I’ve always considered myself “crazy.” But I don’t consider myself “mentally insane.” There’s a difference.
I’m kind of crazed and mentally unbalanced and mentally unmoored. But I’m not particularly delusional or out of touch with “reality” (whatever that is). Which is what most people consider “mentally insane.”
I’ve always been hyper-sensitive and mercurial. Which are great traits for an artist. But not the best traits for a stable, well-adjusted human being. My brain is like one of those lie-detector graphs where the lines are constantly shooting way up and way down. To say I suffer from “mood swings” doesn’t begin to describe it.
Insanity does run in my family. Both my father’s brothers spent most of their lives in mental institutions. And my little brother spent most of his life as a mental patient. So I probably have a genetic disposition towards madness. And I’ll regularly have these mental breakdowns where my psyche is swept up in this dark and stormy turmoil. But no matter how bad it gets, its like I never crack all the way up. Its like there’s this little sane part of myself in the back of my brain, that is always watching, and offering wise, or at least clear, commentary.
Part of my madness is simply a by-product of being an artist. You have to open up your mind and your soul to Whatever Is Out There. And allow it to rattle around in your skull. For its the only way you can come up with new ideas and new inspiration. But in the process, you let down your mental guards in ways that are unhealthy and leave you vulnerable. Its what I mean by being mentally “unmoored.” Most people prefer to be grounded in a specific set of beliefs. Whereas an artist is more like a scientist who’s constantly doing experiments on his brain. Reality is always up for grabs.
I don’t know how I got started on this weird tangent. What can I say, I’m kind of nuts.