Some people go through miserable circumstances in their lives, and if that hurt stems from childhood abuse or severe bullying, or some other terrible circumstances that make a person lose their innocence, then all that suppressed self-blaming erupts later in life, and results in the person either becoming dysfunctional, apathetic or predatory. Now the first two are far better than the third. Being dysfunctional or apathetic always is not healthy, but at least such people long for solitude, and if they’re gifted with abilities like writing, they just write out their emotion or lack of it, and slowly fix themselves with the help of medication and therapy. I’m Bipolar, and yes I’m dysfunctional. And I often feel nothing, but I write, and I’ve realized that it really helps. Yes I’m a nihilist. There was no Abrahamic Savior who intervened personally when I grew up, and even later when I was drawn to religion, it only caused terrible episodes of psychosis. I keep sane by writing about so many things. And yes, the medication also helps. So if you’re depressed, or have terrible mood swings, please seek professional help. I’ve tried to manage without medication, but I’ve often found myself quickly breaking down. These days I avoid any trigger, regardless of whether it’s online or in life. And I’m finally on a good combination, which keeps me going. So, don’t just think poetry or somebody else is going to fix you. No, you need professional help. And if it calls for medication, please take it properly, without skipping doses, or worrying about side effects. You can always consult a psychiatrist and change the combination. And if you feel like a relationship or friendship, or anything else is getting in the way of your mental health, break it off quickly. Yes, things often get ugly, but the key is to avoid triggers or provoke the other party. And if they provoke you, avoid them. It isn’t that hard to put people out of your mind. It takes time, but you can do it. For a short time hate ruled me, and I lashed out online, but then I realized that it isn’t worth it. It’s petty really. Now coming to the third set of people, well, they’re dangerous. These are people who want others to suffer, and they also need to seek help. They often take a sadistic delight in watching others in misery, and it isn’t hate that governs them, it’s the only thing that gives them momentary pleasure or catharsis. And no they aren’t always the clichéd hitchhikers; sometimes they’re male or female Bateman’s (virtual or real or both). Well, yeah, they can really get on a person’s nerves, because some righteous anger burns through most of us. But I’ve realized that instead of hating them, the best way is to ignore them, and not give them satisfaction. Now if there is a physical threat, then you’ll need to protect yourself by informing the authorities or using self-defense if it comes down to that. But if it’s a cyber thing, and you’re writing, and they seek you out, don’t confront them. It’s hard not to, but it’s not worth it. And the best way is to separate the art from the writer. Write sorrowed posts when you’re happy, so your replies won’t be depressing, thereby depriving them of satisfaction if they comment. Write horrific ones when you’re nonchalant, and people will think it’s directed at someone, but you’re really not doing that. The greater the distance between the person and his art, while maintaining the ability to convey emotion, the greater the artist. It has taken me five years of progressing from obscure verse, to imitation, to finding my voice, to confessionals, to parallelism to finally reaching this stage, and I still have lots to learn. And man, have I fallen short so many times, because of religious struggle, and other trying circumstances, and BPAD and OCD. But I can finally say that I love writing, and I’m comfortable here and now, and that’s all that matters really. The past is dead, and the future may not be mine, but I have today, and even if I’m a nihilist, and there is absolutely no meaning at all in life, and we’re all hypocrites and responsible for everything calamitous, and should become judge-penitents like Jean-Baptiste Clemence after much introspection and realization, and whoring ourselves (I don’t really believe that. I’ll come to that later!) I’m thankful for this huge kaleidoscope of so many experiences that I just call life.
© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)