Where IS My Sanity…May 19, 2010
and WHAT is sanity???? I often crack jokes about sanity. It is my way of trying to keep a hard life somewhat lighter.
I will sometimes ask if anyone knows where my sanity is because it ran away! Usually, someone will respond with the fact that, if I find mine, I might find theirs, too. Then we both laugh and agree that, if we find our sanity, we will send the other one’s home. Or we joke that they are probably out partying together or something.
When the subject comes up of going crazy…or losing sanity…I comment that I cannot lose what I have already lost. Or, that I cannot lose what I never had. And then I laugh.
Sanity…that fleeting thing that I think all of us want, but also that an awful lot of us question whether we actually have it. Or question if we ever did considering that our abuses often started at such a young age…even in infancy.
What is sanity? I have heard what it is not. “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” (Albert Einstein?) So…what is sanity? Is it changing what I do in order to make changes in my life? I can see where that might be part of it…but, somehow, I think there is more to it than just that.
Is it being able to hold a coherent conversation? Oh, boy. If that is a criteria, then I am definitely not very sane some of the time. But then…perhaps it depends upon WHY I am not holding a coherent conversation…doesn’t it? I don’t know.
Does it mean handling what life throws at me without crumbling? Does it mean not “losing it” inside? Does it mean that I continue to function…no matter how much I am shaking? Does it mean not having a foggy mind? Yet…all of those things can result from PTSD being triggered. Is a PTSD episode a temporary loss of sanity? Hmmm.
BrainyQuote.com defines it thusly: The condition or quality of being sane; soundness of health of body or mind, especially of the mind; saneness.
Sane is defined thusly: Being in a healthy condition; not deranged; acting rationally; — said of the mind.
Mentally sound; possessing a rational mind; having the mental faculties in such condition as to be able to anticipate and judge of the effect of one’s actions in an ordinary manner; — said of persons.
There is quite a bit there to consider. “A rational mind”. “to be able to anticipate and judge the effect of one’s actions in an ordinary manner.” When I am triggered…I would not say I am “rational”. I am experiencing something from the past. I am “rational” in the past…while living in the present. That makes is very difficult to “anticipate and judge” in the moment.
I would love to hear others’ thoughts on “sane” and “sanity”. What do they mean to you? Is it even possible to be “sane”? Or to be sane all the time? Perhaps it is something we move in and out of?
I think part of being sane is being able to roll with life and recover when it hits you. To be able to live in reality and not in a make believe world. I don’t know.
What do you all think? I will finish with some quotes I found on sanity.
When dealing with the insane, the best method is to pretend to be sane. Hermann Hesse
Part of being sane is being a little bit crazy. Janet Long
A neurosis is a secret you don’t know you are keeping. Kenneth Tynan
It is said that power corrupts, but actually it’s more true that power attracts the corruptible. The sane are usually attracted by other things than power. David Brin
All I kin say is when you finds yo’self wanderin’ in a peach orchard, ya don’t go lookin’ for rutabagas. Kingfish
Hitherto the plans of the educationalists have achieved very little of what they attempted, and indeed we may well thank the beneficent obstinacy of real mothers, real nurses, and (above all) real children for preserving the human race in such sanity as it still possesses. C. S. Lewis
I am beginning to realize that “sanity” is no longer a value or an end in itself. If modern people were a little less sane, a little more doubtful, a little more aware of their absurdities and contradictions, perhaps there might be the possibility of their survival. Thomas Merton
Sanity and happiness are an impossible combination. Mark Twain
No man is sane who does not know how to be insane on the proper occasions. Henry Ward Beecher
Insanity is often the logic of an accurate mind overtasked. Oliver Wendell Holmes