Angel Martin he has at least 20 interviews in a row talking about his psychotic break, his 10-day stay in a psychiatric hospital and his difficult process of rebuilding “from scratch.” Mine is the last of the day. It is six in the afternoon, there is a hell of traffic at the Puerta de Alcalá in Madrid, where the hotel is where you are waiting. I arrive extremely attacked, dealing with the coat, the bag, the removable mask, the papers and the mobile. So much so that all the impedimenta dramatically falls off as we both doubt whether to shake hands, two kisses or bump their fists when greeting each other. That’s when I hear myself say: “Sorry, I’m hysterical.” To an “ex-crazy”, as he calls himself in his book. I want to die of shame.
Sorry, it got away from me.
Don’t worry, a lot happens. I find it fun and touching to see that rush, because it doesn’t bother me. Do not worry, I’m fine.
Why do you think I’m rushing?
Because even though, if you have read the book, it is evident that you can talk to me as if we were in a bar you and I alone, even drunk, you think: how do I say this without being disturbed? I notice your stuttering. For example, when we come to the topic of drugs, your colleagues start babbling: ‘You mention in the book your abuse of …’ Drugs, man, drugs, let’s talk about drugs.
Why are we afraid of madness?
Because we do not know it and, above all, because we do not know how to manage it if it appears or how to treat those who have had it.
How many friends ran away?
Let’s say my circle was small and it got even smaller.
Do you hold a grudge against them?
Zero. I think they disappear because the guy you were is gone. If you are a true friend, you stay and try to reconfigure that friendship and see where the move you have lived takes you. If not, you disappear. Since you have a hard time believing it, you defend them. Until one day you say: go take it up the ass.
His partner, Eva, is still by his side despite everything. It is seen that he adores him.
I adore her more. Gold, it’s gold.
What is someone who claims to have been dead afraid of?
To nothing or to anyone. I’m not telling you to cheat. I’m afraid of losing my people. Of other fears, zero.
And that knows hell.
Well, as you talk to people who have been through harder things, you relativize. But the process of leaving the hospital completely broken, lost and insecure and having to rebuild myself is the worst thing I have ever experienced in my life, by far.
Did your humor serve you as therapy? In the book he squanders it.
That time humor does not exist. You are so bad that you do not remember the laughter. Your display of emotions: passion, sadness, happiness, it is empty, there is only darkness.
How long did it take to see the light?
It is not a specific day. There is a process of about three years, until you go back, doing things that make you feel good, but you are still terribly insecure. The process is very, very slow.
He claims to have become more selfish and more empathetic. How is that?
Selfish in the sense that if you are not okay, you are not okay with anyone. I say “fuck you” to people who try to hurry you up, tell you what to do, judge you from where they are and, above all, who reminds you that they have given you a hand and you owe things , those who fuck them. The empathy is that, with all this, I have learned that, as soon as one of mine wobbles a little or does something strange, I run to see if everything is ok immediately. You don’t lose anything by asking someone if he’s okay.
To that we all say yes.
But you know they lie to you. We all know it, but we pretend. What happens is that you do not want to discover anything else, but we both know that you are wrong. It costs us. Now it is not difficult for me.
Have you become altruistic?
I don’t know if it’s the word. But I have become extremely eager to share things that serve me if I think I can help others. Madness has made me a better person.
Is it a path of perfection?
I have done an exercise of conscious reconstruction of my personality. Now I decide what things I want to include and what not. I recommend it to everybody. It is a tough but effective exercise.
Is it being done to your liking?
I’m being a bitch, I’m not cheating on you. It’s like a fucking video game. I’m getting a new one skin, what the kids say.
And what do you do with the things you didn’t like about yourself?
You start to change them, more and more. This is not overnight. There are days that are fucking shit. But now I am conscious enough to go to sleep angry, but knowing that nothing is so bad.
Has it changed from Angel to Angel, with lowercase letters?
Damn, don’t put that headline. If I say that I am becoming an angel, they admit me again. I’ve never been a bad guy, but most likely I’m better now.
Is it more liked now?
Very much, where is it going to stop. I would like to go see the one from before, slap him and say: look what I’m becoming, asshole.
Like it was before?
Before he was crazy, he was an idiot.
Wonderful, a fucking being of light. You have put lights for the video, but it was not necessary.
What do you see in the eyes of the others now? Too bad, curious, ‘yuyu’?
Damn, I am going to risk being admitted again, but I am going to say it: I see if they are telling me the truth or not, I notice it, it is something physical.
I could work as a polygraph.
I could, but it would be very expensive, I also tell you.
In his digital newscast he nails the daily news in two minutes speaking at full speed. Does it have a metronome inside?
Absolutely. Look, that really has given me my move: the value of time. Before I did not understand the phrase ‘time is money’. Now all of a sudden, yes.
Many of those who see it could be your children. Vertigo?
Nah, I’m fascinated with the kids: they have an advantage that, as we don’t understand, makes us angry.
My generational resentment is with my own generation, for fools, because they are not able to lower the differential of prejudices and see that boys and girls have tools that we do not have.
In the end we have not talked about his abuse … I mean drugs.
Maybe some Lexatin or Lorazepam in the bag.
I’m not interested. With that you relax, or you sleep, but you wake up very tired. If you can avoid them, the better.
Which ones interest you?
Ecstasy takes you to a very strange place, a lot. But that does not mean that I recommend it, at least in front of the camera.
Would you legalize marijuana?
Of course. Now I will not take drugs, because they have gone wrong for me. They were probably the last straw, yes. But if I get to know that this happens, and that, used in moderation, no, it would not have happened to me anyway.
Clairvoyance, control, omniscience, talking to the dead, deciphering the universe … Reading your book, you almost want to be crazy.
Yes, they told me. I miss some things about being. Some sensations that, if you haven’t had before, you don’t know what I mean, because for me, then, they were real, absolutely real. But you can enjoy some things much more intensely. It has to do with opening the mind. Play to feel more. Imagine putting on some headphones, emptying your head and paying pinpoint attention to that song. The emotion is totally different. I give you my word. But for that we have to turn off many differentials that we have turned on.
Can you be an ‘ex-crazy’?
More than crazy I am a new sane. Yes, that’s what I am: a neo-agreement.
Four years ago, Ángel Martín (Barcelona, 44 years old) not only heard voices, but also saw signs in everything around him and lived in several worlds and times at the same time. He wasn’t making it up, he says. They were sensations as real as the delusional phrases and photos that he published those days on social networks. His girlfriend, actress Eva Fernández, was the one who raised the alarm and managed to take him to a psychiatric hospital, where he spent 10 days admitted for a psychotic outbreak triggered, according to doctors, by drug abuse and previous depression. Today, the communicator publishes In case the voices return, a book where he narrates, without victimhood or sentimentality or morbidness, what was going through his head at that time, and the subsequent and difficult process that has led him to be “more than a crazy, a neo-agreement“.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.