One thing I’ve learned from my inability to assimilate into the working world: To get by, to be successful, to be self-sufficient, you have to be a little dull. And by dull I mean unaware of things and people that don’t matter to you and your overall earning potential.
When I’m deeply depressed, I’m numb to reality. But I’m often depressed as a result of feeling too much anxiety, of being too focused on the bigger picture. What I need to break out of my funk, is less feeling and more doing—more doing that helps me get what I want out of life.
At its core, therapy has been about making me a better consumer. If I’m “healthy” enough to work, then I can earn my own money and go out and spend it on things I don’t really need. When I’m in the throes of mental illness, however, I’m not at all productive; my “inward numbness” pits me against the system.
But people who display what I’ve dubbed “outward numbness” contribute to the economy, all the while caring less about what others think of them, or how mundane their money-making lives are.
Rather than turning my anger inward, into depression, I now realize that I must direct my frustrations out onto the world, so that I might make a name for myself—and a little cash in the process.