Mano a Mano


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Mano a Mano

Does anyone else out there feel schizophrenic? I am. I think everybody is. Maybe that line between your split personalities is less delineated than mine. Most people have a fusion of personas. Overlaps and grey areas. Your personas are all fused into one, or the id, ego and superego if my Psych 101 serves me correctly. Mine are quite distinct. In fact, chalk and cheese, black and white.

Have you ever played Mortal Kombat? That's what happens in my head and in my heart, daily. I have two contenders: 'Rational Rob' whose special power might be derived from his alliterative name... You never know. And in the other corner there is 'Emotional Rob', whose special powers are derived from the collective and accumulative evolution of mankind's spirit.

Now picture a Mortal Kombat battle with these two pugilists engaged in a war of biblical proportions. Equally matched. Each knowing the weaknesses and strengths of the other and exploiting both. 'FINISH HIM' will scream through your crappy PC speakers as 'Emotional Rob' blocks an impressive combo from 'Rational Rob' and counter-attacks with a flurry of impulsivity blows and releases the awesome power of spontaneity, leading with the heart and gut; impervious to the wily, cerebral thrust and parry of his opponent.

Locked in an eternal internal battle. My cranium is a battleground littered with corpses and echoing with victory cries.

Perhaps it's the figurative 'devil and angel' scenario? They sit on my shoulder whispering things into my subconscious. 'Trust yourself and jump' says 'Emotional Rob'. 'Listen to reason. Look before you leap. It would be unwise not to; judging by what others have done and the mistakes they have made. History and experience prove it. Surely you can see that?' mutters 'Rational Rob'. 'Bollocks to that!' shouts 'Emotional Rob', 'I will suck the marrow; jump in the deep end and only then think about learning how to swim.' To which 'Rational Rob' replies: 'You're a fucking idiot! It's going to end badly and you know it!' 'Pfffft, whatever! I need to experience everything. Heartache and pain, love and happiness. It's Yin and Yang. You can't live in fear. You must just do it - whatever it is - screw the consequences. It's the only way to live life. It's visceral and raw and it's the truth. It represents everything that it means to be alive and human. Your rationality is a hindrance and a crutch.'

'It's not a crutch, you myopic lunatic! It's being rational. How can anyone make a case against rationality?' scoffs 'Rational Rob'.

'I can and I will,' replies 'Emotional Rob'.

Every day my mind is a boxing match between these two. I prefer 'Emotional Rob', but I love the way 'Rational Rob' thinks. He always makes so much sense and I would be best positioned to heed his advice more often. However, 'Emotional Rob' has lead me to paths less traveled. He has taught me the most, both good and bad. I trust 'Emotional Rob' implicitly. It's a roller-coaster ride though. Massive parabolic curves, waxing and waning between absolute gut-wrenching darkness and pain, but taking me into atmospheric heights of pleasure, love and happiness. 'Rational Rob' hates the roller-coaster. He is scared of heights. He is a fucking pussy. He does make a lot of sense though.

They both live in my head. Like an old married couple. Constantly bickering, but in a strange way, they both have a deep love and understanding of each other. I am forced to take sides in this argument though, like a reluctant dinner guest drawn into a domestic squabble.

This is my schizophrenia. This is my life. This is me.

Am I right though? Does everyone have this same experience? Or do I really have a split personality?

Who wins in your cerebral Mortal Kombat battles? And why? Who do you listen to? And why? You'll notice question marks are quite prolific. My mind is a permanent maelstrom of questions. I hate them. 'Tis but the curse of what is termed an 'inquiring mind'. I suffer under and rejoice my inquiring mind. It is yet another thing that convinces me that I have a split persona. Question everything! But be prepared for the answer. In fact, be prepared to realise that each answer is coupled with yet another question. Peace in my skull is my greatest wish. It is the reason I do 'extreme sports'. Nothing shuts up those two aforementioned idiots than throwing them both out of a plane or off a 3 metre drop on a minedump or off of a building or into any scenario where any lapse in concentration will result in death or serious, debilitating injury. I enjoy the silence, but I do not wish for the bliss of ignorance. I don't want to be a mouth breather. Living life in some catatonic state of vacuous stupidity. As much as I would enjoy the white noise of ignorance, I still relish my inquiring mind and what I have learnt and experienced because of it.

'Emotional Rob' is often the victor in my life. Unfortunately, it is - more often than not - a Pyrrhic Victory. The battle is won, but not the war.

And now, if you have battled through this post, you will understand me quite intimately. It's my own cathartic release and I can only hope it is either enlightening or entertaining, or both.

'Emotional Rob' signs off with a Shakespearean quote 'This, above all, to thine own self be true!' (tattooed on my chest, by the way)

'Rational Rob' signs off with an Einstein quote: 'There are only two things that are infinite: the universe and human stupidity... And I'm not sure about the former.' (not tattooed on my person, but equally as relevant)

9 comments for this post

Mark Apker

RIP my friend

Posted on Friday, July 1, 2011 at 6:38:00 PM GMT+2  

May you RIP! Say hi to Chris for me

Posted on Friday, July 1, 2011 at 9:49:00 PM GMT+2  

Can't believe you are gone. I hope you find peace.x

Posted on Saturday, July 2, 2011 at 9:18:00 AM GMT+2  

You will always be alongside me in the battle and adventure we call life. Your lessons, values and often surprising perspectives are emblazoned on my soul and worn with pride. You made me find the better person inside of me and challenge every thing. Thank you. I am honoured and blessed to call you a friend, and your light will always be held high through this crazy adventure. Much Loves, see you on the other side, high-five at the ready.

Posted on Saturday, July 2, 2011 at 4:21:00 PM GMT+2  

Brilliant Blog as usual, Rob! Miss you, late-nite-ninja!

Posted on Sunday, July 3, 2011 at 1:22:00 AM GMT+2  
Donovan Jackson

You were my best mate in the years when we were carefree, young, foolish, unlimited and untamed. We grew apart, sure. Life came at us with all its demands and responsibilities which bent us this way and that. I'm sorry I couldn't be the same friend I was back in those crazy, mad, wonderful days. I wish you could have reached out. I wish you could know how many people really cared about you. I wish you could know how much we all love you, warts and all.
I wish you didn't feel like you had to leave us.
I wish.
Rest in peace my friend. I will never forget you and the amazing times we spent together.
I'll see you in the next life, Splatch.

Posted on Sunday, July 3, 2011 at 8:38:00 AM GMT+2  
Michelle B

As someone who's intellectual, witty and openminded approach to life belittled mine. I will always cherish you and thank you for the wonderful times, the challenges to extend the boundaries of mind and limits and realness that was you. You truely were a blessing sent to many lives.

They say when people pass, one only remembers the good. In your case there is no bad. We lost an amazing friend and beautiful person. May you find all your answers and eternal peace.


Posted on Sunday, July 3, 2011 at 10:49:00 PM GMT+2  

Dark Enemy

How cold deaths grip
How fickle lifes hand
I will try to fight back
I’m taking a stand

Accept this challenge
Oh hooded foe
Should your advances fail
I beg you to go

Take up arms
Prepare for a fight
You’ve come here before
You’ll leave alone tonight

I do not fear you death
It’s not of my dying I’m afraid
I fear a world without them
To lose the lives we’ve made

Do not visit here tonight
You’re not welcome at our door
Please give me one more day
Before you take them once more

I know your blow is final
It will send me to my knees
Don’t strike just yet fair villan
I’m begging of you, please.

- I didnt you know very well, but will remember you always. I wish someone could have fought this tragic fight for you, and held you up victorious.

My thoughts are with your family, may their memories last forever but their pain eventually fade.

Posted on Tuesday, July 5, 2011 at 9:57:00 AM GMT+2  
Sandy Burton

I found this blog while searching for some emotional support for those suffering from schizophrenia. It is a sad thing that most schizophrenia in this world is ignored by those closest to the sufferer. However, most sufferers do not know they're suffering, until the time when a psychotic break takes them away from reality. Rationality leaves our brain and we suffer the true ravages of the disease. And even then, our closest friends and relatives seem unable to grasp that we're very ill and bound to hurt someone, perhaps ourselves.

Posted on Monday, April 22, 2013 at 8:51:00 PM GMT+2  

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