van Gogh's letters - unabridged and annotated
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Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
(12 October 1883)
... felt exactly the same toward people. They said I was out of my mind, but I knew myself that it was not true, for the very reason that I felt my own disease deep within me, and tried to remedy it. I exhausted myself with hopeless, unsuccessful efforts, it is true, but because of that fixed idea of reaching a normal point of view again, I never mistook my own desperate doings, worryings and drudgings for my real innermost self. At least I always felt, “Just let me do something, be somewhere, and it must redress itself. I will rise above it, let me keep hold of patience to redress things.” I do not believe somebody like ———(?) for instance - who proved really to be insane - thought that way, and therefore I repeat, I have often thought those years of grubbing over, but I do not see how in those circumstances I could have been different from what I was. This was the ground which gave way under my feet; think how miserable anyone...

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