The word “crazy” gets thrown around our house a lot more than I’d like. Having grown up with a schizophrenic grandmother and a mother who was institutionalized for “further observation”, the word crazy carries a sensitive connotation for me. The word itself is defined as being mentally deranged, manifested in an aggressive way, so it is currently unclear as to why it seems to be the word of the day in our home. I feel neither deranged nor aggressive…generally.
Though a deeper dive may reveal the answer because the other day I woke up and bemoaned how I once again needed to go for my morning run. When summer started, I also started my running program again. I am now up to 4.5 miles all before 7 am. The heat continues to ensure a morning run. No waiting until the afternoon for me. So with my head in my hands, I cried, “How long do I have to do this?” My husband, without looking up from his phone asked, “Do what?”
“Run? Wake up at the ass crack of dawn to run just to stay in shape?” I cried.
“Oh, let’s be honest,” he continued. “Your body is perfect. You run to beat back the crazy.” I couldn’t really argue and for a brief moment I actually felt some type of relief. Running many miles allows me to give myself permission to eat and relax. Running allows me the freedom to rest and watch television with almost no guilt. No worries, I tell myself. You can have those cookies with your coffee. You ran today. It feels wrong on so many levels, and if one of my female students told me she needed to do this mental math to relax, I would try and talk her off the ledge. Her pain would be palable.
The word crazy has become so prolific in our home that my husband has even taught the boys how to say it in German: verrückt.
“Deine mutti ist verrückt,” my son says playfully when I start to complain about my body.
“Jonah, Jonah, Jonah” my husband interjects, shaking his head. “It’s ‘meine mutti ist verrückt'”.
It’s really getting to be too much.
The deeper issue is my inability to fully accept myself and perhaps that can be defined as “crazy”. It’s an aggressiveness against my body and it’s form, and regardless of the size of my pants or the numbers on the scale, it is relentless. Mediation and exercise help, but it does not abate the barrage of cruelty I place on my body. It is the complete disregard for all of the time and energy I have spent trying to stay grounded and balance a healthy relationship with myself. After all of these years, we still go round and round.
“Verduct,” Cole tries and copy the term as I run back to my room for another dress change because I just don’t like the way I look in my shorts.
“Cole, don’t say that,” my husband gently interjects as I walk upstairs. “It’s verrückt.”