I Was A “Very Stable Genius.” Then I Developed Schizophrenia. Now, I’m An Unstable Genius.

Ask anyone who worked with me. I was 100% philosophy, 100% of the time. Effort and study creates genius. And I think I was one. A stable one, too.

I was in the middle of my graduate thesis when madness creeped up on me. It began slowly, with things I could handle, like derealization. Then, one day, I cracked. I was triggered by something in an e-mail to me. I responded by joking about it, but it really put unwanted thoughts in my head. I didn’t know how to handle unwanted thoughts, so I tried pushing them away. Little did I know that when you try to push unwanted thoughts away, they just become stronger. This quickly escalated into OCD with psychotic features–then schizophrenia.

I was full-blown mad. Again, ask anyone who was around me at the time. I was also a full-blown genius. The current going theory is that people who experience the kind of anxiety I experienced, while being top-performers, are the best of the best.

I don’t think I’ve lost any cognitive function, which sometimes goes along with schizophrenia. And I’ve been studying ever since I was diagnosed. As I said, effort and study makes genius. That, along with flexibility and imagination, gives you people like John Nash, an unstable genius.

I’ve seen memes recently mocking the president for calling himself a stable genius. Perhaps he is. I certainly haven’t mocked him for saying this.

But it’s important to understand a two things: (1) genius is about work. One doesn’t typically become a genius by not investing time into one’s area of expertise. (2) there is nothing wrong with being a little unstable. I have been known to become psychotic. So has John Nash. Each of us has accomplished things in life–and he is what many would think of as a true genius.

What many people are worried about is whether the president will do something rash in his alleged instability and, for example, bring us to war. He could. But he could also just be performing Madman Theory, which would not only scare some of us, but also our enemies. Either way, instability does not necessarily equal violence, so trying to guess the probability of the president pressing the button is currently, with the information I have, all for naught.

 

Reading

The other day I went to my favorite local independent bookstore and got a few books. I have never read In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, so I got that and another book. Don’t spoil it for me. I plan on sitting outside, enjoying the day and reading it with a nice glass of green tea.

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On Writing

In college, I won awards for my writing; both poetry and prose. I find writing rather difficult, though. And sending my work out there, for all the world to judge is rather horrifying. I have been up late tonight writing, and thinking about writing. I think I have studied well enough and broadly enough to begin to write some things. That is why I have some CDs on the way, which will be available soon. However, there is always room to improve one’s craft, and I feel like I am always improving, or trying to improve. It’s not just poetry that I read, however. I take in all kinds of art and media. Recently, I was inspired by a song. I wrote a poem based off that song.

Winning awards isn’t everything, although the things I wrote which were award-winning I am proud of. One needs to keep honing one’s skill in order to stay good, and to improve. This is what I have been doing. I know of people who do not particularly like poetry, but it’s a bit like tuning your ears and eyes to a Shakespeare play. For many, it takes a few minutes to adjust to what’s being said, and then you can enjoy the play or film. I found it was that way with poetry. It takes a bit to adjust oneself to writing, reading and listening to poetry. I hope you enjoy what I have shared so far. Keep a look out for future recordings and writings!

What Are You Reading?

I read mostly nonfiction these days, and I am a news junkie. If you follow me on Facebook, you’ll know that I keep up with the news quite a bit. You are free to follow me if you don’t already, but keep in mind that I am also a political wonk. I post many political things, and I’m a die hard Liberal. This stems from my training in philosophy, where I specialized in ethics and political philosophy.

Having said that, I also *love* nonfiction. So, I was wondering, what are you reading these days? Anything to recommend?