Creation as Healing

by Mason Andrew Freak

Creation as Healing by Mason Andrew Freak
Being diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia when I was around twenty-six (being honest) was a relief. I had always known. The way my brain worked was neither sustainable nor healthy. The professionals who help me think I suffered from childhood-onset schizophrenia and that I could almost function with it for whatever reason.

My stage name is Mason Andrew Freak, but everyone calls me Drew. I have lived in my car, abandoned trailers, and isolation. And all with the dream that it was for a purpose. With hope, God had a plan for me.

Listen to the album while reading the text.

“Get over your over-anxious Ass”

I still don’t know if it was worth it, but I wake up, and I create. I have been told I milk my diagnosis for attention because I idealize Daniel Johnston and one bartender who was very offended by my honesty about my determination. Told me, “I have friends with far more debilitating disorders than you, so get over your over-anxious ass”. And since then, I have done my best to avoid “milking my issues.” Still, I (even before COVID 19) only left my apartment for appointments. And now do those over the phone.

By this point, you probably think what is with the title of this post, and why are you contradicting yourself? Answer: I think the reason for my progress to a type of sanity is straightforward. I allow myself to fail and express my irrational compulsions through my art. This allows for an outlet for my unhealthy thoughts in a healthy environment (the theater of confronting the blank page). And this therapeutic way of expressing my compulsions has saved my life. Let me feel around in the dark till I find my way to some path in the labyrinth my brain instinctively creates, and I will find my way.

“You need to be more of a Man”

Safe spaces are necessary, maybe even essential to psychological growth. At least as a mode of expression. For example, my song, she wants it all (obey the call). The song is about my first sexual experience since a bad break up. The woman was lovely and ten years older than me. She was into BDSM and was not impressed by timidity. She told me, “I don’t mind telling you what I need, and you need to be more of a man.” I told her, “I am not comfortable with hitting women even with there’s consent.” She told me, “you’re cute, but that is what I need right now.” I got in the Uber and never have, and probably never will see her again.

The whole experience felt like an admission of my inadequacy, so I did what I do… I wrote a song. The song is more about the nature of violent thoughts and the fear and danger of encouraging them. But it was inspired by how weak I felt as the 31-year-old man that I am because I was “cute.” After all, I was afraid of hurting her and did not spank her hard enough.

So I got home wrote a backing track and improvised a melody and lyrics into a mic. It is more an example of the kind of thoughts I have and the fear of them I own, then directly about the situation with the woman. The dark nightmare thoughts, I used to have to pinch myself or shove my thumbnail under my middle fingers nail till I stopped thinking them. By allowing ourselves to express our terror, we take away their power.

The whole episode was the first time I had been out of my apartment since going to my grandmother’s funeral. She was my best friend—the only person who had never abandoned me. And the world is a worse place without her. I miss her. I am not sure if any of this will encourage anyone to check out my art. But I make it for me because the world has made it clear that any pity felt for my inadequacies as a craftsman is not enough to forgive me for not fitting in.

And maybe that and acceptance is as close as a cure to my problems as I need.



Artist’s Note
Knoxville, Tennessee
Punk, Alternative, Experimental, Freak Folk, Grime, Industrial
paranoia, paranoid, schizophrenia

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