I'd like to state, for the record, that I do not support or condone the use of any drug for recreational purposes. Mental illness, in and of itself, is not funny. No disease is funny. Some diseases are horrible and sad and debilitating and my heart aches to see people who suffer from any kind of ailment.
I would also like to state two facts:
- I suffer from mental illness in the form of depression. It ranges from mild to severe, depending on the day and situation.
- I take medication to help my body cope with the chemical imbalance that makes my brain and emotions all out of whack.
- I have a mental illness. It is mine, and I will choose to deal with it in any way I see fit.
- Mental illness is not funny, but some of the effects are hysterical.
- I choose to laugh at my situation, because who wants to be serious all of the time? Besides, laughing about it makes me feel better about the situation. If I can laugh at my mental illness, then it won't win. If you were ever bullied as a child and had the nerve to actually laugh at what the bully said, you understand the power that laughter gives you over your opponent.
Go ahead. It's okay. I'll wait.
*insert elevator music here*
That, my friends, is how I choose to deal with my disease. Granted, I will probably never have the guts to actually do something like that, but the thought of it makes me pee in my pants a little with mirth.
(Cristina: I went shopping with my hubby last night and your comment was running through my head the whole time. At one point, I turned to him and hissed in my loudest whisper, "Pixie Stix! I need Pixie Stix right NOW or I'm going to lose it!" The look on his face was priceless. Then I explained your comment to him, and we giggled together for the rest of the shopping trip at all of the socially inappropriate things that I could do in a grocery store. I actually had to hold myself back from hucking a package of strawberry cream Twinkies at the back of a lady's head who bumped into Moe with her cart. We're going shopping again today; maybe I'll be braver and have a better story for you. Here's hopin'!)
So, if my seeming lack of respect for a serious subject offends you, I'm sorry. I'm sorry that you have not learned of the power which laughter holds. The most serious of situations can be diffused with laughter.
I've seen a bumper sticker several times, and I only wish that I had thought of it first:
"I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it."
Now that we have all of the apologies and explanations out of the way, here is another great mental illness related thought
Since I have had several secretarial jobs, I know what it's like to be the first person in the company that a customer or client has contact with. I know that people can be very irate when the person that they are trying to reach is unavailable. Some of my best conversations with strangers have started with me answering the phone saying something along the lines of "Thank you for calling My Place of Employment, how may I help you?"
Now that I have had some experience on the client side of the mental illness industry (Industry? Is it really an industry? ....let's just run with that, shall we?) I have often wondered what it's like to be on the secretarial side of that phone. Really, don't you think that that must be one of the most interesting jobs out there? You know that nine times out of ten, when you pick up that phone there will be a nut job on the other end. It must take people with loads of compassion (and self control to not totally mess with the patients) to handle those kinds of calls every day.
I'm thinking about this particular subject this morning because I had an appointment scheduled today with my psychiatrist to discuss how well my new medication is working. The sweet secretary just called to tell me that my psychiatrist is sick and could we reschedule.
Who wants to have that job?
"Please call this list of fifteen certifiably insane people and tell them that I won't be able to meet with them today."
"Yes, sir! Right away, sir!"
I would quit my job right there on the spot.
I actually considered messing with the girl a little bit, like totally wigging out and screaming "but she made an appointment with me! That's like a promise! I can never trust anyone ever again!" but I played nice and expressed the appropriate concern for my doc, sent warm wishes of good health her way, and then cheerfully rescheduled for next week.
See? Even crazy people can behave themselves.