Crazy is in the Eye of The Beholder

Crazy

What is crazy? More importantly, what does crazy look like to you?

We see the world based on previous experiences, beliefs, opinions and thoughts. Every human being sees the world differently. We choose to see and believe what is in front us hence fabricating or sifting out a truth that is either pleasing or acceptable to our own mind. At times, discarding valuable key notes on the matter in hand.

Last week, I found myself overhearing a conversation. Well, I’m not sure. In retrospective, I think I may have been a participant in the conversation – although a silent one.

We were all attending a two days course on mental health and suicide prevention. How to assist someone in getting them the help they need and preventing that person from committing suicide.

On day two during our lunch break. We are talking about how informative the course has been so far. I’m thrown of guard when a fellow social worker claimed that people suffering from depression or/and suicidal thoughts were perhaps more crazy than anything else and should probably be institutionalize. I sat there listening, amazed at such claim. I hoped they would stop or even better, realize as she went on the absurdity of the words coming out of her mouth.

I zoomed out when the issue of mental health and religion intersected. The word God and Jesus came up, presenting a simple answer and solution for it all. It was then I realized all hope was lost in this conversation, so I got up and left.

The issue was not the fact that this person was religious and that her God was the solution. Good for her, I say. It works for her. However, it was the fact that she transferred and presented her ideas, opinions and beliefs as the truth for others.

Alas, it made me realize that even today the stigma on mental health is sadly alive in today’s society.

I will admit that I was perhaps emotionally invested in the topic and her claims. And perhaps got carried away by my own issues and thoughts on the matter. However, her claims were far ahead and…if I dare say it, cold and simple-minded.

What you see, is not always the truth. Your opinions are not always facts. If you saw me walking down the street, I would look like any other person. Nevertheless, behind closed doors, I suffer and battle a much worse enemy than the devil itself – namely me.

We’ve all battled life at some point in our lives. And you’ve probably noticed my constant repetition – no one is immune the downswings of life, which I’m sure many can agree. The journey of life is no straight line with no obstacles and hardships.

I believe we’ve all struggle mentally at some point in our life – some more than others.
I wasn’t aware that depression was all so common until my Monday blues and my normal ups and downs turned into an emotional mess where I felt like I was constantly living in a black hole. Sadly, with depression/mental issues comes certain risks and challenges. Like suicide.

As I sat there listening to her every word, I felt the shame. I felt the stigma of battling depression. I`m not crazy. Life has kicked me so hard that waking up and doing it all again, it is a struggle.

If I had shared my every thought I`m afraid of the label I would have been given. A stamp on my forehead – CRAZY. Therefore, I keep my moth shut and try to heal.

Then I silently ask – what is crazy? Furthermore, I realize I don’t need to explain myself.

I would think in today’s modern society that the knowledge on mental health amongst people had widespread by now. Unfortunately, many have not received the memo. Some choose to deny the fact that when it comes to the human mind and emotions there is no right or wrong. If we are to understand each other, we cannot distinguish between the crazy and the normal.

If so, I would need to ask again – what is crazy? Moreover, what is normal? Would you be able to give me a straight and objective answer – free of bias and bigotry?

I cannot claim that we will all go crazy some day, for crazy is highly subjective. However, life has a tendency of putting us through hardship, pain, sorrow, despair etc. And when it does, we will all handle what is thrown our way differently depending on who we are, the culture and society we come from.

Each person has their own opinion about certain matters, issues and topics without any significant knowledge in the particular field. And with so many opinions abound it is fair to say crazy is in the eye of the beholder.

Happy Wednesday!

-A.B.-


Photo Credit: Pexels.com

6 Life Lessons Depression Has Taught Me

Unbroken 2014

Quote from the motion picture – ‘Unbroken’

The state of depression cannot be described only by one word. From experience, it’s a state of multiple emotions and the condition is complex like the human mind and life. When depressed, a person battles several emotions, sending that person in a stream of emotional mess.

Battling The Downswings of Life

It’s been over a year since my first ‘outburst’ – since my rollercoaster of emotions. Depression is no walk in the park but it has surely taught me a lot about who I am and about life.

1. Today’s pain – tomorrow’s strength
Our experiences teaches us a thing or two that we bring with us in our ‘bag of lessons and experiences’. Today’s pain and sorrow prepares us for tomorrow’s battles. Nevertheless, when tomorrow comes, we can assure ourselves with the fact that ‘today’s pain is temporary’.

2. Live in the moment
With depression, my future seemed dark and I kept carrying around a slightly gloomy past. In my case, what seemed like a bright future became all quite unwelcoming. Driven by fear, I couldn’t see nor fathom the whole point of it all. While I was focusing too much on my past and my future, I forgot the most important aspect of life – namely, the present. And the importance of living in the moment – day by day.

3. Gratitude opens doors
Gratitude evokes happiness and enjoyment in the present. Showing gratitude for what you have will open doors and let you discover a more brighter world – brighter days. Gratitude can make a great impact on your daily life. Which it did in my own life. It made me appreciate more of what I had which provided a more happier mind.

 

Find appreciation and satisfaction in what you have and acknowledge it’s existence.

4. No one is immune to the downswings of life
You’re not alone! The ups and the downs are very much a part of all life. The hard part and difficult times may hurt.You won’t stop crying. You’ll be consumed with despair. However, our downsides teaches us more about the course of life and who we are as individuals.

I learned that we all have our own battles to overcome. My stories and difficulties alone are not what makes me unique – but the lessons and who we are and choose to become. Along the journey we can only hope and strive for the good in life and make smart choices for ourselves.

Life has no formal promises.

5. Failure is inevitable
If you haven’t failed at anything, then you’ve truly haven’t lived. Failure is yet another lesson/experience in disguise. No experience nor knowledge goes wasted in the name of failure.

 

Failure is a reminder that we’re humans and that it’s a part of life. And the upside is that it can prepare us of what’s to come and what to avoid in the next round.

6. Love and embrace yourself
We are who we are; all of us unique in our own ways – with our strength and flaws. Be who you are with the good and the bad but mostly embrace the good. See the beauty and uniqueness that is you and love yourself. If you don’t love and embrace yourself, how can you expect others to do so? We lead by example; you alone can teach others how to love and respect you.

 

You rise and conquer by being the best you can be.

A.B.

Life is a Battlefield: Discouragement

“You say you’re ‘depressed’ – all I see is resilience. You are allowed to feel messed up and inside out. It doesn’t mean you’re defective – it just means you’re human.” – David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas

Unfortunately, I feel like life is a battlefield these days. Tuning in helps, but brings up more questions than answers at times. I feel like I have to battle every emotion, fear, obstacle, disappointment and so on. I feel like a basket case. Yep, I’m not in the zone. I once again prove I’m human.

Sometimes I think life would be so much easier if there were big neon signs to guide us at all times. But I guess that would just suck out the fun out of life and the actual living and learning part of it.

Turning down the volume can be a curse and a blessing (forgot to mention that), depending on what you’re battling, mental, spiritual or physical pain. In my case, battling fear, discouragement, confusion – spiritual and mental? Well, life sometimes makes everything quite overwhelming. In one moment, I feel like a champion, in the next a defeated champion having to retreat. Just to show how unpredictable life is – well, my life.

The enemy seems to know my every move, feelings, actions and reactions. Too bad the enemy is me. Great, I’m sabotaging myself!

Caroline Myss puts it so well in sharing her thoughts on (YouTube)
“How To Find Your Purpose”:

“We are born intuitive. We are so intuitive that it’s actually
for most people the source of their greatest suffering.”

That couldn’t be more accurate for me. So, I’ve awaken and I’m self-aware. I know what I want. Now, what’s next?
I feel hopeless… As a proclaimed ‘thinker’, I ask:

How does one take the first step when there’s uncertainties behind everything.
Really, how does one really take a leap of faith in that everything is going to work out?

In my bad days (like today), I find it difficult to comprehend how one just ‘believe’ in what seems pretty much impossible at times. As a human being (a woman) with responsibilities and obligations, how does one separate from the group and see oneself as an individual with a path of it’s own and a purpose?

Again, I will quote Caroline Myss who shares advice and her thoughts on (YouTube)
“Why Being Alive Means You Have A Purpose”:

“Have no judgements about your life, no expectations and
give up the need to know what happens tomorrow.”

Great advice and it makes sense. But just one question though: how does one do that?

The Absence of Light and Clarity

It all started in the early fall of 2014. I was gradually feeling the absence of me and a belief that I had failed those around me, including myself.

I should have paid more attention to my body, mind and instincts. Instead, I kept on going. As humans, we are not always good at reading the signs leading to pain. We involve ourselves in insignificant things that tend to occupy our minds and lives, which in the end blinds us of recognizing the important aspects of life or even of what’s to come.

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