I read on an informative source (read Facebook) that people with mental illness are in fact blessed, Gods actually, who have insight to the other world, and receipients / receivers of messages from that world etc. This is believed by an awesome African Shaman and his people, who travelled from his village to America, and who found that people within psychiatric wards in hospitals there, mimicked a number of the symptoms his patients in the community where he lived had displayed. The Shaman said that traditional healers worked in his community to dispel the bad spirits that frequented these mental illness Gods, to highlight the good ones and I don’t know, hear their messages. Gods, mental illness, blessed. Wow. Afflicted and awesome? Didn’t think those words went together in the same sentence.
Whilst I DO see myself as an all-seeing, all-knowing (with the aid of Google) Goddess, there are a few practical things that make mental illness and being mighty, um, sit at odds. For example:
- I lithium loose my train of thought REGULARLY. There I would be, with my shimmering trident, glowing crown, and Godlike status, offering advice on how to hide cookies in the couch that you could eat later while asleep and then getting to the pinnacle of my lesson, I would forget what the heck I was saying, and would need to ask for guidance. Like what was I saying? Substract God points, like 50.
- I hate crowds and talking publically. So even before I got to my cookie couch talk, I would need anxiety tablets, for my husband to hug me longer than he usually likes to, and would talk myself out of it and leave. God no show.
- Because mental illness. And then even when I was being awesome, the proper mental illness Gods would intervene and I would be cut down to size. Examples include (which I’ve done in my day to day non-God like status) tripping up the stage, forgetting what I’m saying again, staring blankly ahead, with crazy eyes instead.
No Mr. Shamen. I COULD be the demi God of depression, and a Shamenness of sadness, providing instructive life changing lessons on how to inhale anything sugary, whilst smoking, whilst asleep. I can be a drama Queen extradinaire, but because mental illness, I would not be able to pull off Godlike status for longer than I dunno, 3 mins. My crown would fall, I would forget what instructive lesson I’d come to convey to the people, and if I was in conversation with a spirit or two, I would become so wrapped up in said conversation, and all my audience would see, is me talking to myself loudly. Wow. God like mind blowing NESS.
However, if I tone down the God like expectation a notch, what I can and would suggest is that the rest of the world can learn how to be human beings from people with mental illness. How to be present, how to feel, how to emphathise, how to cry, how to answer the question: “and how does that make you feel” when you are feeling the most exasperated. I can teach you how to build a bond of friendship with someone you’ve just met. I can teach you how to hold someone’s hand and how to help them – or you – cry. Importantly, I can also teach how to walk through people being nasty to you for any reason whatsoever, and either to hit them where it hurts, or to cry and move on. Ok, no not the last part, I never move on. I dwell. But after THAT list, I’m beginning to think that Shamen isn’t so wrong. Perhaps people with mental illness are Gods. Please treat us like ones. Be part of those who support us as opposed to those who don’t. I am 4M’s Bipolar Mom.