Quirky stories about my experiences with mental illness for your enjoyment. All names other than mine have been changed. Nothing here is intended to replace the advice of a health professional. (D'Arcy Stainton, Vancouver, Canada - email@example.com)
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
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
We all try to make sure that they do not self-destruct.