Madness just around the corner

Recently, I was reading “Life is what you make it” by Preeti Shenoy. And its story brought back to my mind one thought that has crossed my mind many times and every time I have brushed it under the carpet in order not to think about it. How close I’ve often come on the verge of madness and how often I’ve survived it…

Reading the novel was horrifying. Horrifying because I was reading what could possibly have been my state(in a hugely altered form obviously), if things would have been different. And its not just about me. I’ve seen enough examples, of both the cases; people on the edge of the precipice, somehow hanging on, and people in free fall, abandoning everything.

Why do humans go crazy? What is it the drives them mad? Is it a gradual attrition of logical reasoning and mental safety nets? Or, one day, something snaps inside you, and you go down the bottomless abyss? I’ve seen both the scenarios, both equally believable. Sometimes a mixture of both.

All kinds of people go mad. The reckless, moody, depressive, hyperactive, strange, weird, aloof, loners. Also, worldly wise, sane, ‘normal’, sociable, friendly, successful(in conventional sense of the word), cautious, outwardly sensible. For the first kind of humans, madness is like a back-alley of the mind. Depending on what kind of a person you are, this back-alley can be dark, shady, filled with unknown dangers, or your own dark side which you’re afraid of, or your silent niche to hide from the world, you inner sanctuary, or a place to let go of your uniqueness which the world is not able to recognize and accept. Remember, I have described it from the point of view of the person herself, what it signifies to the rest of the world depends on the person’s resulting actions towards society and people around him.

For the other kind of humans, the second category, it’s very difficult to say anything. You get lost, in a world of masquerades, lies, hidden fears, conflicting emotions, philosophical dilemmas and inner pandemonium. For those who are sane, and consider themselves sane in their honest eyes, madness is the Satanic nightmare, a ride through hell. They deny the existence of a world beyond sanity, but when the forces out of their control devastate and subjugate their will to believe in themselves, they discover the madness in all its horrifying detail. Seriously, kind of like a ride through hell. This madness can either destroy them completely, if they are unable to break from the rigid walls of their mind, or it can liberate them (could be in all kind of ways). Those who look outwardly sane, but inwardly are tortured by the same whirlpool of thoughts as the first category, are aware of the precipice called madness facing them in some distant vague area of their psyche. Their struggle with themselves define the path which will either take them towards the precipice or away from it.

In any case, no one can entirely control whether or not to go down the precipice. Because nobody has complete control over her own thoughts, has answers to all the questions that life poses in front of us.

At one stage in my life, I was badly thrown up in the same whirlpool, and was in the danger of being destroyed by it. At that time madness was a distinct reality for me, lurking close by, waiting to ambush me lest I take one wrong step. Fortunately, I hung on the precipice, no looking down too much, and still not ambushed. But I know, I’m still in the whirlpool, and I’ll never be completely out of it. The precipice is always there.

Not just me. I’ve seen so many people around me, struggling inside them, struggling with their demons, struggling against themselves. One, whom I left long ago, was rushing headlong into his own precipice. Whether he fell or not, I don’t know, and if he fell, it is yet to be seen whether the precipice was a liberation or a downfall. Seen many things in my college life. People giving up on everything for their addictions. People going schizophrenic by intense and prolonged drug abuse, people giving up on their life, oppressed by the environment, people free-falling through life in a nightmarish euphoria of drugs, people shutting themselves closed inside their shell of fear and ignorance, and hatred.

Life has its own way of teaching people. Sometimes Madness has to step in to teach some important lessons.


10 thoughts on “Madness just around the corner

  1. monkavantgarde

    Could so relate to this one bro. been there
    but there comes a stage after that i believe
    a stage of total and true acceptance
    where is you start living in the moment completely not in ur head not in past future or Parallel universe
    but the immediate reality
    and thats when you get out of the whirlpool

    1. Mitostargazer Post author

      yes. that is when you transcend, the madness acting as a liberator.
      But alas, that happens only so rarely…..most of the time, it has come after a lot of inner struggle and questioning

  2. shubham

    Brilliant post. I too find myself battling with negative thoughts much more than I wish and more than once they almost took over me. I don’t know how I have managed to remain sane in this world with my situation. Maybe I always try to think of a person who is less fortunate than me and has less privileges. And that life is such. However, I do know that being positive is becoming increasingly difficult and maybe madness and letting go is a better option for some people.

    1. Mitostargazer Post author

      thank you shubham.
      What you’re saying is right, at our level, its more difficult to retain our sanity, but at the same time, there are more reasons to be optimistic about life 🙂

  3. Ruhi Sonal

    Hmmm… madness is a relative thing. We are all mad in comparison to someone who is different and disapproving of our thoughts and actions. And sometimes I wonder if the lurking shadow of a knife weilding man is that of a psycho-killer or a liberator. Nevertheless, a thoughtful piece of writing. Keep it up!

  4. Divenita Er

    Like some one wise said a Genius is a mad person who put his madness in the right direction 🙂 While a mad person is otherwise.
    All these thoughts will help you realise what you are made of.

    A good post.
    Few examples of incidents or anecdotes would have helped get deeper into the post. Perhaps you could have talked more about the novel you mentioned in the beginning!
    Too much theory!
    Just a thought.


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