Colony of Losers- Fuck Stigma and Mental Illness, I'm like 25

Surviving your Quarter Life Crisis and becoming an adult

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Posted on | August 4, 2018 | No Comments

The Turing Test misses an essential point.

It’s not just robots who are trying to pass themselves off as humans. It’s every single one of us. Even you. Yes, you Dick Warshimer. You in particular Warshimer! Fuck you, Warshimer!

And back to it….

We are not striving to be excellent. But to be accepted for what we already are.  Shame is a universal and powerful sensation known to everyone who isn’t a sociopath. Shame is fundamentally about a desire to fit in. As our rules of interaction get more complicated our sense of shame grows proportionally. We post pictures to prove that we belong. Alongside these pictures we write colourful captions to explain our experience. This desire to explain our experience is impossible to turn off and can be incredibly toxic to our well being.

So when something bad happens we immediately try to uncover the story behind it. Because we have taught ourselves this is what life is. An experience unfolding to teach us something about ourselves. We tell ourselves two incredibly contradictory things when something awful happens: 1) we are awful and worth nothing 2) this particular nothing that we are is at the centre of the universe. Shame is a desire to control our experience by claiming total responsibility for it. It’s also the pearl inside the seashell of the lie of meritocracy of capitalism. We get what we deserve. Because otherwise we would probably be joyously murdering the rich right now.

My point is this.

If you think the world and everything that happens in it is a moral lesson for you, you’re crazier than I am when I think that exact same thing. People love you. If bad things happening to other people is to teach you a lesson then you also think for some reason God became obsessed with you. It’s like I didn’t like your train of thought so I made this plane fall out of the sky. Your sins are rarely in proportion to the worst things that happened to you. Fiction isn’t an actual depiction of life. It’s about our intense human desire for meaning.

Life doesn’t hit you because you deserve it. Life hits you just because life is a fuckwad who got too drunk.

In no way is the world fair. If you think you get what you deserve you’re wrong. You don’t. If things are going well you are lucky. If things are terribly you are the victim of bad luck and probability. If you disagree with this concept consider the child walking down the street who gets by the drone. What positive thinking mantra did you read that made you better than him? What thing did you do in a past life that made you white and born in Canada with a devilishly handsome Macaulay Culkin like face?

The story of your life is not terribly different from that of a leaf that is torn from a tree by a gust of wind. You don’t have control over your health, the weather, your bank balance. But we have to pretend. Because people believing that makes life feel wonderfully insecure. Our ability to story tell is a trick we play to make our lives feel important and to imagine there is a meaning behind every time the world raises its hand and slaps us in the face. But the world isn’t even a thing. Anymore than God is a thing. It’s a collection of billions of individual elements that are unaware of your existence.

The problem is that this storytelling delusion while comforting makes us feel like absolute shit when something bad happens. Because it implies that this part of a story that you are supposed to learn from. And you have to find that rainbow as fast as you possibly can. So that you can skip process the pain you are experiencing. Thinking about how quickly you go from feeling terrible to wondering what you did to deserve this and what you can do to solve it to prove that you get the point. Because we are inundated with narrative. Think of how many feel good stories have headlines like this, “Blind man proves you can deal with anything..and start a business.” or “Man without hands plays the guitar proves anything is possible..”

Since you are also pressured to be positive about life, you are subconsciously encouraged to blame your mind state for the things you can’t control. Which is another hilarious insanity perpretrated by capitalism. It’s the equivalent of he hits you because you don’t show him you love him enough. No, once again, I remind you that life is a fuckwad.

To me the meaning in life is something we invent. It’s a love song the people closest to you write every time they think about you. When the world hits you, know that there are people who are thinking about every great thing about you and they are raging, wishing the world was a person so they could strangle it for its sheer stupidity in fucking with you. We walk around trying to pretend we don’t love each other as much as we do. Because it’s crippling how much we love each other, how much I love you. And it takes moments like this to remind us.  Because it fucking sucks that the most important pieces of our heart live outside of our bodies.

This isn’t some sort of math equation that makes everything fine. Sure, you appreciate life. But this didn’t happen to make you do that. That’s another story, that tries to transmute horror into beauty in one easy step. It’s just a reality. You are loved so much more than you could ever understand.

When something bad happens you have to notice what you’re feeling.

In all of the intense pain it represents. Because unless you feel it, it gets stuck inside you. Like a child waiting for a hug. And you deserve that hug. Because you, this nothing that controls nothing, is so exceptionally deserving of all the love that the indifferent and cold world has gifted you with. That kid doesn’t need an inspirational story about how this is going to get you a book deal, and an eventual trip to Florida. Or a screaming lesson about how you should have not eaten pie that one time. It needs a hug. Give it a fucking hug.

I get when you don’t know what to say.

Because when the worst happens I don’t know what to say.

I don’t know what to do with the fear or the love and my tongue gets tied. Because I wish I could take it away. Like you’ve wished you could take it away when I was in a bad place. Because love is like that. Stronger than any force in the world in sensation and also completely powerless.

Bad things don’t happen for a reason. You didn’t do anything to deserve the worst things that happen to you. Take a breath and realize how fragile this world is and how weak we are against the forces that push down on us and try to be as kind as you can. And know that there are people who smile when they think of you. Who have fallen deep and you’ve caught them and they remember that. Who laugh when they think of the way you tell jokes. Who know that you are in pain and would do anything to take it away. That’s the shit you deserve. Because you earned that. Every single day of being a great person you earned that love. By being you.

All of the good things. Those came with intense effort and thought and consideration. And that’s what your responsible for. How much we all fucking love you.

Everything else is just shit we are going to deal with together.

 

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  • About

    Michael Kimber is a 26-year-old journalist who suffered a nervous breakdown on November 3rd, 2009. On March 28th, 2010 when he recovered from mental illness, he began writing a blog called Colony-of-losers. About falling on your face to figure out who you are and the hilarious antics of a blond jew. What began with a few friends and his mother reading has become a cult phenomenon, averaging 10,000 views a week, receiving praise from Commonwealth Award Winner Shandi Mitchell and many others. On, November 3rd, 2010, the one year anniversary of his mental breakdown he signed with Anne McDermid and Associates, the largest literary agency in Canada. In a year he went from wearing pajamas, making his couch depression HQ to leaving his hometown for the Toronto, where he exclusively wears business suits and the armor of ancient Greeks. Don't worry, he's still choking on the feet he contently sticks in his mouth and making moments awkward just by being part of them. During these struggles he met other talented bastards and drew them into his circle. Peter Diamond became his illustrator. Patrick Campbell his video editor and part time photographer. He recently added the incredibly talented John Packman as Colony of Losers Toronto photographer. Without the support of the Colony of Losers, Michael Kimber would be nothing. Welcome to the losers and the success that comes from utter and complete failure. You aren’t alone. Follow him on twitter.com/colonyoflosersand twitter.com/quimbo. If you’d like to hire him for a public speaking engagement for mental health events in Toronto, like to arrange an interview, offer millions to publish his book or for another reason contact Michael please email him. And join his facebook Colony of Losers.

    Really obvious disclaimer:
    I’m not a trained psychologist. Just a fellow traveler. If you need help seek it from the professionals. The Canadian Mental Health Association provides a help locator. You can find crisis resources provided by the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention. If you are in the states check here. It will give you services by zip code. I’d also recommend checking out Mindyourmind.ca. I think they do great work and have been a help to me personally.

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