The best part about loosing your mind is finding it again. It's like make-up sex, but in your own brain with your own brain. I know, that's a pretty gross analogy, but at least you don't have to stay up at night worrying about making any more insomniac baby brains and it's totally private (unless you have a bizarre blog and mention it).
People engage in a lot of strange and seemingly bizarre behavior. They may have steel spikes surgically implanted into the tops of their skulls, or keep styling their hair the same way for 30 years, or get tattoos of celestial stars or sports team logos on their faces. They may knock on a door three times before they allow themselves to open it, hoard trash in their houses until they have to pee in paper cups, or paint and carpet their homes in only the color beige. Everybody has their "thing". Everybody has a rationale for doing their "thing". Rationale: a set of reasons or a logical basis for a course of action or a particular belief.
The bad thing about loosing your mind is that you've lost control of your "things". By God, you know no one is going to screw those steel liberty spikes into your skull-holes FOR you. When the "you" that is you is not working, it's very surreal. It's watching the world keep on working after you've died. It's ruminating on nothing at best, and at worst it's crapsiclishous (take that Poe). And you wonder: "What was the point of any of this? How is today any different than yesterday or tomorrow? Why does anything I do matter? Why am I even here since everything goes on so splendidly, yet awkwardly, even without my help?"
It's not like wanting to jump off of a bridge or anything like that. It's not even a questioning the meaning of life or the existence of God or reconciling the past. It's a mental vacancy. Like a vacation your soul took by itself.
But hopefully after not too long, you slowly wake up. The "you" that is you starts to come back and care again. Or maybe it doesn't care quite so much? Or maybe it just seems safer and somehow worthwhile again because you meet someone else who is like, "Oh my gosh, those steel liberty spikes that I had implanted into my skull used to get so cold in the winter!" And you're like, "Yours too?! So...you get this?" And they're like, "Yeah. Totally. I had mine removed. That ordeal was such a headache, but check out my new face-tattoo!"
But for me it smelled like a wet baseball field after a hot summer rain. It smelled like fresh paint and sounded like laughter and tasted like strawberries and brie. It looked like understanding on the face of a friend. It felt like real life, a purpose, unabashed emotion, true human connection and being hugged from the inside-out.
And that crap with me is all over now - at least it has been for months. But there will always be a new hurdle to overcome. Sometimes the chance comes to pay it forward, sometimes the chance comes to pay it back, sometimes it's about learning how to pull up one's own "big girl panties", and surprisingly, sometimes it's just about the experience. You really can't gleam that kind of wisdom from a book.