Jan 15, 2010

Crazy - To Be Or NOT To Be?

“Never, ever talk about religion and politics!” It’s the age-old faux pas. We’re warned of this anytime we go to a social event or outing. When we discuss religion and politics – things tend to get messy.

So, don’t worry, I’m not going to blog about either (not yet anyway). I’m just going to touch on the topic of an angel and a devil. Not in a particularly religious sense though…

I’m talking about the fictitious devil and the angel that sits on our shoulders. The imaginary beings that attempt to simultaneously guide us and/or confuse us. The “things” we seem to hold responsible for our mixed thoughts about good and bad or right and wrong.

Personally, I’ve never identified with the idea of a subliminal devil and an angel. Maybe it’s because the thought of having little people on my shoulders freaks me out. Or the thought of having more than one voice as my conscience is just weird. Truth is, there was only ONE Jiminy Cricket in Pinocchio for a reason! (Don’t ask me why, but Disney’s version of a talking cricket is obviously much less odd than the idea of a mini talking devil and angel.)
A cricket may be less odd…but still odd, nonetheless.

So, to avoid any mini animated guides, I have developed my own explanation of the deep inner turmoil people feel. My rendition of this “split-personality-tug-of-war” is a little different. It’s much more basic.

My view is that inside all of us, there is a crazier version of ourselves. Not “crazy” as in acting crazy. I’m not talking about anything that would warrant a lifetime documentary. I mean “crazy” as in crazy thoughts, i.e.; when we allow ourselves to think foolish, outlandish, and unrealistically.
* Note: this is my own “crazy theory” and is in NO way scientific. It is not intended to offend or mock anyone who is clinically or medically “crazy”– if that’s even a politically correct term?*
With all the disclaimer jargon aside… what I’m referring to is the moment when the ugly side of our beautiful, confident selves pop’s up. When this side of us rears it’s ugly head, I call this “Crazy Girl” or for you men, “Crazy Boy.” I use the term GIRL and BOY, because this side of ourselves comes out most often when we are acting like immature fools.

For the devil and angel people out there, I think this idea is most likely the devil. For the Pinocchio followers, this would be the part where Pinocchio starts to turn into a donkey (poor Pinocchio literally reared his ugly head.)

Anyhow, Crazy Girl/Boy is the part of us that is reluctant to act like the bigger person. It’s the part of us that over analyzes situations to the point of exhaustion and the part that inflicts guilt on ourselves for mundane issues. In short- whenever were acting like a jackass (just like Pinocchio)

I like to think it’s not us, but rather our Crazy Girl/Boy emerging. Some of us manage the Crazy Girl/Boy pretty well and it’s generally under control. But, don’t be fooled… Even the most “together” people have some crazy lurking inside them. Even when we appear calm, cool and collected, it could be a facade. Let me try and explain my “crazy” theory.

Example 1.
Have you ever taken a test, felt confident about the material and walked out of the room proud, until you see some peers who are discussing a test question. Because you feel confident, you swagger over to join the conversation. You are still feeling good, until you hear everyone picked “A” and you picked “D.” At this point, your palms start to sweat and you think “Uh, Oh.”

At this moment – the crazy is about to let loose. You don’t openly freak out – Crazy Girl/Boy is not in reference to making an overt scene. In this scenario Crazy Girl/Boy comes out in the form of self-doubt..

In a weak moment you may stand amongst your peers and try and regurgitate every answer you put on the exam in a desperate attempt to compare and contrast.

If you have the ability to be strong, you walk away from the conversation with an “I don’t like to talk about the test, its over now.”

To the naked eye you appear calm and confident. You may have fooled your peers, but you haven’t fooled yourself. Silence is thundering and you have a storm brewing in your head now. The self-doubt has triggered the Crazy Girl/Boy and they are off and running.

No matter how hard you try to forget about the test, the anxiety is lurking. Crazy Girl/Boy has allowed you to over analyze every answer and now you don’t know what is what. At a low point you have convinced yourself you’ve failed the test, will fail out of school and ultimately fail in life. This unrealistic, obsessive, outlandish thinking is the epitome of Crazy Girl/Boy.

Example 2.
You are out with friends and you run into an X who just so happens to be out with their “someone new.” This is usually a direct trigger for Crazy Girl/Boy. Depending on how long this person has been an X is directly dependent on how long it takes for Crazy Girl/Boy to rear its ugly head. If you just broke up, it could be within seconds – If you broke up years ago, it could hit an hour or so later.

Either way, you almost immediately, consciously (or subconsciously if it’s been a while since you broke up), to check out the new person hanging on your X.

Now, you do not have to still have feelings for this person. You do not have to even care whether they are with someone new. These things do no matter because these things are realistic and sensible factors that make sense. When Crazy Girl/Boy is out, the logical side is overcome and thrown to the wayside.

You see, EVEN IF the rational side of us knows we are over this person and EVEN IF the rational side of us is genuinely happy, we have moved on; Crazy Girl/Boy takes over. We begin to analyze (or overanalyze) the new person…
  • What do they do?
  • Where are they from?
  • How did they meet our X?
  • How long have they been together?
The list of questions runs through our minds. This either forces us to compare ourselves to the new person (usually if you’re still holding on) or it forces us to compare our relationship status to our X (this is usually for those of us who are actually over them.) Either way, Crazy Girl/Boy has dumped way too much effort into thinking about the past. By The Way: If you are denying this has ever happened to you – you are either the luckiest person alive or you’re just lying to yourself.

Example 3.
You single and you meet someone new. They are cute, funny, nice, and you could be 100% into them. You have a great time with them, you say goodnight and they throw out an “I’ll call you tomorrow.” It’s routine parting words; you know not to expect a call. So, why is it, that if they don’t call, we unleash Crazy Girl/Boy? We start by running over everything that was said at the end of the night. Did we say something wrong? Are we sure they said they would call us? You try to forget about it. That is until the next day when you notice they STILL haven’t called. This is when Crazy Girl/Boy goes into full-force.

  • Did they not have fun?
  • Were they not as into you?
  • Could they have met someone else already?
  • Am I giving off a stage 5-clinger vibe?
  • Should I have acted more aloof?
  • Why the hell haven’t they called?
All of these questions start floating around, causing self-doubt and questioning. We start to drive ourselves crazy with our own incessant thinking.

Now, these examples were just that, examples. There are many other times where we tend to drive ourselves nuts. Where Crazy Girl/Boy takes over and allows us to think irrationally... On elevators, in Airplanes, swim suit shopping, after a job interview, at the gym, hoping to make a sports team, or waiting on results of medical tests. Whatever it is that stresses you out and pushes your buttons- Crazy Girl/Boy appears and no one is safe. Bottom line, in all three situations, we’re wasting our time.

I just think admitting that we all have the capacity to be “over-the-top” about some things could be the first step to conquering our inner Crazy Girl/Boy. So, if you find yourself in this situation, you can stop harping on yourself. Remember “Attention goes where energy flows.” If we can see that Crazy Girl/Boy is starting to take the reins of a situation – maybe we can try and get control back, "reel ourselves in" so to speak and just breathe…

We need to direct our energy and put the Crazy Girl/Boy in check. The saying "Ignorance is Bliss" may have some real worth. If you do not think too much abot something you won't overanalyze. Some times we just have to stop thinking and change focus. If after all of this explaining you still have no idea what I’m talking about there is one of three things going on here…
  1. You are an anomaly who does not have a Crazy Girl/Boy
  2. You are in denial about your Crazy Girl/Boy
  3. Or I’m just a crazy girl with a crazy theory
I’m hoping it’s not # 3 :)


"We have to learn to be our own best friends because we fall too easily into the trap of being our own worst enemies." - Roderick Thorp
"Change your thoughts and you change your world." - Norman Vincent Peale