hey jessie, you mentioned in CT that you went to the psych hospital so I wanted to ask you this because you might have special insights, or I dunno, something that has commonality with my own experience…? Recently I’ve been having these moments where I feel just totally disassociated with my body (or myself)… and when I searched up CT I came across an entry that talked about being smacked with awareness, which might be what I’m experiencing??? But then I thought what if i’m actually going crazy, like I’m actually losing my mind? I’m terrified and confused, and I know it’s a lot to ask but if you could share something from your experience it might help? Thanks so much anonymous stranger, I’ve always resonated with your comments and wondered why you said the things you did, especially stuff that didn’t seem to make sense, if that makes sense? Haha

The short answer is: you’re right on both counts. You are losing your mind, and it is because you’re suddenly aware. It’s jarring, I know. Basically, a rogue baseball came and whacked off your head, replacing it with a cloud of air. You’re still thinking, of course, but your thoughts are untethered without the physical leash of a sense of self.

Sure, the idea of going mad is terrifying, in large part because it is a binary concept made out of a loose and somewhat arbitrarily framed collection of DSM checkboxes. And being labelled a crazy person is a social caste circles below being poor, a racial minority, or gay. You are a pariah that society finds too distasteful to even share the same reality with. Disease of the mind exists, but it’s not necessarily everything the men in white coats say it is.

Remember, there is a difference between incoherence in thought, and coherence in thought based upon a set of different premises.

The man running away from an imaginary tiger on the street and the man running toward the fictional value of an Olympic gold medal do not understand each other. The woman speaking to herself in the supermarket and the woman speaking to an invisible man in a church do not understand each other. And finally, children think their stuffed animals are real.

You’ll be okay. You’ll get to the other side. The other side is where you come full circle to get back to yourself. You’ll learn to be comfortable with the dissonance between the two realities. You will carry on with your life, with the fresh insight that comes with heightened sensitivity and a sick sense of humour.

It will be like seeing the sun rise after getting home from a night shift. As the sun hits the rooftops, you will see the place you’ve always lived in a new light. The baseball will make it to home base, safe.

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