[Visual image of a person's head mapped out from an old book. It says Fig. 3. Human Head.]
Sometimes you literally cannot get out of bed. You cannot. Get. Out of bed. You have tried a couple of times confidentially to explain to a couple of close, trusted friends that you are depressed. They do keep your secret, thank goodness, but they also incessantly tell you stuff they find online or hear on the radio. You should really get more exercise, you know, more sun? But you cannot get out of bed when you cannot get out of bed, so how are you supposed to get out of bed?
Just do it, man, we feel great when we go jogging in the morning, when we eat fake food or something, take expensive vitamins. As Dr. Oz says....No. Shut up. This is not like, I've got the blues, I'm bummed, right? Gah. OK. No.
I, the Autistic writer, do not have depression, but let me tell you this: I invite you to notice that there are many others such as myself who also think it is a giant injustice that you should have to face stigma for being who you are. Why should you have to fear what people think of you, on top of having to worry about how you are going to get out of bed? How much it costs for you to get the pills for you to be able to get out of bed? Good grief. They call depression a 'mental illness' label, but I call it a way to be Neuroqueer, and I warmly invite you into our culture.
Bipolar? Anxious? Schizophrenic? Epileptic? Autistic? Borderline? Perhaps... a little too... creative? All the ways our brains work, they use these against us. I can proclaim I'm Autistic at work and unlike say twenty years ago, when I had to hide trembling in the shadows, right now I can make it sound kind of like I'm saying I'm a rock star. There are people who think it's a perfectly fine idea to kill Autistic kids, though, at the precise same time in our human history. We are in flux. So I need to tell more people what a rock star I am, what a great thing it was that I was left to live. Sometimes this is terrifying. The ones on our team need more reinforcements on the team at all times doing this.
Many of the people I know who have neurologies others call 'mental illness' cannot right now announce it and make it sound like they are a rock star. People will blame everything on them, on that name, and they know it. The news uses it to whip up ratings when they have no idea: none. But I and my friends, the ones who think like I think, especially the Neuroqueer Autistics and others, we have your back, and we live and fight for the time you can be free to be yourself and bring the rest of everyone through the gates, up the ladder (and elevator, which is glass and awesome looking) with you. Soon you can tell people out loud whatever you like and the stigma which will probably still be there will be balanced on the other side with political power. This is how it has happened for many Autistics, and we on the edge want to open this social capital up to more people.
We welcome you to join us, as quietly or as loudly as you feel you can. Be one of us: the requirements for membership are desire and relation. Badassery is of course welcome as well, but you can work up to that. ;)
When we are all freely who we are, we will stun the world by being the majority.[Visual image: Red fist on black background, over the word "Resist."]