There are many ways to start a blog titled Pay Attention to the Man with Mental Illness! The title is rather self-explanatory, but also brings up other questions. How long should you pay attention? What subject should you pay attention to? Let’s clear this up, shall we?
Pay Attention to ME, not my Mental Illness
Welcome to the Gabe Show. I want all the attention, all the time. Perhaps that is a slight exaggeration but it is closer to the truth than me being a wallflower and certainly closer to the truth than me being a typical extrovert. The energy of people has always propelled me forward or pushed me backward. I love people. I am addicted to them. And, I want to be their leader.
Okay, leader is the wrong term. I don’t want to be responsible for them or tell them what to do or set boundaries or enforce rules. Mostly because I don’t want to enforce those rules on myself. Picture a free spirit and add a healthy dose of crazy.
Not crazy in a medically diagnosed mental illness way that involves treatment and doctors but the kind of crazy as in, “Gabe, you’re crazy!” I wear that as a badge of honor. I want that. I work for that. In my rawest form at the end of the day, that is probably the only single term that can describe me perfectly. I genuinely try to be the most memorable person people meet in a day. I’m delightfully unique.
In fairness, I am also legitimately mentally ill. Being bipolar is part of who I am. Which part, I have no earthly idea. But, I assure you, it’s in there.
I am loud. I am attention-seeking. I am charismatic. I am opinionated. I am obnoxious. I am witty, funny, charming, and larger than life. If you are the type of person that finds those qualities annoying then, well, I’m annoying. Straight up annoying.
It really is as simple as that.
Career Opportunities for “Annoying” People (with or without Mental Illness)
Here is the good news: I am a public speaker. More specifically, I am a keynote speaker and an educator. The only thing that matters when I walk out on stage is that the audience pays attention to me. I could deliver the best message, the most well-researched advice, or even the freaking meaning of life, but if no one is paying attention, it doesn’t matter. At all.
But, no matter what you think of me, you will remember me. You will remember I was there. You will remember what I said. Isn’t that the point of interacting with people? Isn’t that the point of having a message to deliver? Isn’t that the point of living?
And, couldn’t that be the meaning of life . . .
(probably not . . .) ?