One last word, for now, about Mad Pride...
Saying, "I'm mad," is analogous to a person who is gay or lesbian or bipolar or transgendered saying, "I'm queer."
Reclaiming words that in the past were putdowns or slurs or insults can educate the public. They show that you're comfortable with who you are, too. A person first. A member of the human race. You have the right to be treated equally.
Saying, "I'm crazy" or "I'm nuts" or "I'm mad," can really feel good, too. It's all in the way you say it. Smiling, confident. Not cowering or fearful. That's where the "pride" comes in. It's a process, like anything else.
Why does a mental illness diagnosis seem to colour a whole person? A physical illness doesn't. I hate hearing someone say, "I'm diabetic," instead of "I have diabetes." No one says, "I'm cancerous."
We're all unique. Multifaceted.
I never say, "I’m mentally ill." Instead, if I must, "I have a bipolar diagnosis." (That puts the onus on the person who made the diagnosis and who could, quite possibly, be wrong. People heal. Recover.)
I’m also a wife, stepmother, sister, daughter, friend, dog-owner, writer, teacher, volunteer, advocate and public speaker. There are more, but those are the basics.
Why not list all your different facets. As an exercise.
"Coming Out Crazy" is exactly what the healing process is all about. Or can be. In whatever way you want – talking, writing, drawing, dancing, running, playing tennis, working when you love your work, expressing yourself freely in some wonderful way that allows the real "you" to come out. Journaling is great, if you like to write.
Try this! It’s really therapeutic! Fun! And for colour, just click your mouse a few times in the blank spaces. You'll see!
Let's say you can, with medical supervision, wean yourself off your medication. Or maybe you don’t want to. Or don’t feel ready to. It's all up to you. It's your life!
Let's say you've been emotionally stable for years, like me. I feel more comfortable with medication because of my particular mental and physical health profile. Psychosis. Never depression. Other health reasons, too.
Why do you need a label, other than your name? Or "human." You're YOU!
Saying, "I'm mad," is all part of alleviating the fears some people harbour around mental distress or extreme mental states or illnesses. Even your own. Have fun with it. It helps fight prejudice and discrimination.
You don't even need to say it. Feel it. Smile at yourself in the mirror and say, "So what? Who cares if I take medication to help me maximize my wellness. Yes, I'm mad. I'm me."
There's nothing wrong with you! Whether you have a diagnosis or not. Whether you take medication or not. As long as you don't hurt yourself or anyone else! As long as you're safe and you feel well.
Better still, as long as you're progressing towards being the best person you can be. Whoever that is. That's an ongoing journey. Never ending.
We're all a little a mad. Not everyone can easily "Come Out Crazy," and disclose. It's a process, too. Not necessarily appropriate for everyone. All depends on you. It's a personal choice and something that must feel good for you. Better than keeping everything inside, especially if it festers or bothers you.
Just something to think about.