If you’ve never read about depression, please go here. If you have a general idea, please click here. If you don’t have depression and you think you know what depression is, click here. If you are depressed, click here. If you’ve been diagnosed with depression, click here.
When you’re done, please come back to this post.
I made the error of watching Joker a second time yesterday.
I am not okay.
After watching it, I told my close friend that I was ashamed.
I am on medication. I hear these are “baby” medications from people who equally battle more complicated manifestations of mental illness. I know someone with a combination of stronger medications to keep them, at the very best, okay. There is the occasional pill popped when an anxiety episode kicks in.
I have a father who pays for my medication because I can’t afford insurance. He also pays for the psychiatrist visits and to see the counselor. These services are not cheap in Kenya, or anywhere for that matter. Because, mental health.
So, how dare I, who’s getting help, talk about mental health?
The devil is a liar.
If you don’t believe in him, then tell those thoughts in your head to sod off if you are in a position to get the help you need.
Don’t be an ungrateful human. Speak your truth. We need more of you. How else will people know there’s hope??!
The Joker. I could relate with him. I could ABSOLUTELY relate with him. I have mentioned here I was in a psychiatric ward (post on this another day), and even after, before the meds kicked in, I remember going for my appointment two months later and telling the psychiatrist that I talked to myself out loud one time when walking to the stage in response to this whole scenario I had created in my head.
It was once, but when it happened I panicked. I was officially going mad. Remember that scene where it hits him that the love affair he was having was a delusion?
That movie triggered me.
I get when he killed who he did. The difference between he and I is my mental illness being diagnosed early and medicated. I have heard of a woman taken to Mathere after killing her husband during a psychotic episode. A few months later she got to go home. I’ve had someone close to me in the same institution.
I was ashamed that I have access to the resources and support that I have.
But now, I am thankful. I am thankful to the God and the forces that be for the support I have.
And from this gratitude, I will shed the light.
Mental illness is not a podcast. It is not an interview. It is not a hashtag. It is not what your favorite celebrity has. It is not to be packaged and it is not bite-size.
It is the brain working against you. And that, is the scariest shit there is on this planet. Look at a child with leukemia being positive, and loving and full of joy. Their mind, spirit and soul are aligned and they have peace despite their pain. Mind blowing and admirable. They have an anchor. But when you mind is ill, you have nothing.
Picture yourself having nothing to hold to.
That’s why Arthur Fleck lost it.
And I get him.
Because, what good was keeping his shit together?
PS: I am African. I am Kenyan. I am a woman. I KNOW mental illness is stigmatized. But speak, I will.