Mirror Talk & Sanity


I often talk to myself. Do you? Yes, you reading this – do you talk to yourself? You probably do. Actually, most people do. But do you talk to yourself the way I talk to myself? I imagine myself in conversation with another person, talk out both parts, I get heated, yell, give attitude, cry at myself in the mirror because this is how immersed I get. You are probably not like me. I like to think that most people aren’t. My therapist often asks me if I think I am the only one. The only one who talks to herself, the only one who deals with anxiety, the only one who imagines terrible things happening around her, the only one who thinks about thinking… I always answer no. Of course I am not the only one. However, I still don’t think that many people are like me. Already, very few people think about thinking – there are really not that many philosophers out there in the world when you compare them to the amount of non-philosophers out there. But even of these people, of those I have common interests or habits or feelings with, we really are not so similar. Everyone is weird, I think. I would love to find myself one non-weird person, whatever that might mean. And even then, I think it would be more weird for someone to be utterly non-weird at all, even when no one is looking. But as weird as you are, and of all the quirky things you do, you probably don’t yell and cry at yourself in the mirror while acting as though you are speaking with someone else. No, that probably isn’t you.

But it’s me, and I have accepted that. I like that about myself. I can keep myself company. I actually smirked out loud as I wrote this. Because it’s ridiculous to think I can keep myself company while pretending I am in the presence of someone else even though I am by myself. But it’s true, and that’s me.

I’m not “crazy,” I don’t see things (or at least if I do, I know they aren’t actually there), I am perfectly functional. I have an extremely vivid imagination. I hate that I have to justify it, but if you don’t explain it and convince others of your rationality, it’s like it doesn’t count. What you think, what you feel, what you know doesn’t count. It’s the dystopian fear that “they” will lock you up and shut you out and drive you mad all for normalcy’s sake. Fuck normalcy. No one is normal and we need to stop pretending like we are. It’s as though being yourself is not enough anymore. Actually, being yourself was never enough. It wasn’t even allowed. What a horrible thing for the world. When the only people who dare to be themselves are the “crazy” people, whether they are good or bad, right or wrong, terrorists or saints, they dare and we don’t. Norms govern us, institutionalize us, iron out the wrinkles and force in the edges that fight to come out, they breed us to perfection so that we buy into them and propagate them and force them upon others and mock and ridicule and ostracize and alienate anyone who dares to be otherwise, who dares to be more.

So today, I will openly state that I cry at myself in the mirror and I still declare myself sane, for the most part anyway. What about you?