So I have a friend that has this amazing idea for a tattoo. It stems from an awesome song, and relates to having ADHD. But he refuses to get the tattoo. Why?
I don’t want people to know I have it…
Why do humans do that to eachother?! Why have we ostracized one another to the point that we are afraid to be the way we were made?? Something as harmless as ADHD has to be hidden in fear of someone else finding out, someone else judging us? It’s ADHD people, not ebola…
The Oxford dictionary defines the word ‘stigma’ like so:
a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person.
And get this. The very example for that same definition reads:
“the stigma of mental disorder”
Maybe I’m the only one that gets irritated with the fact that the best way for someone to use the word in a sentence is to relate it to mental health. Probably not, but regardless. The stigma associated with mental health is so prevalent, so commonplace, that it defines itself. How is that ok?!
Humans are rude. They’re selfish, and they’re mean. Why is it that people with mental illness have to be scared of themselves? We didn’t ask for it. Do you know how long it takes for a person to talk themselves into getting help?! Not only do they have to admit that they have a problem. But they have to come to terms with it, figure out how to put it into words that someone else will understand (which can be a nightmare in and of itself), and trust a person enough to be able to open up. I know that there are people who want to be there for you, but don’t know how. I know that there are people who want to understand, who truly want to get why we feel the way we do, or act the way we do, but can’t. But I also know that there are people who choose not to care. There are people who think we chose this, that we’re just looking for attention. These people treat us like a joke, like a circus sideshow. So this is for that special breed of ignorant individuals that clearly don’t get it, because they choose not to.
Dear I Choose To Be Ignorant,
Do not tiptoe around me. Do not whisper behind my back. Do not point, giggle, stare, give me strange questioning looks. If you have something to say, say it. If you have a question and have the cojones to glare at me and whisper to your friend, you better have the cojones to ask me to my face. Do not act like I am a ticking time bomb, unless you want me to be one. Because trust me when I say, the more you walk on eggshells around me, the more I want to stop and scream,
“I AM NOT CONTAGIOUS. I have ANXIETY. I have PANIC ATTACKS. AND YES. I have DEPRESSION. But for the love of God, people, I’m not a LEPER!!“
People don’t ask for disabilities. People don’t ask for disease. People don’t ask to be terminal. And I didn’t ask for this.
I don’t need you to understand. I’m not asking you to get it. Half the time, I don’t even understand what’s going on in my own head, and it’s mine. So how can I expect you to? It took me over ten years to even realize that how I felt was not normal, obviously it’s going to take you some time. That’s ok. I can wait. What I am asking for is your patience. I am asking for you to listen. I am asking you to be there for me, as my friend, not as a judge. People with mental illness shouldn’t have to sign their rights to a fair chance over to a cowardly, judgmental society. I shouldn’t have to be scared of being denied a job that I am over qualified for, just because of a diagnosis that is none of anyone else’s business.
Admitting you have a problem is one thing, saying those words out loud is a whole other fiery hoop to jump through. A person who needs help should not be scared to ask for it because of some ignorant prick running their mouth. So after I’ve done my part, after I’ve stepped up to the plate and sought out help, why don’t you pull up your big boy pants, put your big girl panties on, and act like a civilized adult. Treat me with respect. Treat her like she matters. Treat him like he’s no less a human than you. Because we deserve it. We do matter. You don’t hear voices?? Congratulations. Stop acting like we’re trying to harness our differences into a serum to shoot it through a needle into your arm. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone. I wish it would stop, that it would go away. I wish my mind didn’t work the way it does. But it does, and it’s bad enough on it’s own. I most certainly do not need you to make it worse. Thank you for the offer.
You were given an outrageously intricate and beautiful brain. Use it, and you’ll find that you are no better just because your hormones aren’t out of whack.
No More Stigma
RIP Robin Williams…you will forever hold a very dear place in my heart…may the angels forever laugh with you…
Stay extra weird, y’all XOXO ❤