At least once a week this is the phone call with one of my gal pals:
Chica 1: Hey squirrel! You busy?
Chica 2: Not for you! What’s up honey bear?
Chica 1: Can I drop this situation on you and then you can tell me if I’m crazy or not?
Chica 2: Literally my favorite thing! Yes please! Tell me everything right now!
The subtext here is always something like, “I have a feeling or thought and I need to check and see if it’s okay that I feel or think this way.” I make this call just as much as I answer this call. And no matter what the issue is, we always, at some point, calculate where we are in our “cycle.”
On one hand, this is delightful because it is 100% necessary to have (one or some) beloved girl friend(s) that you can trust. To be able to call on your empathetic soul sister, ask her to peer into the windows of your emotional house from the outside and offer some perspective; is gal pal gold. It can keep us from burning down houses, both figuratively and literally.
On the other hand, why oh why do we always assume that what we think or feel is probably wrong, nutso, or just our period about to start?
I’ll tell you why. Because we are women!
We’ve been told for most of our lives that we are emotional messes, too needy and too broken. We are dismissed for our “excess” of emotion, written off as “hormonal,” or avoided because it’s “our time of the month.” We’ve also been beaten down, belittled, raped and robbed by our patriarchal society since we donned our first JC Penny training bra.
It’s in our heads. It’s actually in our muscle memory. We believe there’s got to be something wrong with us. It feels natural to assume that. And it makes sense; we’ve been through a lot.
I was dating this guy for a minute and after four months I started having weekly rants with my girl friends. I was all, “He does this and says that and I’m not cool with this, this and this!” But then I’d follow it up with, “But he’s so sweet and I’m bat-shit crazy and going to start my period in 3.5 days, so… you know, it’s FINE!” But it wasn’t fine. I had feelings and thoughts and was making observations that were acceptable whether my uterus was sloughing off or not.
It took me a month to realize that regardless of whether anyone would label my thoughts and feelings as “too” or not – didn’t matter. They were mine. It’s how I felt. It’s what I thought. And that is valid.
You are valid. What YOU think comes from somewhere. Investigate that.
What YOU feel is for real. Get quiet and listen to it. Honor yourself and where YOU are right now.
This is not a license to “my way or the highway” everyone everywhere.
You do have a responsibility as an evolved adult to be introspective and to question the origin of the things you’re thinking and feeling. But what you don’t need to do is assume that your tearful breakdown over the argument you had with your mom means you’re cray cray and “about to start.” It means there are some deep emotions there and you need to ask yourself some questions to get to the core of it.
Here’s a quick step by step to help ya, bay-bay!
Pick the right friend. Call or face to face with the one that’s going to tell you the 100% truth. Every dang time.
Talk through the thing. Truthfully.
Reference this “Are You Crazy?” flowchart.
Get real with what you are actually feeling.
Okay, you feel angry or betrayed or confused… why? And then take that “why” and pull it apart more. Keep asking “why” until you get to something that feels really basic and probably has something to do with what you are afraid of. (Usually there is a fear at the core of everything that is bugging us. A fear of being perceived as ___. A fear of losing ___. )
See. You are not a psycho!
You are feeling _________ because _________ and honestly hun, that’s totally understandable. Given all you’ve been through!
Listen. Yes, you have some shit to work on. Every human on this planet needs a good therapist and at least one great friend. All beating hearts owe it to themselves and the collective soul of the world to do some journaling or meditating or quiet reflection, or some off in the woods inner depths searching. I am not telling you that you are perfect. That’d be super boring.
I am telling you that you ARE NOT CRAZY!
You are not broken. You are not annoying. You are not ridiculous.
You are intuitive! You are interesting and experienced. You are wise. You know.
The next time you start to assume you’re crazy, please my dear friend, stop. Assume you’re not. Listen to you.
I love you.
P.S. In the comments below tell the class about a time you thought you were crazy. (Or someone told you you were!) Or you can write me!