Do we bring gifts to our family and community that are born of suffering but infused with spirit? Has our madness been in vain, or has it brought us through fiery trials that have meaning we otherwise would have missed for ourselves and our most treasured relationships? Can we be bold now even though our hearts and spirits seemed to have been broken beyond repair? My answer is yes to these questions. I have met dozens of people whose answer is also yes.
The chorus of voices echoing from around the world by the readers and commenters and writers on Mad In America affirm this too.
In other places and times madness was seen this way. It always is the right time to claim this perspective as our daily bread. Many of you have for decades.
When we are in madness we most likely loose sight of it’s potential value. If we are loved and protected during our madness some deep healing can happen. Personal healing, but more. Our family gets healed somehow too by us freeing trapped emotions that now we can claim, share with them- perhaps for the first time.
There certainly is something humbling about going through madness, and it can be especially traumatic when we get caught in a system and seen as weird and sick in a hopeless way.
Almost all the mad people I have known have been gentle souls. Behind the anger that is so often justified lies a softly beating heart. If only we will give sanctuary and mercy as our gifts of caring, the wounded hearts will repair themselves from the inside out.
I don’t want to romanticize or despise my madness. Let me find my own voice if I become mad again, to be able to ask for what we all really want and need when we are suffering – love, mercy, protection, sanctuary, understanding, respect, a gentle touch, hope.