The Light and the Dark

This is the last post for 2015.  By the time the dawn shines on January 1, 2016, I will have remained clean for a year now.

These are the fibers that only twitch.  These are the vessels that give me strength.  These are the claws that are ready to rend.  These are the bones that will not break.  This is the skin that keeps me whole.  These are the teeth that keep me fed.

This is the dance that will never end.  This is the song that calls my name.  These are the words that fill my soul.  This is the light that will not fade.  This is the dark that encompasses all.

I stumble.  I stumble.  I stand.

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The Oblong Box Has an Expiration Date

I am fearful of death but enamored with it at the same time.  My lust towards my own eventual demise is heightened, of course, during the throes of Bipolar depression, but I find that I am constantly dipping my toes into the grave just to get a taste of the nonexistence that will eventually be mine.  I do not wish to grow old; I have enough problems accepting the toll that hard living and time have on me as it is.  Every aggravation of a past back injury, every cough brought on by years of cigarette smoking, and every hair that turns gray are reminders that my best years are behind me.  Who would want to see themselves decay?  Why do we champion longevity at all costs?  I don’t want it.

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The Head and the Heart

I’ve been facing another identity crisis as of late.  Two and a half years ago, when confirmation of psychopathy was made by my psychotherapist, I thought that I had finally found insight into my inner workings and core self.  A Cluster B storm, the combination of ASPD, NPD, and BPD seemed to shed light on my callous and uncaring self that required limitless supply from others in order to function.  Fast forward to today and I am not sure that the picture is so clear anymore.  It is well documented that many psychopaths mellow as they grow older and as my hair starts to grey, I can certainly relate.  Two separate mechanisms, the head and the heart, are starting to grow closer together than they ever have, and it makes me deeply uncomfortable.  I am not uncomfortable because of the thought that I am drifting further and further away from the prototypical state of the psychopath (not that I was ever prototypical).  I am uncomfortable because I cannot reconcile the fact that my cognitive self is thawing and is in opposition to the cold person that I thought was my identity and my core.

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A Demon in the Playground of Angels

Sometimes I have to eat crow.  A mess of personality disorders, it seems that whatever lies at the core of this person often has its words drowned out by the maelstrom going on upstairs.  The comorbidity of psychopathy and Borderline Personality Disorder is well documented in the literature and results in a person that can be quite unpleasant to deal with.  Sprinkle on organic illness, manifested within myself by Bipolar Disorder, and I can be a demon in the playground of angels.  My intellectual self may often be drowned by competing disorders, but occasionally she cries out, trying to stop the madness.  I know that in order to continue my own recovery (from Borderline Personality Disorder in particular), I have to own my disorders and – gasp – take responsibility for my actions.  Personality disorders can never be an excuse for bad behavior, no matter how well they model such unappealing traits.

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The World Expects Humans, Not Demons

There was a time in which I was nothing but a caricature.  I was completely dismissive of others, abused and neglected those in my life, and lived far beyond what this body was equipped for.  I learned quickly that success in life was more probabilistic if I were to learn restraint and to be a more prosocial human being.  It may not come naturally, and the benefits may seem far more intangible, but ultimately, this is what needs to happen for me.  A life spent in constant pariah status is not a life worth living.  One day, I hope my efforts will extend to the financial realm as well, given that my impulsivity and need for stimulation still reigns supreme.  All of that said, we all have a choice with our antisocial ways.  We can let realization or diagnosis be a turning point in our lives or we can succumb to tired tropes that once defined us.  I know which I choose.

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Keep Talking

For millions of years, mankind lived just like the animals. Then something happened which unleashed the power of our imagination. We learned to talk and we learned to listen… mankind’s greatest achievements have come about by talking, and its greatest failures by not talking. It doesn’t have to be like this… all we need to do is make sure we keep talking

The above quotes are attributed to Stephen Hawking.  They stress the importance of communication in furthering progress, both at the global level and the micro level.  Societies live and die by communication.  Friendships do the same.

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They Aren’t That Interesting

Continuing a theme that has been on my mind extensively as of late, I find that the energy I give into my interpersonal relationships is often minimal.  There are exceptions, usually when an element of lust or other “new interpersonal relationship” energy is involved, but those exceptions tend to die over time leaving my indifferent shell as the only constant in such relationships.  My therapist has noted this and we had an extensive conversation recently regarding this energy differential.  She seemed puzzled as to why I, a creature who is happiest when interacting with others, would give so little energy.  Wouldn’t my bitching and moaning about a lack of meaningful interactions dissipate if I were simply to invest energy in those interpersonal relationships that I do have or could have?   Undoubtedly, the answer to this question is ‘yes,’ but she is missing a point that I hold dear.  I believe that I will only give my all in an interpersonal relationship in which I feel both sufficiently stimulated, entertained, and valued.  I’ve had plenty of interpersonal relationships in which I can recognize value, but I have never felt stimulated nor entertained for more than a fleeting moment.  To reference a tired quote from the series Hannibal, “(they) just aren’t that interesting.”

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The image in the mirror is distorted.  I can vaguely make out that the reflection before me is, in fact, me.  I have changed in many ways since I began psychotherapy four years ago.  The creature that only went to session as a means of placating her husband has grown into one that actively seeks ways to better herself.  What started as a journey to understand one’s depression turned into much more, and the bigger picture had to be revealed for any progress on any front (intrapersonal or interpersonal) to be had.  All of that said, there are demons that cannot be shaken and all progress is relative.  The only cure-all is the realization that the individual can ultimately create change.  All of us have the capacity to change, though it would be a lie to state that we can expect total change in any form.

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The Canary and the Ivy

I’ve written countless times about the difficulty that I have regarding interpersonal relationships.  I’m unskilled at, or unwilling to engage in the act of, providing for those that are my acquaintances, family, friends, loved ones, et cetera.  With every day and every therapeutic session that passes, I grow more adept at these skills, but I still lack.  I’ll never have those skills and the alignment of those that are not psychopathic when it comes to maintaining and enhancing my interpersonal relationships, but as I grow older, I can certainly be less bad at these things.  It may be my standard operating procedure to leave interpersonal relationships when conflict arises, having little patience for the flaws of others, but this too is slowly changing – or at least I am slower to pull the trigger than I was in the past.  I no longer know when to stay or when to leave.  The canary in the mine, checking the life signs of the interpersonal relationship, may have long turned to feathers and dust, but I still stay.  Or, she may be full of life and vibrant and I leave.  I no longer know my role.  I no longer know the role of the canary.

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…And the Castle Crumbled

Some of you may have noticed that the blog was down for a little over a week.  I had decided to try and step away from “owning” my psychopathy and my platform, thinking that such was ultimately deleterious to my mental health in the long term.  I’ve been struggling with old demons, namely rapid cycling Bipolar disorder, and to be completely frank, the role of ‘pg’ is often isolating.  Everything is cloak and dagger with those that I interact with and I never form connections with those that seek me out … which is both the price of admission and an understandable truth.  I don’t know the extent to which I could actually form connections anyway, but that is tangential to this post.

One reader who has sought me out and interacted with me outside of these virtual walls frankly told me something that I suppose I needed to hear during these turbulent times with my own mental health.  While it may have not been a primary intent of the writing up to the point I disconnected everything, my efforts have helped many better understand themselves.  I’ve often talked about needing purpose to counter my nihilistic ways.  I’m not sure that I believe purpose exists for anyone, but at the same time this reader forced me to reexamine my exodus.

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