So I’m trying to write and my cat won’t leave me alone. He keeps walking on my laptop and pushing the buttons and biting my hands. It’s my own fault I guess for hiring him as my managing editor. He stopped now that I’m writing about him. It figures…he must be a narcissist.
Did you find that funny? Would a narcissist think that was funny? Maybe they would if they didn’t see themselves as narcissistic. Or maybe they would be annoyed and saddened by another “narcissist” joke when they’ve been misdiagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder and in reality have Aspergers syndrome and joking about mental health conditions upsets them after what they went through. Maybe they are true Narcissists and are trying to find a way to live harmoniously with others through cognitive behavioral therapy, empathy training and other forms of behavioral modification. Maybe someone reading this blog was traumatized by being in a relationship with someone who was a narcissist and they don’t think jokes about it are at all funny. So where do we draw the line?
I was watching a movie the other day and there was a character in it who supposedly had bipolar disorder. She was a little girl and she just served as comic fodder for the movie. The punchline of a couple of jokes. It was actually pretty horrifying because to my mind nothing is funny about adults not only being insensitive to a child with a mental illness and laughing at that child, but also teaching another child to do the same. You could say that because it was a comedy it wasn’t necessary to get that deep, but I would argue that it’s that level of ignorance which is why there aren’t more resources for individuals suffering from mental illness.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health bipolar disorder affects roughly 5.7 million American adults which is about 2.6% of the population in the U.S. aged 18 and older. Roughly 2.9% of American adolescents are also affected by bipolar disorder and in both groups the numbers are rising. Children are also affected however the numbers vary widely as children often shift as they grow. In a previous blog I discussed how deadly this disease is, yet people continue to laugh at it as though it were nothing more than a diagnosis of minor mood swings. Well I’m not laughing. I’m not laughing because people are dying. I’m not laughing because unless you are either so broke the government pays for your medications or lucky enough to have a job with good insurance you won’t be able to afford your medications and you’ll spend the rest of your life in and out of the hospital, or in and out of jail and likely end up dead by suicide. I’m not laughing because I’m one of the lucky ones. I live with my beautiful family in a beautiful house and I have an excellent doctor. I am educated and fortunate so it is my duty to speak for those who can’t. I will sing for those who have no voices. I will write for those who have no words. I will stand up for those who are on their knees, begging to be heard, to be healed, to be saved. I’m not laughing because bipolar disorder isn’t funny.
When the Angels Know Your Name
When the angels know your name
When the sun shines easy on the smooth surface of still waters
When you can hear your heart beating
When you have love in your throat and in your mouth and crying out of your eyes in a silent stream
When your feet are stones
When you smell the green of the grass and the dark earth surrounding it and the roots of trees encircle your ankles
When your breath stops and it doesn’t hurt
When your back breaks and diamonds fly out and the pain is a gorgeous thing
When you feel worshipped
When your heart bleeds out your sorrows and is as light as the clouds floating through the sky
When your mind opens wide in a yawning mouth and sings out your passions
When you can taste life itself
You will know you have dreamt of God