March 7 – Sanity

My sanity seems to be hanging by a thread lately. It is always hard to feel sane in times of intense pressure and stress. This is especially true when you haven’t been getting enough sleep. It’s not that we ourselves lack sanity, but rather that the situation we find ourselves in does.

photo of bubbles underwater

On the topic of sanity, Anne Wilson Schaef writes:

“One of the by-products of living and working in crazy situations is that our tolerance for insanity increases exponentially. Our ability to discern what makes sense and what doesn’t becomes impaired. When those around us continually exhibit bizarre behavior, we begin to question our sanity. Often we are not insane. The situation is insane and we become progressively crazy as we try to adjust to it.

If to be truly civilized is to embrace disease, maybe we need to take a look at what we have defined as ‘civilized.’”

This reminds me so much of what I wrote on the topic of feeling crazy. When we are surrounded by people who act crazy, or we find ourselves in crazy situations, we begin to wonder, “Are we crazy too?” We call into question our own sanity. Addictive behavior and disease have become so normalized today—drinking, smoking, shopping, work, and so on—that a person who tries to become healthy and move away from these behaviors is viewed as insane. Even the mere act of questioning such behavior is viewed as crazy. Sanity can seem bizarre when it is in the minority. We can become accustomed to insane behavior and situations if we are exposed to them too much, and we match our own behavior to them! It’s hard to remain in the majority and fight against the norm, but we must do so for ourselves for the sake of our sanity.

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