My physical experience, the way I feel in my body, I feel that I know that I have a physical illness, somehow being in the position where there is little I can do to completely prove this to anyone, I feel I’m often having to doge the crazy bullet so that people will understand that my experience is real. I fear being labelled crazy mostly because I don’t want people to withdraw the little support that they do offer me. Holding doors open, or just asking how I’m doing, am I in pain? this can make a day with a physical health condition just a little bit easier.
Yet at the same time, I have no problem with the crazy label, I have officially and unofficially been given that label at various times in my life. I don’t think that people who are crazy don’t deserve support or don’t deserve to be taken seriously. I think that the label crazy can both be constricting, and damaging but it can also be freeing, exciting, it can give you permission to just be yourself, to see life differently, to embrace being on the edge of things. I want to be able to not care if people think that I’m crazy, I want to be proud of that label even if people attribute, my behaviour which is due to physical pain, as the behaviour of someone who is crazy. I don’t want my desire to prove that I have a real physical illness to mean I have to distance myself from crazy, it is infact the energy it takes to stop people labelling me that way that is the most damaging thing. Living a life trying to prove yourself is exhausting, it takes up energy in my life that I should really be using to manage my health condition. I don’t believe there is a firm boundary between the healthy and the ‘insane’. I believe society, communities, relationships, and oppression is what makes people mad/crazy. I prefer being lumped in with the crazies. Working in mental health settings, I alway wish I could get rid of the badges I wear that tell people i’m a professional and just hang out in the smoking area with the people who have so much more to say and to give than the staff/sane people I’m supposed to hang out with. I guess it would be good if I could label myself with my own kind of madness for once, if I could embrace the parts of myself that are freer more expressive and that make me an out sider instead of fighting to not be misunderstood, I would be happier. Easier said than done but I’m gonna have a go.