Saturday, September 15, 2012


Being mentally ill is like being a member of a super- secret club. Let’s call the club MI for short. Actually, let’s call it MI-5, because I just figured out how to lump all of the types of mental illnesses into five broad, and wildly inaccurate, categories.

The first rule of MI-5 is nobody talks about MI-5.

The second rule of MI-5 is nobody talks about MI-5.

It’s great. You never have to talk about this club, because nobody outside of the club really wants to, and it’s so hard to tell who’s a member.

There are tells, though. I get tremors (but people might think that’s caffeine); I shun alcohol (but people might just think that I’m a teetotaller); and I take lots of strange drugs (because I live in East Vancouver, I hardly stand out).

As a member of MI-5 you enjoy privileges like:
-        Extended holidays in secret locations!
-        Membership in MI-5 groups with free coffee!
-        Free (in Canada) quarterly ECG and blood tests!
-        Lots of free (in Canada) doctor visits!
-        Brushes with death!

Because we are too busy fighting evil, members of MI-5 often cannot keep a job.

As a member, I myself have had to take two demotions after winning promotions, because of the time and energy that MI-5 requires. Right now I have given up my income to live on employment insurance because of my MI-5 mission. I miss work terribly, but it’s a sacrifice I have to make.

The missions often seem impossible. Some people don’t make it, but most do. Many require a cover when they return, like “I went to Vegas,” when really they were fighting for freedom at home.

Once you are a member of MI-5, you will be for life. There is no way to leave the organization. Many are trying to retire, and perhaps one day there will be a way to get out, but not yet.

MI-5 gives you missions that you cannot help but choose to accept.

We all try to make sure that they do not self-destruct.

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