Lost and Found In The Truman Show - Kevin A. Hall
The greatest happiness is to know the source of unhappiness.
- Fyodor Dostoevsky
A Remarkable Guest Post: Reporting On A Trip You May Wish To Defer
A Brief Kevin Introduction
Kevin A Hall just sent us this report about his very personal experience of real mind convolutions with a Truman Show Syndrome/Delusion. Kevin is an extraordinary human being, on a serious path to contribute to the lives of those who repeatedly deal with the changing mind realities he writes about in this brief piece. Kevin makes high marks for courage and straight talk as an author, and he will soon also appear as a Guest Interview for a CBJ audio episode - scheduled about 2 weeks out for publication: http://corebrainjournal.com/015 - an unbelievable conversation.
In the Truman Show Delusion, he experiences life as in the Truman Show movie, as if he's on stage, filming, - and his life is orchestrated by outside forces setting up depersonalized camera shots from surprise angles.
First, you must listen to his too-short, personal remarks on world sailing, celebrity, the America's Cup, Olympics, Truman Delusion madness, and back. Before you look, take a moment to set the stage at this link for the Kevin Who. You must read Black Sails to help you understand his courage, his compassion, his humor, his concern for his family, his depth - the Kevin Why.
His evocative book, written in the form of metaphoric, Truman Show reality, somewhere between Hemingway and Dostoevsky - Black Sails and White Rabbits - takes you into terrifying places that will improve your perceptions and appreciation for those who suffer from mood disorders. You will live with him. You will see with his eyes, and live in his brain. You will share his pain, and his exceptional evolution.
A Telling Outtake From Black Sails and White Rabbits
“I quit! I just QUIT!” I said, lunging up from the table when my wife told me I couldn’t have another Guinness with my grilled fish. I stormed off the “restaurant dining room” set, flicking her the finger from both hands. I stormed past the “cameras,” leaving my kids, sister, and parents to watch me run away in anger.
I turned around at the front door of the restaurant and paused.
Hang on. The Director wants me to stay and work this out with my family.
I went back to the bar and ordered another Guinness. People were looking at me funny, which didn’t make sense if they were extras who knew about the scene already.
Hmm. Something’s not right. That’s one too many raised eyebrows.
“Kevin, that’s great you decided to stay here with us. I don’t blame you for being upset that your wife cuts you off. I’d be mad too,” said my sister as she pulled up a barstool next to me. I couldn’t tell if she was saying that just for me, or trying to get me back into the dining room. I wasn’t ready.
I’ve been doing what they’ve told me to do all day. All those scenes at Legoland, the singing in the store near the exit, the posing for photos… I did everything the Director said to do. I said to sis, “Surely, after all, I did today, I deserve to make one choice of my own and just have my own Guinness. Don’t I?”
“I think Amanda just thought that maybe the Guinness wasn’t helping, you know, settle you down,” said my sister.
“Why do I need to settle down!?!”
“Well, you did just tell your wife to ‘fuck off’ in front of your three children, and your nephew, and me and Bud, and your parents. It’s not like you.”
“Like me? Like me? You think I have a choice? If the Director tells me to yell at Amanda, then, of course, that’s ‘like me.' Jesus, sis.”
“What else is he telling you?”
If you only knew. I’m still here, right? I should just get a cab and get the hell away from you all. Always trying to shut me down. Maybe they’re trying to break me, get me to the hospital already. Maybe the scene is going too fast, getting out of control, and they can’t plan the next one well enough. Maybe I’m finally ahead of them….
“Sorry. Did you say something?” I said to my patient and calm, but clearly frustrated and slightly frightened, little sister.
Thirty-six hours later, I was back in the psychiatric hospital. For the thirteenth time in my life, but the first time in the past fourteen years. More Depakote. Back on Ativan. Locked door to the outside world. Close quarters with other people who had other challenges, but responded to theirs with the same malfunctioning minds and crushed souls as I did.
Much of this current manic episode looked just like all the others: delusions of grandeur. Specifically: “Truman Show Delusion.” Also, minimum sleep, short temper, decreasing judgment and increasing spending on books, art, and Kickstarter.
Some of this manic episode looked different, though. And that is the part I need to find the strength to be proud of. For one, I kept coming back to my family while at the Legoland amusement park, instead of wandering off “the set” and into the wide world. Even though the Director was telling me, I could and should just go, and that the village would take care of the family. Second, I also agreed with the unanimous decision to get me to the mental hospital. In fact, I think I suggested it.
After years of kindling acute manic episodes (sometimes as close together as three months), I finally had the practice, or the experience, to hear the Voices and still remember off and on that, they were coming from a glitchy part of me. That something wasn’t quite right. That I should play the role of the father and husband and brother, even if I was being asked by The Director to go save the world.
I think part of my “success”, if we can be so bold as to call a locked-ward psychiatric hospitalization that, came from the idea that it would make for a better show for the world if I did stay with my wife and children, as opposed to raging off the set and trashing hotel rooms before hitchhiking to Mexico. Or jumping off a bridge.
This gets rather interesting to consider: my madness made me do strange things which were wrong for my family. On the other hand, it was precisely the fact that the whole world was “watching me,” which urged me to try so hard to put my family first.
It goes without saying that not becoming psychotic in the first place would be an even bigger success. But that ship had sailed. This time.
I anticipate more travels with you on this journey. You are not alone. We love your courage. Informed navigation will take you where you want to go. Your good works keep us all on the Path.
The telling irony: you don't quit.