“This thought has stewed in my head off and on for some time now, that one of my greatest I suppose it’s safe to call it a fear, besides being attacked by giant mutant bugs or being buried alive is that people who care about me won’t be able to handle the crazy when it happens and they will bail on me when I need help the most.”
So began the status update by my good friend Julia, fellow Dinosaur lover and pretty goth lady extraordinaire. I’ve been doing a pretty good job of limiting my time spent on social media (which admittedly seems to be proving beneficial in a number of ways), but something told me this required my attention. Immediately I thought back to just two weeks ago when I thought I had finally gone crazy, and that everyone would surely abandon me now. On the contrary, the amount of support I received, the number of people willing to share their stories, was simply overwhelming. With Julia’s permission, I’m going to share hers. At least the rest of what she chose to share in her post.
“I fully admit that I’m mentally ill. Mentally disturbed. Sometimes unstable. I have the paperwork from a plethora of professionals that will vouch for me. Call it what you want. Weird. Quirky. An odd viewpoint on life. Sometimes people don’t see the “bad” crazy, after this long I’m pretty good at hiding it, masking it, burying it…They only see the fun, silly quirks and think ‘Well that’s cute and makes you unique, I can handle that…’
But at times, the ‘bad’ gets out… I say things, do things that may seem abnormal, and I catch myself realizing that maybe I shouldn’t have let that one out when I recognize a person’s questioning puzzled, disapproving look… but to me it’s normal, it’s appropriate. It’s my thoughts. My beliefs. My way of being, and they realize ‘wait hold the phone, this is more than I signed up for…’ It’s happened before… I worry that it will happen again…
I sometimes spend days in bed, because I can’t muster the will to move. I’m sometimes irrational. Filled with depression, anger, anxiety that seemingly has no end or cure. I’ve taken the pills. Sometimes they work. Usually they just give a long list of side effects that aren’t worth it. I’d rather deal with the side effects of being mentally ill. If they are ‘working’ they put me into an emotionless zombie like state that isn’t me…. Certainly isn’t the fun, goofy me that we know and love… I don’t like that person at all…
There’s the saying ‘if you can’t handle me at my worst you don’t deserve me at my best’ Perhaps that’s true, but I’ve seen my worst, I wouldn’t want to deal with that mess either. So I don’t. I keep things in check as much as possible, but it still happens despite my best efforts, that’s part of me as well, I have never really known another version of me that I liked, if there was another version, well they wouldn’t be me… I guess I’m stuck with it.”
Sound familiar at all? Sure it does! Society has done a wonderful job of making the already difficult task of living a fulfilling life even more of a struggle by giving us alternative views, tastes, preferences. Then plaguing those same people with crippling doubt, a fear of failure, fear of abandonment, fear of being judged, fear of hurting the ones we love, fear of being called out for being “different”. I don’t know about you guys, but 25 years of living my life in fear has been plenty enough to last me a lifetime. What if, just what if, we embraced our crazy- the good and the bad kinds. What would that look like?
Well, a little something like this, I imagine…
A new acquaintance shared this with me after I laid all my cards out on the table. I said to him, “every time I decide to socialize with someone, it’s like playing a game of social Russian Roulette. I just go in balls deep and hope for the best. You keep responding, so I’ll take that as a good sign.” But that wasn’t entirely true. I didn’t normally go in balls deep. Not at all, in fact. I generally let people dip their toes into my weirdness and let them find out in their own time what creepy, strange horrors await in the deep end. Because like Julia, sometimes I catch myself wondering how long it will be before my clever disguise of “functional adult” is stripped away, baring the crazy I keep hidden. Well, not anymore.
-tears off proverbial disguise-
It’s like this. I’m fucking bizarre and I swear too much and have a really off sense of humor. I fall hard and I love intensely. I hold grudges and have road rage. I like baggy sweaters and leggings, and crunchy leaves, and animals, and tiny versions of things. I love sex, but I love passion and intimacy more. I am both an introvert and an exhibitionist- depends on the day. I oscillate wildly in near every sense of the word. I get bored easily. I have endless curiosity. I either have the energy of a thousand suns or scarcely enough to drag myself out of bed. I have insecurities and scars, demons and skeletons in my closet. But I also have memories and a sense of wonder, amazing friends and a really fortunate life. I’m not perfect, I know that. But I’m perfectly thrilled to be me, flaws and all.
My entire life my sense of worth has been reliant on someone else’s opinion of me. And I’ve never realized how totally asinine that is. I have so much- so fucking much– going on in… -waves arms all around body- this. I am a fucking total package. Granted, probably laced with anthrax and/or from your stalker, but a package nonetheless. Arguably a total basket-case as well, BUT LOOK AT HOW INTERESTING I AM. >.>
The way I see it, it’s all about balance. I got the short end of a lot of sticks, but I’ve gathered enough to build a kick ass fort and any mother fucker who doesn’t *approve* of this majestic, fucked up mess that I am, well that’s *their* loss, not mine. Here’s hoping you have the strength to build your own kick ass fort today. If not, my door’s always open. Well, so long as you’re down with crazy…
Fort Kick Ass: 1