Sometimes it takes being called out by another person to realize that there is an issue that needs to be addressed. Once my depression abated due to the bomb known as electro-convulsive therapy, my therapist and I began to explore my identity. As I have written before, such exploration led to uncomfortable questions about my wiring as an individual. My years, especially before age 25, were reckless, irresponsible, and amoral, at best. I have taken great strides to ensure that my present and my future will reflect more pro-social behavior, but I do not believe that I have ever properly explained the reasons why. It is not that I am concerned about my “soul”, rather it is that I am concerned about the consequences of letting my latent state run unchecked.
The proverbial carrot is freedom and an ability to be self-sufficient. I have never been convicted of any crimes. I realize that the predisposition, from my upbringing and my genetics, would seem to imply that I would be a lost cause, but that is not the case. I realize that many immoral behaviors are grounds for incarceration. The sociopath that lands in jail has lost their game. There is no benefit to such. No matter what my mental wiring suggests, I still have free will, and I choose to take the intensive path of pro-social behavior these days. It does not come automatically for me, but it is essential to remain free to live my life as I please.
Likewise, a bent toward anti-social behavior is a great way to ostracize yourself from every circle you belong to. Who would associate with one that is constantly engaged in manipulation and aggression? Sense dictates that there must be restraint.
I’ve written that the events of my life are nondescript for me. The childhood abuse and neglect, the shenanigans that I’ve pulled, and everything else blurs together into a monochrome and abstract picture. I had to see the alternatives and the benefits in order to mature. I had to reflect and introspect in order to see why the course that I was on was a course to destruction.
I do not believe that ASPD or sociopathy need be a sentence. It may require effort to shy away from our natural state, no matter why it manifested, but I do believe that the motivated possessor of these conditions can change their lives to be more pro-social and away from the ire of society. It might just take the right carrot to be dangled in front of us.