One of my roommate’s favorite activities is to show me off to her various cohorts. I’m like that exotic new pet that you jab awake during dinner parties to parade around before dumping them back in their cage to be forgotten until you need another cute selfie. I’m pretty okay with that to be honest. I am funny (at least I keep myself entertained) bubbly, and rather unique. What I do take issue with is some of the words she chooses to describe me with; especially one in particular. The word I am talking about is “crazy.”
Yes, I am aware that I chose to call my blog, “Sincerely Yours, A Former Crazy Girl.” But I think that is similar to how black people can call themselves and each other the n word. I have been described as crazy by enough other people during a time period that I was struggling with my mental health that by being referred by it now in relation to something markedly not crazy belittles just how far I have come since then. Like, is it “crazy” to dance goofily to the music videos on top forty? Is it crazy not to be shy when you meet new people? I don’t think so. Not compared to real instability (not that you should refer to someone with a legitimate mental health issue as crazy either, they are sick.)
I suffered from a severe general anxiety disorder for many years. In high school I would casually sweat out any shirt I put on by midday and would have to always wear a thick sweatshirt over it. Despite being a top runner in my state I had a resting heart rate above 90 bpm and suffered palpitations from stress. This went untreated as my parents strongly believed in positive thinking. After a particularly drawn out and nasty breakup with exbae following an unfaithful relationship my nerves were completely shot. Cycling with severe depression I had had enough. If I could not get better I didn’t want to be alive. I was tired of the inevitable, pointless anxiety I felt. It was never social for me but just an underlying fearfulness and an inability to control my thoughts.
Because I couldn’t get medication on my parents’ health insurance without them vetoing it, I approached a doctor in the UK who immediately put me on a pretty significant dose of sertraline and diazepam. I know that medication does not work for everyone but I credit this doctor with saving my life. The drugs did not solve my depression and anxiety but took the edge off just enough that I was able to function and do things for myself that DID help it. For the first time in months I was able to get out of bed, structure my day, exercise, meet new people, and laugh. For the first time in my life I was able to redirect worrying and obsessive thoughts to something more productive.
Now over a year later I do not take diazepam and do not consider myself mentally unwell. in fact, I consider myself incredibly resilient and I love the girl I became. When I talk about that part of my life it is often in the third person. I did A LOT of things I wouldn’t do now but without that struggle I would not be who I am. I want to talk to you guys more about this but as we are just getting to know each other I figure we can wait.
Also, the hedgehog pooped on me while I wrote this. She is a sassy bitch.