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.
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.
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.
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.
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.