This week's guest blog is from David Neuer, screenwriter based in Minnesota. Here he writes about identity in reference to mental health.
A very merry Christmas to all my readers!!
I hope 2017 is filled with joy and happiness for you all!
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David Samuel Neuer is a military brat who has lived in all corners of the United States save Alaska and Hawaii. He currently resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota. After being diagnosed with bipolar type-II disorder in 2006, he experienced an identity crisis that he just now beginning to share. After dropping out in 2006 from University, he went on graduate with a bachelor's degree in screenwriting in 2014, and registered his first screenplay with the WGAW (Writer's Guild of America-West). He currently writes screenplays for the film festival circuit and has plans to attend graduate studies in the spring of 2017.
Breathless beauty, I have found you. She sat across from me at a setting of dinner tables dressed in white like a wedding. The joke I had started with her was about a hypothetical memoir she will write, me making fun of her conflicting statements, her being witty. The title of her book was thus called The Paradox Within, a memoir to be written by her, accounting for the inner conflict within herself. I had labeled it a juxtaposition, or some sort of dichotomy. Either way, she thought my humor was enjoyable. I was somewhat curious as to why she kept telling me she could not figure me out. I told her the old Winston Churchill statement, you know the one, about the mystery wrapped in an enigma inside a paradox.
After dinner, some heavy melancholy made me tender. I could not describe this sad sorrow. Two different people approached me to ask if I was okay, to describe the problem. All I could do is equate it with not enough time to myself. That is partially true. The displacement I felt was more being somewhere that is so beautiful, I felt at peace, and yet, it is constructed, all just an illusion. Alas, the question plagues my thoughts once again, what is real?
There are so many directions one can go with that, and the two or three best possibilities are somewhat depressing. The night ended with not enough time to cover all the emotions boiling to the surface.
All the signs I have heretofore come across all point in one direction. If by some heavenly orchestration, it has been strewn before my eyes, forever impressed upon my heart. Being, after seeing what I have witnessed, shall no longer be the same. I have found a glorious emotion that springs forth from within, and it drives me, propels me, to not be lax, to avoid the fetters which the average townsfolk lives dismayed throughout the rest of their days. No, my mind and body say, 'Not I.'
There is a battle to control this two sided impulse: one, who shall go forward, and the other, which has given up. The clear decision lies not only in the fact that there is no decision, but to what this drive shall accomplish, where it shall take me, and how I will turn out, or to what extent of being or essence I will have evolved if/when I come out the other side, if indeed, there is another side, to what aim is it, and if there is not (an other side), then for how long must I battle?
Is there a point one must transpose that begets an instinct to do, to never quit, to not look back in fear, to wrestle with betterment, to refuse discontent, to reject complacency, to throw off doubt, to cast aside regret, to displace paranoia, to remove anxiety once and for all, to experience life as a human being without these, and if they shall be forever present, to what ends must one suffer to cope with such violent distrust at which the mind now wars with the body.
What am I to feel when there is no sense to compare it to, when I have emotions from nothing logical, what then is my worth? What if I contain a shelter with five different rooms for the senses, and no one ever visits the main room? What good does a self do if there is no head on ones shoulders, if there is truly no unified character to develop into a core identity?
The character beyond identity is ambivalent. This character has been plunged through the depths of insanity, received diagnosis, and is beyond the local scare tactics of words like insane, schizophrenic, manic, bipolar, psychotic, creep, mentally ill, madman, lunatic, maniac, etc. What I seek is a recovery from having survived hell on earth.
The imbalance is to know who you are and understand that 'you' is not the person you know to be yourself, that in a world of zero identity doubled with the loss of context, there comes a complete sickness.
After living with this sickness for a while, one comes to understand that one has always had this sickness, its symptoms simply becoming apparent at the moment in an overwhelming clarity.
A search to find the ultimate source of being, that of one's identity, if it so exists, is now the evident, clear path I must follow. Even if it does not, the process of writing is in itself the most therapeutic tool I have ever used in all my life.
If this writing accomplishes nothing else, it is to inspire the inept to pick up a writing utensil, start scribbling a journal, notes, pictures, a doodle, anything, but in doing so hopeful that the process may turn into some success or grasping for a more complete identity, to where down the road one may look back and say, when I wrote, the writing process, I had some sense of belonging, of being and feeling, and that in that, one may find hope to continue on through the drabness. That is my only desire.