Blog for Mental Health 2013

Okay, this is Alice being somewhat serious for a few minutes.  Canvas of the Minds is a blog with multiple authors that seeks to remove the stigma from mental illness by talking about it freely.  The authors, including yours truly, are not experts, except in our own experiences.  In other words, we all have a touch of the nuts.  And we want to share!  No, wait, we want to let other people know that it’s okay to share.  That’s better.

Did someone say nuts????

Did someone say nuts????

Because there are more of us than you think.  It’s not all confined to places like Wonderland.  We have way more than our share here, though.  I keep trying to get the Hatter to take some meds or at least go see a shrink but he keeps saying “Not during tea time!”  Of course, it’s always tea time, which means he can never seem to get any help.  Instead he hides away with the March Hare and that stupid Door Mouse and they all act crazy together and no one knows about them unless they are unlucky enough to stumble upon their tea party.

It wasn’t a fun party.  There was all this “new cup, move down” crap and we never got to drink any tea or eat any sweets because the dorks kept starting over again, or jamming the mouse in the sugar bowl, or celebrating unbirthdays or just smacking the crap out of each other.  In other words, it’s like most family dinners, only this one never ends.

Crap, this happens every damn Thanksgiving.

Crap, this happens every damn Thanksgiving.

The sad thing is that it could end, or it could at least get better.  But there’s this stigma out there.  No one wants to admit they are good in the mentals.  You can have Cancer.  You can have heart disease.  You can have a broken leg.  And you can freely take medicine for all of these.  People are willing to be nice and bring you food and talk to you about your troubles.  But if it’s a mental illness?  That’s a different story.

Then you’re making it up.  Or you could do better, if you’d just try.  You know, pull yourself up by your bootstraps.  Quit being sad!  Now!  Get off the ceiling you aren’t Spiderman!  Now!  Stop it, stop it, stop it already!

Strangely enough, this sort of therapy rarely works.  Because, you see, people with mental illness already think they’re lazy.  They already know there is something off about them.  They are already frightened.  And often they don’t know why they’re sad, or why some random thing has caused tears, or why they managed to tile the roof in one night.  It just is.

Spiderman: Probably manic.

Spiderman: Probably manic.

But because of these reactions, people suffer in silence.  Because of these reactions, people take their own lives.  And then people wonder.  She always seemed happy.  What went wrong?  He pretended, that’s what.  She acted like everyone expected, that’s what.

But we can change this.  We can talk about it more openly.  The more people know about something, the less likely they are to fear it.  And the more encouraging people are, the more likely someone with mental illness will feel brave enough to respond, to leave the tea party, at least for a little while.

So that’s why I have this badge over there now.  I don’t just blog about mental illness.  More like you can just kinda tell I’m nuts by reading what I write.  That’s another thing people don’t realize.  So many artists, writers, and other creative people suffer from this stuff.  I’m not sure what the connection is, but I do know that if we don’t hold out a life line, we’re going to lose some of our most gifted people, and the world will be less than.

There's marbles there.  The ones we lost. Get it???

There’s marbles there. The ones we lost. Get it???

I am fortunate in that I have a great support system.  I have enough income that I can afford medical treatment.  Not everyone has that.  But you can be that someone, just by being willing to listen.  Or read.  Check out this blog, or let someone else know about it that could use a little help.  Just knowing you are not alone is sometimes enough to help you get through the night.  And if you suffer from depression or even just the occasional blues, you can also come here or to many of the blogs listed in my blogroll (that is always evolving).  Laughter is a great medicine.  I hope I make some of you laugh, and for a while, forget about the tea party.

Thanks,

Alice

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62 responses

  1. It’s why I say what I do, albeit lately not as much, but I try. I’m in a spot, and it’s hard to get out of it. I’m waiting for that magical day when I get benefits to see my drs more often. No one is perfect, I’ve had depression since I was young. Stupid hormones screwing with my head! Then trauma to induce more. Things happen, thus why I’m always content in Wonderland or where ever else my rabbit holes take me. Though I do quite like it here. I have fun.

    1. No one should have to do without needed medical care. It makes me sick. I hope you get your benefits soon!

      1. They are coming soon. I just wish that we had a more beneficial health system. Where all benefit from it, not just those that can afford it.

        1. Exactly. I hope they keep working on it. I pay money into the system. Not a lot with my salary, but some. It should rightfully go to those who need it.

          1. Exactly. I loved the UK for that reason.

  2. Great post, Alice! You hit the nail on the head. Now, it’s about that pig baby….

    1. I love it when she says “Well, if you’re going to just turn into a pig, hmmph” in her very British way. Brits are so cool – even kids sound so mature!

      1. LOL the baby Stuart on Family Guy

  3. I’m now following A Canvas of The Minds.

    I’m actually currently working on a post about mental health and the Religious Life. I’m working on several posts, I just need to be strict with myself and sit down and finish writing them!

    This is something I whole-heartedly support, especially as depression seems to run in my family.

    1. That should be a great post. I’ll be sure and read it.

      1. I just need to finish writing it. Maybe I should take my laptop away from an internet connection this afternoon, finish writing it, and then come back to an internet connection to post it?

        1. Totally. Let me know when you finish. Some of my peeps don’t show up on the Reader and then I get madfaced.

          1. I finished it, I think I posted it on Sunday. I don’t use the reader, I rely on WP emailing me about people posting. It drives me up the wall to have so many emails but it’s less stressful than trying to remember how far back I need to read!

          2. Oh, will look then when I get a chance. I get all these emails in my box and they all run together. And today WP has decided to email me every time I reply to a comment. Guess what? Aliceatwonderland has commented on your blog! No kidding, WP.

          3. I think WP has had gremlins in. I got double emails yesterday notifying me of comments.

            At least I’m on gmail and so they’re all nicely stacked together. I think I’d go mad if I was using another system and got forty thousand million notifications just because I’d commented on a post by that clown dude!

  4. Mental health is not on / off – we are all nuts – it’s just that some forms of lunacy are acceptable. Look at how we treat our planet, other people, what we choose to value and what we neglect, and some of the crap we believe in…
    More and more I wonder if the “crazy” ones are simply the ones who can’t ignore how fucked up everything is!

    1. Me too. I also have a theory that either people have the mentals or they are carriers.

      1. hehe- yeah, I’m Cray-r-z Positive baby!

  5. I love this post for so many reasons. So. Many. Reasons. Thank you for writing it.

    Will you please come read my Top Secret page and follow the clues? You’re Alice, so I think you can figure it out. I’d like to invite you to my own version of Wonderland.

    1. Sounds like fun. I have been meaning to pay a visit. 😀

      1. Be warned: I’m all over the place.

  6. I love this post Alice, I seriously do.
    Thanks!
    I’ve been following Canvas for awhile, it’s been an enlightening experience, a friend of mins has benefit from it.

    1. Good! There are some fabulous writers there. Some, dare I say it, more fabulous than the Alice!

  7. Alice–BRAVO for saying what you have said here.

    1. Thanks, Susan. It should be said.

  8. I’ve come late to the tea party, but this is such an amazing piece, Alice. I’m really grateful for what you have shared here, and what you have shared of yourself, especially. I know that isn’t such an easy thing, and I am so proud. I should say something more thoughtful, but wow, things always happen when I take (six hour) naps, and they certainly have today!

    Thanks for this.

    1. Six hour naps are the best! Thank you, Ruby, for the inspiration.

  9. Reblogged this on CombatBabe and commented:
    If you haven’t read this, please do.

    1. Thanks for the reblog. Should be interested to see what comments there are.

      1. You inspired me with your post. You laid it out so I was seriously sitting here thinking “she knows me!” lol

  10. You have a lot of courage, Alice. Thanks for blazing a trail.

    1. I don’t have nearly the courage of some of the people out here blogging. But thank you anyway. 😀

  11. I’ve only lately come to appreciate that the brain is a physical thing, beyond more abstract notions of “mind” or “soul” or “well-being,” and that just as you can strain a muscle or abuse your digestive system through terrible diet, the brain can suffer, maybe only temporarily, hopefully not permanently. We forget this sometimes, I think, because the brain is seemingly so safely tucked away in the noggin. We need to learn, in other words, that mental illness is normal. Thanks for this post. I’ll check out the link.

    1. Exactly! I have a book about mind / body relationships and it’s really fascinating. Doctors ignore this connection to their peril, I think.

  12. Alice, I like this post so much. You always make me laugh

    1. You too, MissFourEyes! I hope you write another post soon. They always crack me up.

      1. I did! Finally! My head has just been so……Mad Hatterd

  13. Great post Alice. Thanks for shining a light where it needs to go, and for mentioning these resources. Sometimes just knowing they are there makes it easier to reach out when you do need help.

    1. This is so true. Everyone needs a lifeline to grab onto. I hope it helps some people find theirs.

  14. Thank you so much for introducing me to this group of bloggers. I’ve suffered with depression and like you am, thankfully, able to get treatment. But, friends have said so many times–get a grip, quit being so sad all the time, get yourself out of that mood… I’m sooooo much better now and sooooo thankful for treatment.

    1. Exactly. People don’t get what they don’t understand – or in some cases won’t understand. And some people think the pills are “happy” pills. We’re not taking heroine, people, they’re more like “normal” pills.

  15. There are so many great works of art and literature that have come from “mental illness”. Maybe it’s not an illness at all. Maybe it’s an enhancement? Maybe the illness stigma has come from the un-ill being jealous of the amazing feats of the ever-so-enhanced.

    1. I like this idea. I am so damn enhanced you other people will never catch up. Bwahahaha!

  16. I’ve not been diagnosed with any mental illness and I honestly am not sure I have any. I’m just kind of weird. But I like this endeavor so I am sharing this. Maybe the occasional visitor will find out about this through my blog and would like to join. Give me till tomorrow night (my tomorrow night) and I will link to the Canvas of the Minds page…Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    1. I hope so. Thank you for sharing it!

      1. Here it is: http://jgifederizo.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/the-blog-for-mental-health-campaign/ . I will add the Canvas of the Minds page to my links. I don’t have much readers but you never know, right?

        1. Thanks so much! You never know who might stop by. And no blog is too big or too small. 😀

  17. […] Blog for Mental Health 2013 (aliceatwonderland.wordpress.com) […]

  18. I think that at least one of the reasons people are scared of people with mental health issues is their awareness that it could happen to them. More to the point, it will happen to them. Everyone faces mental health issues sooner or later even if tiny don’t fit into a nice DSM category. So people are scared because they know it’s just k matter of time before they face it themselves. Perhaps their biggest fear isn’t that it will happen but that they will lose their friends and social networks as a result.

    1. Oh, yes, the “contagion” fear. I think there is a lot of fear surrounding it. Almost like how people treated AIDS victims when it was first discovered. I also think it applies to some people who are afraid of homosexuals.

  19. In my mother’s last months, she was already sick from a stroke and diabetes. My father was sick, too. When he suddenly died, there was a sudden change in my mother that I believe was partly caused by shock and depression. That was early Monday. By Wednesday, she was talking about stuff repeatedly and non-stop, and I mean NON-STOP, that’s why I asked the doc what to do. I gave her a safe, recommended tablet just to make her drowsy because we knew she needed sleep and Doc said that should make her sleep. She started dozing off, in and out of it, then suddenly she became scared, panicky, loud…You’d think she got possessed. We brought her to the hospital and she was given the medical attention she needed. She was never the same, though, until her final hours…

    Just sharing. I may not have suffered from such depression as most of you, but the feeling of watching someone with it could be emotionally depressing to the family as well, just as it was to me…I have yet to write about it. This is the first time I wrote about it publicly.

    1. Oh, I totally get it. Depression tends to run in families, so I’ve seen my share of it as well. It can be really terrifying. Sounds like (my unprofessional analysis here) that the tragedy brought out some mania in your mother. My mother has depression, my father most likely has some form of undiagnosed mental illness, and my brother is manic depressive. I love him dearly, but off his meds, he can scare you, really scare you. It is difficult to support a depressed person. I sometimes feel guilt for this for my husband, but then I support his weirdness (not mental illness just being, well, him) so it goes both ways. Thank you for sharing your story. I believe Canvas has some posts about those who support family or friends with mental illness.

      1. Oh man. I wrote a long reply and was doing the last statement and I made a mistake and now it’s gone. GRRR…Oh well, I’ll just write my experience one of these days. Will be sure to share to you 🙂

        1. Yes. WP picked up on my “answer every comment” post and decided to eat half the replies I made. Thanks, WP!

  20. Helloooo Alice – I came here via Canvas Of The Minds, and am glad I did. Of course you’re right about all of this, but the paragraph about us already being frightened and not knowing why we’re sad is spot on. As are your thoughts on the stigma. Thanks for writing – another thing you nailed is it helps to know I’m not the only one. And I’m so ready to laugh.

    1. Hello, Sid! I just saw this comment, so sorry to be so slow in replying. It is good to know you aren’t the only one.

  21. Thank you for coming out of the rabbit hole and stating it so openly. I wish my brother could have been. It’s been like a whole new rabbit hole experience, finding the blogroll; finally everyone else is constantly having tea and exchanging nut stories too. It was really lonely when it was just me. Glad to have found you.

    1. I’m glad you found me too. It amazes me just how prevalent mental illness is and how many people you’d never suspect end up having it.

  22. I’ve been to tea parties like that. Who am I kidding, my life is a tea party like that.

    I have Bipolar and I just joined the Blog-for-Mental-Health bandwagon.

    Come visit my site and I’ll give you a pointy hat to wear.

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