Crazy & Functional

Can your life be so crazy that it ends up making you functional?

Learn More
 

Functional & Crazy

Can your life be so functional that it ends up making you crazy?

Learn More

About michelle l. manning

Origin Story

How do you solve a problem like Michelle?

The answer to this question seemed to confound the people who knew me best. Like my mom. Who insisted I distribute the senior portrait she paid for in lieu of the self-portrait-on-a-sticky note I trusted would represent my character much better than the hand-under-the chin portrait preferred by my peers.

How does a problem like Michelle end up treating the problems of others?

This is the true head-scratcher. Never the sharpest tool in the shed, it’s safe to say that I’m not the most sensitive/sympathetic/thoughtful and/or considerate tool either. You know, all the things that make someone a good therapist.

And yet, despite the sensibilities I’d have even if raised by wolves; the protestations of grad school (concerned my authentic sensibilities more closely resembled an authentic psychopath); and/or my phobic response to the phrase, “How does that make you feel?”, She, of Zero Sympathy, happens to be a pretty good therapist. For one reason …

What’s in the water?

Conventional ideologies and I have had a love/hate relationship throughout my life. Like water pouring from the tap, they were filling my glass always trying to tell me what it is to be a girl; what it is to be successful; what it is to be happy.

For most people, conventional confines appeal to who they are or who they want to be. For me, conventional confines are just that: confining. Yet unlike most people, they failed to determine whether I liked myself in the morning. Only my identity could do that.

But the ability to distinguish between conventional ideologies and authentic sensibilities is not what makes me a good therapist. I’m a good therapist because I love my job. And what’s not to love?

I work with people on a daily basis who want more from life than what they’re getting. And they’re investing their time, money, emotional security, and energy into learning how to make that happen. Learning how to find the path toward peace of mind. Even if it’s bumpy.

And since I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed, the bumpy path tends to be my preferred route. But that’s what seatbelts are for … right?

Read More

Crazy & Functional

I guess that depends on how you define the term crazy and how you define the term functional. If crazy can be defined as unapologetic … and functional can be defined as peace of mind, then who is anyone to judge?

Although when I began working as a mental health therapist, I quickly found myself wanting to pull up an additional chair for the judgment accompanying my clients. The clients drowning in a sea of shame, blame, and guilt without having anything to be shameful of … guilty for … or even a valid reason to blame themselves.

Nothing was making sense about this work that I loved so much thanks to that triad infiltrating my clients’ self-perception. Yet what made even less sense was the fact that, for the most part, my clients looked up to me. Looked to me for the stability, the strength, and the resilience that could only come from a functional life. Or so they thought …

Fasten your seat belt. Chapter 1 begins here.

Buy Here

Functional & Crazy

Can your life be so functional it ends up making you crazy?

I guess that depends on how you define the term functional and how you define the term crazy. If functional can be defined as the conventional ideal … and crazy can be defined as anything else, then who is anyone to judge?

Yet when I began working as a mental health therapist, I became full of judgment. The kind of judgment that comes when you feel like you suck as a therapist. All I wanted was to be the type of therapist groomed in grad school. The “I’m sensing …”, “I’m hearing …”, “May I make an observation?” therapist that everyone expects, including my clients.

But that was an impossible task thanks to the banjos dueling it out in my head. One wanting nothing more than to be myself. The other putting myself in a half-nelson, if only to be the cookie-cutter therapist I was trained to be. The therapist who would teach their clients how to love their inner child, be more mindful, and strive for perfection while doing it. The type of therapist my clients wanted. Or so I thought …

Put that inner child on time-out (so you can read Chapter 1)

Buy Here Memorial Day