So I spent about a week or so in January working on a piece for Witt’s website around a first person perspective on the current conversation around mental health and the need to change it. I thought it was a pretty solid effort on my end and here’s some of the highlights:
· I don’t think there’s one right or wrong way to try and live with a severe mental health issue like bipolar disorder, but I do think there is a way. That may not sound like much of a breakthrough to you but dammit that’s like a huge revelation for me.
· I know it’s crazy to think that these mental health stereotypes and stigma will ever cease to exist and I’ve obviously made peace with that per the previous really bad word play.
· It’s all around us so go be a hipster and check out Daniel Johnston’s documentary on VHS, how about being even more ironic and listening to a Beethoven hit or two just for pleasure, or maybe just stare at a Catherine Zeta-Jones picture for a few minutes, not to mention Van Gogh’s aren’t too hard on the eyes either. Oh I don’t know, like say, I’m really getting into Demi Lovato’s sound right now and you should too. Actually, just ignore that last one but you all get the point. I hope I have persuaded you to help and try and change the current conversation out there about mental health; I think we all need that.
I’m not sure if you’d call those highlights but they were my jokes that were cut out of the final edit of my op-ed piece (is it still in my voice if nearly 25% of it is removed during edits?). Look I know my humor isn’t for everyone and that was made obvious by an early critic who believed the only person who could benefit from my book was a recently frat boy diagnosed with bipolar disorder (harsh, right). But I kind of feel like that’s who I am and the whole point of the article.
I should be fair and say it wasn’t a terrible article afterwards and I definitely could have gave the OK to the article (and did for like an hour) to let it run. I mean overall it was still a pretty good article aside from it not really sounding like me. I think there still was a valid message in the article about the need to get away from stereotypes and stigma currently in the mental health conversation but it just didn’t sound like me.
Let’s be honest, I don’t have a lot in my life right now that’s purely mine. Not money or job, nor career, no house, nein girlfriend and the list could go on but who doesn’t have problems (hell Russia is already stockpiling snow for the Olympics next year by making orphans shovel it instead of being adopted in the US-now I see how some don’t get my humor). Right now though my voice is one of the few things that I believe is truly mine and I’d like to hang on to it.
You know being an indie writer with literally tens of books sold I should jump at any opportunity for some press. But my whole point of the article was to have people look at mental health differently. Looking through a creative lens rather than one that seems to be only filled with stigma. So it just didn’t feel right putting something out there that wasn’t really me, in fact, that sounds exactly like what I was trying to change.
Since many of my manic experiences involve music I’ve decided to add random music videos to the blog for my enjoyment and your inconvenience. Enjoy!