Up or Down Cractpots?

Long before Donald Trump introduced the term ‘fake news’ into our collective vocabulary, the internet was no stranger to shining a spotlight on just one part of the story and letting the rest of the world explode under the pressure to choose sides.  Several years ago, #Dressgate captured the attention of our friends and our celebrities alike, as social media platforms went wild debating the colour of a dress.  Faced with overwhelming obstacles in our search for objective truth,  it’s possible that we found comfort in being able to confidently describe what we witnessed with our own eyes.

Wait, you see what colour???


Of course, as with any internet sensation there will always be those that turn up their noses and scoff.  Who really cares about a picture of a dress taken in 1997 anyway?

Turns out, an awful lot of people.

To understand we need to take a closer look at why things go viral in the first place and what it says about our society as a whole.  It’s our intuitive inclination for self reflection combined with an undeniable need for social connection that encourages us to click share, despite society’s slow slide towards isolation.  Add a few emotional triggers to capture the attention of your audience and you’ve got yourself a trending tweet that for a moment breaks down our many differences by tricking us into working toward a common goal.  

brick wall
Do you see it???


Optical illusions play nicely into that winning formula .  We are shocked by the cracks in the concrete foundation of what we thought we knew and are looking to share our experiences in order to validate our perceptions and find our tribe.

Now how does all of this tie in to a blog about failure?  Well, it turns out, that too might be nothing but an illusion.

As a person who suffers from anxiety and depression I can assure you that when I find myself trapped and hopeless I don’t just feel these things…I AM these things.  It’s  hard to describe to someone that hasn’t experienced it, but just know that I believe my version of reality because I’m living it.  I see it every time I look in the mirror.  I feel it as soon as I wake up in the morning and I hear it repeating in my brain like some sort of infernal mantra as I try to fall asleep at night.  

Now right in the middle of one of these cycles, a co-worker decided to start a new tradition on her timeline called Saturday Shout Outs.  She took a few moments of her day to write a tribute to a ‘beautiful’ friend with a ‘soul-on-fire smile’ who ‘goes out of her way daily to help the world around her’.   The person that she was describing was the same person who had spent the past few days struggling to find her value and the exact same person who is writing to you now.  Reinforcements arrived, right when they were needed, because this inspiring individual took the time to reach out, without any personal benefit, and suggest that maybe there was another way to view the picture of myself that I had painted. lady

While her passionate enthusiasm for life might have exaggerated the facts a little, I can tell you, it completely changed the direction of my day and motivated this message that I want to share with all of you.

If you are lost and you have decided in the pitch black of depression to give up, I want you to pay attention. If you are disoriented in a maze of anxiety and certain that there is no way out, you need to listen.  I have turned a situation around in my brain and come up with the same solution every single time only to realize later that I was completely wrong. I have tossed a room in order to find something I’ve misplaced just to have someone else stop in and see it, right where I left it, in plain view.  I’ve watched the ballerina spin in endless circles without any doubt in my mind about the direction she was going.   

spinning dancer

Which is why I know, without a doubt, that our brains lie to us

You can call it fake news, or you can call it an trick, but despite our agnosticism and our skepticism, sometimes all it takes is for someone to offer you a different outlook in order to completely change the way you see the world.  In fact, an adjusted perspective has the ability to alter our lives forever because more often than not, once you finally see it, you can never unsee it.  Of course there will always be situations, when no matter how many times a person points out the irrefutable, we are only able to see our interpretation of the information, but we must still never forget that sometimes our truth isn’t the whole truth.

The squares “A” and “B” have the exact same background color. Don’t believe us? Import the image to photoshop and compare the squares. Both have the hex color value #787878


So go find your tribe.  Talk with them, compare stories and let them know what you’re thinking, even (or maybe especially) if what you’re thinking sounds a little crazy.  If you’re still searching, why not stop by camp Cractpot and say hello.  If my face is to the sun,  I’ll try to reflect the light to guide you towards level ground but if I’ve slipped back down into the shadows, just reach for my hand because at least we won’t be alone in the dark. 

Now, let’s sum this up with something we can all agree on.

No automatic alt text available.

This is an easy one… right???


Chaos is merely order waiting to be deciphered~ José Saramago





14 thoughts on “Up or Down Cractpots?

  1. I’m lucky enough not to deal with anxiety or depression very often, but I’d really love to call you a part of my tribe. This was such a fantastic post!

    I remember the first time I saw the old hag/beautiful woman in a hat. I was probably ten years old and all I could see was the hag. My mother encouraged me to look at it again and again. She even *told* me the beautiful woman in the hat was there and I just. couldn’t. see. it.

    When she finally traced the woman’s jaw and it clicked in my head, I was in awe. Now I have to fight to see the hag. You’re right, sometimes given clarity and an alternative perspective, it can be hard to ‘unsee.’

    Absolutely fantastic!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. For me, it was the first time I saw the brick wall illusion. I really believed I was being tricked. As it trended on twitter I argued that it was a case of the Emperor’s New Clothes and that everyone that was sharing and exclaiming that they could see a cigar were big fat liars. Now I find it hard to believe because it’s the first thing my eye goes to. The grid of grey squares STILL confounds me…I just have to trust the internet on that one.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s funny my daughter can watch the ballerina spin clockwise and then counter clockwise at will, by just focusing on a different part of her body, but no matter how many times she shows me, I can only capture it for a second before she goes back to spinning clockwise…I wonder what that says about me. Do you think it could be a right brain, left brain thing?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Rotational interpretation is usually processed in the occipitotemporal gyrus but specific subdomains are highly variable. (hehehe I bet you weren’t looking for the technical mumbo-jumbo)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Once again, a most excellent post! I love that you ended with encouragement to seek out others to help with our perspectives–either to correct or confirm them, or at least offer a different viewpoint (I guess that could be called tempering our perspectives). And if nothing else, we reach out to others to at least know we’re not alone. In some ways you’ve basically said that “no one is an island;” we all need other people in our lives. Thank you for sharing this! As for the perspective visuals, I see a gold & white dress (don’t know that I’ve ever seen it as black & blue, unless the photo’s lighting was darker than what you have here); at first I thought I was seeing a little critter snuggled up in the brick wall gaps until I saw the cigar, which I now cannot un-see. I’m able to go back & forth easily between the hag & young lady, perhaps because this is the perspective visual I’ve seen the most, but the last 2 are totally new to me. Until I scrolled down enough to see the ballerina’s foot, I would have sworn she was spinning counter-clockwise; I am not yet able to alternate her spin at will. I’m with you when it comes to the square colors–knowing about Photoshop colors and the fact that B square is supposed to be in the shadows (so all the shaded squares will be darker), my head agrees but it’s like I don’t believe it. The only thing that helps is looking at the un-shaded portion of the dark squares that are largely in the shadow. As for the unicorn tutu, I guess it depends on whether it wants pee or poop stains! Haha!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hey, I wanted to let you know that I nominated you for the Liebster Award (which you have no obligation to accept, but totally should)! I’m glad I found your blog and I’ve really enjoyed our interactions. You’re a fabulous writer. ☺️

    If you choose to accept the award, you just have to answer the questions I’ve outlined in this post:

    Then nominate some more people to receive the award and answer questions of your choosing. Again, no obligation to accept/participate, but I had a lot of fun doing it.

    All the best,


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank You! I will absolutely try. Questions 1 through 5 are a walk in the park, but the rest of them require more creativity than I can currently muster on so little sleep. Give me a little time and I’ll see what I can come up with!

      Liked by 1 person

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