Stuffing Crazy in a Box
Originally posted on my blog. This article is about surviving the holiday season while keeping one's sanity.
Maybe some of you can relate to this with the holidays coming up it seems like everyone has gone crazy. I’ve started to term it “Holiday Psychosis” and my response to this very often is a fervent desire to take a trip to a private island until January some time. However, for people going through a divorce recovery/adjustment, bereavement, domestic violence, and/or other life transitions this theme seems to go on quite a bit of the year.
I used this phrase, stuffing crazy in a box for the first time while coaching with a classmate of mine during the certification process. I have since used it numerous times in the time following because I like it. Transitions, and it seems especially those around loss lead to a lot of crazy entering one’s life and if there are effective ways to stuff crazy in a box the transition is much easier. I call it crazy because my counselor during my domestic violence recovery program told me once that the more one explains what is going on the less one is believed and the crazier one looks. I learned this first hand, and the hard way, and I think I finally have it down. I share this with all of you as a pearl of wisdom, don’t let crazy put you in the box you need to put it in one. I realized one morning that I am surrounded by crazy people and that they control the world. I am constantly faced with this and reminded of this in my day to day dealings with my ex-husband and whenever I have to deal with others involved in the divorce system, or some of the other systems involved with our post divorce process now.
Crazy will take over and put you in the box if you let it. It’s kind of like a dog that has been out in the mud and is completely covered from head to toe. The dog then comes to the door looking at you to let it in, and if you do let it in then you are angry and disgusted and the house is all muddy. This is the way crazy makes you feel if it puts you in the box and this is how crazy gets into the box to put you in it. After all the dog puts the mud everywhere because you let it in. It would have been better to wash the dog before letting the dog in. I used to let me dogs in to part of the house and then clean them before letting them be in the rest of it when they were dirty, and I picked a place like my kitchen that would be easy to clean up once it had been made dirty.
So. what practical tips can I give you for putting crazy in a box, especially during this holiday season?
- Recognize that you are only responsible for you and don’t own anyone else’s stuff. I used to carry a really tiny purse and people would ask me why I did so, I would reply by explaining I didn’t want to carry anyone else’s stuff around! Same idea.
Recognize that you can’t force others to own their stuff, but you can refuse to get sucked into the crazy.
- Allow crazy to fit in the box and take out the box once in a while to look at how far you’ve come from it.
- Don’t create conflict where it doesn’t need to be.
Honor yourself and your limits and if necessary leave the situation.
- Allow yourself to be you, don’t worry about what others say, think about you, or even what they think you should do/be.
Set clear boundaries and expectations and enforce them.
Remember that part of being an adult means that you don’t need to tell everyone everything and you don’t need to explain or defend yourself.
- Most important remember that without failure you can’t have success and crazy will resist the box as long as you allow it to and with as much force or more than you use to put crazy in the box.
- Sometimes it is necessary to put ourselves in a box and away from crazy to get crazy in the box!