Tuesday, August 28, 2012

How To Lose Your Mind: A Parable

WHEN I WAS IN MY EARLY 30s, I had a real problem. Actually I had lots of problems. Tons of them. But you know what my biggest problem was? It was that I didn't get help. Or more accurately, I didn't get the help I needed. I didn't recognize the Help Bus so didn't think to flag it down. It kept right on going. But because I was stranded, bleeding and desperate, I hitchhiked. Thumb extended, the Driver stopped and I hopped aboard and allowed said Driver to whisk me away down an extremely bumpy, brier-lined road.  

I won't go in to all the reasons why I neglected to recognize and flag down the Help Bus because that would take about, let's see, 18 chapters and you don't have all day. But I will tell you that hitchhiking with a Driver who thinks he knows how to drive, but doesn't is a very stupid way to get to where you need to go.  

So in context of "How to Lose Your Mind," the first step is to vector off the beaten path, preferably with a Driver who, like I said, thinks he knows how to drive but really only knows how to cause you to bump your head a bazillion times while he's speeding through a bazillion potholes. 

The second step is to be inebriated. I don't mean like with drugs or alcohol although they could work. I'm talking about a hormonal-induced inebriation, where you hear voices and see things that aren't really there and you're paranoid that a bear is going to jump out from the bushes and send the already inept Driver over the edge of the cliff that is far too close to the potholed road. 

Because of the inebriation, you sometimes think the Driver is actually on a freshly paved (pothole-free) freeway. And you're falling in love with him because he's taking you somewhere. Although you can feel your head getting bumped a bazillion times, and you've asked the Driver to pull over because the pain is excruciating, you don't really feel the pain at all because the Driver doesn't have time to look back at you and listen and consider other options. He's busy looking ahead. And reading his GPS, trying to figure out where this potholed road is supposed to go. He wants to fix you. And you love him for that. 

And pretty soon your bumped head is bleeding and the blood trickles down into your eyes and into your ears and you can't hear or see anything anymore--even your own self. It's all mute. 

And this is how you lose your mind. Inebriated; desperate for help; falling prey to a charlatan. Eventually your inner wisdom is muted.  

This is what happened to me from 1992 through 2000. I'll elaborate more as time goes on but in closing, have you ever taken advice from someone, thinking they were helping when instead they caused you harm? 


  1. Wow...you really know how to say it. I try not to think of my poor judgement at time but boy howdy I could have spared myself a lot of unhappiness...(I actually was forced to hitchhike once because my car broke down and the driver sped like a maniac!!)
    sending you love

  2. Grace, what an image-filled, beautifully detailed, raw, lovely piece of writing! I could picture everything you wrote about and imagine what it was like to take that ride. I'll look forward to reading more! I'm so excited about your writing! You are inspiring me!

  3. Sounds like quite a story. I look forward to reading more!

  4. Well Gracie, this introduction certainly caught my attention and made me physically gasp a time or two! I actually felt like I was the one on the bus.... Looking forward to seeing where this goes. I love how your writing takes unexpected turns.

  5. Sometimes friends being friends they try their best in thinking that what they know in doing good without knowing the outcome.
    And sometimes - it is important to know whether their help is actually helping or harming - regardless of their intention.
    And in most cases - we can all go wrong with it.

  6. Sometimes I have been so desperate for help that I allowed myself some rose colored glasses to see people in a different light, even when I knew in my gut (intuition is really a great gift) they would lead me astray. Beautiful writing Grace.

  7. I think I have been lucky in this respect. And from reading your post I'm very glad.

  8. Grace, many of us have hitch-hiked along the way, and fortunately some of us were able to finally realize there was a better mode of transportation but though many accidents along the way. You are a brave and wonderful lady and one with multi-talents.


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