Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Embracing Craziness

Nothing makes my skin crawl more than reading poser-emo/indie-ish blogs. Written by self-proclaimed writers and artists aged 13-30, their regular entries consist of pathetic what-not’s any other human being bitches about. If endless musings of nostalgia, romantic confusion, societal bitterness and poetic desperation and know-it-all-isms aren’t bad enough, the sad attempt of overdosing every single sentence with highfaluting words is just hilarious. The Chronicles of Literati Faux Pas, or as I like to call it…a bag of shit. Another Scum of the Earth in the category of pathetic. 

I know how I sounded like back there-- mean, bitchy and just wrong to criticize a so-called artistic style. Fine, I am sorry for feeling this way because I love individuality. But it has become a trend for a lot of people to just waste human emotion and words for the satisfaction of being able to label oneself as an angst- driven creative genius. This is unforgivable. That is why I am the way that I am: I’m very careful with how I write and what I write about.

I am bipolar. Ten years ago when blogging and My Chemical Romance was not yet conceived, I was drowning myself with endless drama and raw emotions. Microsoft Word was my best friend. I wrote, wrote and wrote every single angst and hatred I had towards anything and everything until I felt relief. I did this as often as I can, even if I struggled with words and structure whenever I’m at the peak of my emotions. I needed to write so I could make sense of my feelings, my thoughts and my world. And as I mentioned before, I was always an outsider because I was always going against the grain of teenage- Filipino normality. Writing was my only option to save my koo-koo mind. And even though I knew I was half- crazy, I knew half of the time I was also right. This is how I stuck to my guns and made words my bullet.

(FYI: Bipolar disorders a.k.a manic (happy) depression (sad), is far different from schizophrenia or having split personalities. Bipolars are still in tuned with the rest of the world, it’s their unstable emotions that need a- fixing. A child with ADD, if not helped, evolves into an adult with bipolar episodes and may suffer from low self esteem, anxiety, uncontrollable anger or rage, fluctuating social behavior and over-the-top or no sex drive at all. Of course, there are different levels of Manic Depression just like any other mental disorder. The sad part about this is that in the Philippines, seeking help for mild to almost- suicidal levels of depression is almost taboo. Only downright crazy people need psychiatric help. As long as you’re not a hobo that lives under the bridge, you don’t talk to yourself in public, run naked because it’s the end of the world or go into a wild amok, nobody would think you’re on the edge. You’re just a bitch that’s always in a bad mood if you are bipolar.)

Mrs. Reyno. She was my English teacher back in senior year. She was the first person who saw me beyond my craziness. She embraced my unconventional view of life together with my passion for words. She knew that my youthful ignorance and how I challenged my world’s norm fueled my bipolar condition, and my drive to write. Never did she criticize, and never did I have the need to apologize. She made me love literature in a whole different level, thus making me strive for something close to a perfect piece each and every single time I write. This was the first saga of when I was obsessed with writing. But suddenly, I stopped writing even if I never ran out of things to say. I don’t exactly know the reason why I lost my fire, but I’m sure it had a lot to do with my unstable nature. Besides the required essays for school and tidbits of thoughts, I didn‘t write anything else that‘s worth the read.
Flash forward to now. Starting all over again is such a bittersweet experience for me. I am not as messed-up and as young as I used to be, and that's what makes me write with clarity, humility and conviction. Publishing my work for everyone to see also sets a higher emotion compared to just saving my work to My Documents. My hunger for learning and my Life Detox drove me to a different level of obsession. I would shut off the world for me to be alone with my thoughts. I would search for anything that makes me “wow”, and make people “wow“ with me at the same time. I would go on and on, without sleep and food if possible so I won‘t waste time, just to finish my entry that I won’t criticize. Nothing satisfies me, of course. And this escalates my obsession for my own perfection--- thus making me frustrated, angry, physically weak and socially awkward. And unlike any other poser-bipolar out there who needs to listen to angry rock music to fire up their writing mojo, all I want is silence. I hate it when I hear anything else besides the voices in my head.

Do I think I’m crazy? Hell yeah! Do I think I’m overdoing it? I don‘t think so. For years, I have denied myself of word play. Now that the monsters of thoughts have been unleashed once again, I am going to embrace every moment of my insanity. I don’t need the big words or coat my emotions to sound more dramatic and interesting. I’ll just write. Somebody reads. We agree, we disagree. And then we move on.

Do I call myself a writer? Nope. I wouldn’t lie, I would love to, eventually. I don't think I deserve that label yet. Don't call me a blogger though. Thanks, but no thanks. It's an all- or- nothing deal for me. Writer, or not a writer. I'll get there. 

One thing I’m proud of, though: the most mentally- unstable people in history are the ones who made an impact in their chosen passion. So even if I never make a tiny impact in the field of basket- case writing, it’s still nice to know that I have one thing in common with Woody Allen and Kurt Cobain: Prozac, please.

 With insanity comes beauty. "Starry Night" by Van Gogh. My favorite work of art.

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