Flipping the Script

In my experience the health of a community is best served by finding the weakest link, and making it stronger:

What would your sentence look like from the opposite perspective? Is there a flip-side to what you have said? Do you know the difference between what you think, and what you want to think? Do you want to? I believe you do.

Your journal entries are full of pain. I read them and cringe in the potential injury it may cause me. Reading through your private thoughts while barely avoiding repulsion, I forge on looking for nuggets of health that I can swallow. I search for the blessing hidden in your scribe, the diamond in the roughness of you. I find them, and want to write this as way to express to you how thankful I am.

When I’m building a friendship with somebody like you, it fills me with a sense of dread. My biggest fear is that I will turn my face away from your expressions in apathy, to preserve my sense of well-being. I don’t love your writing. I don’t even like it. Yet, I keep reading your new posts out of hope that they will flip, because of the courage you use to share it.

Misery loves company, and I have been miserable for too long. I’m asking a favor of you as a fellow artist and survivor. I’m hoping you can do for me one thing. Can you please for the sake of my disposition, choose to portray yourself as better than bad?

Society may look at you as crazy, mentally ill, or weak. Your history may paint a picture of poison in your mind that will never go away. You’ve bared the history of your shames, torn yourself down to a pitifully tortured soul, so I don’t think of you as arrogant in pride with your judgements. Can you meet me in the middle with a humble gesture lacking hate for yourself?

I’m hoping for the little kid inside you, the one who didn’t know a loss of innocence, and didn’t see tears stamped across their everything as blinders on a trail. The reality you share is nothing I can dare to compare to safely. I haven’t lived your pain, but I’m starting to with each new line.

You may see yourself as hopeless, lost, stepped on, and destroyed. I don’t. The world isn’t fair, safe, or righteous. Individuals are. In the hope of being all three for the sake of community, I will keep reading with hope for your health.

Your story reminds me of other people’s that I’ve grown to love.  Junkies.  Prostitutes.  Homeless.  Strippers.  Gamblers.  Degenerates. Victims.  Trust is recognition of a pattern.  I hope you recognize that what I’m asking for is what I’m giving.  Let’s trade giving a fuck about anything other than ourselves, because that builds happiness for everybody.

Take what the world has smashed you with, and frame it on the wall as you have.  I’m not asking for you to stop writing as you do.  I’m asking for you to add one thing.  You understand how outcast you’ve become.  You are not healthy, and are not mentally fit to blend in.  Neither am I.  Buff it out kid, and use it to shine.

My judgements of you and your writing are projections of myself.  I’m looking in the mirror of my tears and seeing you dancing to the tunes of your tortures.  You know who cares?  People like us.

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4 comments

  1. Better than bad? How about bad like Dr. John?
    Intellectuals are prostitutes of the mind. Investors are gamblers in the marketplace. Pharmacists are dope pushers. Television viewers are addicts. The only difference is, they aren’t made to feel ashamed of what they are.

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    1. Precisely. I’m glad you caught that. I don’t know who Dr. John is, but shaming other people doesn’t bring me happiness, and depression has taught me this through shaming myself. Judgement is a matter of perception. Good and Bad are polar opposites. I’ve found that my suicide ideation and the bottom of bad tend to ride the same train in my mind, and one of the healthiest things I can share from that, is my need for a flip of script. Artists are another group of misfits that doubt themselves and degrade their confidence with perpetual language implying it. I’d rather spend my time empowering the weak than doubting the strong. What do addicts, pushers, and gamblers have in common? In my experience they have a degenerative lifestyle. I can’t tolerate that from my friends in a mantra. Break it up. Flip the script. Share your doubts. Share your weaknesses. Vulnerability is priceless in friendship, and so is support.

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      1. Dr. John is just a piano player. He has this way of calling this musician and that musician “bad” with no special inflection, so at first you think he is saying that they suck… and then you realize he means “bad-ass.”

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