After chilling on this beautiful planet for just about two decades, interacting with beings that look like me, opposable thumbs and all , one would think that I would know the social norms and adhere to them. Turns out that isn’t the case. Actually, it isn’t the case with several other humans as well. I decided to call the term “normalcy” into question when I was reproached, albeit non-verbally, for speaking aloud while alone… you know, because somebody you’ve never met decided it was weird.
Speaking aloud when alone makes you crazy
I decided to do some research on the signs of craziness, more politely known as mental illness. According to webmd.com (I don’t know how reputable they are but their website was at the top of the results of a quick Google search) the signs for mental illness include:
- Confused thinking
- Long-lasting sadness or irritability
- Extremely high and low moods
- Excessive fear, worry, or anxiety
- Social withdrawal
- Dramatic changes in eating or sleeping habits
- Strong feelings of anger
- Delusions or hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not really there)
- Increasing inability to cope with daily problems and activities
- Thoughts of suicide
- Denial of obvious problems
- Many unexplained physical problems
- Abuse of drugs and/or alcohol
I don’t know how I feel about this list. I’ve read it over a couple of times and I wish I could say that it’s totally bonkers. Unfortunately that would mean I’m proving the third last statement correct. I’m going to go through each of the points and briefly mention what I think.
Ok, look… Maybe it’s just me but I always assumed that people, especially those transitioning through uncertain periods of their lives, like I am at the moment, experience all of these rarely, often or on a daily basis (depending on the person) and it’s absolutely normal. Isn’t it? I am confused at certain periods. Who doesn’t ever get confused? Next up, sadness and irritability… some dude probably thought of a misogynistic joke right now (shame on you) but don’t we all experience those? Aren’t they a part of our emotional spectrum? Excessive fear… “excessive” compared to what exactly? Normal people? Social withdrawal… no comment. Dramatic changes in eating and sleeping habits – two words – college student. Strong feelings of anger – one word – tuition. Delusions and hallucinations? Others argue that life itself is some kind of a hallucination, that hopes and dreams are delusions because face it, how many people get to achieve what they dream? Does that make it a delusion? Dreaming or imagining something that doesn’t/probably won’t ever happen? Daily problems aren’t easy to solve. Hence the term “problem”. I think it makes sense to not be able to cope… unless it’s math… then again it still makes sense because math can be hard. Thoughts of suicide – again, no comment… actually I will comment. If you never think of committing suicide, hat off to you mate! Denial of obvious problems – watch any movie ever and tell me that that isn’t a part of human nature. Unexplained physical problems? Answer: Puberty. Last but not least, abuse of drugs. That makes most of the UK crazy by definition. Also, sleep is not a drug but if it was (were?) I certainly abuse it alright.
Let’s face it, if this was a test then I would have failed miserably. Looking at this checklist I’m definitely “crazy”. Perhaps I’m reading the bullet points out of context. Maybe I’m confused/deluded. To be honest I don’t know what I feel about this anymore. At least I can say that talking to oneself aloud isn’t on the list in spite of the assumption that many “crazy” people share that trait.
One thing that I would like to get across: crazy/weird is whatever strays from the mean. If you aren’t like everybody else then there has to be something wrong with you – that’s the general consensus. But who is the standard? Who sets the standard for what is normal? What did they do to earn that right?
In my honest opinion, as long as you hurt nobody, including yourself – it really doesn’t matter… just do you.