Embracing Disorders

Rob, thanks for your comment!

I understand you dislike the word “disorder” in its sense of upset of health; ailment. You probably thought I am using the term incorrectly, trying to describe in a dramatic way our desire to travel. Or maybe you accept such a condition as normal, as you yourself are a traveller! But I assure you, we truly were diagnosed by a psychiatrist with Dromomania and it is a mental disorder.

Dromomania-also travelling fugue, is an uncontrollable psychological urge to wander.[1] People with this condition spontaneously depart from their routine, travel long distances and take up different identities and occupations. Months may pass before they return to their former identities. The term comes from the Greek: dromos (running) and mania (insanity)

More generally, the term is sometimes used to describe people who have a strong emotional or even physical need to be constantly traveling and experiencing new places, often at the expense of their normal family, work, and social lives.”

-quote from Wikipedia

Let me explain some more.

In my previous post About Us I used the term “disorder” sarcastically in order to describe our constant desire to travel which has altered our lives many times already.

“The one thing the four of us have in common is a disorder. Many years ago, when Ivo and I were both eighteen, we would hitch-hike, bike, hike, take a bus or a train or even a plane (depending on our budget) in order to go to a place we have never been yet, or to escape from a place we didn’t want to be in any more. While hitch-hiking, we’ve been picked up by many strange transportations besides cars, among which: a donkey wagon, motorcycles, a garbage truck, and a convoy of mules led by gipsies in the Bulgarian mountains. In 1995, in a hostel somewhere in Slovakia, an ex-psychiatrist finally diagnosed us with Dromomania: a maniacal impulse for travelling, and we’ve been chronically and proudly sick ever since. The kids got this condition too or were probably born with it, and I think it might be contagious, as many of our friends, after spending time with us, got it as well.”

I didn’t want to offend nobody using the word “disorder”, not even ourselves. I think I used it accurately.

I have to admit, I am fascinated by the term and all its definitions, now that I think of it, especially the fourth one: a deviation from the normal system or order.

disorder [dɪsˈɔːdə]

n

1. a lack of order; disarray; a state of confusion

2. (Law) a disturbance of public order or peace

3. (Medicine) an upset of health; ailment

4. a deviation from the normal system or order

 

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/disorder

I embrace disorder!

The normal scare me.

 nor·mal  (nôrml)

adj.

1. Conforming with, adhering to, or constituting a norm, standard, pattern, level, or type; typical: 

2. The usual or expected state, form, amount, or degree.

a. Correspondence to a norm.

b. An average.

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/normal

Anyway, I believe that there is no such thing as “normal”. We all at one time or another feel different, act different, are different; with some sort of a disorder.

Today: a hyperactive kid is immediately diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder.

Today: we are being sold modified foods, fast foods, horrible foods, and immediately diagnosed with Eating Disorders.

Today: we are being subjects of immense stress: the gas prices rise uncontrollably; we lose our jobs for no reason; a crazy guy kills twenty kids in a school, and soon enough we are taking pills for Acute Stress Disorder or Anxiety Disorder.

Today: our kids live in a virtual world of videogames: they have Adolescent Antisocial Disorder.

(I think, normality is urban legend.It is also a fluid term that may change its definition according to historical, geographical, or social context. What is normal in Africa may not be normal in Asia. What was normal in medieval times may not be normal today. People once accepted slavery as normal. People today accept as normal such things like inflation and taxation in a corrupt system (isn’t that slavery again?), hanging in traffics for hours each day, or working jobs they hate in order to pay for things they don’t need.)

So, we have a disorder. We have many disorders. So be it!

Embrace your disorders and live with them, it’s normal!

Ivo, totally crazy at Siesta Key Beach, Florida

Ivo, totally crazy at Siesta Key Beach, Florida

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Categories: About Us, Reflections | 12 Comments

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12 thoughts on “Embracing Disorders

  1. wanderlust!

  2. Това ,което е НОРМАЛНО днес ,аз намирам за НЕНОРМАЛНО,затова приятели ,продължавайте да водите и живеете по този “НЕНОРМАЛЕН”начин ,за да останете едни от единиците напълно НОРМАЛНИ хора,живеейки истински,свободни и със смислен живот.Уви ,малко са хората като вас,който са намерили смелостта да избягат от тази лудост заливаща Света и да съхранят нормалността си!!!
    Обичам ви,и попътен вятър!

  3. Bravo! I have recently started a similar `experiment` to understand my `disorders` at http://www.zenstitutional.com. Like you, I feel that a word like `normal` either has no definition or billions, its a big universe. 🙂

  4. Normal, in my mind, is what is persistent in your own mind as a day to day – year to year occurrence. Normal should change constantly through your life. What is normal to you should not be normal to everyone… on such a large scale as this world “normal” (in my mind) is considered what the entire of society is doing together. It you choose to be like everyone else it may lead to losing your identity. My identity is intact though slightly fractured upon occasion. My brother and I have both started new blogs. I had personally left the “blogosphere” for about 5-6 years only to come back to it for personal reasons. I had been “facebooking” a lot, but I have found that Facebook is a large community of tiny blogs. I even joke with a good friend who used to think blogging was silly … but now he is so much into Facebook (his tiny blog) that he has become “normal”.

    • “My identity is intact though slightly fractured upon occasion.” -I have a beautiful quote from Oliverio Girondo from a favourite film for you, but it is in Spanish. I will try to find it in English or translate it for you here in a bit. Here it is en Espanol:

      De Espantapájaros

      Yo no tengo una personalidad; yo soy un cocktail, un conglomerado, una manifestación de personalidades.
      En mí, la personalidad es una especie de forunculosis anímica en estado crónico de erupción; no pasa media hora sin que me nazca una nueva personalidad.
      Desde que estoy conmigo mismo, es tal la aglomeración de las que me rodean, que mi casa parece el consultorio de una quiromántica de moda. Hay personalidades en todas partes: en el vestíbulo, en el corredor, en la cocina, hasta en el W.C.
      ¡Imposible lograr un momento de tregua, de descanso! ¡imposible saber cuál es la verdadera!
      Aunque me veo forzado a convivir en la promiscuidad más absoluta con todas ellas, no me convenzo de que me pertenezcan.
      ¿Qué clase de contacto pueden tener conmigo —me pregunto— todas estas personalidades inconfesables, que harían ruborizar a un carnicero? ¿Habré de permitir que se me identifique, por ejemplo, con este pederasta marchito que no tuvo ni el coraje de realizarse, o con este cretinoide cuya sonrisa es capaz de congelar una locomotora?
      El hecho de que se hospeden en mi cuerpo es suficiente, sin embargo, para enfermarse de indignación. Ya que no puedo ignorar su existencia, quisiera obligarlas a que se oculten en los repliegues más profundos de mi cerebro. Pero son de una petulancia… de un egoísmo… de una falta de tacto. . .
      Hasta las personalidades más insignificantes se dan unos aires de trasatlántico. Todas, sin ninguna clase de excepción, se consideran con derecho a manifestar un desprecio olímpico por las otras, y naturalmente, hay peleas, conflictos de toda especie, discusiones que no terminan nunca. En vez de contemporizar, ya que tienen que vivir juntas, ¡pues no señor!, cada una pretende imponer su voluntad, sin tomar en cuenta las opiniones y los gustos de las demás. Si alguna tiene una ocurrencia, que me hace reír a carcajadas, en el acto sale cualquier otra, proponiéndome un paseíto al cementerio. Ni bien aquélla desea que me acueste con todas las mujeres de la ciudad, ésta se empeña en demostrarme las ventajas de la abstinencia, y mientras una abusa de la noche y no me deja dormir hasta la madrugada, la otra me despierta con el amanecer y exige que me levante junto con las gallinas.
      Mi vida resulta así una preñez de posibilidades que no se realizan nunca, una explosión de fuerzas encontradas que se entrechocan y se destruyen mutuamente. El hecho de tomar la menor determinación me cuesta un tal cúmulo de dificultades, antes de cometer el acto más insignificante necesito poner tantas personalidades de acuerdo, que prefiero renunciar a cualquier cosa y esperar que se extenúen discutiendo lo que han de hacer con mi persona, para tener, al menos, la satisfacción de mandarlas a todas juntas a la mierda.

  5. Oh … and that picture of IVO is FABULOUS!

  6. So very true. I believe most of us feel like being “normal” is the right thing to do but very few of us have the bravery to stand up and say “I believe I am different. I am about to create my version of normal”. I love reading your blogs and remember the good old times where the 7 of us use to eat, drink and laugh together. Let the winds be in your favour! Xoxoxo

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