Loser Who Thinks Too Much

square844Both those terms have been used to describe me. An insult just doesn’t stab, it leaves a wound — not a scar, but a bleeding dripping lesion that comes to you in your worst depressions and sometimes — like now — when you are feeling just fine. I am a loser because I have not worked since I was 33 and do not have kids. I did not make a million in Silicon Valley and no one buys my photography or my writing (which I haven’t tried to sell in a long time.) Never mind that I have been married 27 years to the same woman, never hit or threatened to hit her or called her a vile name. I am a loser, a pariah.

The isolation of bipolar disorder is hell, but the isolation of my personality is worse. When I take tests such as the Myer’s Brigg, I keep scoring in the rarest categories. Less than 1% of people out there share my characteristics. We wander around, seldom meeting each other. The way we see the world, the things we strive for just aren’t appreciated or discerned by the rest of you out there. You come onto my blog, read my accounts of my illness or other aspects of my life and you don’t get me. I am a cipher, a shadow on the wall swept by the wind, a curiosity that cannot be. I, like others of my kind, feel alone. No wonder so many of us end up in monasteries or convents.

An article from a 2010 issue of The Guardian cites a pundit who believes that the InterNet has destroyed our ability to think deeply. All the shallowness of our political talk, our inability to concentrate works of art that encourage us to probe our minds, the simplistic and self-serving grasp of religion — those things I believe have always been there. InterNet debates are only emblems of a longtime tendency for their participants to refuse to engage with people who disagree with them, to damn new ideas with oversimplifications and patronization, to mock differences. People have always told me that I think too much, even educated people. They twisted the gifts of my mind into a curse. So I hide from them. I do not speak of my cogitations in any place other than here. Yes, I pretend to be something that I am not, but what am I supposed to do when I am so alone and the mass of human beings cannot and will not trouble to understand me?

Bipolar disorder with its wild antics and chilling depressions hogtied me for the longest time. I’ve come out as a new person, but the rest of you remain the same. Freak is how you thought of me when the disease ran my thoughts and freak is how you think of me now that I am in my right mind. Was it worth it?



Joel is the founder of DBSA South Orange County. He received a degree in Anthropology from Pomona College, one of Forbes Magazine's ten top undergraduate schools. His manic adventures include traveling to former Yugoslavia during the 1992 war, believing he was the Creator of a messed up Universe, road rages, and running up $40,000 in credit card bills. He lives with his wife, dog, and cat in Trabuco Canyon, California.

2 thoughts on “Loser Who Thinks Too Much

  1. I do think it is worth it, and that you are not a freak. I took a personality test and I came out like Grissom, the bug guy, on CSI. Could be worse. If not working and having a mental illness makes us losers you have plenty of company.

  2. Quinn Identicon Quinn

    When you say that people tell you that you think too much, and they twisted that gift into a curse, I can definitely relate. I am always told I over think things. I used to do this a lot when I was in high school. I don’t know why. I still remember a girl telling me I was “the most negative person she knew.” Which I laughed at. I was highly critical of everything. But in a way, it was a curse, because I was miserable. Once I became medicated, I was less negative. But I also noticed I stopped thinking as much. Or perhaps, I just became used to it. I was told to write a blog, because I posted too much on facebook. I have been told by so many people that I talk, a lot. Like- A LOT. And it makes me feel awful.

    But anyway, back on subject. The Myer’s-Briggs test is an alright personality test. I scored in the second rarest category, something like 2% for women. But truth be told, I don’t really care about that test. I took the MMPI-2. If you like personality tests, this is the only one you should take. This test has been highly designed and highly studied. It was used by the government and other agencies to test future employees. However, it comes at a price (a literal price). It cost me $100 to take it because it’s (if I remember correctly) analyzed by an actual team of experts. The results are pages long, very thorough, and highly personalized.

    When I took it, the therapist read my results with me, and told me strictly never to tell anyone what they said. For one, “they didn’t fit me.” But the truth is- they do. That part about “not trusting the therapist?” You know, the part where she laughed and said that obviously wasn’t true? Well it was… It was true. And I was so good at it that she didn’t see me in my results, but I did. The test said horrible but true things about me. The only part it got wrong was potential diagnoses- either schizophrenia or a personality disorder, when I’m bipolar. My results (they even mark them on a little graph for you) were extremely rare. The test even judges if you tried to bias it or not. The test said that for me, I had done what is almost impossible. I had actually figured the test out. And my results weren’t that reliable because of it.

    If you want to take a true personality test, take the MMPI-2. It may be expensive and it has 567 questions but it is good. In other news, I can relate, no one stays in my life long. Once they meet the true me, they don’t seem to like it. A girl who talks too much, who thinks too much, they don’t like it. And I am lost, looking for someone who will put up with it, who will engage in conversation with me. It is lonely and I honestly don’t know if it can ever be cured. Loneliness is my biggest trigger. It sent me to the ER with a bloody wrist. You can’t let it eat you alive, you can’t let it hurt you.

    Carry on. And sorry this was so long.

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