When Crazy happens to good people

Do you ever ask yourself: Am I crazy?

Bad news: you probably are.

Good news: so is everyone else.

Most sane people at some point, as I affectionately refer to it, will ride the crazy train.

Maybe it is because your brilliant plan has been thrown off track unexpectedly. You want something to happen and when it doesn't, or when something else gets in the way, you are at a loss for what to do. Crazy sounds good.

It can feel similar to getting a head cold that causes your inner ear to send you teetering off balance.

First, your reaction is totally normal. Second, crazy is probably not going to help (but you knew that).

What happens when you "go crazy"? You act irrationally, lash out at the first person you see, assume the worst possible scenario, are inconsolable. Everyone's crazy is a little different.

I've been known to call friends in a panic—Chicken Little style—feeling that my world is on the edge of catastrophe. Most of the time they are nice enough not to laugh right away. Instead they often hear me out and gently comfort me with a smile until I'm ready to laugh at myself too.

I think Crazy can be a good thing. It can help blow off steam, or shine a light on what is bothering you so you ultimately do something constructive about it.

What helps you to combat the crazies? Here are a few ideas:

  • Get clarity - My number one solution is to walk away from the situation and any forms of communication—text, IM, twitter, email. Give yourself at least ten minutes to hear your own thoughts. Journal about what has happened and how you're feeling. A good workout can also provide distance and clarity.
  • Take an aerial view - I find that stepping outside myself, seeing the bigger picture, is also useful. Talking to a trusted friend or my coach can help me do that if I'm too caught up in it to do this myself.
  • Forgive yourself and others - Crazy is normal. Apologize to anyone who was harmed in your wake, then forgive yourself. It's human to want to be in control of our uncontrollable world. Our reactions are often pretty funny—the sooner you forgive yourself and other people, the sooner you all get to have a good laugh.
  • Find a new solution - Perhaps your reaction to this situation has taught you that your brilliant idea isn't going to work for everyone involved. This isn't about retro-fitting your old plan or wrestling control back from whoever you feel took it from you. When you're ready, consider other ideas and include other people into the brainstorm. This is a chance for everyone to be happy—especially you.

Love me, love my crazy. And right back at you.