How to Be Free
Author: Joe Blow

Chapter 2
What I'm Not

Let me explain here that I have never done any academic training in the field of psychology. Iím not an expert, at least in that sense.

Iím an individual who has suffered greatly from depression throughout a significant portion of my life. And Iíve been diagnosed as being bipolar, having experienced several psychotic breakdowns.

The thinking which has lead to the ideas I express here has been driven by two things -

1. A desire to work out why human society functions so poorly and can lead to such terrible phenomena as the World Wars and the Holocaust. In my adolescence I began asking myself why, if at base what we most want is to be loved, then why donít we all just love each other. Are killing our enemies and accumulating wealth not poor substitutes for the kind of happiness we could have if we did that?

2. A desperate need to find a way out of a tangled state of despair so great that I twice tried to take my own life.

I offer these thoughts for what they may be worth. I trust that, if there is anything of truth in them, it will prosper, and if there is anything which is a mistake it will be seen as such and rightly dismissed.

All I can say is that these are the thoughts which, for me, have stood the test of time. For the last few years, as these ideas have become more clear in my head and Iíve overcome my reluctance to believe in myself, Iíve been free of depression and my creative abilities have flowered.


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