Being Crazy Is A Skill.

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 4.824% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

You have to remember to take your don’t-go-crazy pills even when you feel perfectly fine, and it seems so inconceivable that this tiny ball of chemicals is all that stands between you and screaming breakdowns.
You have to monitor your energy levels constantly, because when you start getting tired you start breaking down in public, and so you go to parties and think, “Okay, I’ve got about forty-five minutes until I melt down, time to make my excuses,” and you say pleasant goodbyes and everyone says they’ll miss you and then you pull over on the side of the road and sob because you screwed up the timing by fifteen minutes and now you’re a mess, a fucking mess. (But at least no one saw you.)
You have to make the fine distinction between “I need this down time to recharge” and “I’m closing off the world like a mummy shutting himself in his tomb,” and if you get it wrong then you can spend three weeks in cloaked isolation, accidentally alienating all your friends and having to make seriously humiliating apologies when you finally haul yourself back into the light.
You have to fake smiles at work even when you’re dead inside, because you need the money, and maybe you’re functioning at about 60% capacity this week but you’ve learned that this 60% needs to be in the area where you earn your goddamned rent money. So you push out the energy for eight hours before you slink home numb and stare at the computer for another eight, a blank deadness before bedtime.
You have to remember that your friends lie to you. They don’t mean to. They tell you heartwarming things they want to believe about themselves, things like “I’m always there for my friends” and “I’ll always support you,” and if you’re not careful you believe them and open up this vomitous spill of anxiety inside you, and after a few months of bathing in your corrosive disability they find some excuse to not see you any more. You learn that there’s maaaaybe one or two people who really are going to get this twisted shit inside you – if you’re lucky – and not to lean on them too heavily, to save them for the really bad days.
You have to remember that your good days are other people’s bad days.
You have to internalize the idea that “emotions” and “actions” can be successfully disconnected, that you can still accomplish shit when feeling really down, and in fact this is your only real hope for survival. And then you have to swallow back an effervescent rage when other depressives tell you that you can’t really be depressed, you did things, you can’t possibly have accomplishments when you’re depressed, and you think of all the other things you weren’t able to accomplish because you had to fight this sucking tide of angst, and you try not to yell. But you might yell. Because you’re crazy, and when you’re crazy sometimes you lose it.
You have to learn to apologize properly for losing it.
You have to learn that being crazy is, in fact, a skill you learn. Nobody’s good at it, and in fact you see some supposedly “capable” people fucking lose it when they’re traumatized by grief. They don’t know how to handle these emotions that you get Denial of Service-attacked with every day, and the truth is that a lot of these so-called “capable” people would shatter under the weight of what you have to bear daily.
But they don’t have all these swirlstorms of depression and rage and anxiety roaring through their heads, and you do. And so you must learn the skills of madness, how to restructure your life so that you can keep going when lesser people would have been bogged down by all this, and some days you get buried under the crazy and yet you grab a shovel and dig yourself out and maybe you’ve lost four days to your flavor of insanity but you have kept going and YAY YOU.
It takes years to learn how to be properly mad. It’s not fun. But the good times you can have around the edges are fun, this reward of learning how to appear normal for days at a time.
You have to fight to be happy. But you can be happy, sometimes. In small bursts of joy.
Part of the skill of madness is learning to treasure those bursts, and to realize that nobody gets to be happy all the time. You just don’t get those times as easily. And so you must refine, and renew, and repurpose, until you’re as good as being crazy as you possibly can be.
I never said it was easy. I simply said it was necessary.

1 Comment

  1. Kate
    Aug 16, 2015

    Yes. To all of this.

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