Mel Cook
4 min readFeb 25, 2021

I was 21 and working at a fast food place the first time I can remember hearing this description. Before being called a smart-dumbass I guess I never noticed the term had always been around. To know a little more of why this term hit so hard for me is to know a little about me.

I came from childhood like many others that had a form of P.T.S.D. For me, it stemmed from a mental illness my dad had. I started to cast judgment of the scenario. My mom was weak for not leaving. My dad was weak for not trying harder. I never fully understood what was going on. As a child, I started to suffer by thinking I knew what to do to fix everything… I felt like I didn’t fit in so I distanced myself. The fewer people I let around me, the better off I would be. I became depressed, started to self-harm, and already self-sabotaging everything at this point. I didn’t want to see someone for help, I thought I was in control. I thought I knew what was best for me. When my parents took me the get help, the kind of help I didn’t want, I knew how to fix that too. I started to say exactly just what the medical professions wanted to hear. I was fine, I wasn’t depressed anymore, and whatever the cause .. would never happen again.

I grew to read people, read the scene behind the scene. Still, I felt like I knew better than any advice anyone could give me. At the beginning of high school, I wanted a deeper understanding of psychology. I wanted to know why. At first, everything started to make sense. Maybe I did need meds, maybe I was not normal and in facthad a chemical imbalance. Why? I went on to sociology and blamed the way I was on my parents ‘on’ heridity. Why. I wanted to find a reason behind me other than me. I continued to blame everyone and everything. I was sad it someone else fault. I was happy it was because of something or someone. I never wanted to say “ I’m me and that is all I am.”

By the time I started the job at Fox’s Pizza, in oceana, my life had already had a lot of extreme highs and lows. I was struggling with severe depression. I hated almost everyone and everything. Addictive personality disorder and felt like I had two different people living inside me. I was smart, sometimes too smart for my own good. I knew people had high expectations of me, I expected myself to work harder to get by doing what I wanted to do in secert. Yes right here is the true meaning of a smart-dumbass. I knew better, but I did it anyway…

Still to this day, I want to be in control. I want things my way and work really hard…