Ambassador of the underworld
Going crazy was not a deviation from your path
In mental health and recovery circles we are encouraged to understand ourselves as recovering from some sort of crazy behaviour or extreme state: addiction, disordered eating, self injury, suicidal ideation, severe mood swings, and destructive anti-social behaviour are some common examples. These behaviours and states are presented as the problem, the source of what is wrong, things from which we must recover.
I disagree with this framing. I believe that these extreme states and destructive behaviours are our first attempt to recover from something else. Rather than being the problem, they are our first best efforts at addressing another problem. Like a fever: fevers feel bad and can be dangerous but they aren’t the problem. They are the body’s best effort at fighting off infection. The infection is the problem.