There’s some varied and impressive shades of crazy floating around right now. Perhaps it’s the eclipse, or the end of winter, or the election, or the rise of fascism. Perhaps it’s just that everyone has to lose their shit from time to time.
Whatever it is, a lot of people who I care for deeply are feeling wounded, or weary, or unshakably sad.
A lot of these people are staring down the barrel of vast levels of stress, or a long and unrelenting string of shitty news or tough situations. Some crazy is circumstantial. Some crazy is seasonal. Some crazy is chemical. Some crazy is reactive. Some crazy is just crazy.
I’ve also been tumbling down the abyss for weeks. This journey is not new or interesting after three decades of highs and lows, it is a familiar and hated companion. One silver lining in this dark cloud, is that It’s a privilege to be called upon by friends and even acquaintances who feel themselves slipping down the into a dark place. A cuddle, a conversation, and a reminder that the shadows do eventually get chased away with powerful streaks of Love and light. Even if it may not feel like it will ever end, it does. And being the person to remind anyone of this fact, almost makes my own dark times worthwhile. Almost.
Here stands humanity. The rise of hate seems to be gaining a terrifyingly historic level of momentum, and yet people aren’t calling the terror committed in hate what it is, and what it is, is terrorism. Then there’s acidification of the oceans, bleaching of the reefs, rising sea levels, deforestation, mass extinction and an impending antibiotic resistance. I could go on, but I won’t. Suffice to say, life’s pretty heavy in a lot of micro and macro fronts right now, and it can break even the most resilient of brains.
Today, after a lovely school visit, and the kindness, kisses, and cuddles of trusted friends, I am quietly optimistic that there’s a corner being turned. I want to give anyone who’s currently being chased by the proverbial black dog some sage advice, as serious sad can strike anywhere, anytime, and hang around well beyond any usefulness.
The irony of me passing on this advice is NOT lost on me I assure you. I skip headlong through life, falling deeply in Love with all and sundry, and never stopping to think about much of anything beyond what I am feeling in any given moment. But trust me, boundaries are important. You can help people, you can let people in, you can laugh and cry and play with whomever you choose, and even however you choose to play! But protect yourself. Know when you’re in over your head or needing to take a step in a different direction. Let people in, but only as much as you can manage, and know when to say enough to anything. Enough news, enough offloading, enough distraction, enough fun, enough sad, enough happy, enough anything. You know when you’ve had enough. Be okay with calling it.
Many, if not most of us do not ascribe to the tenants of self-care, despite being told over and again that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Again, you know when your body and mind need a break, be it an early night, a yoga class or just an hour of active relaxing in the kitchen. Please, please, please find the space in your life to do something that recharges you and cares for you holistically. When we do not make this a priority, we crash spectacularly, and often leave collateral damage in the wake of the spectacle.
- Say NO more
Say no more. Be realistic about what you can and cannot do. Be clear on what you expect and clarify other people’s expectation when you take on new endeavours. A lot of us are people pleasers, and a lot of us (forgive me for saying, but particularly women) are professional jugglers and multi-taskers. At the top of our game we are able to fulfill numerous roles and manage to keep countless balls in the air. But the stress of this, and the gravity that brings some of those balls to earth is simply not worth the pain that it will leave on your heart and head. So say no sometimes. Just. Say. No.
- Find and follow your bliss
Very few people get to do a job that they truly love. Sadly, a lot of us don’t even have hobbies or distractions. Please, go and find something that fills up your cup and soothes your soul. I shall be treating myself to a kayak. I live by the water, and adore the ocean, and I crave alone time so much it actually fucking hurts me to feel the need to be alone sometimes as strongly as I do. I will kayak, and you please, find your magic, and tell me what it is because I would be quite fascinated.
- Be kind to those you Love
Sometimes, we lash out at our favourite people. I can unequivocally say that I am guilty of this. I will lash out and attempt to frighten anyone who truly occupies substantial real estate in my heart or head. It’s a hangover from self-destructive teenage wasteland bollocks I think. Terrifyingly, Phteven has been privy to this vitriol so many times, he is either immune or I simply do not bother to attack him anymore, and turn my sites on fresh new friendships. It’s not clever. And you’ll lose potential life-long relationships if you test them too early or too much. So yes. Be kind to the people who Love you. They’re trying to manage their own crazy as well as yours I’d hazard a fairly educated guess.
You MUST get enough rest. If you’re having trouble sleeping get thee to the chemist for some chamomile and valerian. Turn off your devices, lock your door. Soak in a hot mineral bath and get your sad ass into the sheets early. Seriously, the lack of sleep will drive anyone around the bend, so if you feel yourself slipping please get more rest.
- Let shit go
This may well be the single most important piece of advice on the list. The world is a fucked up, miserable, magical, frenetic, fantastic, mystical, place full or mayhem and misunderstandings. You must learn that you cannot control things. You must understand that not everything is your fault. You must just see some stuff, accept it is too heavy, and let that shit go.
Okay. So there it is. Advice on curbing the crazy from one of the craziest women most of you know.
If you’re struggling right now, I wish you all the comfort and compassion you need to get your feet back onto higher ground. If you’re on a good stretch, enjoy it and maybe stop to talk to someone who is looking a bit down in the mouth, as long as you observe the boundaries and are prepared to say no if things are too much.
We all lose our shit from time to time. We all mend hearts and heads that are too heavy or too broken to function reasonably.
Hang in there, it passes.
Lots and lots and lots of Love from Dee to you.
Thanks for reading.