The Brutal Truth by Jonathan Harnisch
Introduction: Surviving and Thriving
I don't know what I'm doing anymore. I don't know what I want to see. My world used to be worth living for, but now it's hard enough just to be me.
Life is short, but it's also wide. So to my dear friends, fans, and readers, just for today, I'm done. I am done crying, fighting, and trying. I am just done. Ever feel this way? I sure do. But I feel I should be rewarded for my struggles and my pain. I will win. So my wish to all of you is that you never, ever, ever, give up! Don't you dare give up. Make a fucking plan and work for it, every single day, hour, minute, and moment.
If you want something badly enough, you'll find a way. If you don't, you'll find an excuse. There are only two options: Make progress or make excuses. No more fucking excuses! Excuses be gone! To quote Pope John Paul the Second: "An excuse is worse and more terrible than a lie, for an excuse is a lie guarded." Are excuses more important than your dreams? Live. Live life. Be happy.
Some days you have to say "screw it, I did what I could today" and just let go of all the stuff you wanted to do. Life is too short to be angry with yourself for being human. Your hardest times often lead to the greatest moments of your life. Keep the faith. It will all be worth it in the end. I am thankful for my struggle because otherwise I wouldn't have stumbled across my strength. You will survive through hard times. Just believe that things will work out.
I could go on and on, but I resist the temptation. Sometimes you have to hold on to your sanity. There are people that have achieved mastery by making you believe that you are the crazy one. Just hang in there. We are all survivors of something. We all have the scars to prove it! Just keep going. Just keep going. We've got the power! You can do it; we can all fucking do it.
I feel so passionate about this right now. I feel realistic and optimistic, all the while knowing that my moments, seconds, and hours bring change, all sorts of change. I think of turning this diatribe into a longer writing excise, perhaps a blog post or the beginning of my new book, The Brutal Truth—a book written as an affirmation of life. Keep calm, and breathe, one breath at a time, accepting, when you can, each battle, no matter how big or small, one step at a time. Take baby steps, if you will. Great times lie sparkling ahead.
Does my life preach louder than my writing? I hope so. However, realistically, sometimes it's hard to practice what I preach. I think this is common for many. Thank you for taking the time to read my rant of inspiration—my introduction. I am an author that mainly writes erotic and transgressive fiction, often with very disturbing clarity and embellished with addiction, fetish, lust, and love. My professional writing is known to use pornography as a narrative device. This has attracted much criticism, but I try to keep it real.
The bottom line for my literature is to inspire hope, inviting others to question themselves, their reality, and their sanity by sharing my complicated experiences as a result of my diagnosis with schizophrenia. My work has been considered brilliant, and I keep at it. My point in mentioning this is that I have a heart that speaks. I am who I am. That is for sure. Honest, brazen, and often uncensored—with a stream-of-thought style. I invite you, my readers, to allow the brutal truth to sink in. Take what you want and leave the rest. I write from pure passion at the moment and that will change naturally according to my fluctuating brain chemistry. I feel fucking inspired, determined, uncut, and raw.
Please understand we are all human beings. We all fuck, up, and we all have our triumphs. We overcome—even if sometimes there is no closure. I try to get by—today—just like everyone else. What is the truth, the brutal truth? What is the final answer to all life's dilemmas, to all our vacillations of mood, thought, and perception, to all our triumphs and losses? Jesus, I don’t fucking know. I don’t think anybody does. The invitation here is to question the truth yourself, over and over again. What about the grief, phlegm, delusion, reality, response, confusion, complications, and clarifications that we feel the need to explain in order to be understood? Or perhaps we don’t feel the need to explain?
My desire is not to be understood. I can’t even understand myself. Why is there be a need to be understood rather than just noticed, loved, hated, and rejected? Why can’t we simply be seen as lost as we all are—failed and flawed? The brutal truth for me is, at times, a sense, perhaps an emotional sensation—feeling bankruptcy, the bankruptcy of mind, body, spirit, and soul. What is the purpose of life? What is its affirmation? What are these big questions, these inspiring quotes we find online, and these gimmicks that are seen and sold on TV? Who are these fake people, real people, fake friends, real friends, enemies, and supporters that show concern, blame, apologize, and excuse? I just don't know.
I would like to share something I wrote on my private Facebook page: "I don't post much on this personal page. I get scared. I lie. I use people, and I suffer. No, I struggle, not suffer. I deactivate my account only to come back. I get frustrated, angry, and mad. I'm crazy, by definition. I am mad. I'm schizophrenic, and I often don't enjoy the decline, but I took my morning medication a minute ago and put on Duran Duran—they are playing on my favorite music playlist real loud. 5:15 AM. I realize that no, I am not scared. I am fucking determined. I'm a badass motherfucker. I'm the ‘King of Mental Illness.’ I'm smart as hell. No, I am brilliant! I love myself. I have a good heart. I'm beautiful. I'm often miserable. I live life. I live. I survive. I win. I lose. I rule. I rock the mic. I love music. I'm not stopping. I'm writing, posting, and publishing what I want and what I wish. Even with typos if they happen. I'm posting my accomplishments. My stuff. I'm barely awake still, but I kick it. Can I kick it? Can I get over the past? Can I get over the loss of my friends here on Facebook and in life? No, probably not. I kick it good. I am Jonathan. I am a living, breathing person, I am a survivor, and I know it. For today, I am just trying to get by, and I am unable to choose between different courses of action and opinions. I continuously waver through all the storms and sunshine. I keep hope and faith alive. I am doing my best as always, for whatever that's worth. My existence in itself gives me a reason to love, survive, and thrive—overall. And that's enough for now.”