The saying goes that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
Well, I do a lot of the same things over and over again. I guess I can’t be surprised when I get the same sorts of things happening. I keep hoping, expecting something new. I think we all do this sometimes.
Today’s #JusJoJan is brought to you by
and writer John Whowell.
I am obsessed with a particular Facebook page:
I know about the stigma surrounding mental illness. I feel uncomfortable at the history of it all, but I can’t pretend it never happened.
I keep wanting to write on my experiences, but I can’t quite say what I want to say with any clarity.
I know how often “insane”, “crazy”, and “mental” are used in everyday conversation and speech. There is always an undercurrent of seriousness. I try to keep the mood light because some of the realities are frightening to me.
I can relate and always felt that way. I know about stigma and stereotyping. I know about the fear that people feel at illness and disability. It scares us all that we are, every one of us, just one event or experience away from having it heaped upon us without warning.
Some disabilities are obvious and other disabilities are not. Some are silent and subtle, to everyone but the one living with them. To those people, the sound is loudest of all in their own head and it is impossible to escape from that noise.
It’s always been so easy, best, most convenient to keep such things hidden away and behind closed doors, so as not to upset anyone else, to let the “normal” people get on with life.
I don’t want to keep that going, but yet I don’t want to hear about the alternative either. I am no different, but I want to be.
If insane asylums were still the common term, then this prompt word would be both easier and harder to write about, but instead we’ve come a long way since those days of institutions and barbaric treatment practises.
I spent one warm and sunny afternoon on the grounds of an old and nearly abandoned mental hospital from the last century and one chilled and moonlit evening visiting a brand new and modernized facility for mental illness.
I sat in a theatre and watched a documentary about the silences of mental illness, listening to how many people must walk around and hold inside the pain and anguish they live with on a daily basis, and I had to get up and leave the theatre. The silence was suddenly the loudest sound of all.
I didn’t want to be that mental illness patient. I knew I was one breakdown or bout of depression away from being just that. Suddenly, all the physical disabilities I’ve ever lived with seemed like nothing compared to the fear of finding myself diagnosed with emotional problems.
I don’t know how any of us avoid insanity. I see it everywhere, if I know now where to look for it. Life can drive us crazy. It’s unavoidable really. The world is, has gone, is going mental.
What is sane really anyway?
The rules for JJJ are here: