems, along with other things that are stigmatized that become less so, it’s almost “fashionable” or too easy to romanticize, to twist and turn what was formerly looked upon as disgraceful as something very chic. I know of one other person who blogged about this and seemed to piss a lot of people off. That’s not what I am trying to do here. I’ve often said that “Bipolar (or insert “mental illness–I simply say Bipolar as that is my diagnosis) is the new gay.” If it weren’t for good old Stonewall and so much more kicking it off, so many more people would still be in the closet. After which–and it’s still happening–there is a whole lot of bullshit in the “gay community” with people posing and fucking around (literally) who really aren’t GBLT and for those of us that are, it’s a big grand fuck over (not literally) if you actually get involved with them. You get burned and you get hurt.

Is it the same with mental illness? Not so much that it messes with us. I mean, we’re already as messed up as we can be. But do people really think that it’s such a great thing to pretend to be? I mean, I’ve never met anyone who has “pretended” to be mentally ill (well, not that I know of) but supposedly this seems to be a trend with young people. That is pretty much how things started out with the whole gay thing too (but it wasn’t limited to them–adults did it as well and it’s still not over.) With the long lists of people that were supposedly great artists of the past, again that romanticism, does it add fuel to the fire? Does it in fact create an impression that it’s cool to be mentally ill and it will make you a “better” person? I can’t say for sure. But if it’s out there, it certainly is a rather strange phenomenon.