I’m going to talk openly in a very vague way in this post. After 10 years of therapy and many psychologists I’ve received news that completely validates the way I function, and the many ways I’ve always struggled. I’m not ready to share the specifics, but I really want to talk about some of the positive feelings I’ve had surrounding this new information.
My experience with psychologists up until this point has followed a rather predictable cycle. I would start seeing them, we would talk about some surface level issues, then just as I was starting to open up to a place to fully discuss the dark rabbit hole my brain can be, they would decide that the discussed issue was the only thing wrong, diagnose me with anxiety and or depression and then send me on my merry way.
Repeatedly I would talk about the cycles and patterns exhibited throughout my time, only to have them dismissed. The continuous dismissal of my cyclical issues was honestly starting to make me feel crazy, almost like I was making it up for attention?
I really want to unpack the feeling of crazy. For me it’s such a huge complex feeling, which I’m pretty sure quite a few people experience, but don’t talk about. By talking about it, perhaps less people will find themselves privately swept away by mind games this feeling can play.
For me crazy is an oxymoronic feeling - it makes me simultaneously feel sane and insane. It’s accompanied by shame, confusion, saddness and the feeling of not being heard. Whenever I’ve been gaslit by another person, the feeling of “crazy” always accompanies the experience. It’s actually a huge way I identify someone trying to gaslite me. Crazy makes me insecure and unsure of my core human functions and values.
A good psychologist won’t make you feel crazy. They also won’t invalidate your emotional experience travelling through this world. After having so many people of power and education telling me “It’s only anxiety and depression, you’re just imagining bigger problems” it’s a huge relief to have my lived experience validated in this way. I’m not being ridiculous, nor seeking attention - I function exactly the way I’m intended to function, and whilst some stuff may be harder for me, I’m doing it correctly.
For the first time in my life, I feel empowered about my mental health. I have something tangible that I can learn about, and then apply to my life and experiences. I can finally stop living in fear of the emotional states I had no control over, because now I know why they happen.
Awareness in this field continues to be an issue. So much so that I’m not comfortable talking about this in full on this little internet space. I hope I can one day in the future, but right now I am wary of applying this label so openly and permanently (remember kids, the internet is forever ;P). Just know that this is the most peace I’ve found in my existence as a human, and for that I am grateful.