Somewhere along the line, our society seemed to decide that “crazy” just wasn’t good. Sure, there are reasons why it makes sense — the truly crazed are always a lot to handle, and can easily veer into the territory of being downright insane. But we forgot that “crazy” and “insane” are not entirely synonymous, and that just because you call somebody crazy doesn’t mean they’re actually out of line.
The next person to call you crazy probably isn’t saying it because they have your best intentions in mind. They’re probably not trying to reel you in for your own good. Rather, they’re probably reacting out of a need to close themselves down and avoid processing something that’s outside of their comfort zone. They don’t have to grow — and you can’t force them to, no matter how hard you try — but that doesn’t mean they need to impede your own self-expression and growth.
Usually, calling someone crazy is just a thinly-veiled way to say, “I really don’t know how to deal with your emotions right now.”
And that’s not necessarily a bad thing — sometimes excess emotions are tough for people to handle, but that doesn’t mean you’re doing anything wrong by having those feelings. It just means that they don’t know how to deal and, instead of rising to the challenge, want to throw the responsibility back on you. And that’s not fair.
“Crazy” is usually relegated only to women.
When was the last time you heard someone refer to a man as crazy outside of the confines of being someone’s ex, or in terms of mental illness? (Even that label is problematic, but we’ll get into that another day.) Typically, it’s only up to women to keep themselves from being crazy, and life is too stressful to live up to those expectations all the time. If someone’s your “crazy ex,” you’re already predisposed to hold a bias against them, but that doesn’t mean they’re crazy.
In our society, if you’re not “chill,” you’re immediately “crazy.”
There is no middle ground. But the thing is, people exist in more spaces than just “chill” or “crazy.” You can be crazy about some things and chill about others; you can reach your breaking point and go from “chill” to “crazy” real quick; or you can simply care about something, which is totally fine and exists somewhere between these two extremes.
Being a “chill girl” — which is, for all intents and purposes, the opposite of being a “crazy girl” — is a construct.
The chill girl does not exist, except to people who don’t want to deal with a woman’s normal ebb and flow of emotions. (As Alana Massey so elequently put it, fuck chill. But guess who else has an ebb and flow of emotions? Men do. And children do. Lord knows babies and toddlers constantly veer from one extreme to the other. Yet why is it women who are constantly expected to keep their emotions under control to make everyone else’s lives easier? Funny how that added pressure might add up and make us that much less chill as a result.
When you reach that point of “crazy,” it typically means that you either care about something, or that you’re just standing up for yourself.
Think about every time a woman goes a little crazy in pop culture — I’m not talking Fatal Attraction-level nuts, but even when Taylor Swift sticks up for herself and pens down everything awful an ex did to her. We’re quick to call her crazy, but is she, really? Or is she just coping and processing the emotions that would only fester were she to keep them down.
Even if you do go a little overboard in the nuts department, it isn’t always your fault.
We live in a world of constant stimulus, and while we’d all like to be better than a lot of the things that might trigger our “craziness,” we’re only human. Checking in on your crush’s Instagram feed is almost normal now. Following up on your ex is, too. Because we have unlimited access to these things, whether or not you “should” or “shouldn’t” be looking. Those things being there is as much of a temptation as most of us need, and until we learn how to navigate a world with technology that is still relatively new (but isn’t going away anytime soon), we’re going to mess up a few times and go overboard. That’s not crazy. That’s normal.
The minute you start giving voice to your feelings, your life gets infinitely better.
Tell someone when you care about them. Tell them when you can’t “hang out” and “see where this is going” and “hook up” any more. Tell them when you need more. Tell them when your feelings are hurt, and why. Tell them you want to work on these things. None of these things are crazy. These actions are needs and wants and desires, but they’re not crazy.
Feelings weren’t meant to be stuffed down.
They were meant to be felt. And anyone who blames you for doing that is probably out of touch with their own emotional health, but probably that much crazier for it, too, deep down.
Because the best memories happen when you get a little crazy.
There’s more than one definition of the word, after all, and that second definition makes life so much more interesting and fun. You go crazy and have the best night of your life and make legendary memories with your friends. You take risks and stand up for yourself and realize that sometimes, all it takes to get what you want is by asking for it — and sometimes even demanding it. You might have a few breakdowns, but you’ll have even more breakthroughs. You become crazy about things and places and people, and you can fall crazy in love. There are so many good ways to go crazy, and life’s too short to not go over the edge every once in a while.