“I found myself curled up into the fetal position, crying. I don’t understand where this came from. Am I crazy?”
“I’m falling apart at work. I get angry at the smallest things and snap at people. Sometimes I need to excuse myself from meetings because I get emotional. Am I crazy?”
“No one understands me. They say I’m too sensitive. I do seem to feel things deeper than other people do and I get hurt so easily. I don’t understand why I can’t snap out of it. Am I crazy?”
“Sometimes I feel like life has no meaning, no purpose. I want to be happy and be a better person but these thoughts keep coming up for me and it’s making me miserable. Am I crazy?”
I hear questions like this so frequently in my practice. Have you ever asked yourself these things, or something like it? Do you ever feel crazy?
First off, I don’t believe in crazy.
I believe that you are in pain and when you are, things tend to fall apart. You might be able to bury it for a long time and very effectively and then at some point, WHAM… It can come from out of the blue. I call this getting “leaky”. All those things that you’ve been hiding from yourself and the people around you start to leak out.
“The most fundamental aggression to ourselves, the most fundamental harm we can do to ourselves, is to remain ignorant by not having the courage and the respect to look at ourselves honestly and gently” — Pema Chodran
Sometimes you just need someone to listen and understand where you’re coming from without judging you or telling you to “get over it”. Sometimes you need to work on deeper things, perhaps old patterns or hurts. Sometimes you need someone to help explain the reasons why you’re feeling what you do. Sometimes you need to develop a set of coping tools for the times when things fall apart. The good news is that you can heal. Therapy is often a good place to start. It’s not the only path to healing though. Journaling about your experiences or reading books specific to your problems can also help.
The Dialectical Behavioral Therapy Skills Workbook by McKay, Wood and Brantley
Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat-Zinn
The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie
Peace is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh
Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach
When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodran