This started on paper and it’s become a lot different as I typed it out. The attachment is just the same thing in a text file.There are odd little talents I have that I recognize, am unusually proud of. Certain manual labor skills that are easy to be unnoticed but can be appreciated if you can do yourself. I enjoy watching other people who are very comfortable using a hand tool. It’s a good example because, a screwdriver for example, requires no instruction. It’s use can be obvious in its design and anyone can use one with little difficulty. But there is a simple grace I notice when someone can effortlessly twist a tool like that. As you learn something, anything, it becomes effortless.I’m just kinda big on hand tools.
The screwdriver is the most common tool a hand turns. There’s a very quick way to turn the handle. Twist it fast enough to be efficient while being unconsciously aware of not stripping the screw head. Slight push and pull and a light touch on the handle. People can learn to do that without realizing it just because a screwdriver is so simple.
The tool I’m most proud of mastering is a knife. It was a process that involved multiple cuts for one thing. Not all knives but respect for tools is a common thing with craftsmen that maybe the meaning of is entirely lost on the wider public. I’m at least comfortable holding any knife, confident I won’t do anything stupid with it like cut myself or someone standing near me. The knife I’m talking about being comfortable with is a utility knife. A razor. Even a single edge straight razor. The little naked blade that probably costs a tenth of a penny to stamp out and some people might not even know what to do with if handed one.
Cuts taught me why knives deserve respect. Painfully. So I have a near constant understanding of where the knife edge is, relative to my hand, my fingers, my work, other people. I can’t control other people like I can a knife so that’s a big one. I can’t gift tool respect.
The ultimate goal and long winded intro here is to relate that kinda simple example of holding a tool to holding multiple thoughts at the same time. And quickly giving them shifting priority. They’re similar because they both involve conscious and unconscious thouts and awarenesses that can be hindrance or help at different times.
My thoughts can be similar to having multiple things going on upstairs like using a tool is. Except unrelenting. And unfocused. Multiple shifting and vague goals that need to be prioritized on the fly and undue weight to one can be a distraction, wasted effort and at times has been a life or death mistake. Which is not exaggeration.
This is stressful but I make it work pretty well pretty often. But it’s impossible to do forever without help and I’ve been overwhelmed doing it for one reason or another. But sometimes things just fall back to normal safely. So it’s really not that scary when taken as a whole. But during a crisis it’s scary to watch and scary to go through.
The stigma of mental illness will probably never go away. Crazy people are unpredictable. There’s evolutionary advantage to lack of sympathy towards them. But we’re honestly mostly harmless. I’ve earned a healthy empathy for these people that I value and I’m grateful to know that I’m nowhere near the worst off. But I’ve been homeless. I’m an acute alcoholic. Crazy people are my people. Families give up on us as a death sentence for reasons of self preservation or lack of resources. Alcoholism and homelessness are common over in the loony bin. They kill people.
I deal with shit as a fact of life that would keep an earth person awake at night. I don’t want sympathy. This isn’t a sob story. Even saying that bluntly might make it seem like it’s exactly that. Everyone in America is lucky just to live here and that fact has come into focus for me.
I cry sometimes for no obvious reason. It’s kinda part of the disease: bipolar disorder type 1. I try to hide it. That can hard. Sometimes it’s because of sadness. Or sudden overwhelming happiness and gratitude or opportunities I’ve had that have saved my life and the lack of have killed people in the same position. I think I feel more deeply than most. That I can love more or in a special way. And I have heard that from at least one person with manic depressive illness which makes it maybe more true. It’s a blade with two edges that can be a tool or a weapon and it’s not always easy to tell which direction the blade is pointing.