A short time ago I asked John McAfee through Hacker Noon's podcast (although the question didn't quite make it thru the filters, by the time we got to community questions Bitcoin Jesus had 3 minutes before another call :( ) -
How does it feel to be neurologically atypical? How have you personally and professionally dealt with it? Any tips for other Atypicals?'
Now, as I've come to be nominated for Hacker Noon's 2020 Noonies in 3 distinct and separate categories - but especially dear to me, the Mental Health Advocate of the Year category - I think that maybe I have enough of a voice and a platform to weigh in from my own perspective(s).
What's more is that work at Coindex is progressing, and all this content will probably get a sh#tton more views once my result pops up for 'what's Jarett Dunn's net worth?' and I often wonder if that's around about the time I'll hear from my father for the first time in my life.
All asides, I was once a very strange teenager with what I referred to as a 'God Complex' manipulating for fun and profit and to propagate chaos for chaos' sake. I didn't realize really that all of these were red flags to what would eventually be identified and treated as a mental illness.
Those first few years of being diagnosed were really Earth-shattering: I lost most of my cognitive ability to the medication's side effects, I lost most of my friends, and I realized that my ways of thinking truly scared some people - due to stigma, usually, or some sense of self-preservation that didn't quite click with me.
So, for you youngsters (or older folk, too) out there who I'd identify as other atypicals - what sort of advice do I have for you now that I'm well past the 10 years mark from being diagnosed?
This is the biggest emotional and mental hurdle I had to learn to accept when I was first going through (multiple, ongoing) psychoses.
The things I thought just seemed too surreal - too unnatural, too far fetched - for anyone else to possibly understand or even conceive the things I was thinking. To this day I slip into whole other realities that can't even be described in words let alone communicated to another person - and the voices in my head bet on whether or not this is the time I'm finally not able to make it back.
Whatever your own hallucinations or delusions, it can be unimaginably lonely being separated from the community's consensus on what reality is.
Bro, nobody has the same reality as anyone else. Even the normies and plebs all have their separate, unique understandings of both themselves and their surroundings that their senses and memories tell them about. That they perceive. All value and all horror is perceived. There is no one ultimate unifying reality - they're all infinitesimally different from the next.
And that's ok.
Yours is just one or two infinitely tiny steps away from theirs.
And: you're not alone. Most of what you're thinking or perceiving is indeed a common, shared delusion. Whatever it may be. If you look around you and reach out, you will find allies.
Even if you're not 'crazy' (or even a little unwell) you might find yourself on a wavelength apart from everyone you've ever met and anyone you'll ever work alongside or underneath. Often, this kind of extreme intelligence will get you into trouble - and be an awful lonely spot to be in. Boring.
You're not alone.
I never really thought about these lyrics much until I showed up at my mom's doorstep one day out of my mind and unable to find words to communicate with.
She asked me if everything was ok. If I needed help.
I'd been listening to music all day, and the only thing I could think to say was the quote in the subsection title. I hadn't meant anything by it and wasn't trying to be cryptic, however, it sparked her to interpret it (with her usual sense of worry) and said '... have you been telling the truth in interviews, Jarett?'
The key is that you need to be truthful with your medical professionals as well as your circle of care. There are people who will help you and who will support you, all you need to do is give them something to go on - and if they happen to be prescribing mood-altering substances, for instance, it's wise for them to have the whole picture.
Be brutally honest.
This brings us to our next point: at a point, the totality of communication fails people that cannot keep up with your mental state and the way your mind works. This is true both of the crazy and the super intelligent. At a certain point, only a very certain few will understand half the nuances your brain takes for granted. Talk therapy is - by and large - useless to a number of people out there.
Do Your Own Research and try different avenues of treatment, mind you.
That said, in order societies there's actually nothing wrong with being either out to lunch crazy or bloody brilliant - both these things are acceptable, and a part of society.
Aside from stigma and labels, there's nothing really wrong with any of us - it's society that has problems. In other social settings we would have been given a mentor and learned a long long time ago, say, point #1, above.
Bringing us here to #4: don't want for others to understand your worth or your value proposition to start recognizing and celebrating it on your own.
You're worth it.
It's honestly a bit of Orwellian nonsense to doublethink yourself past the infinite bastions of negativity and self-doubt in your own mind in order to realize that every moment should be adored and that every aspect of you - really - is ok.
You're worth it.
Smile and celebrate yourself.
I can't stress this enough but the professional in me wants you to know that the more you write - the more emails you send - the more connection requests you make - all of this equates to (on the whole, holistically) more chance you get past an interview and start on somewhere.
Even if 2% write back positively.
That means that could be not even 1, or 2, or 20 positive responses, depending on the effort you put in.
This applies all round: keep trying. Keep getting up in the morning. There are days and weeks I've spent unable to move from my bed because the existential dread and horror were simply too crushing - but as you can imagine, not trying to try kept me from being able to change that circumstance and improve anything.