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.
Okay, I promised you guys an inspirational Movember post. Actually, I said I was going to put a mustache on a turkey. That’s not true. I have instead put a mustache AND a goatee on a pumpkin that was formerly wearing underwear.
But I feel like I should say something more, because this is about awareness of Prostate Cancer in men. I’m pretty sure. Go to Le Clown’s to learn more about Movember and how to give him money. For the cause. Or so he says.
I do know that Prostate Cancer is bad. And it involves the prostate. Which is on a man.
Am I making light of Cancer? Not at all. I’m only bringing awareness to something that I don’t know much about, so I think people should educate themselves. Including me. I mean, it’s sort of like when we invaded Iraq. Most Americans not only couldn’t find Iraq on a map before the war; they didn’t even know it existed.
Likewise, how many of us think about stuff like Cancer unless either we or a friend or relative is currently suffering from it? We don’t, or we try not to, maybe in the vain hope that by ignoring something, we won’t suffer it. We can go back to watching Reality T.V. Except maybe not “Monsters Inside Me” cause man, that will really freak you out. People get the plague on that show.
Wait, where was I? Anyway, there is another problem about this particular type of Cancer. It’s a manly Cancer, and I’m not sure if you realize this, but men tend to not want to go to the doctor. At least most of the ones I know don’t. My father is 70. He about hacked up a lung last year before he finally went to the doctor and found out he had Pneumonia (it’s a family thing). Even then, he didn’t go to the hospital. He took oxygen at home. MANLY.
Okay, so not only have we got guys who don’t want to go to the doctor even for a regular checkup, we’ve got guys who have a problem with something that, as Ana Steele would say, is “down there”. This penis is a very important thing to a guy. It’s like his little friend. It’s personal. Yes, I realize the prostate is a gland located back behind the penis (because I just now looked it up on WebMd), but you just don’t talk about there being weird things with or around your package. Or so I’ve heard. People have been messing with my “down there” for years, but men don’t generally get the privilege of these types of exams until they are much older. And then, shhh don’t tell anybody, they are big freaking babies about it.
I guess it’s hard to blame them. The idea of a glove in that particular area is not appealing to anyone. But it’s necessary. So here’s the deal. If you’re a man, be a man. Get regular checkups of your prostate (and the rest of you). And if there’s a problem, something weird is up down there, say something. Don’t wait around and hope it goes away. Go to the doctor. If it’s nothing, you can breathe a sigh of relief and eat your lollipop. If it’s something, you can get it treated early. Because I’ll tell you what doesn’t feel manly. Dying of Cancer.
So get yourself checked out, so you can continue to be checked out, by whoever you want to check you out. If you get me, which I don’t. And grow a mustache. Movember.
You might have noticed, if you pay a weird amount of attention to the badges on my blog, and hey, who wouldn’t, that there is a new badge there. It looks like this:
If you guessed that this badge was designed by a Canadian clown with too much time on his hands, you guessed right! And I think it is pretty cool, cause even though there is not a unicorn on this badge, and it’s not gold, it does have a mustache. And mustaches are pretty cool, especially if they are on Tom Selleck. Observe:
So what is Movember? I’m not exactly sure. It’s in November and it’s supposed to raise awareness for Prostate Cancer and mental illness in men. I’m not a men, but I figure I have lots of Cancer and crazy in my family history, so I might as well support this.
I know you don’t have a real picture of me, but I really am a gal, not some creepy dude with a strange fondness for little girls in pinafores (Hello, Mr. Carroll). Some of my readers know me in the flesh (that’s personally, get your mind out of the gutter) so they could vouch for me. Other than that, I guess you have to take my word for it. But even though I don’t have a prostate that I know of, I still think Cancer sucks. And if you have Cancer, you’re probably going to have depression too. This Movember business fights both.
How? Again, no idea. But mustaches are involved. I think you grow one if you’re a guy (or a female with lots of testosterone) or something. You’d have to go to Le Clown’s blog and get further confused over there. Anyway, if it’s a good cause I will support it, nevermind that I might win prizes while drawing more attention to my blog. This never crossed my mind.
Anyway, stay tuned for further developments on Movember, like say, what it is and so on. You’ll be glad you did.