What it’s like to lose your mind

We take so many things for granted. Security, safety, money etc. But how often do we thank god, or ourselves for lucidity of mind. This is usually only the worry of elder people who unfortunately degenerate and experience the onset of dementia and other symptoms of aging. My own grandmother suffered from severe Alzheimer’s by the time I was born, so I never really knew her. She was one of the first female radiologists in South Africa, an esteemed professional but by the time I knew her she was barely more than a child who sometimes, and by the end often, forgot how to eat.

But I have experienced it much earlier. I have felt my mind die. It simply snapped over time, collapsing in on itself like the wild, un-choreographed implosion of a delinquent building. It is something that is hard to explain because it was a process where words simply lose their meaning. I stopped understanding concepts, words lost all meaning, I couldn’t understand speech. My imagination, as I understand that concept to mean the unique way we string words and concepts together, rocketed off into the unknown, a faulty Space-X spaceship without destination or enough fuel to make it back to Earth. Whatever I imagined, I thought it was literally true, and that it had occurred. I imagined becoming an update to the simulation of reality, whatever that means. I imagined I fell in mutual love with a girl, when in reality it mirrored more a scene out of Joker where he imagines being together with a girl who shows him passing kindness, for it only to be pure fiction. I held conversations with myself, where I disagreed with myself, answered myself, refuted myself, accepted myself, and every other interaction that usually requires two people and more than one personality. It was a kind of a hell at first. And I have much more sympathy for those whom fate or cruel circumstance has decided to take away mental powers.

And yet, after all that, after suffering through a mental collapse my mind is now stronger than ever before. What does not kill me, makes me stronger. Thank you Nietzsche for a beautiful observation! I pushed through hell or high water to come back to sanity and reason, after a mighty fall into a mighty abyss.

I came closer to god in a mystical experience beyond all words or comprehension. It would seem God is a certain safety net, like the welfare state but for spiritual matters. When you become weak and reliant, he is there for you more so than anyone else. For the brave traveller willing to forgo reason, if you can survive the experience it is one of pure ecstasy, a love and imagination beyond comprehension or speech, of pure spirituality and intense introspection. Like taking ayahuasca on steroids. The truth of reality lies beyond reason or sense, and rather lives in the metaphysical innateness of the human soul. It is far beyond the Pale of language! Dying is a beautiful welcoming into the arms of god and the angels. A return of one’s soul to purity and originality. So long as you are a friend to all you meet, have never wronged another purposefully and maliciously, death is an experience of love and pure joy.

I am still on the path to recovery, a long walk to mental freedom. But as weird as this may sound, I am grateful for the experience. I now know what it means to lose everything, and therefore to be grateful for everything.

Writer, poet, philosopher

Writer, poet, philosopher