There is not a Right Way to Exist

I think the great thing about my business relationship (and friendship, for that matter) with CEO Sarah Fader of Stigma Fighters (the mental health non-profit I direct the board of), who also directs social media of OCH (thank you, Sarah, I could not survive without you) is that we disagree, a lot. It’s healthy for a company of this caliber, I think, to be run by two individuals that have independent perspectives fueled by their own experiences with mental illness (providing that they are both functional enough to run a company, which we both are). There is a mutual respect from each side for each distinct opinion because our friendship has promoted the understanding that we both know what the fuck we are talking about most of the time, and that allows us to honestly say, “hey, that makes sense,” instead of the typical disrespectful corporate standpoint of, “hey, fuck you, I’m right and you’re wrong” because there is no right or wrong way when you’re not making any fucking money.

(That was a joke.)

You know, Sarah catches a lot of flack for posting on Facebook as much as she does. She constantly has to defend herself by explaining that she is anxious (hello, panic disorder) and therefore needs to be in constant communication with Everybody in the World because if she’s not her brain will eat itself, which is probably true. I’ve had my own bout with anxiety and depression when I was first diagnosed with schizophrenia, and though my symptoms more closely mirror someone of autism rather than any human with a mental illness now, I remember. I remember being uncomfortable in my own brain and seeking out the brains of others for comfort and solace, in a totally non-zombie way.

But, if you took the time to really pay attention and look under the surface of Sarah’s obsessive Facebook posting (it is obsessive, but not in the way you think, I’ll get to that), you would see that she doesn’t even really post on Facebook that much. I mean, it’s more than the average person using Facebook, because the average person is not a writer who is required by some fucking higher power (y’all know what I’m talking about, come on) to post every two hours even if it’s some bullshit that nobody cares about, as long as you post something. And Sarah posts no more really than any other writer does.

Except Sarah doesn’t post bullshit. Sarah posts what is really on her mind, even if it is unfiltered, and inappropriate, to some people, and really, really crazy, to any man who has ever called a woman crazy in his life. Sarah writes and shares on Facebook exactly what is on her mind at the time that it is on her mind because that’s what panic disorder is. You take the thing that makes you panic out of the panic machine and guess what, you stop panicking. Wouldn’t you do the same thing, really? Or would you torture yourself? No one wants to torture themselves on purpose, except maybe celibate people.

(I’m sorry, celibate people. I could not resist.)

I mean:

Vaginas. Good night, friends.

Posted by Sarah Fader on Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Sarah, what? Just…what?

Like I said, Sarah Fader gets a lot of flack for her Facebook identity. You would be like WTFSARAH too. I do, sometimes. But things like this, it was on her mind, at the time, vaginas, for whatever reason, and you have to hand it to her for her integrity. She has no filter and she owns it and you know she won’t ever lie to you because she is OBVIOUSLY a horrible liar, at being normal, in general. She is honest, in a way that most honest people are not, and for that, you can trust her. She will not betray you and you know that because if you are friends with her on Facebook you know that she just really does not give a fuck. I’d like to say that she learned that from me but that is probably just me being a narcissist.

(I’m sorry, narcissists. Actually, no I’m not. If you’re a narcissist, fuck you.)

The real problem with the people that have a problem with Sarah Fader’s obsessive Facebooking is not that she’s crazy; their problem is that she is honest, and people are still scared of honest, especially on the Internet. She is obsessive in her honesty, not in the amount of times she posts per day, and anything misunderstood can be offensive to some people.

But I did not come to this place to talk shit about everybody. In fact, the point is, if you are not dreadfully honest about what is really in your brain on the Internet, you are not wrong, either. And you are not a liar.

I struggle with being honest and appearing vulnerable. I feel it’s better to tell the truth and reveal vulnerability then hold back and lie.

Posted by Sarah Fader on Saturday, December 26, 2015

The second part of her statement is essentially me, even if she didn’t mean for it to be about me. There is a famous quote by a famous woman whom I call grandmother that says you should never let anyone see you cry. This is something that was plotted so deep inside my existence from a young age that it is never going away. I could be dying inside and no one would know it, unless they asked, and even then, I probably wouldn’t tell them unless they forced me to do so (which the people in my life do, Sarah, and my boyfriend, included).

But I don’t think it’s a lie, per se. This is of course the thing your mother tells you when you say “it’s not a lie, I just didn’t tell you” and she’s like “THAT’S A LIE.” But it’s not, by definition, that’s just something mothers say because they’re pissed off and don’t know what the fuck else to say.

Choosing not to say out loud, or to write publicly, that you have vaginas on your mind, is not a lie. Some people call it grace, some people call it being shy, but it’s not a lie. It’s just how we choose to express ourselves, or not, and that’s perfectly okay. No one really gets to tell an adult how to act or how to speak or write or how to exist. Someone may have a problem with you (especially on the Internet), but hey, that block button is there for a reason, and, in my experience, there is definitely a block button in real life.

It’s called fuck off.


A Bestselling Author, NPO VP, and Psychology Today Blogger from Burbank, California, Allie Burke writes books she can’t find in the bookstore. Having been recognized as writing a “kickass book that defies the genre it’s in”, Allie writes with a prose that has been labeled poetic and ethereal.

Her life is a beautiful disaster, flowered with the harrowing existence of inherited eccentricity, a murderous family history, a faithful literature addiction, and the intricate darkness of true love. These are the enchanting experiences that inspire Allie’s fairytales.

From some coffee shop in Los Angeles, she is working on her next novel.


9 thoughts on “There is not a Right Way to Exist”

  1. I’m thinking of a Scottish saying, I may have the spelling wrong, but here goes; Drie your own weird. Do your own strangeness, is how I take it. Allie and Sarah, you are an awesome model of friendship and tellers of truth, each in your own way. Thank you, both.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I definitely post a lot on Facebook… my brain goes a thousand miles a second at times (used to be about 10 million miles), so writing is how I keep the flow going. If I don’t write, I get backed up, and then my head gets muddy, and I can’t interact with people properly. Facebook really is my therapy.

    Liked by 1 person

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