The only constant emotion that I can recall in my life is restlessness. Perhaps it’s a state more than it is an emotion. I don’t care. The net effect remains the same. There is little that I can leave untouched. I have an incessant need to unravel issues that plague myself or others. I can’t let sleeping dogs lie (all puns intended). There are too many dogs that pretend to be asleep and in so doing they lie through their fangs in their efforts to garner social acceptance or admiration. They’re dogs, regardless of their pretenses.
The heart of mental illnesses lies in society, and not in the brain. There is no chemical imbalance that can be righted in order for it to right the betrayals of society at large, and significant others at the least. So instead of contending with the elephant in the room, we’d much rather pretend that we have a mental illness to deal with. At times like this I feel mentally ill. The same restlessness creeps into every thought pattern and disrupts my focus leading to angsty drivel that aspires to become a meaningful post. But I know that this restlessness is not an illness. It’s simply the reality of my attempts to live consciously.
We’re all alone. No matter how big our social circles may appear, deep down inside only we understand the gravity of being who we are, and what we fear. The social circles are just a distraction from this reality, but in no way erases that loneliness. It’s all just a distraction, but it’s a very effective distraction which is why we’re amusing ourselves to death, only to realise too late that we were in fact distracting ourselves from life. It’s therefore no surprise that avenues like social networking and technical gadgetry are increasingly popular to all generations and not just the young ‘uns any longer. We all need the distractions equally.
The problem is not in the distractions, or how they’re being abused. Those are just symptoms. The true problem is in a society that sees the need for escape as being a mental illness. The problem lies in academics that lack any real life experiences but feel accomplished enough because of a piece of paper to pronounce their judgement on the mental state of others without even considering the reality of life. That’s why we have the ridiculously high levels of bipolar disorder that is diagnosed in all spectrums of society, let alone depression and so many other abused terms of mental illness.
In a dysfunctional society it’s next to impossible to find a healthy support structure to avoid the temptation of labelling our mental states. Support structures are not synonymous with support groups, but are in fact the family structures and community networks that talk to the village raising a kid, rather than the village raising an idiot. The collective responsibility of society has long been abandoned in favour of individual appeasement and selfish goals.
The restlessness I feel is born out of this same dysfunction. But according to many, I could successfully be diagnosed with a mental illness because I have an insatiable desire to see wholesome values and communal living that is morally grounded realised in my lifetime. Perhaps I am mad. Perhaps my restlessness is in fact insanity. Perhaps my desire for old school values is merely my distraction from a society that has evolved beyond such wholesomeness. Perhaps I am that sane man that is compared to an insane society, and because the mirror with which I reflect on my life is that insane society, it is entirely possible that I may appear insane. Worse than this is the innocent soul that lacks such a realisation and still seeks affirmation from that same insane society.