Tomorrow (or, today at this hour…) I go home. When I got to this psych ward I didn’t think I belonged. These people are crazy. They are actually sick. I’m not sick, just sad. What I understand to a better extent, now, is that we’re all a little sick. All of us. A wound may heal, but will never be as it was before. Every heart that beats also throbs from some deep seeded rejection. And the mind? The human mind must be the most perfectly imperfect thing in existence. My point is simply that we are all impossibly flawed.
I think it was Plato who professed a belief in a dual system of existence. On one side you have the body and on the other, the soul. Since the soul is immortal, it has access to truths that the body, being mortal and definitively tethered to the physical world, could not possibly enjoy.
I recall this bit ‘o Greek philosophy to say this: I similarly believe that our minds are dually-divided. On the one hand, we all have thoughts and feelings and fears, sometimes with a legitimate basis, but often completely irrational. Then we have the Truth. We have a logical side of the brain only takes objective information at face value, drawing conclusions only when they can be proven with fact.
At all times these two sides are at odds. Most of us are able to do as Plato recommends. We temper the emotional with the logical. We learn to reject, hide, or squash this side of our thinking.
I, for one, seem to be a pretty decent practician of hiding my irrational side (which for me has been anxiety accompanied with a nickel-sized dollop of depression), but not enough, it would seem, to firmly place me in the category of “normal.”
In an ironic twist of fate, I’ve found my stay in the psych ward quite comforting. When the demand for a cover of normalcy is abandoned, you can unleash everything. My anxiety hasn’t been much of an issue here, because there’s no one here to judge me. I can talk about my withdrawal-induced nervousness and agitation to a patient who, in turn, can relate to me her frustration with her treatment not working well enough to rid her of suicidal thoughts. It may sound crazy, because, in a strictly relative sense, it is. But I’m willing to bet you have at least a bit of crazy that you’ve tucked away in an old storage unit. Imagine if you could just take a break from acting like you’re okay when you just aren’t. It’s such a relieving experience.
No offense intended to the Plato philosophy. He was absolutely correct in a broad interpretation. For society to function well we all have to hide the crazy. Decisions made based on practicality/facts almost always turn out better than those made irrationally or randomly. The trouble is, I think, when we become slaves to reason. We shouldn’t worship the illusion of normalcy to the point that we neglect our own mental health, or judge those who choose to buck the trend and think with their “crazy” over their “normal.”
Nothing will ever be crazier than what society deems normal.