Let’s talk about crazy. I’m not talking about let’s-get-naked-and-skid-across-a-sandpaper-slide-to-see-how-badly-it-burns type of crazy. Rather, I’m talking about the type of crazy we convince ourselves is normal to the point where we believe that we are the crazy ones for even doubting it. The kind that makes us doubt our inner bacon (i.e. your true, unadulterated self) that’s screaming to us, “THIS is the truth; THAT isn’t!”
When you have low bacon-esteem and have surrounded yourself with people who make you constantly second-guess yourself, you become conditioned to believe the crazy is normal or true. You become afraid to believe the actual truth because it seems too good, too sane, or too self-centered to be true. You convince yourself that the truth your bacon is slapping in your face is you just selfishly trying to make you feel better about yourself.
People looking in on your situation from the outside may even tell you exactly what your bacon has been telling you all along, but you feel too guilty to believe it. When this happens, you probably feel crappy, stuck, and desperate for clarification, certainty, and validation, even when you’ve received it time and time again.
“Yes, he left me in a parking lot overnight, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he doesn’t care about me; if he does it again, THEN I’ll know for sure.”
“She could have been manipulating me, but what if she wasn’t? What if I’m just thinking too much into it?”
“I know it seems like they’re taking advantage of me, but I’m probably just imagining it and it’s my fault.”
“I know it sounds bad, but I’m probably telling the story wrong. If you were there in person, you’d probably see that I’m exaggerating and he wasn’t actually trying to get in my pants, and that I probably sent him the wrong signals.”
“Is this really what I believe? Or am I standing on the wrong side of this issue? Now that person’s upset with me; maybe I shouldn’t have spoken out about it at all.”
Any of these sound familiar, Skippy?
But when you keep ignoring the truth, waving it aside as “crazy” (even though the real crazy is coming from the lies or excuses you’re making), you fall into an endless pit of anxiety. You agonize over trying to make sense of the situation and fall into the trap of self-loathing.
When you have all this growing anxiety, it’s not because you’re crazy; your body is trying to warn you. It’s trying to draw your attention to something, and it only gets worse as you continue ignoring the truth and making excuses. But once you accept that truth, and allow yourself to let go of any residual guilty feelings, you’ll notice a sense of calm. You’ll suddenly feel free. For me, when I finally listen to that truth, I often get teary-eyed with relief.
It’s often difficult to accept that you’re not actually crazy, but once you realize it, it’s emotionally overwhelming. Even if the truth you’ve realized hurts, it will also feel clear and simple. Everything suddenly makes sense.
The same reasoning applies to mental illness. For example, I often doubt whether I actually have obsessive-compulsive disorder. I convince myself that something really caused by my OCD is actuality, that I just suck at life, and that there is no solution. The very idea that my anxieties are caused by a mental disorder (that is in no way my fault for having) sometimes sounds too forgiving; like an excuse I’m making for myself. So I feel guilty. But once I overcome that guilt (recognizing that “guilt” and “gut” are not one and the same), it is SUCH a relief, and the fog suddenly lifts from my mind.
So for whatever you’re struggling with at this very moment, I’m here to tell you this: you’re not crazy. Listen to your bacon. Even if it’s telling you to rip your skin off raw on a slide of sandpaper. (Please don’t do that. I doubt that’s what your bacon really wants. Disregard that suggestion.)