Ever have days where you just. Feel. Crazy? Like your mental timing belt snapped and the engine of your brain is beating itself to death inside the bonnet?
Keeping a notebook gives you the privilege of looking back on these moments. Below, you’ll find links to books by writers who articulate this feeling much better than I.
18 June 2016 is it normal to feel this crazy?
For every 10 waking minutes I feel confident, competent, generally positive about where I am and where I’m going, I spend roughly 27 minutes in a sea of anxiety, 13 minutes moderately depressed and/or hopeless, seven minutes angry/outraged and the other three minutes I’m eating, or drunk. Is this normal? Do other people feel their nerves are being prised apart fibre by fibre with dull tweezers? Or like their soul is wearing one of those lead aprons they weighed me down with when I got dental x-rays as a kid? How do other people feel? Am I normal? I can’t be normal; I’m pretty sure I’m crazy, or getting there. But how crazy. Should I section myself now? Kill myself now? Is that something only a crazy person would think?
It was Montaigne who wrote about the power of fear — that men are so frightened of death they run out and kill themselves. I feel like that a lot of the time. I’m so afraid of things happening I want to make them happen, just to get over the horrible anticipation. Having a shitty day and your boyfriend’s hanging out with his ex? Dump him immediately, because 1 + 1 = the square root of ohmygodhowcouldhelovemeasmuchasheloveshertheyhaveadogandeverything.
Not the thoughts of a sane person.
But the question remains, nagging. Am I a little crazy or a lot crazy. If I work really hard to keep it under wraps can I pass as eccentric? Or am I so fundamentally unreliable I should be straitjacketed immediately? I can’t answer these questions because I don’t know how crazy other people really are. Because the sane thing to do, when you suspect you’re crazy, is lie like crazy.
Fill your Facebook/Instagram/Twitter feed with motivational quotes and pictures of sunsets (check), do yoga (check), tell people how doing yoga has transformed your life (check, plus it’s true), update your LinkedIn profile so you look smarter and more employable (check), network (check), laugh (check), use mascara (check), shave your legs (one of these days). There are ten thousand ways to fraudulently present oneself to the world as a functioning adult. I try. Other people presumably try. Or maybe their smiles are genuine, maybe that sunset really lifted their mood, maybe they are in fact super smart and ragingly employable. I have no way of knowing.
What I know is that for every minute of relative calm and productivity, I experience eight on a negative emotional scale that encompasses frustration, anger, judgement, anxiety, depression, panic, fear, self-loathing, doubt, despair, indifference, or plain boredom. Then there’s a minute when I’m drunk or eating. If for some reason I’m not drinking that extra minute gets devoted to the negative scale. If I’m hungover, 35 seconds of my good minute are converted to self-loathing.
Where does this leave me? I don’t know. I don’t know where I started, or where I’m going. Is there any chance I’m ever going to understand what it feels like to not feel crazy?
Books to staunch the crazy
- Michel de Montaigne – Essays
- Cheryl Strayed – Wild
- Vincent Van Gogh – Letters
- Michael Foley – The Age of Absurdity