Five things that make you crazy

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Sit still.  
Ten more minutes of this 
while we pipe in a bit of Clinton Ford 
and you'll be right as rain and 
back running the country in no time.

This month's topic for BIO made me panic a little bit - how to distill those years of lunacy and the subsequent mending into only five things.

I have experienced both depression and mania and while I can't claim the former was any fun, the latter can be helpful. Set up a business in an afternoon, write a dissertation in days, renovate a house single-handedly.

But it's bloody tiring being bonkers, and so, after many many years of talking and reading and crying and rocking in corners and soul-searching and all the tediously predictable things people do in the search for peace of mind, and which, au fond, are only of interest to oneself, here are my top five ways to shred your sanity.

1. Being surrounded by unhealthy people
Especially if you are of a bent to mend and they are of a bent to drag along self-indulgent and self-inflicted drama.  Look closely - is it really such bad, bad luck all the time?  And is it really your problem or do you want to be needed too much?   Either way, when the curtain goes up on another act, politely excuse yourself and find a bathroom to clean.

2. Not getting enough sleep or exercise
Everything looks worse when you're exhausted and unfit.  Get out of your house and walk about; at the very least you can look for interesting new places to be glum in.  I guarantee you will feel marginally less so by the end of a brisk walk.

3. Eating crap processed pretend food
Make yourself soup.  Everyone can manage that.  Nourish yourself, body and soul.  If you eat rubbish, it gives you the absolute mean reds.  And its horribly inelegant.

4. Pleasing everyone else before yourself
I find martyrdom desperately unattractive.  I also find many martyrs want far too much recognition for their sacrifices than real-life saints would ever expect.  They are also often passive aggressive nightmares.  And frequently lack direction and purpose, so use the excuse of putting other needs first to mask this.  As long as you are not unkind or neglectful, following your own path will help keep you off the meths.

5. Spending time in the wrong place - mentally, emotionally, physically
Tough as hell to admit you're not where you should be, and often a nightmare to extricate, but really listen to your instincts.  You won't be the first person to have made a mistake. And anyone who judges you for it should be sent immediately to Coventry for a long long time.

Don't go too far though, there's a little bit of madness in all creative people.


  1. Hello Elizabeth,

    Being creative has never been and surely never will be easy. However, it is a state of mind rather than a career choice so, as you say, one has to recognise how best to nurture the artistic soul rather than torment it.

    The points you raise here ring home forcibly. If only one had recognised these pitfalls at an earlier age. However, with maturity does come a modicum of wisdom and your number one point is very much our number one too. Negatively minded people are so corrosive. They feel better in proportion to how badly they make one feel in return.

    There is, we feel, a tipping point to be reached........once we are over the edge we shall let you know.....perhaps!

  2. Hi Elizabeth...thanks for dropping by...lovely to meet you ;)
    Great post...there certainly is a little bit of madness...good madness in all creative people!

  3. Dear Elizabeth,
    Your five points have really brought me down to earth and have given me food for thought this morning. As usual, I went down the humorous route for the five things that made me crazy !! I think that this subject for our BIO post this month has been so enlightening. Thanks so much for such a great post. XXXX

  4. I am guilty of all the above... being in the service industry, a designer to the very wealthy, I sometimes feel that I do own my own life. Am in the process of trying to change it though...

  5. Your piece resonates with me, for these last few days do seem to have been a "series of unfortunate events" which would have made Lemony Snicket proud. I do think my frame of mind is very much down to a lack of sleep, and thereafter 4) & 5) apply, the latter at the dinner of which I wrote. I can normally remove the black dog by a lot of exercise, and my diet would make Gwyneth Paltrow proud. Perhaps I do need a break after all. But I can't seem to get excited (in a good way) about travel any more.

    I shall go and listen to Pharrell Williams's "Happy" and then shoot myself.

  6. Oh my goodness did this ever hit home! Change is in the air immediately!!

    The Arts by Karena

  7. These are very good. The issues of sleep, exercise, proper eating are so important (and they go by the wayside too often, in part because of the other item - putting others before ourselves so often).

    And yes, creative people have a little madness in them. It's part of the charm, n'est-ce pas?

    Please pop over to see my list!

  9. I love this! I can relate to all of this. I am slightly's part of my charm. Please do go back to running the country, someone clever needs's you! xo

  10. My absolute favorite people on the planet have a little madness in their soul an are all creative beings (at least the ones I know). It makes them just a little bit more perceptive to the world around them, which can lead to both good things and bad. They feel the highs more intensely and the lows too. Your list is perfect. Point 1 - so very, very true!

  11. A little bit of madness is required or life would be utterly one dimensional I fear.

    Your list is impossible to disagree with: it's all smack-bang brilliance. The food, the walk, the observations on the effect of other's behaviour - all resonates with me very clearly.

  12. Love your last line... :) xv

  13. Martyrdom is the worst! It makes me nuts that people won't try to help themselves and just want to wallow and drag everyone in with them. OK - I am talking about my husband's mother, who sent us an email on Christmas that ended with, "Everything sucks and I get despondent."

    I just can't take being around all that negativity. I might have to send your post to her. :)

    (But I won't, because if my in-laws ever found my blog, I would be dead.)

  14. What is BIO? I will have to click though and find out. Should really have done that before beginning my comment.
    I have been lucky enough not to suffer from depression yet I see many talented bloggers and writers who have. There may well be a correlation - not sure if it's that depression requires a creative outlet or whether creative types are more prone to it?
    I am a firm believer in homemade soup though.

  15. This post has hit home, becoming my new mantra. Analysis is well thought out and its honesty really speaks to me. Your words have given me hope for surmounting the traumas inflicted by family and workplace. Thank you.

  16. True... Passare del tempo nel posto sbagliato - mentalmente, emotivamente, fisicamente... I agree
    Sono proprio d'accordo con te... è una tortura! Sending a big hug from Rome Italy Ciao Eleo


Please leave a comment if you can be remotely bothered - anything you have to say is valuable and I absolutely love hearing from you all. Elizabeth