Overall, I'm a pretty sane person. I don't have an official certificate to prove my sanity, but I'm almost positive that one would be issued to me, were I to apply.
For the most part, being sane has worked well for me. Sanity is great for things like managing your daily life, accurately interpreting events in the external universe, or being allowed to use scissors. Also, living in the same basic reality as other humans is very convenient when negotiating a business transaction, pursuing a mate, or dealing with law enforcement personnel.
The problem, however, is that sanity can get really fucking boring after a while. The standard "agreed upon" reality to which most people subscribe was not really set up to be all that exciting. It seems to mostly consist of working, sleeping, and watching TV, and there aren't even that many good shows on. It's been a long time since anything has really surprised me. Also, I'm starting to think that maybe I've become too predictable, and, as any ninja warrior will tell you, predictability can be a weakness.
With that in mind, I've decided to go through a "crazy" phase. Just to kind of shake things up a little. I've known some pretty crazy people, and, to tell you the truth, it looks kind of fun. The only thing I need to decide is which form of mental illness I should pursue. There are several interesting psychiatric conditions which I've had my eye on, and they all have their pros and cons.
Here's what I've come up with so far:
This is one of my favorites, and has some very attractive features. For one thing, it would allow me to communicate with spirits, dead people, and/or aliens. I get tired of always having to make decisions for myself, and would love to have a voice in my head which told me what to do from time to time. Let somebody else steer for awhile, you know?
Another cool thing about schizophrenia is that it can instantly raise one's social status. With the CIA watching my every move through my TV set (they have the technology to do that, you know) and Tori Amos sending me personal, secret messages cleverly encoded into her song lyrics, I would obviously have to be a very important person.
The hallucinations would also be kind of neat. I don't do drugs like I used to (who has the time these days?), and it would be fun to watch miniature Indians in full head dress riding their tiny horses through my living room. I kind of miss those little guys.
The down side, of course, is that when you're schizophrenic, your non-imaginary friends can become very irritated with you, especially when you're always accusing them of trying to steal your secret biscuit (it has special powers), or of having your mother imprisoned in their basement. "But I don't even have a basement" they'll say, as if that somehow makes a difference.
Another drawback with schizophrenia is that it's usually treatable with medication, and the medication often diminishes your ability to move things with your mind or become invisible. If you refuse the medication, you might get put in a mental institution, which doesn't sound like all that much fun.
On the other hand... what is the male-to-female ratio in mental institutions? Anyone know? I might be up for it if the ratio is favorable, as crazy chicks tend to be pretty wild in bed.
I may need to do a little more research on this one.
This one's not exactly at the top of my list, but does have a few perks. Firstly, it would be fairly easy for me to adopt, considering that I already have a pretty high opinion of myself. As it is, I have a very flexible ego, and am able to think of myself as God-like, while at the same time see myself as lower than a cockroach. All I would need to do is eliminate the cockroach part, and viola, I'm a God.
The main thing that turns me off about megalomania is that it's been done to death. It's not the most original disorder in the world, and I could see it becoming rather dull over time. Also, it could get very frustrating, being constantly surrounded by low-level, incompetent, unworthy beings.
Like megalomania, sociopathy is not terribly rare, yet the benefits of this disorder are hard to beat. I've always admired giant corporations for their ability to completely ignore the safety and wellbeing of the public, while pursuing vast sums of money as if nothing else mattered. While corporations are not living entities capable of guilt, regret, or any other emotion, they do have all the rights of living beings, which makes them almost super-human. What a fantastic arrangement!
As a sociopath, I could be just like a giant corporation. It would make life so much easier. Caring about other people's feelings can be a real pain in the ass, as is the desire to be a "good person" or to "not ruin other people's lives". I'm tired of considering the needs of others. That's for pussies. But having unchecked greed, and doing what's best for #1, while relentlessly mowing down any poor schmuck who stands in your way? That's how shit gets done, baby.
This one is definitely on my short list.
Psychopathic behavior - while not necessarily very constructive - can be extremely rewarding in other ways. One minute your just standing in line at the grocery store, minding your own business, and the next you're jumping over the counter and biting the cashier on the face. That's sounds very exciting. Psychopathy is definitely a good one for keeping people on their toes. It also gives you a great cardio workout, with all the jumping around, attacking people, and/or destroying property.
I once knew a girl who, while hitchhiking across the country, woke up in the back of a van, thought she was still dreaming, and then walked into a grocery store and started tearing everything off the shelves, just because it seemed like a fun thing to do. When the stock boys assembled and attempted to move in on her, she started throwing cans of Hawaiian juice at them, while screaming that she owned every one of them, all the while laughing hysterically.
Now that sounds like fun.
Cons? Well, like schizophrenia, there's a very good chance that, after a few of these types of episodes, one could easily end up in a mental institution, or worse, jail.
That could be a problem. See, a few years ago, I kind of made a promise to myself that I would never go back to jail, at least not if I could help it. I know everyone has their own ideas about how many times it's ok to be imprisoned, but I've reached my personal limit. Besides, the last thing my résumé needs is another red flag.
This one is very popular these days. All the cool kids are doing it. As for pros and cons, Manic Depression seems pretty evenly split down the middle.
On the one hand, there's the mania, which is great. Having super-human levels of confidence and energy is a real kick, and can be very helpful when taking on large projects, like starting a business or religion.
On the other hand, there's the depression. There's not much point in trying to be happy or accomplish anything when you know that, eventually, it will all just crumble and decay back into the chaotic nothingness from which it came.
But then there's the mania. The mind explodes with ideas, and it's all you can do to just hang on and make use of it. Highly productive. Almost orgasmic.
But then there's the depression. Nobody understands you. Nobody cares. Nobody. But then, you don't care about them either, which is even worse.
The mania, however, fucking rocks! So many wonderful things to do! Everyone is so fucking beautiful! Just look at them!
The depression, however, fucking sucks. It's like... it's like... I dunno. I don't feel like talking about it. Whatever. Leave me alone.
Frankly, Manic Depression sounds exhausting. Besides, I already get the Manic part from time to time anyway, and I just don't see much benefit in adding Depression to the mix.
I think I can safely mark this one off my list.
Multiple Personality Disorder
Now, this one is just plain cool as hell, and is the one I'm currently leaning toward. For one thing, it's very rare, which is always nice. Also, it is not easily treatable, so I'd have a great excuse for not taking my meds.
As something of an artist, MPD appeals to my sense of creativity. I've always enjoyed exploring different mindsets, and this would give me a front row seat to the innerworkings of many interesting characters. Just the sheer entertainment value alone is enough to give this mental illness a high ranking in my book. Imagine being a Southern Baptist preacher one day, and then an Italian crime boss the next. What fun!
Having several identities to choose from would greatly increase my overall skill set. Depending on the task at hand, I could switch personalities on the fly, and use the talents of that particular person.
For example, let's say I'm downtown, and I suddenly realize that I'm completely out of cash. All I have to do is whip out my Gay Prostitute personality and earn a few quick bucks. Problem solved. Now, to the normal me, that sort of experience would be very disturbing, and leave me feeling dirty and confused. To the Gay Prostitute me, however, it would just be a normal, everyday thing, like eating breakfast, or getting beat up.
There are so many ways in which one could utilize MPD to overcome personal shortcomings. I've never had any luck with black women, for example. I'm not sure what the problem is, but I suspect it has something to do with me being white. It always seems to go smoothly at first, but as soon as they sense that I'm flirting with them, they start looking at me real strange, like I have a banana sticking out of my ear or something.
As a white guy, I totally suck at picking up black chicks.
As a cool black dude, however, I could probably make some real progress in this area. I would instinctively know what to say, what to wear, and how to act. I could totally bust a move on that hot black chick who works at the drug store down the street, and I bet she wouldn't look at me strange at all.
Also, it would help me to understand the complex issues of racism, and how stereotypes – even positive ones – can end up having a negative effect on all of us. It would ultimately make me a better person, because it would give me a broader perspective, more empathy, and greater compassion (not to mention the increased penis size).
Another thing I'm wondering is this: do people with Multiple Personality Disorder ever switch genders? I'm not exactly sure how that works, but I've always been curious as to what it would be like to be female. To that end, having MPD seems like a great opportunity to finally find out exactly what it is that's so fascinating about footware, or what it's like to “feel” fat. As a male, I've never considered “fat” to be an emotion, but, as a female, I'm sure it would all make perfect sense.
I read that there was this one case where this woman, Sybil, had 16 different personalities. That may be overdoing it, and sounds a bit high-maintenance for my tastes. I'm sure I would need no more than 5 or 6 personalities to get me through a normal day, and maybe another 2 or 3 for special occasions.
Well, I think Multiple Personality Disorder looks like a winner. Lots of benefits, and, other than having to buy several new wardrobes, I really can't think of any downsides.
All I have to do now is figure out who we're going to be. I'm already kicking around a few ideas, but if anyone has any suggestions, I'm sure we'd love to hear them.