Crazy isn't being broken or swallowing a dark secret. It's you or me amplified. If you ever told a lie and enjoyed it. If you ever wished you could be a child forever.

— Susanna Kaysen

The most thrilling Susanna Kaysen quotes that are easy to memorize and remember

The only way to stay sane is to go a little crazy.

56

Every window in Alcatraz has a view of San Francisco.

54

I am not a nurse escorting six lunatics to the ice cream parlor.

52

I told her once I wasn’t good at anything. She told me survival is a talent.

48

I know what it's like to want to die.

How it hurts to smile. How you try to fit in but you can't. You hurt yourself on the outside to try to kill the thing on the inside.

36

Lunatics are similar to designated hitters.

Often an entire family is crazy, but since an entire family can't go into the hospital, one person is designated as crazy and goes inside. Then, depending on how the rest of the family is feeling that person is kept inside or snatched out, to prove something about the family's mental health.

29

My chronic feelings of emptiness and boredom came from the fact that I was living a life based on my incapacities, which were numerous.

29

Smile and the world smiles with you, cry and you cry alone.

26

An observer can't tell if a person is silent and still because inner life has stalled or because inner life is transfixingly busy.

25

Scar tissue has no character. It's not like skin. It doesn't show age or illness or pallor or tan. It has no pores, no hair, no wrinkles. It's like a slip cover. It shields and disguises what's beneath. That's why we grow it; we have something to hide.

19

Suicide is a form of murder - premeditated murder.

It isn't something you do the first time you think of doing it. It takes getting used to. And you need the means, the opportunity, the motive. A successful suicide demands good organization and a cool head, both of which are usually incompatible with the suicidal state of mind.

18

Viscosity and velocity are opposites, yet they can look the same.

Viscosity causes the stillness of disinclination, velocity causes the stillness of fascination. An observer can't tell if a person is silent and still because inner life has stalled or because inner life is transfixingly busy.

14

About Susanna Kaysen

Quotes 79 sayings
Profession Author
Birthday November 11, 1948

The girl at her music sits in another sort of light,the fitful,overcast light of lie,by which we see ourselves and others only imprefectly, and seldom..-Girl,Interrupted

14

Our hospital was famous and housed many great poets and singers.

Did the hospital specialize in poets and singers or was it that poets and singers specialized in madness?

14

This behavior may...counteract feelings of'numbness'and depersonalization that aries duriing periods of extreme stress.-153 Girl,Interrupted

12

I had an inspiration once. I woke up one morning and I knew that it was my task to swallow fifty asprin.It was my task:my job for the day.-17 Girl Interrupted

12

It is easy to slip into a parallel universe.

There are so many of them: worlds of the insane, the criminal, the crippled, the dying, perhaps of the dead as well. These worlds exist alongside this world and resemble it, but are not in it.

11

Mental illness seems to be a communication problem between interpreters one and two.

10

I think many people kill themselves simply to stop the debate about whether they will or they won't.

10

Not everything has a happy ending, and not everything has an ending.

Some things just kind of dribble away or cut off abruptly.

10

Actually, it was only part of myself I wanted to kill: the part that wanted to kill herself, that dragged me into the suicide debate and made every window, kitchen implement, and subway station a rehearsal for tragedy.

9

Emptiness and boredom: what an understatement.

What I felt was complete desolation. Desolation, despair, and depression. Isn't there some other way to look at this? After all, angst of these dimensions is a luxury item. You need to be well fed, clothes, and housed to have time for this much self-pity.

9

I noticed that some of my deadness was being replaced by an intense feeling about the Greek stories and the Bible stories. They were similar. There was something naked about these stories. Terrible things happened, and then some more terrible things.

8

I was trying to explain my situation to myself.

My situation was that I was in pain and nobody knew it, even I had trouble knowing it. So I told myself, over and over, You are in pain. It was the only way I could get through to myself. I was demonstrating externally and irrefutably an inward condition.

7

By the time we hit the streets they were silent and closed in on us, and they had assumed the Nonchalant Look, an expression that said, I am not a nurse escorting six lunatics to the ice cream parlor. But they were, and we were their six lunatics, so we behaved like lunatics.

6

It's one of the reasons I became a writer, to be able to smoke in peace.

6

When women are angry at men, they call them heartless.

When men are angry at women, they call them crazy.

5

Was everybody seeing this stuff and acting as though they weren't? Was insanity just a matter of dropping the act?

5

Light like this does not exist, but we wish it did.

We wish the sun could make us young and beautiful, we wish our clothes could glisten and ripple against our skins, most of all, we wish that everyone we knew could be brightened simply by our looking at them, as are the maid with the letter and the soldier with the hat.

4

My family had a lot of characteristics - achievements, ambitions, talents, expectations - that all seemed to be recessive in me.

4

If I could have any job in the world I'd be a professional Cinderella.

3

It's a long way from not having enough serotonin to thinking the world is "stale, flat and unprofitable"; even further to writing a play about a man driven by that thought.

3

Have you ever confused a dream with life? Or stolen something when you have the cash? Have you ever been blue? Or thought your train moving while sitting still? Maybe I was just crazy. Maybe it was the 60's. Or maybe I was just a girl... interrupted.

3

A successful suicide demands good organization and a cool head, both of which are usually incompatible with the suicidal state of mind.

3

We say that Columbus discovered America and Newton discovered gravity, as though America and gravity weren't there until Columbus and Newton got wind of them.

3

When you’re sad you need to hear your sorrow structured into sound.

3

Tell me that you don’t take that blade and drag it across your skin and pray for the courage to press down.

3

And this was the main precondition, that anything might be something else.

Once I'd accepted that, it followed that I might be mad, or that someone might think me mad. How could I say for certain that I wasn't, if I couldn't say for certain that a curtain wasn't a mountain range?

3

Maybe, there's a moment growing up when something peels back.

.. Maybe, maybe, we look for secrets because we can't believe our minds...

2

You have to have a somewhat cold heart to be a writer.

2

Maybe I was just flirting with madness the way I flirted with my teachers and my classmates.

2

This clarity made me able to behave normally, which posed some interesting questions. Was everybody seeing this stuff and acting as though they weren't? Was insanity just a matter of dropping the act? If some people didn't see these things, what was the matter with them? Were they blind or something? These questions had me unsettled.

2

Emptiness and boredom: what a complete understatement.

What I felt was complete desolation. Desolation, despair and boredom.

2

With wild eyes that had seen freedom.

2

It was a spring day, the sort that gives people hope: all soft winds and delicate smells of warm earth. Suicide weather.

2

You could also "request" to be locked into the seclusion room.

Not many people made that request. You had to "request" to get out too. A nurse would look through the chicken wire and decide if you were ready to come out. Somewhat like looking at a cake through the glass of the oven door.

1

In a strange way we were free. We'd reached the end of the line. We had nothing more to lose. Our privacy, our liberty, our dignity: all of this was gone and we were stripped down to the bare bones of our selves

0

It was my misfortune-or salvation-to be at all times perfectly conscious of my misperceptions of reality.

0

I needed to be alone, I felt. I wanted to be going on alone to my future.

0
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