“Holding conflicting realities in your head… that will drive you mad.” ~Mad Hatter, ABC’s Once Upon a Time
Once Upon a Time is currently my favorite show on TV. I have watched this week’s episode twice now. In this week’s episode, the “Mad Hatter” kidnaps Emma and holds her hostage, telling her she has to fix his hat and make it magical again. She concludes that he is insane, especially after finding out that he “thinks” he’s the Mad Hatter. He tells her the reason he feels like he’s going insane is because he knows that his daughter from Fairy Tale land, Grace, is in the real world as “Paige” and is happy with another family and doesn’t even remember that he’s her father. He is stuck between 2 realities (possibly even 3, counting “Wonderland”) and it’s driving him literally crazy. He is desperate for her to fix his hat and get him back to the world he feels he belongs in.
After hearing this statement, I can’t help but reflect on myself as a writer. When I write, it’s like I travel to this transcendent, OTHER world. Then when I have to transition back to the real world, sometimes it’s rather jarring and upsetting. In the real world, I have pains, struggles, and troubles that I don’t have in my fantasy world. My fantasy world can be whatever I want it to be, but the real world CAN’T. Sometimes I feel like I’m going crazy trying to balance the two.
Is this really good for me? Is it healthy to live in two worlds at once?
Most people in their right mind would likely say “No, of course it’s not healthy. You’re killing your powers of realistic thinking and torturing yourself for no reason.” Some people would diagnose me with a mental disorder. Would they be correct?
The answer? Maybe. But maybe not.
Don’t we all have a fantasy life? Isn’t it something God created us with? Don’t we all need to “break free from reality” sometimes? (Yes, that was a Kenny Chesney reference.)
I’m not saying that all people who are diagnosed with a mental disorder are actually “normal” people with a misdiagnosis. Some people literally are insane or psychologically troubled. But I think the rest of us just need a balance. What’s real and what’s not? How do we reconcile the two and how do we deal with it when the real world isn’t as great as our fantasy world?
Food for thought. And now I need some food for my stomach. So chow! I mean, ciao!