It is no secret that I have been struggling as of late. I feel I have been honest and forthcoming about my station in life (at the moment) and I have tried very hard to be direct and open about my feelings. None of which comes easy to me. It is hard for me to tell others exactly what I need, and sometimes even what I mean, and of course especially what I feel. I have struggled with depression, an anxiety disorder mixed with horrible back pain from degenerative disc disease, and a dash of fibromyalagia for the last three years. I have survived a back surgery, panic attacks that sent me to the ER, friendships falling apart, a psychotic ex that wanted to destroy me, a divorce, and a foreclosure. And fuck if I haven’t done all of it with some motherfucking grace.
This is why I take great offense when someone says that I am crazy, even in jest. I have seen crazy, I have survived crazy, hell I have even looked into the mirror and stared down crazy. I have looked crazy in the eyes and told it that it did not belong to me and that I would not accept it as a part of my life. I have told crazy to fuck off when it would have been a lot easier to accept it, claim it, and act it all out. I have chosen to be healthy and whole. I have worked very hard at keeping my depression in check, my anxiety under control, and my codependency at bay. And the fucked up thing about all of that? Unless you know me intimately, you would never even assume that I struggle with any of it.
I am funny, kind, and work very hard at being a good friend. I have many talents and a deep thirst for knowledge. I find immense joy in laughter, and seek out laughter every chance I get. I like that about me, people like that about me, hell even my dog likes that about me. Therefore, when someone accuses me of being crazy I get my feelings hurt and hell even sometimes emotions may seep out of my eyes (damn allergies in January I say). I struggle with showing my softer side, allowing myself to be vulnerable, none of which makes me crazy, if anything it makes me very human and brave for even trying it.
I did not grow up in a house where emotions, other than anger, were displayed. I did not survive all of my twenties by showing others how I feel and what I need. I did not survive burying lovers, being abused, and being hurt to my core by showing my emotions. I survived all of that with grit and avoidance, but that does not mean that is who I am today. That does not mean I enjoyed pushing others away, or not being able to identify what I needed. That means I am a survivor and used detachment as a coping mechanism, which makes me human. Therefore, when these character traits surface from time to time to try to protect me from what I perceive to be a threat to my being, then yes, I have to fight them. Does that constitute craziness?
If anything, I would say that this shows my sanity clearer than anything else could. Being able to look at ones embedded coping mechanisms and work to correct them to be a part of relationships that are real and honest, that takes more strength then being “crazy”. Being crazy is easy, following all of the impulses and desires I have would be easy, being honest and true to me… that is fucking hard work. Looking at my reactions, the depth of my own being, and then acting upon those healthy thoughts and notions is hard for me (at times) and when I get called out for not following these strategies perfectly I get my feelings hurt, I get defensive, I tend to get mean, and if anything I just shut down.
I understand that no one person on this planet will every actually know the depth of my struggles, the actions it takes for me to wake up every morning with a semi-smile on my face, and to continue on this journey of life. Honestly, I do not expect anyone to fully grasp any of that, but if I take the time to share my struggles and am honest about what I struggle with, calling me crazy will not do you any favors. Ever. Telling me that I am being defensive, passive aggressive, or avoiding will get you a “No fucking shit” answer every time, and then I will secretly start to hate you, okay, maybe not so secretly. It takes a lot for me to be vulnerable and if one throws that in my face, at any time, I will be forced to wait patiently until the appropriate time to tell you what an asshat you are being.
Do not misunderstand me, I enjoy when people are able to come to me in a loving way and help me see what I am doing that is unhealthy, but using tact and not labeling my unhealthy ways of relating as “crazy” really is the only way I will take anything you have to say to heart. Honestly, I think that is the only way anyone will take criticism to heart. Because when people come at others by way of “crazy talk” it makes those of us who have fought crazy want to list the ways we are NOT crazy. And honestly, half the time I want to scream “Why don’t you go through this, this AND this, and see how your fucking sanity holds up? Stronger people than I have gone through less and found themselves stark raving mad at times. Fuck you very much.”
I am not the poster child for healthy, for strong, for surviving, but I am fucking tough and I do work very hard to be a genuine, authentic, loving and all around good person. I can handle being called out on my crap, I can handle being called names, what I cannot handle is when loved ones, dear ones, know me, know my strength and my struggles and still find any ounce of pleasure in saying I am crazy. I do not even care if you are joking, or if you think you are being cute. It is not cute, it is hurtful, and it makes me want to get all stabby with your heart muscle, and start spewing forth damaging words to YOUR psyche. Please do not make me do that. I would rather prove my sanity to you then to actually confirm your thoughts of me being “crazy”.