Sara Jakša linked to this quiz: What emotion do you create from?

The last question asks you to predict your result. From a list of 15 words, choose the one you suspect is you. I chose Longing; I got Alienation.

You create from alienation. There is a distance not only between yourself and others, but between yourself and what you are expected to be, yourself and your own humanity. Your honest self feels too divorced from what it should be for it to have any place among everyone else. Your art is an expression of your estrangement from normalcy and other's expectations.
It is strange and shocking because you feel that is what you are when you are not pretending to be otherwise. You do not create things to be pretty or pleasing to others, but to be raw and confusing. You have always felt different, so you want to create things that are remarkably different from the norm. It is an expression of your own strangeness, which seems to have no place but in your art. Your work is a sanctuary for everything that alienates you from the world at large.

Fuck if that ain't the truth.

My friend dropped this astrology caption generator in the group chat. I get a kick out of astrology, even though I'm a Capricorn. If you don't know, Capricorns are serious and ambitious; we're basically the buzzkills of the zodiac. Where Pisces and Aquarius have to deal with always being assigned to water, where Virgo is the girl boss, Capricorns have to deal with always being assigned hustle culture.

My caption is "Conquering goals, one flex at a time." No Capricorn ever had mental illness, I guess.

I recently did this Enneagram test that was going around because someone on Tumblr assigned Enneagram numbers to everyone on 911 Lone Star. (It's a REALLY long test, so settle in, but it's good—as in, it doesn't force you to give up your email for the results). When I last took an Enneagram test, I was a 4, the Individualist, which makes a lot of sense. This time, I'm a 5, the Investigator, with 4 coming close behind. (They call that a wing, when a second type is strong enough to be part of your result.)

Fives are self-sufficient and crave freedom and autonomy from outer world influences.

Ages ago, I read a book called Reading People by Ann Bogel. It's an exploration of her own fascination with personality types, from a writer's point of view. Yes, they're frivolous and fun. But the truth beyond that is that having a name for some aspect of your life is comforting.

Here's a study from 2019 that analysed the DSM and "concluded that psychiatric diagnoses are scientifically worthless as tools to identify discrete mental health disorders." That link goes to the University of Liverpool press release about the paper, but the introduction to the paper itself is worth a read. Includes gems such as:

Young et al. (2014) memorably calculate that in the DSM-5 there are 270 million combinations of symptoms that would meet the criteria for both PTSD and major depressive disorder, and when five other commonly made diagnoses are seen alongside these two, this figure rises to one quintillion symptom combinations - more than the number of stars in the Milky Way.

It's been since 2015 that I've talked to doctors and tried medication for my mental illnesses. It's been since high school that I knew something was different about my brain. It's been my whole life that I've never really felt like I belong. And still I don't have a name for whatever is wrong with me.

It's certainly some kind of depression, but is that where it starts or is the depression merely a symptom? I think it's time to accept that I'm just never gonna have a diagnosis.

But if I can't name it, how can I study it? How can I track it? How can I turn it into a goal to conquer?

If I can't name it, then who am I?

who am I?