How Do You Own Disorder?
"How do you own disordeeerrrr" - words forever etched into the memory of my university years in Italy, carried by the unforgettable voice of Serj Tankian. A song that became a soundtrack to wee hours of Tuesday night student parties in Padova. A song associated to wild pogo dancing and, in Italy at least, to social disorder and disobedience.
I never questioned that interpretation, as back then I truly couldn't fathom owning any disorder. They owned me. Being fully aware of my internal dysfunction didn't help much at all. Awareness alone didn't make it go away. It did however keep me far, far away from any drugs, illegal or prescription ones, as I knew I was an addict. A non-using addict, but addict none the less, an emotional addict with a high chance of substituting that dependency with any other that came by,
Fast forward some sixteen-seventeen years later, an avalanche of college memories poured on me out of nowhere one particularly rough april day, so after aaaaages I gave a closer listen to "Toxicity", which made me reconsider that question: how do you own disorder?
Any disorder, for that matter. I am sure that the standard medicine would pin at least 5-7 different juicy labels on yours truly, if I only would allow that. However addiction is not among those anymore. That one died in a two step process: the first huge hit to the beast was when I left my breathtaking scientific career to dedicate myself to music, the final one arrived after losing my second unborn baby.
Take the risk of losing everyone around you to follow your own truth, and it will empower you. Accept the fact that you will never ever hold that very kid in your arms alive, and you will be able to let go of pretty much anything afterwards.
But how do you accomplish that in the everyday life? What magic makes you pull off the day when you wake up with a ton of bricks on your chest, and the first thought that hits you is "Oh fuck. I woke up again. Not this shit again, please."
I have no magic cure-it-all recipe for this. But I do have SOME small considerations that have proved pretty helpful:
1. First and foremost: When utterly fucked up, ABSTAIN from taking ANY RADICAL decisions. Any major decisions. Any decisions whatsoever. Because it is likely that you will regret those, as soon as the brain fog lifts off.
2. Ask for help - be it a paid therapist of a friend. I do much better with asking for help from that first category, but I am learning to master the second one, too. For it is the most challenging one. It includes the concept of you being worthy of someone else's time and help. But self-worthiness is usually the first to die when feeling like you've been hit by a fright train. Regardless of all this enlightened self-righteous online facade that sounds like I got all my shit together, the naked truth is - I SUCK at asking for help. 3. Remember that despite all of it - YOU made it so far. Until this very today. Regardless of all the shit that has ever poured down on you. So whatever worthless, spineless, insignificant human larvae you may be today, this ineptitude made flesh-and-bone has made you come this far. Which is pretty fucking impressive.
No other magic cure-it-all under my belt when it comes to owning your disorder. Other than, perhaps, fuck the label. Whatever label or diagnose that is placed on you, DO NOT identify with it. Because you are way, way more complex, rich and multifactorial than that. Even though identifying with your disorder is oh so self-righteous and tempting. Perfect for utter victim-play and washing your hands clean from any personal responsibility when it comes to major emotional clean ups.
The entire concept of diagnosis belongs to a scientific system that radically cries for an update, as it reasons in fixed categories; and more often than not, it fails to acknowledge the uselessness/the vastness of the SPECTRUM of NORMAL.
The concept of NORMALITY is an apparent average value that the current society has imposed upon us.
Remember that not so long ago, normality also included lovely stuff such as slavery, religious inquisition, colonialism... Keeping people of color in zoos was abolished only in the 1958, when the last human zoo exhibition closed in Bruxelles. It was also completely normal to burn people alive if they dared thinking anything different from what the Catholic Church commanded, back in the days when the Church was also the main scientific authority (this includes by far the largest part of the last two millennia). Yay. If this is/was normal, I am happy to be a nutcase. Or a nutsac. I love nutsacs.