I often think of myself as being weird. My ADHD devil makes me different from other people, he makes me deal with emotions in a different way, he makes me see pink elephants everywhere and he makes my thoughts go so fast that I loose all control, linking things together that don’t have anything in common.
Sometimes I wonder if I am crazy, especially the many strange thoughts that appear inside my mind make me believe I am mad sometimes. I think about things I shouldn’t be thinking about, I say things I shouldn’t be saying and I’m scared of things that shouldn’t scare me. Often I’m ashamed of what is happening inside my mind, afraid that it’s too crazy to share with the world around me, and this made me wonder about what craziness is, or what I believe craziness is, where the boundaries are between “good” crazy and “bad” crazy.
What is crazy?
Craziness, madness or insanity are characterized by certain abnormal mental or behavioral patterns. Craziness is related to mental instability, mental illness or strange or threatening behavior. Crazy refers to something that lacks reason or something that is distracted with desire or excitement. Craziness can mean a minor strangeness but also complete insanity. There is a range to crazy, and somewhere in this range is a boundary between socially accepted fun and good crazy and being mental or mad.
Good vs Bad
We all like people with a bit of good crazy inside them. The people that do things just a little different, able to take you out of your comfort zone and make you take risks that bring excitement and joy. Good crazy often in something positive, a nice and enjoyable deviation from the normal, without any consequences.
But when good crazy lasts too long, or when the bursts of impulsiveness have a negative effect, the craziness turns into something bad. Bad crazy behavior damages people, the people close to the crazy person or the person him or herself. I believe that the outcome of the crazy determines the type of crazy, when there’s joy, it’s good and when there’s pain, it’s bad. Craziness is only allowed when it leads to positivity for everyone involved.
I own crazy
When I look at my own crazy, I recognize that I own all types of crazy. I can have crazy impulses that can brighten up my day, as well as the day of the people close to me. I can build tents in the living rom, spontaneously decide to leave for a concert in another country or challenge myself to do something that seems impossible. I have an amount of good-crazy that makes me a fun person to be around, it makes me unique and enjoyable, it makes me myself.
But there is also a bad-crazy inside me. The chaos that often occupies my mind, my continuous overthinking, is not a kind of crazy that anyone can enjoy. I can get angry without reason because of it, I can hurt people because of this and this craziness hurts myself. My ADHD devil, my chaos, creates a type of crazy that has potential to grow into madness once I loose control, and this type of crazy scares me.
I own impulsivity and chaos based craziness, but they are not what made me wonder about madness. The chaos can be bad, it can damage relationships I have with other people and it can make me crazy for a couple of days, but these crazinesses (types of crazy) are never strong enough to turn into an insanity or madness.
My potential madness
I have a third type of crazy inside me, a really scary one which occurs when I’m cooking. When I use a big kitchen knife to cut my food, the real crazy thought appear. I imagine how the knife I’m holding is able to cut off one of my fingers. I imagine how the sharpness of the knife could separate a part of me from my body and how clean this could would be, like a part of me never existed. I imagine how this knife could remove other parts of my body in the same way, a hand, a boob or my nose, the knife’s sharpness would cut right through my flesh, as smoothly as it cuts through the chicken I’m slicing right now, especially this part underneath my thumb, on the inside of my hand, or maybe it would feel more like pork or beef?
Whenever I use my kitchen knife, this strange thought of cutting through my own body occurs, but not once did I actually consider to use it to remove a part of myself. I believe my thought doesn’t occur out of the will to harm myself, they are instead based on a kind of curiosity or fear.
It is true that I cut myself quite often because of clumsiness and it has always been my fear that one day I will cut off a finger while cooking. But this risk to cut off one of my fingers is the risk that comes from cooking with an ADHD brain, I simply don’t focus on the knife when I’m cutting. I do believe that there will come a day that I’ll be so distracted by the chaos inside my mind that I will seriously harm myself with the kitchen knife, but this will never happen because I want it to happen.
Besides, I am quite curious to what I’m made of, how resistant my body is against sharp objects an how it feels to cut through human flesh. Not in a weird way, not like I actually want to own a human body part to experiment on but more as a vague curiosity a vague interest in uncovering if I’m closest to a chicken, a pig or a cow, or maybe some less common source of protein. Is my flesh red, grey or white? Does it have these white lines in it that beef can have sometimes? Is there fat inside my meat? In a way it’s strange that I’m able to recognize the meat of a chicken while I have no clue what my own meat looks like or which parts of my body even contain meat, like a steak or something.
Am I insane?
Although I’m ashamed of this crazy thought, afraid that you now consider me a complete lunatic, I am getting more and more comfortable with the existence of this kind of crazy. The thoughts used to scare me, but recently I started to accept their existence.
I am a person that overthinks everything, inside my mind pink elephants occur while I stare at my wardrobe, a certain flower reminds me to buy eggs and I’m writing this while I was actually on my way to buy these eggs still wearing my backpack throughout writing this whole post. Inside my mind, nothing seems logical, things are connected in a way I can not even describe and the curiosity about what my meat looks like while cutting chicken seems one of the few things that does make a bit of sense, at least the idea of my meat has a connection with the action of cutting meat.
In a way, it’s more crazy that I water my plants while I’m supposed to brush my teeth or redesign a floorplan when I have to move one window of a building I’m only designing the facade for. At least the crazy thought of cutting has something to do with what I’m doing at that moment, it’s not a complete distraction and might even be a way of my mind focussing on the action of cutting, a way to prevent myself from accidentally cutting my finger.
Thoughts are normal
The acceptance of my own crazy kitchen thoughts made me able to discuss crazy with other people and I discovered that everyone must have some crazy on the inside. I have a friend that can not stop to imagine what a flying baby would look like. Whenever he sees a baby, he imagines himself kicking it so hard that it would fly through the air like a bullet and in this imagination he is curious about what the face of the baby would look like. He would never actually kick a baby off course, but the thought just pops up whenever a baby reminds him of it.
Another friend of me has a thing with traffic accidents. Whenever she stops for a red light, she imagines herself jumping in front of the cars that pass by. In her thoughts she wants to throw herself into the rushing traffic, curious about what chaos her body would cause and how long it would take before this chaos would return back to normal.
Craziness is human
I am not the only person to which crazy thoughts appear sometimes. I believe we all have some crazy inside our human brains. In a way, we are all crazy but real bad-crazy is not linked to having a crazy thought popping up inside your mind. I believe that we all have the potential to become crazy but it is the way we decide to deal with our crazy that determines if we become mad or just have a wild imagination.
In my opinion, crazy thoughts are a logical by-product of the complexity of our human brains. So many things happen inside our heads, there are so many connections inside us that it makes complete sense that not all of them make sense. Craziness derives from our desire to discover and ask questions, it is in our nature that we are curious for the unknown but sometimes this unknown simply is something that shouldn’t be discovered.
I believe that our crazy is a simply curiosity for something we don’t know yet because discovery will do us harm. As long as we are able to recognize when our curiosity becomes too harmful for ourselves or other people, the craziness is completely fine. All humans are crazy but if we can remain in control of the actions that derive from our crazy, if we are able to decide what we do with it, craziness is far from a bad thing, it is what keeps us inventing and discovering new things.
Laugh about your crazy thoughts, make fun of the strange way in which your brain works and see the beauty in the complexity of yourself. Some things just appear without making sense, but as long as you are in control of the reaction on this, craziness can just brighten up your day, as a sign of the beautiful complexity of nature.