My younger brother shared the following Edgar Allen Poe quote with me the other day: "I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity."
It's an interesting quote and probably means different things to different people. But for me, it suggests that people who release their inner insanity are possibly the sanest of us all...
I believe we all have insanity inside of us---darkness, emotional complexity, tangled thoughts and feelings, the desire to lash out like a toddler from hell when we're having a bad day, etc. It's not socially acceptable to have a complete meltdown and let every bit of darkness and pain come out of you when you're an adult. For instance, babies are allowed to cry when they're hungry or unhappy about something, right? They scream and cry until their face is red and their little head looks like it's about to explode. But if a grown-up did that, they'd probably just scare the shit out of their pets or be sent to a psychiatric ward.
As we grow older, we suppress and stuff down the very things that make us human beings---anger, grief, confusion, immaturity, vulnerability. We have all this discomfort swimming around inside of us and then think there is something horribly wrong with us for feeling overwhelmed or dejected by it all. Or for having a blowout over something that's not really a big deal...Like when I swore at a piece of dishware the other day because it had food stuck to it that I couldn't clean off...It wasn't about the dishware. My bottled up emotions needed somewhere to go, so they took the first outlet they could find. That's what happens when we constantly suppress, avoid and deny our emotions. We blow up. We get depressed. We go "insane."
We have to give ourselves permission to be human. We have to give ourselves permission to feel and hurt and get pissed off. We have to find healthy outlets for these emotions and avoid discouraging others from exploring their outlets. (I'd rather be friends with someone who writes poetry about killing people than someone who actually kills people.)
Our dark emotions need love and attention too. They need freedom. They need proper nourishment. If we avoid giving them those things, they turn us into something we're not.
So find a healthy outlet for your emotions. Don't let them control or consume you. And remember that going a little insane doesn't mean you're actually insane. It means you're giving your emotions somewhere to go, so they can be free and stop poisoning you.
How do you feel about the societal normalcy of suppressing our emotions? Do you have a healthy or creative outlet for your darker emotions? Do you often judge yourself for feeling pain and bewilderment?
Leave me a comment or shoot me an email, and let me know your thoughts!