Mental Stigma Illness Bingo

And every one of them words rang true
And glowed like burning coal
Pouring off of every page
Like it was written in my soul...

Bob Dylan - Tangled Up In Blue

i kid you not, when i looked at this stigma bingo card,
the first thing that went through my head
were these lines from Dylan.

these all push buttons for me, buttons in every size
and colour you can imagine. they push those buttons
because i've been hearing them my whole life.

i've heard them from everyone i ever cared about
and people i could not possibly care less about
- at home, at school, at work, in bed, day in,
day out, month to month most of my life.

it's fair to say it had an effect on me.
the bitch of it is that it still does.

it turns out that hearing variations on these themes
for so long created a curious loop in my brain.
i started calling myself all of these things all the time.

in my interior dialogues with myself
over the years,
i usually go by 'dumbass', 'idiot', 'doofus' or 'goof'.

if my screw-up is worse than a typo, or dropping a spoon, then one or more of the following should be added:
- stupid
- useless
- lazy
- selfish
- fucking (of course)
- and sometimes 'arrogant'.

during my manic periods, i would work my guts out
to make something as amazing as i could imagine it,
and when i was depressed i would review with profound
insight just how much my work sucked and add
the new evidence to the overwhelming pile of proof
that i was a horrible person with very modest abilities
who would never do anything worthwhile...

a sack of white shit, for short.
just like everyone said...

sometimes, though, there would be some static
on the channel. i'd have flashes of cognitive dissonance,
because if nothing else i knew how hard i was trying...
and as certain as i was that my own work
was the most facile, lightweight crap on earth,
when i looked around at work others were doing,
it was clear that mine was not the worst.

these days, i actually am useless.
no work, no money, no prospects, no nothing
and frankly, it helps. i just do what i do,
and i don't compare it to anyone else.

on a good day, i'm a perfectionist
in recovery. on a bad one, it's still
the same old, same old....


1 comment:

  1. Well, this is very interesting indeed. Would love to read a little more of this. Good post. Thanks for the heads-up.