Ode to the Functionally Dysfunctional

Depression. Anxiety. Compulsions. Just the top layer of my own personal dysfunction skin. University educated. Employed. Friends. Loved ones.  More layers, comprising some of the functional things I have sustained (somehow) over the years. I think everyone has layers, each in charge at different times and in a myriad of combinations. Sometimes I can be so depressed (dys) but so happy to be out with friends at a restaurant (func), that I manage to balance the two sides of me over a glass of wine (dys). Then I can be out on a glorious, sunny, color filled fall day like today, and feel completely content, thriving instead of surviving, in my new home and life (func all the way). All it takes is the big ball o’ warmth, a cup of coffee (dys), and some cookies (dys…but only a little).

Breaking it Down

My layers of functional are forever entwined with the dysfunctional, and perhaps that is how to operate as a human being.  I am driven by sadness and madness, fascinated by dark and cruel humans (for it is only humans who can claim that accolade), calmed by nature and cats, spurred to action by those in need, inspired by color, sound, and forms that are both functional and dysfunctional, like me. When I was young, I pulled out all my eyelashes, and no one said anything (the start of the dys?). Not my parents, not my teachers, and certainly not the one friend I had at the time. Then the bullying started and went on for 3 or 4 years, and still no one said or did anything (others being dys). Yet..yet, somehow I managed to do well in school, and later, when someone from junior high friended me on Facebook, she told me that I had been really kind to her (func). I don’t remember this, because I was running from the bullies at the time. And then I moved to England and escaped the dysfunctional world…but still I was there, lurking, waiting to drag myself back into the only thing I could understand, so I pulled and pulled, and gosh, there it was again, the dysfunctional inner self, watching as the functional self found a job, a place to live, made friends, and smiled at everyone telling them to have a nice day. Not sure if they did, because they might have been acting in their dysfunctional layer that day.

Building it up Again

I run, run, run, to get somewhere. And here I am in Sweden. Every year, every day, is a challenge. We tell ourselves, and others, that we are not alone. The older I get, the more I think this is delusional. I am actually alone in the final battle. Others can only watch and learn as I add and subtract the layers, as I pull myself apart and build myself up again. And I can only learn and watch as others do the same in their lives. But you might not be as lucky as me to be categorized in the DSM-IV more than once! And yet, and yet, I am functional and kind, and generous, even if I am a little fucked up. So maybe it is time to NaNoWriMo it all, share the fucked up with the world. Share the stuff I did right, too. Singing an ode to the functionally dysfunctional me.


2 thoughts on “Ode to the Functionally Dysfunctional

  1. Sing Hallelujah for other barking mad types, like me who is determined to see the positive in humanity, as if everything is a lesson or able to be transformed. That must be a disorder too! Or if it isn’t, they’re about to classify it as a disorder. Oops … adding paranoia to the list too then 😉

  2. We must acknowledge the shadows in our mind to be able to handle them. It’s scary to let them out in the open, but I believe we can master them that way. Thank you for this beautiful post, Amanda, and keep writing.

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