The bubble of crazy

25 Aug

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my stay in the mental ward in July.

I haven’t talked about it as much as I likely should because I found it, in some ways, traumatic. Only REALLY crazy people go there, right? What was a girl like me doing trying to eat her lunch around a guy talking loudly on the communal phone about pre-cum, spitting as he spoke?

I feel alone in groups of people, much like we all do. (oh woe! our poor angsty existance! I’m so alone and special!) But the alone I felt in that hospital was so different. I was not like these people-I was not lying about my condition, I hadn’t been there for 6 months, and wasn’t riding it for all it was worth, taking up a bed. I didn’t need to be reminded to shower. I was scared of where I was, because at the end of the day, I didn’t feel that crazy.

I don’t know how to “act” crazy either-it’s a fine line between just crazy enough and too crazy, one that you don’t want to cross. If I was moderately happy, would they take that to mean I was ok like so many other people had? I don’t know how to honestly show my moods, since for so long, I’ve had to ignore them, cover them up, or make them something else entirely. It was hard-it was hard to open up and just be the person I really was, let the raw emotion take hold. To sit in my room, crying for no reason as I lay there, realizing that I used to do that all the time, when I had the time.

Realizing that most of our lives are an attempt to stay busy so we don’t really feel anything. I was confronted with the one thing I didn’t know how to handle. Me.

Trouble was, in many ways, I seemed like the most together one there, the one most able to compensate and handle real life. So what value is sitting in a room full of people who can’t stop talking, let alone live on their own? People who like being institutionalized. What value was this to me?

What value is there in learning to live in a bubble?

5 Responses to “The bubble of crazy”

  1. bine August 25, 2007 at 10:49 am #

    “realizing that most of our lives are an attempt to stay busy so we don’t really feel anything” took my breath away nad brought tears to my eyes.
    i fall back into that ever so often.
    there are days where i want to shout with joy and beam at everyone in the street, but long stretches of my life have been, and somedays still are now, exactly that.

    and those people in there, who seem to be unable to handle real life – i guess that makes the difference between you and most of them probably: you wanted to get back out. you want to be sane. you knew your family was waiting for you. you wanted to live, that’s why you went there. but you also wanted to get out well, whereas it sounds like many people there didn’t want to get out because they couldn’t, or didn’t want to, handle real life.

    is there a value in learning to live there? i can’t really imagine. for people who’d rather stay institutionalized it means safety. for you … i don’t know. it just calmed me down that you were being looked after, not alone and suicidal. that someone was finally having a look at your medication. i didn’t expect you to go “oh, now i don’t have to hold myself together anymore and can just go completely nuts!”
    the difference is, you are not nuts. you have an illness, you want to be treated, not institutionalized.

  2. R August 25, 2007 at 1:40 pm #

    My name is Rachael and I used to write over at CrankMama…. I’ve been reading your blog on and off for a year or so and this post touched me deeply. We all live in a sort of bubble (though if one also has a chemical imbalance that is an even greater challenge)…and we *all* are trained in this society to kill our pain. That’s why I think so many mothers are addicted to drugs and alcohol… because our existential angst grows greater as we face trying to bring our sweet kids into a fucked up world. I often look at my daughters and see their happiness and think “God I hope they end up happier than me… less fucked up”and that’s such a depressing thought.

    I also read your comment over at Hathor the Cow goddess and share your experience of formula -feeding guilt and honestly that’s why I”m such a raving anti-breastfeeding person sometimes.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing more about your experience of inpatient treatment… you are a beautiful writer.

    I write over at Redsy now if you want to check it out (though not nearly as well as you)

    -Peace to you.

  3. jen August 25, 2007 at 3:21 pm #

    we all live in a bubble. different and similar bubbles. i’ve wondered how this was for you, this down the rabbit hole visit.

    and then i sit here thinking of all the ways you are courageous.

  4. Adrienne August 29, 2007 at 11:24 am #

    I hear you on the Loony Bin. It’s one of those places that was where I needed to go (for a variety of reasons) and where I never want to go again. Unless, of course, I’m not locked in. I have no problem with visiting. It’s the mandatory stay that I don’t want to do.

    Hope all is well. Chin up.


  5. thordora August 29, 2007 at 11:54 am #

    Thanks for your thoughts everyone. And the compliments Rachel. 🙂

    I’ll get there.

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