There is always this embarrassing moment when someone tells you that you are mad, for the first time.
I reckoned that I should say something on that account, or rather how to deal with it, because well, you see I do have quite a massive experience in the subject.
Bipolar, for 10 years. That’s the diagnosis, of course, the reality, however, is completely different. But we will arrive at it eventually.
So, what to do when you find yourself in this situation for the first time?
It is hard, you see, and my guess is that if you have emerged from the hospital recently, or are there now and can check the Internet…unlikely, but still (when I was in one I managed to order the entire collection of all CDs of Robbie Williams from the staff computer), then you are totally confused.
Because it is almost impossible to fight against social constraint. They give you diagnoses, they say that you are not well (in your mind), that you need help, medication and probably remain like that for the rest of your life.
And marching with the label of being an invalid is not very cheerful, is it? We all know that mad people are still discussed in hushed voices despite numerous anti-discrimination acts, and my recent test in the matter only confirmed that this is the case. I applied for 5 jobs where my profile did fit the description (I have a PhD in sociology), and clicked on all of them that I am ‘disabled’…under their so-called anti-discrimination act. The result? I wasn’t invited for a single interview.
But don’t you worry, I do have a job, because non-discrimination comes from the heart and not the paper.
But what are they trying not to discriminate against? This is the question, indeed.
Because you see, somewhere in human history it was decided that all forms of madness are bad. It is not as scary as it used to be in the Middle Ages (fancy being put on a ship and sent to nowhere?) but it is still hard. It is like battling against the wall with the whole army of psychiatrists saying that what you experience in madness is not real.
How do they know? How can anyone say that what you hear and see is not real? There is actually a nice Chinese proverb which summarises my point:
And so, to conclude this post, when you emerge from the hospital with you diagnosis, sit down and write everything you remember from your madness.
Because it is real. And there is a reason they want you to forget. Because they are blind, they don’t see it, and they don’t understand.
Watch this amazing video about how you can be a hero.
And yes, you can.
Because to paraphrase the House of Heroes, truth can’t be hidden.