Have you ever wished to be a fly on the wall of a therapy room? Are you curious about other people’s lives? Do you wonder if they are as messy as your own? Is everyone crazy, like me?
There is a saying among therapists that we are all a little crazy. This may not be a bad thing. Who doesn’t have a wild Uncle Earl who wears mismatched socks and drinks too much at family barbecues? He’s quite loveable, the way he brings stolen lollipops for the children without fail. Would life really be as interesting without Grandma Ethel’s insistence that a wedding just isn’t a proper nuptial without lilacs and a marching band, complete with a tuba player?
If therapy room flies could talk, they would tell you that life is not always easy. And boiling a week’s worth of emotions, troubles, and fears into less than an hour’s time can be even more challenging. As humans, we struggle with the same issues – learning who we are, what we want out of life, who we want to be, and how to get there. We all run into obstacles. We fall, we get up, and the ride isn’t always smooth. If we’re lucky, we do it together – for good or bad.
When I first became a family therapist, one of my greatest challenges was moving between sessions with shy teens incapable of eye contact to teens unable to take a breath because of their manic mothers. I took on their anxieties and problems and felt like I was on a rollercoaster. The vicissitudes of several consecutive 50-minute-hour daily mini dramas almost made me abandon my dream of helping others. Then, I remembered the big joke: We are all a little crazy. I figured; why not celebrate our common nuttiness? I decided finally to enjoy the ride.
“Crazy Like Me” was born as a wink to our shared human experiences. I often wondered what it would be like to put that shy teenager in a room with the manic mother. I had a feeling they could help each other. When I finally did, I saw the magic of human connectedness.
A work of fiction, “Crazy Like Me” is the story of Dr. Katherine Murphy, a psychologist who has the guts to take on that same challenge and allow her clients to learn from one another. Her recipe is simple: Take a few unhappy couples and a dash or two of lonely singles. Add broken hearts, anger, envy, betrayal, and hope. Stir continuously for 50-minutes. Simmer and repeat. Soon, lives collide in the craziest of ways.
I did not know what would happen to the doctor and crew when I first put these characters in a group therapy room together. But, like a fly on the wall, I found myself learning more than I ever imagined from Katherine and her eccentric clients. I stopped looking at the clock and let them take me on their journey. They made me laugh. They made me cry. They warmed my heart. Best, they surprised me. They are, after all, crazy, like me.
In “Crazy Like Me,” you don’t need to be a fly on the psychotherapy wall to meet characters who will inspire you, challenge you, and make you laugh out loud. Instead, come as you are to Katherine’s Friday group sessions. Here, you will meet a man who dresses like a rainbow and has a matching personality, a terrified grandmother stepping out - runway style - into the world for the first time, a spunky couple fighting for their children, and a girl who needs her pet lizards to feel alive. The rules are simple – respect one another and keep things said in the group in confidence. Before you know it, you too will be looking around the room thinking they’re crazy, like me.