I’ve been missing in action for the last few days – I wasn’t feeling great over the weekend and I chose to be really lazy. Although that was the right choice, now I’m feeling a bit of inertia about writing on the Journal. Which is odd, because I have a whole bunch of subjects to choose from. Oh well – let’s get started…
On Friday evening I sat with a small group of women telling stories from our lives. One of them used a phrase that caught in my mind and has been whispering to me ever since – going sane. She talked about how, after a period of trauma she feels like she’s finally going sane again.
What an awesome way of saying it – one that I can totally relate to. I remember the feeling of going insane; I remember the feeling of being insane even more clearly. (And yes, I’m using the word insane in a not-very-textbook fashion here – I don’t think I was ever clinically insane, but from inside my own head it felt like every kind of crazy had converged and was fighting for dominance.)
The first period of going insane happened in college – a mental breakdown that left me crying for days on end, unable to eat or sleep or do much of anything. After about three days of this, I called the emergency number for mental health services (it was the middle of the weekend) and the woman on-call told me, “Oh honey, just wait until Monday. It’s all in your head.”
Yes, it WAS all in my head – that was the problem. And her comment just served to confirm for me that I was definitely going insane.
Being insane went on for much longer and was even more painful, because there was a part of my brain that never quite let go. There was a part of my brain that stayed strong and resilient and kept saying to me, “This isn’t how it’s supposed to be. This isn’t you. The words you’re speaking aren’t yours. The feelings you’re feeling aren’t yours. THIS ISN’T WHO YOU ARE.”
And that part of my brain was right – none of that stuff was me, because ME is healthy. But when 99% of me was insane and 1% of me refused to give in, it felt like 24/7 battle between good and evil in my head.
Several years ago I started my path toward sanity. It was a long path to climb up… but that made sense because it had been a long path to get down as low as I had gone. Every day I felt a bit stronger and a bit more confident. I had begun the process of going sane.
I don’t think I’m there yet. We live in a crazy world – how could any of us be completely sane? But life looks a lot better from this vantage point than it did back there.
So thanks to the ladies I sat with on Friday night; thanks to J. who said the words that have been whispering to me for days; and thanks to B. for the conversation tonight that got me thinking even more.
I am blessed. Even more than that, I’m blessed to KNOW that I’m blessed.