I’m weird, yes. Fantasy prone and willfully melancholic and oftentimes reclusive, yes. I also used to think I was crazy.
I spent my late teens and early twenties thinking that I was stupid, despite being very philosophical, a decent writer, and a college student studying laboratory technology. I graduated, too, but I lacked the confidence to go where I needed to in order to find a job.
By my mid-twenties, I gained a bit more confidence as I self-identified as a creative writer and I started modelling for money, but I thought I was crazy. I realized that I was smart, and taking an IQ test along with receiving compliments from older, professional people affirmed this. But I was aware that something was off about me, I just didn’t know what it was.
I never grew out of those roller coaster emotion phases that only teenagers are meant to have. I was 26 years old and obsessed with fictional characters on and off, falling for real guys along the way while I was married after knowing them for only two days. Clearly, I was not stable or happy, but I labelled myself as immature and crazy. I would be happy and energetic for weeks at a time, and then a single incident could send me into deep depression instantly.
At 30, it was the moment when I found myself crying on the bathroom floor genuinely wanting to die over a transient German guy that I realized I had issues. I had known years before I needed to see a psychologist, but never had the funds or the freedom to see one. My early 30s, which I’m still in, at age 32, have been the most informative, free, and detrimental years of my life.
I never had the freedom that most twenty something’s have. I went straight from my parents’ home to my marriage at only age 23. I was a virgin who had never been drunk or even smoked a cigarette. I hadn’t even been to a metal concert let alone a club. I divorced at 28, the age where many North Americans are just starting to get married. I gained my freedom at last, but I struggled so much financially that I ended up under my parents’ roof too many times. I felt so trapped. Until I finally went out to another province to understand what living my own life was like at age 30. I looked 22, and I also felt like I was 22. Just leaving home for the first time to go find myself. I felt so lost.
I ended up in Banff, Alberta, where I became suicidal. I didn’t think I was going to make it out of there alive. I thought I was crazy, and my frustration, sadness, and feelings of being trapped in a house where no one understood me drove me to do things that appeared crazy, like shrieking when I had to stay at work later or crying hysterically when a British idiot stopped talking to me because we didn’t fuck soon enough and I was “too clingy”. No, he thought I was crazy. I thought I was crazy, too. I think everyone who spent more than a month with me in Banff thought I was nuts.
My meds weren’t working and my therapist was getting frustrated with me. I thought I was hopeless. One of my supervisors at work also thought I was hopeless.
I left Banff to work at a wilderness lodge to rejuvenate. Though my job stressed me out and I’d wake up trembling in my bed, I was feeling better! I didn’t want to kill myself! I was inspired to write more than ever. I got to enjoy rain again, because it actually rained there. I started to heal, despite the new challenges. But I still thought I was crazy, because I was still so different from everyone there, except for one of the chefs. He became a decent mentor to me in the end.
So, what led me to believe I wasn’t crazy? It’s sort of funny, but it was when this random guy who was using the campsite kept hanging around for no reason other than to hang out with me and a few of the girls there. He admitted that he liked me, but that he was getting mixed signals. I didn’t find him attractive at all and I was actually scared of him because of his admission to beating his step dad within an inch if his life, and he had abused his last girlfriend. He heard that I had been suicidal in Banff, and after I rejected him, he told one of my friends that he had dated enough crazy bitches in his life and he didn’t need another one. I actually laughed! He of all people called me crazy and I didn’t even have the nerve to use that term on him.
This friend of mine also reiterated that I was crazy, but she made note that I didn’t go all nuts about the guys there, and that I was stable enough to sit in my room quietly and write my books.
That made me stop and think. Was I actually somewhat stable? Was I not crazy? Am I more grown up than I thought I was?
Maybe we are a little confused, broken, or in need of a mental break, but that doesn’t make us crazy. I finally realize this. I’m not crazy.