Need therapy? Try chaos

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images
I never thought I’d say this but I highly recommend an intense, passionate, totally over-the-top holiday from reality in the form of a mad love affair with a gorgeous stranger that’s so out of control it’s destined to burn up as quickly as it ignites.

Are you a sensible, stable functional member of society? It’s boring as hell, isn’t it? Always being responsible, doing the right thing, risk adverse as a one-legged insurance broker.

Find a handsome rake, a good-looking flaneur (or he might just find you), and for a week or two or three just let them upend your life and shake all the bits out all over the floor like a raccoon in a garbage can. Forget the troubles of daily existence and leave him to lie on your couch in a rumpled hot man way while you’re at work, sending you grubby messages. Eat lavish meals every evening, drink all the wine in Dunedin and find new uses for your home’s sturdier furniture.

Watch the sunrise through the chest hairs of this firemen’s calendar of a bloke; have so much sex it’s completely ridiculous, and absolutely drop out of your real life: answer no texts from friends, fall off the edge of the planet.

The great thing about charming playboys is they are so charming, and funny, and dress really well. If you like having beautiful things in your house, it’s a bit like temporarily decorating the place with a fine mid-century find. No, you can’t keep it, but there’s no faulting your taste.

I promise you’ll see a side of yourself you haven’t seen for a while — the wicked laughing one who just has fun without worrying about the consequences. The woman who dances on the deck, loves music, speaks eloquently, is super funny, swims naked in the sea and is at peace with her many scars: yeah, you’d forgotten about her, hadn’t you?

Yes, it’s exhausting. Yes, you’ll probably get a UTI and lose about 4kg but when the smoke clears and life returns to normal, I promise you won’t regret a moment, plus your skin will be all buffed and your hair will look all glossy, after you get the knots out.

It might sound like chaos, like throwing yourself into a maelstrom, however, this is actually good therapy. Some people spend a fortune on yoga retreats in hard to get to places and various other ways to find themselves, get enlightened etc., but I say nothing beats having a dishy reprobate by your side for a week or two. People will look at you aghast. You’ll talk about everything and anything with him as you never would with another, and, knowing this brief flame will extinguish, be utterly free. Find laughter in the absurd, cry, confide in each other, blast power ballads at the neighbours, live a whole relationship at light speed.

When the passion has been hoovered up, and every bit of wonderful and strange turned inside out and licked like a chip packet, and it’s time for the page to be turned, there’s no need to tip toe on eggshells, no need to scope out the exit — charming playboys do that themselves, leaving a pleasant wreckage and everything steaming faintly.

In the new silence, which is just the old silence — but you see it in a fresher, sweeter, more appreciative way, you’ll walk out on to the deck and survey the garden, totally overgrown; behind you in the house slumps the exhausted bed — surrounded by three weeks of laundry (not your favourite jeans though because you took them off at a gig and lost them), and in the kitchen sink, some of your bone-handled knives have been rendered totally unusable.

But here’s you, looking like you just had a fantastic holiday somewhere, or had some work done — which you have.