Hi there.

Look, I have a birthmark on the top of my head.

Look, I have a birthmark on the top of my head.

Welcome to Nerve 10.

I’m Jordan, and I created this site because I couldn’t find mental health information on the Internet that I could relate to.

Nerve 10 is where you will find the most accessible, most meaningful mental health stories and poetry on the world wide web.

My goal is not to regurgitate technical terms and generic information—it’s to create a more realistic and helpful mental health narrative.

Is this who I am, the oddball?

Is this who I am, the oddball?

man doing handstand in sunflowers

 

I’ve always felt different.

And I haven’t always felt comfortable in embracing that.

I’ve been labeled “intense” more than a few times. When I was younger, I figured this meant that I was bad, broken in some way.

Now I know that not conforming can scare people.

I don’t even think that I’m that strange. I’ve led a somewhat normal life. And, depending on how you ask, I’m in a somewhat normal profession — the mental health field.

But I know I can be a bit too much for people. If I am passionate about something, I am really passionate. I’m ambitiously passionate.

I want to change the world with ideas, and I’m supposed to be too old for that.

You would think that, now that I am almost finished with graduate school, that this poor sense should have been knocked out of me by now. But it hasn’t.

I believe I can make a difference. And what’s wrong with that?

My mind has always had wild ideas. It’s always made a hundred associations at once.

I thought everyone’s mind did that.

It used to get me in trouble in class when I was younger because I would crack jokes off of some association my mind made. I’d turn a teacher’s comment into a double entendre.

I learned that you could only do that if the teacher liked you in the first place, so I got the teachers to like me in the first place.

Humor fills in the dark places. It makes them seem not so bad.

I think my life has been training. It’s been practice in the development of self-awareness. Now that I have some of it — I’ll never have enough — I know I’ve used humor as a defense mechanism.

Now I use it as an offense mechanism.

I use it when I’m bored or when I simply think my environment needs some improvement. Laughter can cure the most sour of hearts.

And then there was a period of about five months where my life had no laughter. I couldn’t find it anywhere. I didn’t think I would ever make it through that time.

Laughter is right up there next to breathing in the list of things I need.

You know, I used to be sillier.

But I’ve seen too much. I know that emotional turmoil is as random as it is brutal. I don’t wish it upon anyone. It’s a terrible paradox — you don’t want to have pain, but if you move through it, it transforms your life and your capacity to love.

I’m an oddball.

I used that as a pejorative for a while.

Then, not too long ago, someone who I really respect asked me why I call myself that.

“Why do you call yourself an oddball?”

“I just feel different. I guess I feel that’s how people see me.”

“Well, if you’re an oddball. Be the best oddball. Be the best, damn oddball you can be.”

He’s right.

I am the oddball. Coo coo ca choo.

My love/hate relationship with empathy and strong emotions

My love/hate relationship with empathy and strong emotions

Overthinking my way to anxiety

Overthinking my way to anxiety

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