Wednesday, April 8, 2015


The absence of profundity is always blocking me from writing. Yet, the chance to use the word 'profundity' has got the ball rolling this time around. Any profundity that may or may not have made its way into this blog has hopefully found its way into someone's life. This concludes my tryst with 'profundity'.

Thousands of dollars have been spent on my album and my graphic novel. Not a dime has gone into this blog. That is part of the reason why I have decided to collect my favorite entries and print a collection that I will give away. The rest of the reason why has to do with what the album and graphic novel have in common with this blog. Why not advertise my two investments in a free pamphlet when all three are about me? Ah,there it is. If you instantly judge me as self-centered or "all about me", you would not be the first. Let me set the record straight.

You may have heard someone say that we are the universe observing or experiencing itself. No? How about the Garden of Eden? Let's go there...well, not literally. First, we're one with God. Next thing you know, we're self-aware. Might these two concepts be related? Since I think about this stuff a lot, I asked someone what you would call it if someone studied it and that person said it's called 'Comparative Religion'. That sounds exhausting and potentially dangerous. So how does "me" come out in this context?

Zen master Yasutani Roshi said "The fundamental delusion of humanity is to suppose that I am here and you are out there".  Believe me, when I listen to my songs or read what I write, the notion that I am qualified to offer advice strikes me as preposterous. I immediately ask myself what I was thinking. Roshi's quote and the logic of the preceding paragraph are what straightens it all out for me. Trying to figure yourself out is no different than trying to figure us all out. Helping yourself in this way can be done and the results shared in the interest of helping others.

So let me share this booklet with you. When I was in a middle school, my class took a trip to our nation's capital and when we stopped at a rest stop in Baltimore, we were confronted by a man who had his own little booklets with smiley faces on them. He proceeded to tell us that it had been thirty years since Jesus first appeared to him on the wall of his prison cell. Then, he closed his eyes in prayer and asked us to do the same while we were whisked away by our principal, who was a nun at that. I'm not that guy, I assure you. Although, the smiley faces were not a bad idea. All I ask is that you take a look at my experiences and observations. Read about my book. Listen to my album.  Keep or buy what you like. Dismiss what you don't. 

Love and peace or else,

John Wilkey

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Stigma AKA Anonymous Letter Printed With Permission From The Author.

Dear YOU,

My identity remains anonymous because there is a stigma attached to mental illness in this country. The purpose of this letter is to address that stigma. The irony is not lost on me. However, neither is the double threat of silence and its evil twin, ignorance. No advocacy group or watchdog organization seems to have had any effect on rampant media speculation. As a result, public discourse recklessly associates precise medical terminology with all sorts of aberrant..., often criminal behavior. How can anyone expect you to feel comfortable asking for the help you need when this is the case?

The stigma is a farce because the term ‘mental illness’ is a misnomer. There is nothing wrong with your mind. The problem is your brain. You need your brain in order to function so I do not mean to put this lightly. Yet, regardless of your personal beliefs, the combined neurological and sensory data your brain produces does result in something more, something you might call perception using something you might call a mind. We’re talking about YOU. There is nothing wrong with YOU.
This should not even be about YOU. This is about your brain. Medically speaking, the information you regard as YOU is only to be interpreted by a professional as data used to diagnose and treat a disorder, an illness affecting an organ in your body. This should be strictly the role of a psychiatrist while therapy allows you to participate in your own treatment, on your own terms. Psychiatrists like to participate as well but quite frankly, all healthcare professionals should be concerned with your overall wellbeing. Now does that sound realistic to you?

As far as YOU are concerned, YOU are the sole expert, the lone advocate and the only qualified professional. Others may love you. Doctors may provide and act on data but it all comes down to you. You have to do the work. You must be your own advocate. With this in mind, trust your own judgment when you decide who to share information with and bear in mind that that is all you are sharing. No one can judge YOU because you are not giving them access to that. You are merely allowing them whatever data you deem necessary for them to assist you. If you all end up risking is breaking the silence and wasting time on the ignorant, this is not your problem.
Continue to do the work. Take care of yourself. There won’t be any certificate or medal. Don’t get hung up on the notion of others understanding YOU. Just demand their respect and attention. One day, you may find yourself wishing to share your success with others and write a letter just like this one. Who knows? Maybe you will even sign your name at the end.



Saturday, March 7, 2015

Air Quotes

Dr. Evil on Mental Health Awareness
ADD or ADHD "Short attention span"
OCD "Anal" or "Meticulous"  
Bipolar Disorder  "Crazy" or "Moody"
Anxiety "The Jitters"
Depression "The blues"

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Stoic Irony


SCENE: A therapist's office. The session is just wrapping up.

Doctor: So it sounds like you're still doing a great job of keeping your symptoms under control.

Patient: Yup.

Doctor: So what would you say is your biggest problem?

Patient: Getting anyone to believe I have a problem.


Sunday, February 1, 2015

Break On Through Despite The Sign

                Working as a concierge has reminded me of how much doors can teach us about human nature. Oh, and I don’t mean that in the sense that led to Jim Morrison to name his band. I mean actual, physical doors and modern man’s ongoing struggle with their use and the various stages of ‘open’ or ‘closed’. A locked door with a security alarm can destroy whatever is left of one’s faith in humanity. Try sitting in a Barnes and Noble with a good view of such a door and watch customers walk directly at the sign warning them of the alarm with zero hesitation as they plough into it. Ever been just slightly out of someone’s field of vision and still know that person might bump into you because their inability to see an object means they stand no chance of avoiding it? Or perhaps you’ve wanted to discuss the basic concept of free will with another human being? Just be prepared for the conversation to end at “I come and go as I please.”  So, doors! Step through one with me. It’s metaphorical.

                One of my job requirements as a concierge is to press a button that opens a locked door. If anyone tries to open said door otherwise, an alarm will go off. This is called security. In case this concept is lost on some, there are signs on either side of the door that not only explain it but they indicate a special button that, when pressed, alerts me to their need to pass through the door. Despite this, there is never a moment that I am not using all of my sensory awareness to anticipate a human being seemingly attempting to crash through the entrance like one of the zombies they most likely can’t wait to watch on television later that day.

                Most people open doors as if there were no possibility that anyone could be on the other side. Meanwhile, I never approach a door directly, but from an angle. Guess which type of person is perceived as the strange one. Yet, I have a theory that may explain this aspect of humans and their relationship to doors. People are not born with the ability to understand something developmental psychologists refer to as object permanence. This means that when they can no longer see something, it ceases to exist to them. The game, ‘peek-a-boo’, originated as a way to teach object permanence to infants. It really isn’t hard to argue that human beings continue to cling to that which they can see. So, next time you pass by a door, think of the likelihood that someone might be on the other side and have no idea you exist! It will improve your reflexes.

                Freedom! If you’re William Wallace and you’ve just seen your dead lover walking through the crowd, it’s something you yell before getting your head lopped off. If you’re someone on the wrong end of a locked door that someone else controls, it is something that, on some level, you feel you no longer have. Don’t believe me? Ask a nursing home resident, a mental patient or a resident in a rehab facility. The fact that they are currently guests in a controlled environment to which they either agreed to be a part of or currently are in no condition to be in any other environment no longer registers with them. Being on the other side of that door makes them a “prisoner”, in their own words. Yes, each of them is Andy Dufresne in Shawshank State Prison, only none of them will be likely to concoct a genius escape plan involving a rock hammer, a Raquel Welch poster and a crawl through a sewage pipe.

                Before I was a concierge, I was a high school English teacher. The image of a young man violently pulling on a locked door leading to a classroom that he did not even belong in still resonates with me, mainly because it still makes me smile. Reminding him that he was not only yanking on a locked door but no reason existed for him to be admitted entrance required a verbal exchange that I enjoyed for its absurdity. The profane response I received was even better. Jim Morrison may have been a deep fellow with a talent for lyrics but when it comes to doors, I find that watching a man literally trying to break through to the other side while staring at a sign explaining why he cannot is a good time all by itself.