By Brianna Wiest

Most people assume their lives will unfold in a linear way. They assume development follows a progression, the way growing up does. Yet, at a certain point, you stop measuring your life by which grade you complete, and start measuring by what job you have and how much love you’ve found. When reality doesn’t appear to be getting better and better, we assume we’ve failed, or “backtracked.”

This idea does not come out of nowhere; to function “well” in this world, you must be healthy, sane, rested, focused, eager, kind, friendly, responsible, thoughtful, attractive and devoted to work at (almost) all times. Any brief glimpse at psychology or biology or history can tell you – this is both unique, and profoundly unsustainable.

“But in truth, no good life can, or should, go by without a few quite open incidents of complete breakdown… Rather than seeing this as an illness, this should be interpreted as evidence or normality, and even health.”

You are not meant to function well in a system that is broken. If you look around and wonder “what’s wrong with me?” in the sense that the world does not seem to be made for you, it’s likely something very right with you. Periods of (healthy) madness serve as correctives, because the so-called “sane world” is, after all, pretty disturbed.


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