I tend to get sick less often than most people around me. Mostly it’s because they aren’t actually around me much. I’m quite an antisocial hermit–I will spend days on end without leaving my bedroom for anything other than food or using the bathroom.
Turns out being a hermit is a really good way to stay healthy. If we ignore mental health, of course, which doesn’t really matter.
Wait, why doesn’t mental illness matter?
We all know socializing skill matters more than feelings. What you do and how you interact with people matters more than who you are; your facade is more important than your heart. Pretending to be mentally healthy and learning how to survive in debilitating environments is more important than being honest and emotionally open.
Mental illness isn’t contagious. Nobody cares if you’re alone in the corner, because it doesn’t affect them. They care when you’re coughing and sneezing everywhere.
This is half a story. I’m not sure where the other half got to, or if there ever was another half. I’ve been searching for it, in all the cracks and dusty holes, behind mountains and among the stars. There’s been no finding yet.
I live here alone, and words are my home. The words are my bed, and my warmth, and my light. I trip over them in the morning; I weave them together in the evening. Sometimes I share, but words are delicate things, and many careless tongues have left them broken.
These words are barely five minutes old, and I’m sharing them because I’ve kept them to myself for too long. The sharing should have been sooner, I know. From the first day my destiny was always a half story, never more or less. And here I am, wishing there was another half; and there you are, wishing my half story had been at least closer to three-quarters.
Conceal, don’t feel. This isn’t just a line from a Disney song. This is a message sent to boys and men by most of Western culture, both secular and religious. Being emotional is a girl thing. Don’t be a pussy.
It’s harmful and cruel, not to mention insulting to girls—can you imagine if someone used your name to insult others by telling them not to be like you?
Harmful, because males have emotions. The pervasive idea that men have compartmentalized brains and inferior emotional processes makes men think they are weird, or freaks, if they show their emotions more naturally and feel more deeply. Cruel, because it ends up forcing them to live lonely lives, surrounded by people they can’t really connect with because the emotional vulnerability required to really become known is, in most contexts, considered weird or unacceptable for men.