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a passionate repentance



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may God stand
I am beginning to think that everyone I know worth knowing is crazy in one way or another. The creative ones are depressed or angry, or dealing with chronic pain or sickness. The funny ones fight their own anger, or their grief, or the scars they got as kids. The non-funny, non-creative ones are just..crazy.

Which isn't to say that I don't love and cherish every single one of them. It's just that I wonder sometimes if you have to have one to get the other. Do you have to be a little crazy to be creative, to get plugged into that spot in your brain? Do you need to be certifiable in order to be able to laugh at the world? Are sane people just..boring?

Don't get me wrong. Not everyone who's listening to the voices in their head is witty or talented. Even if they think they are. Especially if they think they are. I'm living proof. But is being off-kilter just..part of the makeup? Is that the nurture that goes with the genetic nature? Or is it something in the genes only?
  • "I'm not crazy, I'm GIFTED!"

    Or so said a keychain I used to have...
  • Seriously speaking...

    > But is being off-kilter just..part of the
    > makeup? Is that the nurture that goes with
    > the genetic nature? Or is it something in
    > the genes only?

    I think it's a little bit of both, personally. Mental illness is a genetic occurence, and sometimes, no matter how loving and normal and stable the environment, people do end up a little crazy.

    I'm living proof. I grew up in a stable, loving household where all my needs, physical and emotional, were met. My parents were not and are not abusive. They were encouraging, reasonable people who both had rough childhoods: mom's and dad's dads were abusive alcoholics, though my mom's dad ran out on the family right before she was born. They both grew up very poor. They have tried to provide their children (myself and two siblings) with every possible opportunity to better ourselves and broaden our horizons. They helped put me through undergrad and grad school. They're currently helping my siblings through undergrad. My wedding was a wonderful arrangement. They're great people.


    I have struggled with depression most of my life, and continue to struggle. I've had three major meltdowns between the ages of 13 and 23. I've had therapy. My parents, my friends, my husband: they support me and are there for me when the going gets tough. I know my life is good: I have a great, stable job, a loving husband, two lovely cats, and a great apartment. I have a great family, great friends, the works.

    But my depressions don't understand all that. They come out of the blue and knock me down, and nothing, nothing but time, can make them go away. I need to be on medication--that's what the last therapist said--but currently I can't afford to be.

    I've been suicidal, acutely apathetic, self-abusive...I've been unofficially diagnosed as a mild bi-polar.

    Here's where it gets a little interesting: it runs in my family. Despite the lovely childhood, the great circumstances, I have already been pre-disposed to being this way. I'm not as bad off as some because of the great circumstances, but I still battle this illness.

    Yes, it has made me a better person. Difficult to deal with sometimes when I have my little meltdowns, but a better person. I might be dead now if it hadn't been for great circumstances.

    I'm a creative person, and my creativity has been enchanced by my pain. I believe that.

    So, I think, to a degree, you can't have one without the other: creativity, wittiness, without the craziness. Sometimes.

    Sorry so long a post.
    • Re: Seriously speaking...

      Oh, no..I hope that you *do* find a way to be able to afford the medication. Honestly it makes a world of difference. I speak from experience.
      I've never attempted suicide, but I too inherited depression. I feel a tremendous sense of kinship with you right now. My parents are loving, strong people, but both struggle with depression too. I spent years and years depressed before I moved away from home and then realized that not everyone was the way I was or had homes like mine.
      If I may ask--what do you teach? And do you like teaching? I am always curious about fellow TEUNC'ers and I like learning more about them.
      • Re: Seriously speaking...

        I know the meds make a world of difference: I have two very good friends who are on the meds, and life is an easier place for them now. Actually, I have three or four friends on the meds, when I think about it. One of them once told me that the meds don't solve the problems--they just give you a level playing field on which to work.

        My parents have never really struggled with depression in the way that I did. They lost a child before I was born, and that was hard, and of course that haunts them. But my dad and mom are easy going people. I think my mom is probably bi-polar, but not really bad. One of my mom's sisters got the bulk of the mental problems--I think she's a paranoid schizophrenic. I'm lucky; if all I am is bi-polar, and mild at that, then I figure, relatively speaking, that I'm alright.

        Of course, telling myself that in the midst of a deep depression doesn't do a damn bit of good.

        As for teaching: I'm a university librarian, and I teach what we call one-shot classes. Professors want their students to get an idea of the library's resources and how to use them, so they bring them to the library, and I teach them about what we have and how to use it. The technical term for what I do is bibliographic instruction. The reason behind it is known as information literacy: teaching people what information is, how to find it, and how to use it appropriately. I thoroughly enjoy it--most days.

        It's a struggle to convince people that they aren't as info literate as they think they are. Information literacy is as important as being literate, by which I mean reading and writing.

        Magenta will tell you: I don't let who I am in RL bleed through to often into TEUNC. Magenta knows a lot about the RL me. I let that real person sleep while I'm in teunc. If you ever get really curious, drop me a private line. I'm willing to talk, especially to people who listen and understand. =)
  • individuals.....

    We have a TV programme down here, called 'Front Up', where the guy who thought of the idea , ???Urban, I forget his christian name, walks down the street and stops people to talk to. Anybody. A lady with a pram, a bloke on his own, etc.
    It wasn't until I started watching that, that I realised how interesting and diverse ordinary people are, and EVERYBODY has a story.
    Obviously, they'd have to be reasonably articulate, and I guess he edits out the total nincompoops. We've met some extraordinary people overcoming extraordinary odds, that you wouldn't give a second thought to in the street.
    And yes, I think a good sense of humour is necessary to survive. Bordering on craziness at times for sure.
  • Grrr!

    Hopefully the message I posted before will turn up or you'll wonder what this is.
    Here's the guy I was talking about.

    Andrew conceived Front Up as a weekly prime-time human-interest documentary program of spontaneous and personal interviews with people he meets on the streets of Australia. “You’re a sticky beak,” says one subject, and promptly tells Andrew what he wants to know. Indeed, The Daily Telegraph once dubbed him “the best sticky beak in the business.”
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