the “real life of Zwiebel”
The truth is I have a lot I want to do for the world. I have more posts to write… more books to write.. and other things in my physical reality.. but life has been really hard these last five years. ….It’s a long story. The story of it all, what happened to me, it is totally wild actually. And a bit dark. I’ve been through a lot. And i have leaned a lot from it. My life has plenty of moral and emotional support.. but in terms of food money and a future place to live.. not so much. I feel I will be valuable to share my story. I haven’t really had the opportunity to share the true story of it all with many people. I am hoping to share even more in the near future about me, about the “real life of Zwiebel” as I call it sometimes. (My last name.)
I have a lot of physical problems but have been struggling for years to get a proper diagnosis.. and life has often pushed me way over the limit with expectations. struggling to afford basic needs.. forced to say in chaotic living situations that my mom was willing to pay for… where i don’t feel i was treated respectfully… I was treated according to her wishes and hopes for me. there has been a subtle improvement in the last few months after a complex negotiation to get out of a chaotic living situation. I’m struggling to make money to get enough food. And to really do the things in life that ‘give me energy’ and let me contribute something meaningful to the world. I spend a lot of time conserving food because i make 20$ less a week then i need for food. I only make 50$ a week right now because most of the money goes into housing. I have tried to get on government disability money and foods stamps but it has been a far more complicated process then i even feared. at one point i was making progress but had to move to a different state and then start over. In New York the phone calls are just automated.
I hope that my opinions about mental illness don’t come off as offensive… I can understand that if you find mental illness to be a helpful concept… if you have a diagnosis that has lended ‘clarity’ to your life… you deserve anything that has benefited you personally, I know people who feel their diagnosis has helped them explain behaviors or why they couldn’t connect with people as easily… I was diagnosed with something as a child and found it to be very unhelpful, not quite true, and simply straight up depressing. Just all together unnecessary.. and I felt this over the top childhood diagnosis it hurt many of my relationships growing up at a time when i still had much to learn about simply enjoying the company of people… this race to diagnoses people with “mental illness.” I see it a lot in the world, particularly with my generation and younger being those largely getting diagnosed… and it’s not something I’m fond of. still it is ok if you have a mental dismiss you have personally found to be helpful in your life, a diagnosis that was helpful at explaining things or improving your situation.
Also given challenges in my life even when i have time to write I have no time to prof read, correct typos.. that is why i often release writing with lots of typos.. thank you for so many who are understanding.. the typos are a symptom of the ongoing chaos in my physical life, body issues and chaotic reality.. and not because i don’t ‘value’ the art of writing and communicating to people.
I used to imagine that one day i would give a Ted talk, speak publicly about subjects, like the epic of over-diagnosis of mental illness and out it effects how we feels about ourselves and other people. The side effects of medications.. weight gain.. and the physiological manipulation aka ‘peer pressure’ behind it all ironically reinforced by people who are supposed to be the designated “psychiatry” experts. It’s crazy how powerless I became.. despite having so many important things to share. Things the world needed to hear. It was even harder to accept my situation when i knew i wasn’t the only one suffering. I had come out of a childhood misdiagnosis that had impacted all my relationships… and i had so much to say and offer.. and yet now so many others would be left… thinking they were “ill” that they were simply “wrong in the brain” when this concept had never been based on since.. Mental illness.. it was a business. This fascination with the mind.. and hunting for problems in the ‘brain matter’ seemed to distract from understanding the physical and emotional realities of the world within us, and simply understanding my own feelings about life. In the race to make a “mental diagnosis” you might overlook a physical problem.. or emotional conflict the child has.. Also many of these “child mental illness” can be a way of scapegoating communication or social issues in the entire family, making these family social emotional connection troubles about the physical ‘brain matter’ of the child creates a complex trauma in the child’s mind that can multiply on top of emotional troubles that may already exist in the family. You have a ‘shy’ child that now believes they have a physical synaptic connection error in their brain that can make them feel even more alienated.. even more likely to give up on connecting with their peers. The diagnosis itself can compound upon fear or even cause a kind of ‘mental inferiority complex’ where one may not have existed before. that word, ‘complex’ really says it all. the whole thing is very complex. When the feelings underneath it can be very simple… and I’ve learned over the years that the feelings are what connect me to people.. not all that complex mental stuff. When you are used to suffering… feeling life can feel almost too easy.. almost too simple.
Mass diagnosis of mental illness can also be a way of scapegoating issues in society itself.. America and our value’s as a society. Many mental illness and learning disabilities have a flip side to them such as.. “if it wasn’t for this you would be “smarter”” “if it wasn’t for this you would be more productive” “more attentive at school” “more productive at work” “more profitable for society” “this diagnosis will help you to get back on track.. to become a smarter and more productive individual of society” “this diagnosis will help you address your “challenges” so you can self-improve your way to a more “successful” life.” We get into this rut of thinking we are ‘inherently’ wrong or bad. and that with lots of devotion to ‘self-improvement’ the world will love us more. We don’t take a lot of time to ‘appreciate’ the good that already is right here inside ourselves. they good we feel as children. it gets pushed out of the way so we can be more “positive” all the time.. so we can “aim higher”. Joy.. i don’t have time for that. I have “goals” to accomplish. It feels scary when people who are “there to help” only want to talk about your long term bigger ambitions and creative goals when you don’t even make enough money to eat properly. When you are designing between food and toilet paper. lets “get off this negative stuff” they will say. “It can’t really be that bad because if it was.. somebody would have done something about it right?” “Why is this important now? You’re probably just worrying too much. You’re worrying too much… it will all work out… later.”
It’s not just the problem that is wrong.. but the solution and the objective are also wrong. There are two sides to every story. It’s taken me many years to get out of that mind set.. so many people wanted me to become smarter and more productive.. and i wasn’t even fully aware of what had been driving me all that time… It took me a long time to realize that those values were hollow.. that the illness they diagnosed me with probably never existed to begin with… most of it was just the trauma and the aftershock of the childhood limes disease i had… They convince you at a young age you have “a life long problem” and will need medication for the rest of your life. and this is very profitable for the pharmaceutical companies… and for the very large amount of therapy and personal social workers my mom was willing to pay for.. all in service of this problem that never actually existed.. that went away the moment i was around my genuine friends.. when my heart was ‘in it’. Over the years I’ve learned to say not “how can i be a more productive person” rather “how can i be a more loving person” “how can i better honer and appreciate the goodness that is already inside me and already around me”
There has been a growing amount of proof that much of what we call “mental illness” is not scientific. Even though the behaviors are real.. it doesn’t mean that there is a physical synaptic error or what they call a “chemical imbalance” in the brain. there is no evidence of this what so ever. No brain scan that has proven this. Researchers have debunked it and given Ted talks about this.. but the companies are too profitable. They sway and pressure popular opinion. And companies are far too eager to sell lots of medications to fix this supposed “physical synaptic chemical balance” problem when the medications have so many harmful side effects (and they admit the chemical imbalance doesn’t explain anything and many of the causes of supposed mental illnesses that are so frequently diagnosed across huge groups involved lots of unknown complex factors in the brain).. and a simply placebo would be far less harmful. There are even Ted talks about it. But corporations are powerful.
For a long time I had been protected from it. I had options.. to think for myself. to not take meds in whatever context they were being offered.. As I’ve gotten a little older I’ve quickly become aware of something not feeling quite right.. the way in which capitalism really is a powerful force in the world. It’s sad that corporations can become very powerful and wealthy .. and present themselves like heroes.. having your best interests at heart… and have that not be the case.. to have pills forced into your body even when you’ve clearly said many times that it is causing you physical pain and severe problems. These corporations care about “you” and “your health”. I see it in so many categories of life.
How we are supposed to be this “democracy” yet big business his this psychological effect and influence on majority opinion… who gets elected… what we think of as right and wrong.. it’s scary when large amounts of money are behind something that is supposed to be about human health or well being. But what’s more scary is the way that unless you are really suffering.. you don’t even seem to notice that anything is wrong in the system. Some people are never given a chance. We are a democracy yet we keep electing people who’ve always been rich and related to other rich people.. people groomed for success… Profit is often behind what we think of as “success” and even though it is hollow it has a way of pushing aside our more basic needs… but we don’t see it because it’s so all pervasive. “I work this job every day because I am “responsible” “because i am “good””. Big companies provide so many jobs. The jobs are often provided by people who value profit. Not people, or a system that values love, things like “community values”, kindness, well being, physical health and longevity, etc.
We tend to value things like “productivity” and “pushing the limit” in America, even at the expensive of health. We are valued for being productive, for some large quantity of our physical or verbal contribution, and not for our health and the actual way we make people feel. “being productive” “staying motivated” It all sounds very inspirational.. and that’s what’s so confusing about it all.. it can become rather hollow… you have a very “productive” day.. and yet.. something is still missing. Because life never needed to be so hard. …We grow up learning to make it hard. The system is set up that way. There are lots of gray areas. But i have to speak my mind. Everything is all well and good when you are on the “right side” of it.. and then suddenly.. bam, you get injured.. something happens… but you don’t have a “diagnosis” suddenly you can’t afford to do anything. The system has no place for you.
You get treated like a villain just for being disabled. “Stop being unmotivated”. If you were “motivated” and “responsible” you would push through this and get back to work. I knew I had a responsibility to my own health.. but day after day.. that didn’t seem to matter. To have your body give out and be in so much pain.. yet people around you keep pushing you do to thinks… and even after you’ve burnt out completely… the pushing still continues. I’ve found the concept of “motivation” to be a scary thing at times… like an excuse to ignore our own human well being. “something isn’t right in my life… but i put in a lot of work.. people value me for my effort and drive.. so at the end of the day i know i am valued.. so i won’t worry about the burn out and emptiness i feel because i know it is for the ‘greater good'” but is just ignoring that ‘feeling’ that ‘whisper of the soul’ actually right. Keeping up with society can be very difficult.. so it feels like this amazing success to overcome the hurdles and thrive at your job.. to make money… but it still doesn’t answer a more basic question.. is this job we are doing.. right? as in right for the world ourselves and each other.
Most of us can’t ask this question because we are lucky to get a job at all. Yet that doesn’t mean we should give up all togather on asking the question, is this right? I know that my job in no way utilizes my full capabilities and value as a person or value to society.. but that doesn’t’ mean i can’t use my spare time to do something meaningful. It just feels scary that I’ve met a lot of people who felt what they were doing was right just because they were getting paid to do it. Like it was right to force people to take medication against their will because it was “for their own good”. You can have a hard and challenging job.. but that doesn’t actually mean it is right. Sometimes a challenging activity can actually be wrong for the world. I often hear people say the phrase “challenge yourself”. Yet I’ve seen it get taken pretty far out of context. It’s very deceptive when “challenge” can feel meaningful.. yet not actually make life more rewarding.
For me one of the most profound and challenging things in my life was to actually let go of this idea that life was supposed to be “challenging” that life is a constant “grind” or else there are no results. this “pain is gain” type thing. You get so used to “feeling the burn” “pushing the limit” “finding your edge” that you forget that your purpose in life is supposed to be deeply enjoyable… You forget that joy is the goal. The joy diminishes as you continue to challenge yourself, working out more, mediating more, letting go of things you love, but you tell yourself that “this pain will pay off later”. In truth … my most powerful healer .. has been joy.
It was strange.. how for years the strength of my motivation and drive to succeed had actually taken me away from “joy” … It was hard to accept that all that time i had been wrong.. when my body finally “crashed” it became obvious to me.. i was causing my own suffering… and i never needed to suffer. And yet there were still those in my life who after all this felt i should continue on just as i had. It was like this strange secret inside me.. I realized that i didn’t have to suffer to become a stronger person.. and people found it strange or even frustrating how I could appear be so lazy in my new philosophy on life, just ‘hanging around’ so much of the time, not seemly doing anything in particular.. yet be so creatively prolific and also perspective about things, emotions, situations, others didn’t seem to notice.
I remember my friend, my roommate Lucas saying “it’s really funny they way you notice things about the situation and turn it into humor.” and i said “sorry.. your mistaken.. I don’t read social situations.. I’m Autistic” It became like this on going joke. At one point this girl was basically asking my out.. and my friend is next to me grinning, and i say “Sorry.. I don’t know what your smiling at.. I can’t read social cues.” All those years my parets setted for “autims” as a good expalion for anything. as though i simply didn’t feel empathy or couldn’t read social cues. when ever was that the case.
I didn’t have a strong connection with my family.. and i got intimidated by the popular kids at school.. but that was only because i wanted to connect with them, because i was dying to get to know them. not because i couldn’t “feel empathy” or that i didn’t “know” the expressions they were making. i always knew. i didn’t couldn’t keep up back then, i didn’t have a clever come back, i didn’t have a witty remark. i wasn’t as funny as the other kids. Why was my mom so quick as so satisfied by the idea that something was wrong with my brain when i was 12? finally she had an explanation for why i didn’t always respond to her right away, why our interactions felt 2-dimensional at times. An explanation for what she didn’t feel connected to me. it was my fault. i was autistic. the doctor smiled and back her up on it. heard her side of the story.. and profited from her money. oh her money. One time she was upset that i was ignoring her and she took me to the doctor to get my hearing tested. the really thought something was wrong with my hearing. but because “hearing” is not a mental illness.. they confirmed that nothing was wrong and this was a surprise to her. Why was i the “autistic” one who didn’t notice things.
I was a kid. Kids don’t know anything. people told me “candy isn’t healthy.” “be social” “don’t miss the moment!” “video games are not healthy!” but it was a simple and strict way to do things. people didn’t tell me “why”. like “sugar is an additive chemical that over days and months can change the way you feel emotions, relate to others, and form explanations about what makes you healthy and happy.” or “technology adds lots of excitement to life, but actually in large quantities can become a dopamine feed back loop in your brain, not giving you real happiness, distracting form your real life.. slowly yet subtly taking away from your “real” happiness.” There were rules without explanations. Even as a kid i was very smart and could have understood this.
once i had limes disease but my parents didn’t even notice for three months until i was basically dying. that was growing up. and it only got worse, this whole “mental illness” reality we live in, when i started to develop physical problems much later. My strategies to meet people in life had not payed off.. and i was becoming increasingly exhausted.. people accused me of not trying hard enough when it was the opposite, and it became an opportunity for them to lay multiple new “mental diagnoses” on me. It had never made sense to begin with. I had spent my life debunking the befits of mental illness diagnosis.. and now it was like they were cranking up the volume on it even louder.. like a comedic tradgity.
I think sometimes the after effects of major physical illness or injuries.. or even simply something like “emotional trauma” is often mistaken for “autism” and diagnosed prematurely. Rather there is almost some kind of hunger or panic to know the problem that never needed to be known. A temporary physical and emotional trauma becomes a life long mental problem. i see it so often in myself and people around me it has become like this joke almost only me and a few of my close friends can get. The joke isn’t to make fun of autistic people or people anywhere on the spectrum.. but rather to make fun of society itself and it’s constant need to make everything mental.. to diagnose illness.. and the kind of underlying sadness of looking for problems and solutions in the wrong places.
Any time I’m watching a fictinal series on TV and a character gets injured in a fight or gets physically ill and they are not having a quick recovery I’m like “I think ti’s time that we inform them that they are “on the spectrum.” they need to know that we ..care.. about their… recovery.” It’s kind of funny to think about bat-man getting injured in a fight.. like more then usual.. like something internal that involves a strange poison.. it takes a few months to ‘flush it out’.. during this time bat-man is becoming more reclusive.. and then a concerned friend calls a doctor.. and helps batman out by giving him a diagnosis of “High Functioning Autism” that then goes on to effect the rest of his life. The autism pills help bat man to cure the autism.. but slow don’t his reaction time in combat. it sounds funny.. but stuff like this is happening more often then you would care to know.
Bat man is able to flush out the poison.. but now it takes him another ten years to convince the doctors that he is not autistic because they have already made up there minds.. and during this time he develops and insecurity complex… he he is in fact autistic because the poison has tainted his brain… it’s just a kind of paranoia.. but the situation went on for too long.. it got traumatic and now bat man isn’t sure what is real and what isn’t. but his friends are hear to help.. and he gets lots of therapy to help with his autism. There is nothing ‘wrong’ with being autistic.. yet because Bat Man doesn’t have the symptoms of autism he doesn’t want it to become common for his friends and associates to think he is autistic and to treat him differently. And yet because so many people catch the word about batman’s autism.. he is treated differently.. and it adds to the paranoia that he has in fact become something different and less then other people.
The poison is gone from his body now.. yet people treat him like it is still there.. so he starts to internalize that it is in fact still there. People slow down the meetings so “bat man” can understand. Even though he is still bat man for the most part at night. During the day.. his friends treat him like he is ‘slow’ in the mind. At night his instincts kick in and he goes back to fighting crime… yet in the light of day.. he start to fear he has become socially inept. He makes up for this by continuing to do what makes him feel confident… fighting crime.. yet the more time he spends doing this.. it only continues to make him feel unconfident when he is simply in the company of friends and other people socially. It doesn’t’ make an sense.. given how skilled and capable he is.. but something just ‘tenses’ up when he is around people. But a life time of talk therapy and pills are what the doctor prescribed.. and bat man is committed now.
on the one hand it’s a joke.. yet it’s also a way I keep pointing out societies constant need to ‘mentalize’ physical and emotional changes of life. And to make temporary problems permanent illness. Because if we can ‘mentliaze’ it we can ‘know’ it, we can ‘solve it’ .. yet the physical rleity gets blocked out. It’s “all in your mind” as they might say. Really the mind is just a simulation. yet saying it is all in the mind makes us feel like we are in control. It is a total contradiction. they can’t see their own reflection. doctors diagonals all these illness. protected behind a wall of material wreath and comfortable “materialistic science” they trust in what they can see and know. they tell you “stop worrying.. it’s all in your mind” and by doing that they keep you in your mind. hunting around to see “what went wrong in your thinking”. as though it was ever in your thinking.
Most people just want to feel loved and connected. “thinking” isn’t the root cause. Loneliness is. thinking a lot is just a symptom. a side effect. (unlike the medications which have potent negative “effects” they brush off as “side-effects”.) the older generation and doctors, the authorities in your life.. those who should be the keepers of wisdom.. they tell you to “get out of your mind.” But it has the reverse effect. but the probelms, the “feelings of disconnection” never came from your midn to begin with. Often the probelms they assign to you came from the minds of others. Saying “you silly over thinker.. stay out of your mind!” It has a reverse effect of keeping you in your mind. Wondering what you are doing wrong. “Where did i go wrong in my thinking?” When your instincts and impulses could actually be right.
The world is conditioning you. the older generations. the psychiatric industry. big pharma. Doctors who say everything is “in your brain”. it’s the ultimate cop out. it minimizes the physical reality. the inherent trauma of being alive on a spinning rock in the void of space. Life is fragile. We live in this “epidemic” of mental illness. So they say. Why do we have that when we are this rich happy country? Lets philosophize about that… The real question is… Why do we think we are ill in the first place? Because they the previous generation told us we are? Because they can’t stop thinking and worrying and projected their probelms on to us. and we internalized it. thinking we could control our parents emotions if we were “really good.” The so called “epidemic” of mental illness.. is manufactured by the drug companies. Who can’t stop seeing the world through their materialistic lense.
Society is ruled by the 1% and poor people don’t have probelms… it’s all “in your mind”.. aka it’s all “mental illness”.. doctors have converted “ignoring the probelms of others” into a sophisticated science. “You have a problem? just kidding… you just imagined it! now pay us to tell you so! to drug you and convince your families you are crazy.” even though this is logically inconsistent and it has never been the case with you.
I joke around a lot that “mental illness” is “trendy”. We are so happy to embrace the idea something is wrong with us. Now we have something we can work on.. we can fix. Then our parents will approve. To put it simple. what we call “Mental illness” is an over-complicated and abstract concept. There is no ‘brain scan” that offers physical prof of a synaptic error in your brain in the vast majority of cases. unless you have actual brain damage.. which is more obvious. aka Mental retardation.
don’t assume something is wrong in your brain. or that your brain can’t heal. The brain is alive. But it isn’t your primary power source. The heart produces an energy field that is larger then the brain and produces a stronger voltage. the body is electric.
If you want to improve your life. get healthy. think about what you eat. avoid a sugar rush. don’t stay on the computer too long. think about what is simple and real. don’t spend years using drugs or your own thoughts to find out what “went wrong” in your brain. nothing is wrong in your brain. most of life is driven by craving and raw emotion. get to the emotion. get to your heart. what is really going on. don’t let them keep you spinning.
“don’t think too much”… “it is all in your mind” it’s like one of those “truthful statements” that is constantly being taken out of context. “I’m poor.. I don’t have a good plan for my future. I have an undiagnosed medical condition” … “don’t worry.. it’s all in your mind.” You keep thinking about not thinking.. it is a total oxymoron. a paradox. they tell you “stop looping”.. but they are the loop. they are in your head. all those “wise voices” that taught you what to think growing up.
My intention was never to be “lazy” .. yet it became more clear to me that society was actually demonizing what i now found to be essential success traits. Sometimes a lazy day can be protective… but then we stop showing our “lazy” side to others because we don’t want to feel shamed or insulted. we don’t want to get caught not being productive. And yet this shame and fear of peer invalidation effects how we ‘follow our feelings’ and our ability to make creative choices. I realized all my life i had been doing things because of some kind of ‘mass social influence’ not wanting to let people down.. not wanting to be called lazy. Finally i was just lazy.. and that was ok. (just because something is difficult doesn’t mean it is good for the world)
It’s scary when the world wants to make you smarter and more productive .. yet doesn’t seem concerned about your more basic needs. I’ve seen other people who are supposedly “autistic” yet i can see how like me they are stuck in a state of perpetual panic and mental solutions that disembody them from their feelings and heart center. the flow of energy between people. People are labeled as “autistic” or a variety of other illness such as “add” or “bipolar”, that often consist of ordinary behaviors, often learned through family relationships… given labels because they are not attentive enough at school…, school which prioritizes intelligence, over emotions and social relationships, once again “brain” over “heart”.
Autistic people learn to be very intelligent to supposedly do what society wants.. yet their challenges are noting more then a symptom of society itself. And unlike me many people will never have the opportunity to “come down” out of the panic, out of the elevated state that involves thinking you need to be better or smarter then you are all the time. Never able to come down out of the trauma of it all. The ongoing emotional trauma of feeling disconnected from the meaningful relationships in life. Because there lives are simply too busy… and frequent business is valued in society. I find that so many cases of what we call “autism” are ‘learned behavior’ from the values of society around us. What we externalize or scapegoat as “child illness” it is inherent in the larger system. Yet doctors are quick to drug up children.. and it is very profitable. But even as a good person… it is hard to fight the system… for many it is easier to simply nod an go along with it. I know many good people who could do nothing to stop it. I see others struggling socially like once did and if i had a more stable home and financial life… I would be able to help them from a place of strength.. and enjoy doing it…
I’ve tried a variety of ways to make a little extra money that doesn’t include working additional hours of some kind of strenuous time consuming menial labor… nothing that would be hard for me a person likely to burn out… Even just something that would generate a few extra dollars every week or so. I’ve looked for ways to ‘innovate’ a little, around this concept of making money, getting creative with ways to bring in a few extra bucks. and i have been surprisingly unsuccessful. I’ve tried about five different methods of making money online… and am surprised to have turned 0$ after a few months. technically i made 2$ on a questing website… but i found it was not a reliable way of making money… the amount of time it took didn’t make it worth while for a few dollars. But i still had fun in the process. And there is still more to try out. But any help would be seriously appreciated. There is a possibility that in a few months i will be able to get on food stamps. But help until then would make a difference.
Around seven years ago i was culminating on a much bigger vision of what i wanted to do for the world. I was very spiritual and still am. I was learning so many things… and had significantly shifted out of the shy person i used to be who always felt ‘cut off’ from the relationships in my life. I never really told anyone… but i had learned so many profound things.. things had held me back.. and yet no one had really stepped forward in my life to illuminate silly things i was doing that were holding me back. Like being too self critical. Thinking i needed a “big transformation” or that socializing hat to be difficult. The irony is most of my life i was trying way to hard in regards to people.. and that was why i was getting less results.. i was conditioned over and over to think that socializing was supposed to be difficult.. it has to be easy.. that is the only way it can be. if it feels difficult then you aren’t doing it write. you are not in the animal of your body, you are out of the emotions and into the mind.. as society told me to be. I was making obvious mistakes.. but society was telling me to go right on ahead.. just keep trying harder.. the problem is “you are not motivated enough” so “try harder” like “try way harder.” that was the advice i was consistently getting. It was a total mindfuck.
The advice society gave me kept me in constant burn out.. in a delusion where simply socializing with people was way harder then it needed to be. There were always more solutions for me to try … and it just feed into the illusion that a problem had ever existed in the first place.. it all kept me ‘feelin’ the problems.. and using my mind to fix them. It kept me insecure. in a lie. Making friends was so much easier the the world made it to be. It feels like I could write a whole article on the advice society gave me and how it kept me spinning in the nonsense. You also seem to hear a lot about how things like fun and relaxation are basically “laziness” and how you should be accomplishing something … all the time. It is a scary kind of validation seeking type thing.. and it’s long sense been forgotten where it actually came from.. that it isn’t acutely helping. It often felt like my passions were silly or a distraction from reality. Liking girls.. that’s a “fantasy” stop that. Writing books.. that’s not “real” .. stop talking about that.
It felt like some of the adult figures in my life were often looking for an “error in my brain” to try and explain why i had felt cut off from people growing up. what i had a hard time meeting women.. mainly. And in my own mind.. it was like a meta-version of the same thing.. I was often looking for the “error” i was making in my thought process. What none of them seemed to realize.. what that i had already amalgamated the best of their advice and was applying it to myself.. trying to find what i was doing wrong..how i could improve.. what skills i could implement.. but it was all in vain. it was a complex. it wasn’t real. The fear.. put in to me from the outside.. it became me.
Society had conditioned me to be like this. and it took me until i was 25… i remember it so well. when i finally became to notice that the whole thing was type of “complex”. It was really emotional.. even more then it was mental. and the irony of it all want that nothing was ever “wrong” and a part of me had always known that. It felt so profound and important. And i could see it now more clearly that many people around me were struggling … people my age.. having a hard time ‘feeling connected’ to people, just as i had for so long. When you feel like it is constantly difficult to have deep meaningful connections with people… when you around new people and it feels scary for some reason… like they could be judging you…. this is a kind of panic response.. but i never noticed it was there.. that i had this hidden panic response that was actually what had been cutting me off from deeper connections the whole time…
there had never really been anything wrong with my ‘skills’ or my ‘tactics’ or my ‘talking points’… there was this far more important thing underneath it all…. that i often ‘felt empty’ with my home life… and when i felt i liked a group of people.. i would still shy away from them… choosing to continue to go home and feel empty inside… but the thing getting in my way was this panic response… that only happened when i was around groups of people i liked… in those moments when i ‘felt’ meaningful connection was possible… part of my would stiffen up… and start employing all these ‘social tactics’. I had never truly relaxed around a group of people.. so i didn’t know what that felt like.. it can really feel magical.. it is magical in a way. And i could see now that people around me were like me… it was hard to get out of that “fight or flight” mode… that panic, stiffen up, go blank, mode.
I would go blank around people often.. yet it was only because i placed so much emphasis on the words… All this heart energy gets funneled up into the mind…. I was spending energy reaching for something i never needed to begin with. for all this time. it’s scary… how normal it is.. to spend your entire life time doing stuff like this. to use words like badges of justification to give people an excuse to like you. like other people in my family had… I never needed it… because humans are social as a species.. it gets complicated when we “think” we are not good at being social. yet we rely on the kind of energy feedback loop we get from each other. it is a source of life. yet it is not there to be earned and proven worth of. it is just there to be enjoyed. and it took me so long to notice this basic fact. that i could simply “enjoy” being around people… and that was all it took… that was the most fundamental thing.
for 20 years what i had devoted so much time to improving (social skills, talking to women, writing long complex fantasy novels to ‘get famous’ because that might help me get a hot girlfriend lol)… what i had thought was a “strategic” problem… had been an emotional trauma. It feels traumatic when you are consonantly afraid you can’t have deep meaningful connections in your life. and that’s just what it is. it is about relationship. it isn’t about you. you think it is. it is about something much bigger. relationships is bigger then the neurons in your brain. it isn’t your fault if your body is frozen in a fear response. but you have the power to change it.. but that means knowing it isn’t your fault.
being stuck in “fight or flight” isn’t a problem in your brain. it’s not a mental illness. it’s a deep primal nervous system response. you can teach your body to calm down in situations where it becomes tense and your mind scatters. It is scary.. like loosing your identity.. but you can learn that you don’t actually need to do a thing. You don’t need drugs and psycho therapy. you don’t need an endless stream of “permanent” brain illnesses diagnosed in the minds of 12 year olds to shape there thinking for life. it’s not your fault it happens.. but you can change it.. but changing it mean’s recognize that it isn’t your fault. it is a choice or a mistake you consciously made. it was there in you from the beginning. or at least it is like this for many of us.
Society covers a massive expansive group with the term “mentally ill” and this creates this.. impression.. that everyone else is normal. So we try harder, and harder to be like those “normal people”.. Following to some extent.. the advice they give us. As far as it applies to us.
Feeling disconnected has to do with how you are raised.. it’s a whole family dynamic.. and really a dynamic in the lager society. it isn’t an illness in your mind. When the illness is identified.. it creates a decoy.. a symptom.. a straw man.. that keeps us focused inwards.. distracted from what we want. to simply know that we are “already awesome” and free to speak about our passions with others.. play by our own rules.. and go directly for the results we want.
When it continues on like that. when you talk to people.. yet always feel afraid that it isn’t genuine. often it is there right from the beginning. because really so much energy comes from human connection. I sued to think ‘genuine’ connection meant talking about a deep subject for an extensive period of time… yet it’s funny how little it can take… just eye contact and a few simple and jokes now and then, told for my own enjoyment as much as the joy of others.. making observations about the feelings of other people around me… or events around me.. humor in the little things… and you can feel very connected… it has so much more to do with how people make you feel.. and how you make yourself feel, how what you think about and value makes you feel moment by moment.. then how many words were spoken or even what was said. But something tricked me.. right from the beginning…. i grew up learning how important it was to be smart and successful.. and i always felt afraid to have a conversation without demonstrating that i could be both… all that time it had distracted me from the truth. People don’t want “successful smart productive” friends who make them feel tense or uneasy because they are so good at life it hurts. Those aren’t the most primary qualities we look for in a friend.. or in anyone really. People want to be happy. But sometimes we don’t even know that ourselves.
There were never synaptic errors in my minds.. mental illness. learning disabilities.. i never made sense.. but it took most of my life to truly understand why. the thing that disconnected me form people was never more then a “fight or flight” response.. one that was to deep and intrinsic to my way of life.. i never thought to question that it was there.. until i began hearing more about “trauma therapy” and getting what that was just from randomly being around people who were talking about it.
I never noticed the “fight or flight or freeze” response because it was unconscious and it only happened in specific situations.. around large groups of people, new people, or people I perceived as popular… it was less likely to happen with people i knew.. yet it would happen more in “higher energy” situations.. but it would just leave me thinking i was “stupid” not knowing the acutely reason i “froze” up. School conditions you to think like this. “I must just not have been smart enough.” That is why i am not being validate here. i need to be getting a better grade in this social interaction (subconsciously). Maybe i really do have a “brain illness”. Both of these things take you into your mind.. thinking you need to be smarter.. thinking you might have a hard wired synaptic illness.. It keeps you thinking.. and kept me distracted from noticing how i was actually feeling.. it kept my body very stiff.. society keeps you thinking.. and that actually makes it more likely for people to precise you as “autistic” or some other form of “mentally ill” … even through the values of society itself are causing this behavior. The pressure to be smarter.. causing you to you to respond and tackle the disconnected feeling in this manner.
Back then i didn’t notice that much how i ‘felt’ around people.. and a rarely took the time to actually ‘enjoy’ the company of people when i was in new situations… I wanted to know what people were thinking, i wanted to be able to speak more, to follow the complexity of it all.. yet that just felt so complicated. In group situations… i would freeze up.. and not even know what was happening. i didn’t know it was fear. because the fear was so old.. it had always been there… from birth. It was fear.. but also with misguided values placed over-top the fear. i was focusing everything on the words, the dialogue between people, and nothing on the feelings.. what do others actually want? what do i actually want? There was this stiffness. this fear inside me. yet i didn’t identify it as an emotion. and to not have it be there any more… was profound. If you had asked me back then if i was afraid around people… i never would have said so. I never felt afraid.. because i couldn’t feel my own emotions. I had been rendered so stiff.
Now everything was shifting. and this felt so profound.. I felt that i might become some type of guru… simply because everyone needed to know about this… the way i had been living life up until this point felt so backwards. Its hard to be struggling so much with both food money, finding long term housing, in addition to physical disabilities… not being able to get help or a diagnosis for that. Everyone in my life thinks it is someone else’s job to help with that stuff.. they help me within the boundaries of what their job position allows. When the doctor can’t help you.. it falls on you to be your own doctor. and I’ve got myself out of many difficult salutations.. and brought vitality back into my life when for months i was paralyzed in bed. So much of it had to do with subtle body awareness. maybe i don’t need to be a guru. but often feel there is more i can do to give back. It has to involve a more stable income.
UPDATE: I have saved a lot of the money and improved my health and focus by quitting both caffeine and sugar drinks. (By a lot i mean 10$ here and there a week) This has allowed me to save money to eat at home.. so my life can have more of a normal rhythm.
You can read more about my story here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/8ayqm-healthy-life