Friday, June 24, 2005

A Soap-Box for Normalcy

Normalcy evades me. I was seventeen when the doctors told me I had paranoid schizophrenia, but I knew it from fourteen. I didn't even have my first high school crush before my brains were tossed, diced, and mangled: I went from child to crazy person in one fell swoop. Unfortunately, my body never went along with my will. I played football at 135 pounds, and the pain from my many injuries plagues me to this day. Recovering from football and track injuries, my disease set into its most vulgar form; March 25, 1994 is the day that I usually associate with my first psychotic symptoms, but their presence plagued me in less obvious ways for at least six months before that. Once the laughing in my head started, there was nowhere to go but further in, even if only by accident. In 1995, I started writing poetry to satisfy the psychotic urges that replaced the genuine experiences in my life. Quickly, the verses came to dominate my psyche for many years. I wrote line after line after line on love, life, and the psychotic experience. The particulars of these issues dominate me still.

Most people grow normally adjusted to life by my age, but I have not. I left so much of myself on the page and at the wrong end of a pill bottle that I fear I will never achieve the basic successes and comforts in life. When normal life avails itself to me, as it did a little over eighteen months ago when I faced the prospect of dating for the first time, I was so sure that my experience on the page and my blind devotion to my friends and loved ones would serve me well. How could I have been so stupid? I couldn't have been more wrong. When normalcy learns to love, I was learning to write. When normalcy learns to live for life, I was learning to live despite it. It wasn't until recently that I learned the truth of the matter: my youth crawled down my throat and died; I never had an adolescence. I'm built wrongly, I just don't see the world as others do. My senses are warped and shifted to deal with myself and no one else. Everything I see is wrongly interpreted, from the colors of the sunrise until the demons that live in my nightmares. I'm not constructed for a normal life, and I will probably never lead one, no matter how much I want to. Sometimes people like to disagree with me and contend that no one leads a normal life, but they have never seen the world as I see it. Normalcy is not appreciated until it's gone. Even if you listen, but still don't understand, don't let life get away from you like I did. Learn to love; learn to think; learn to live well in the company of others. No poem, talent, skill, ability, or in my case, disease, is worth more than love, life, and community. Solitude and a reason to write didn't save me from myself, or anyone else.

This page, and this site, are copyrighted 2005 by Thomas Jackson, so don't steal it.