So here’s the thing, I’m crazy. Not in a Have the Lambs Stopped Crying, Clarice? crazy. But enough to warrant psychotherapy and be excused from the occasional jury duty order (my bright idea that, no doubt will kick my kharma down the road, I’m sure).
So how crazy is my Crazy?
Being an adult entertainer in my former life twenty years ago, grabbing my ankles on stage was just another day ending in “y.” You’d think unveiling my official medical diagnosis to the World Wide Web would be cake.
Pumping the breaks on conclusions jumping off the screen, I’ll say this: I’m happy to report this post isn’t coming from a locked down facility with padded walls. But the mere fact this scene was a vacation fantasy from my life during some of my worst depression days? There’s the rub.
One of my favorite writing tasks was to sum up my memoir in six words, thanks to friend, Larry Smith and his brilliant Six Word Memoir empire. My post was well received and actually ended up being a feature on his website. Check it:
Ex-stripper turned writer. More exposed now.
So although my comfort in performing in the buff six days a week was in check, I can’t say the same for sharing too many personal details of my mental illness. Let’s just say I have issues (mainly PTSD from childhood and trust issues with men – go figure). I’m sure your working on your own pu-pu platter of challenges. Delicious, no?
So why even dangle the carrot at all, if I’m not willing to dish my dirt? Because it’s important to know you’re not alone. If you’ve ever obsessed, beat yourself up, hacked your partners phone or email, cyber-stalked, self-sabotaged, cheated, manipulated or all of the above – rest assured – you are far from being the only human being whose mental health flew off the rails at one time or another. Not that any of its cool. It’s just not as uncommon as you think.
Life is messy. Our Crazy can sometimes show.
We’ve all been caught. And like toilet paper stuck to our shoe during a night out with the gang – we realize it – have a laugh – remove the thing and get on with our night. If only obliterating the cause and effects of our unstable behavior was this easy.
I have a friend who knew her boyfriend of three years was cheating with a co-worker. Not only did she break into his house for “proof” – she dressed the part, complete with black ski mask, pants, turtleneck and flashlight. Quite a dramatic scene of desperate measures. So many years later, we laugh about now. Why? Because it’s cray-cray, and we’ve ALL been there.
My most recent lover (we’ll call him William) is a dear friend and I’m thrilled we can laugh about our Crazy now. Trust me when I say, at the time, it wasn’t pretty. The shame spiral I caused within my own personal psyche was insane – pun intended. But after the dust settled and we shared intimate whys – the pages turned. We both know our going to the dark side within the space of our relationship was really just our way of navigating through the things WE needed to handle – as individuals – for ourself. Most lovers are unfortunate casualties of Crazy.
Of course, there’s a limit and everyone’s tolerance barometer is different. But for the most part – we hopefully learn from the messes we create and take steps to stock up on emotional paper towels before even needing to lay them out.
Some people refuse to admit to their Crazy. These finger-pointers have their own set of issues that shine an even brighter light on emotional and mental accountability. At least when we cop to our shit, we’re moving the needle of progression. There’s nothing pretty about denial of behaviors so obvious to everyone but them.
We don’t need to be proud of our cringe-worthy moments. But it does help to remember that for the people who truly love us (that includes our own love of self), forgiveness, understanding, and one helluva sense of humor goes a long way.
“Think of your head as an unsafe neighborhood; don’t go there alone.” ~ Augusten Burroughs