Thursday, 18 June 2009

Mister Zany.

He wakes up. Just like every other day, he challenges his anxiety. Does he go out and brave the world he fears? Or does he make a hasty retreat back under the safety of his duvet? Everyday he battles with the duvet or doorway dilemma.
After much deliberation, he decides that the enticement of the reclusive state must be confronted. This day, he will go out and be his alter ego. He looks at his reflection in the hallway's full-length mirror and thinks: 'Right then, time to go out, time to be 'Mister Zany'.
Mister Zany is a friendly guy. He makes 'em laugh, he makes 'em smile. Mister Zany attempts to exude a positive demeanour, usually with wonderful results. People always seem to remember him. They say he is very funny. 'How are you today?' they ask. 'Never one to complain...unless you can spare me ten years' he states in a jovial manner.
So Mister Zany goes out and about, doing the best he can in spreading a little bit more positivity to our world. If only they knew what a life of extremes he led. For as he walks off into the distance, he walks back into his other life. Would they find it hard to believe that Mister Zany could go months without visitors? Would they believe that when somebody knocks on his door, that it's most likely the meter reader? Surely that funny, friendly chap must have folks lined up just to come and visit him.
He is house-proud, matter of fact, he is garden-proud. He considers a neat and tidy home and garden, a most therapeutic endeavour. He would love to show off his home and his beautiful garden. Yet instead, he wanders around alone, restless and confused, thinking of what might be. He sits on his lawn, feels the breeze on his face, listens to the music of the wind chimes and wishes he could share this tranquility.
He has turned staring at the four walls and thumb-twiddling into a fine art form. You might call it a case of 'thumb enchanted evening'. Yet despite it all, he is grateful for what he has. He knows that there are others who know the pain of loneliness and relentless isolation. He knows that he is not house-bound and has the choice of going out the front door. He finds contentment, that even with his life of bizarre extremes; when he does venture out, he can impact the environment with his noble intentions. This man of contradiction is happy with who he is.
Mister Zany or klahanie or Gary Philip Pennick wishes you all peace and contentment.


  1. Dear Gary,

    We do not know each other’s lives without a walk in the old shoes; or a lay in the old duvet. Your transparency has given me goose-bumps or chills, if you prefer. I empathise and would love to sit in your garden, enjoying tranquility, while listening to the wind chimes. This touches me; its paradoxical pathos and heart-warming conclusion.

    My very best wishes to you,

  2. Dear Dixie,
    Thank you for kind comment. I do believe that there will be people who can relate to the living of a double life.
    I have been a paradox for a very long time now. 'Mister Zany' is very real and very much a part of what I am.
    I think it is my fear of people finding out how low my self esteem really is, that perhaps leads me to having my double life. In my all too brief social encounters, I do not have to worry about the awkward questions that may be asked if folks got to know me better. Sadly, it is fear of the stigma that may prevail.
    Thanks Dixie. Your input and your empathy gives me great comfort.
    Warm thoughts your way as your new positive journey continues. Kind regards, Gary.

  3. I adore people who aren't afraid to take off the mask and show who they really are. I could identify with so much in this post!

  4. Greetings Mr. Zany,

    To one degree or another, each of us has the alter ego you speak of. That is what makes us so human. It is perfectly fine for you to decide when and who you choose to show it to.

    I can certainly relate to your story. The struggle with finding self esteem can be very elusive for many of us.

    You have a true gift with your ability to reach out to others. Your honesty is heartwarming and you do not deserve the clouds that may dog you.

    Blessings to you my friend. Remember that your journey is not one of solitude but one shared by those you have never met.


  5. Don't we all have a little 'Mister Zany' somewhere within ourselves; to varying degrees?

  6. HI Gary;
    My question to you is what is the worst that could happen if people do find out your self esteem is low? I understand there is a stigma out there about mental illness but why not turn the tables on those who would judge and be ultra proud of who you are. In fact you should feel sorry for those who have their nose in the air about who you are because they don't get to be you!!! God chose you to be who you are, what an honour and those others couldn't do the job half as well so screw them and their attitudes. They should be so lucky as to meet you and see the real you. I have and I must tell you that I am so very proud of you and that I admire you for how far you have come. Keep up the good work, my friend and invite them in once in a while so they can see too.

  7. Greetings Nichola,
    I thank you so much for leaving a comment.
    I am trying so hard to be transparent. Because of a series of setbacks; my confidence to socialise in a more meaningful way has been very difficult.
    I hope by being honest with myself and others, that I can revitalise my self esteem.
    Thank you for such a lovely response, Nichola. Such positive interaction is heart-warming.
    Warm wishes your way, Gary:-)

  8. Hi Roger,
    Once again, Roger, I completely agree with what you have written.
    Yes indeed, we all have the alter ego to some varying degree. The different aspects to our personalities is what makes us unique.
    My social interaction, or lack of, is partly due to past trauma that caused me, somewhat bizarrely, to consider myself not 'worthy' of being an integral part of society.
    The bravado, which is real and well meaning, gives me those few moments in the day to try and bring joy to others. I shall endeavour to be involved with the world outside more day on a more prolonged basis.
    Thanks Roger. I see through my cloud and send you peaceful wishes.
    Kind regards, Gary.

  9. Hi John,
    Indeed we do. There is a little bit of Mr.Zany or Mrs.Zany or Ms. Zany in all of us.
    Being good-natured and friendly is a wonderful trait. From reading your terrific blogs, my friend, I would say you embrace the zany side to life.
    Thanks John, your comments are much appreciated. Take very good care, Gary:-)

  10. Dear Heather,
    I understand what you are saying. I am proud of who I am. You know I try to bring further awareness to the unfair stigma that is attached to mental health concerns. It's this niggling self-doubt that somehow impedes my progress.
    Sadly, despite my resolve, I worry that when someone finds out the truth about how I am, they may become disillusioned and distance themselves from me.
    I know this is irrational thinking. If somebody cared about me, they would see beyond my mental health concerns and realise that it is only a small part of who I am.
    I'm working on this Heather. It is time to stop thinking that I am not good enough to be in ongoing social situations. I have sent out invites in the past, unfortunately, many times, they never showed up.
    I'm really touched but what you have written, Heather. We have been friends for a long time. The guy who left Canada for England, as you know, went through some very traumatic situations that almost destroyed my self confidence.
    Heather, I too am very proud of you. Your resilience and inner strength is testimony to the power of the human spirit. I hope others will read your powerful, inspirational blog. For who you are, and what you have written is tremendous inspiration. I am blessed to have a friend like you.
    Positive thoughts, Gary x

  11. Dear Gary,
    I suppose, to some extent, we all wear a "social mask". That person that we become when in the company of others, rather than the introspective, isolated person we are when alone.
    But I suppose my main point is that we all kind of like you as you are, Gary, mental health issues and all, and you are right to be proud of who you are. I bet most people just wouldn't even have the sensitivity to understand, let alone live with, the issues you so eloquently expound.
    And I'll look forward to seeing Mr. Zany next Monday, or perhaps even sooner.
    Yours, as always, With Very Warmest Wishes,

  12. To quote one of your replies, 'Sadly, despite my resolve, I worry that when someone finds out the truth about how I am, they may become disillusioned and distance themselves from me.'

    To some degree anyone with any sensitivity will feel something similar. For some, like you perhaps, it is more intense than others.

    I have to say this though. On the evidence of what I read in your blog, your eagerness to be open, to reach out, I wouldn't want to distance myself from you.

    If I met you in the flesh I might find you a little intense. I might even find you hard work. Who knows how you would find me.

    But I wouldn't be bored. I wouldn't judge, for fear you would judge me if nothing else.

    One thing I would know for sure. You would make an effort to connect. We both would.

    Can anyone ask anymore of anyone?

  13. Dear David,
    Yes that is most certainly true that folks put on a 'social mask' to some degree.
    My 'bravado' is sincere but it does, like I suppose so many, helps me combat my social phobia.
    As you are aware David, I have just recently emerged back out my front door. This is partly due to your encouragement in regards to me getting involved again. I was most flattered by your asking for my input.
    Based on some recent events that have transpired, your contacting me was like a blast of positive fresh air. I thank you for that.
    I look forward to seeing you and hopefully 'Mr. Zany' will be able to bring with him his positive vibes.
    Empathetic wishes, Gary.

  14. Hi John,
    Thanks again for dropping by and adding another terrific response.
    I believe to meet in you in 'three dimensional reality', based on this interaction, that it would indeed prove to be a most interesting experience. I'm sure we would both make the effort to connect. Most definitely without passing any judgement. That is very positive.
    I hope that those that know me, do not consider me intense. If I found that to be true, I would reduce my zaniness.
    John, there are some folks who read my blog who will understand my reluctance to become involved with society. For many years, due to some great personal trauma, I hid away from the world. I was convinced that the undermining and disrespect I received was justified. I would not 'impose' myself on society.
    Then, when I felt better and braver, but still very raw and vulnerable, I decided to try and get involved with a mental health charity. Instead of support and empathy. I was subjected to indifference and exploitation. Empathy was just a convenient word to 'sell' the charities' alleged ethos.
    I had hoped that along with my ability to empathise, that working for said mental health charity would help me in my quest for social networking. What I encountered left me distraught and disillusioned. My morals told me to go back home and reflect.
    I think my response to your very nice comment may have actually been a blog in itself.
    Thank you John. I really appreciate your input. Kind wishes, Gary.

  15. I have to agree that, to some extent, all of us have 'social masks' that we wear for our own reasons...

    I would like to say that I have the honour of knowing 'Mr Zany' and I find him charming. I have also occasionally met 'Mr Self-doubt' and 'Mr Uncertainty'.

    But, most often, I find 'Mr Zany' to be accompanied by 'Mr Positive', 'Mr Considerate' and 'Mr Empathetic' - all together, they make one hell of a good guy!

    It's been good to see you again recently Gary - I hope that it becomes a much more regular occurrence!

    Positive vibes to you my friend,


  16. Dear 'sunseeker',
    Wow and a huge thanks to you. As you are aware, I have been caught up in some rather unfortunate situations.
    However, I shall continue to remain positive and turn what appeared to be an overwhelming negative experience into something very positive.
    So, thanks to the encouragement of decent people like you, this 'reluctant recluse' shall once again venture out his front door.
    Thanks for the opportunity of empowerment. It means so much.
    Warm wishes to you, my friend.
    In peace, Gary:-)

  17. hI, gARY,Some of us ,spend our lives believeing the real us ,is not worth knowing[hence the Persona]Itoo ,am privileged to know ,all tthe "misters",and am a richer person for it.YOUR wisdom,and indomitable spirit,is inspiring to all who are lucky enough to know your true self.You are a true friend,and mentor,Iwish you the real peace ,you deserve.DAVE.S

  18. Hi David S.,
    I think your statement:'spending our lives believing the real us is not worth knowing', is due, in some respects, because of how one has been treated by others.
    If you find a negative, indifferent attitude towards you to be the norm; then you may begin to believe the hype that you have been subjected too. Thus we can compound the negativity and it is all to easy to let it dominate our lives.
    However, as you know David, we must disassociate and ignore people who would undermine our sincere intentions. You are a decent man. Take comfort and strength from those who respect you for who you are and all your various traits.
    David, I thank you for your kind words. Please know that I am also honoured to know you. I am truly heartened to know, that despite recent disillusioning events in your life, you are showing a steely determination to move on and have a better life.
    In peace and empathy, Gary.

  19. Gary,

    I wish you could find a way of 'combining' all these wonderful personalities into one, but truly I think we all suffer from a similar disorder. We all wear different 'hats' in different situations. It's just that some people, like yourself, struggle with their insecurities ...heartbreakingly so.

    I always see an underlying strength in what you write. A strength that will help you to endure whatever life throws at you. Though sometimes you may falter, I feel you will overcome life's obstacles in the end. Your optimism will always shine through, my friend.

    Stay strong, stay positive,

  20. Hi Mattie,
    Thanks for leaving such a thoughtful comment.
    I, like I realise a lot of others, have a real struggle with a sense of insecurity. Mine has been caused, to quite some degree, by a series of situations, that have rocked by confidence. Sadly, part of my own lack of confidence, has been due to the fact I have encountered a lot of folks who exploited my good nature to their own advantage.
    I am learning from these experiences. Despite a rather fragile state, I keep dusting myself off and starting afresh. I stay resilient and now try to be involved, when I do go out, to be with people who are good for me and in turn, I am hopefully good for them.
    Inspiring people such as you Mattie, make me grateful for what I have. I thank you for your positive, optimistic interaction.
    Positive and happy thoughts, your way, Gary


I do try to comment back to each commenter individually. However, I might have to shorten my replies or give a group thank you. That way, I can spend more time commenting on your blogs. Thank you and peace, my friend.