#TheReal5150: Being called crazy is not being 5150

neurodiversity on MAY 14, 2015]

By Anonymous

A friend recently flipped the bird at a delivery truck driver as she crossed the street in front of him. This was not a random act of unkindness. She was provoked. The truck was wrapped in advertising for an energy drink named after the California Legal Code for “a danger to themselves or others.” One in four people live with a form of mental illness. She is that one. So am I.

The company equates crazy with living your dreams, overcoming challenges, never giving up. Being called crazy is not being 5150.

The company uses “Join us in Living the Madness” as a tag line. My friend uses #TheReal5150. So do I. She is out. Stigma prevents me from such openness. But I too ask you to join us in living the madness.

#TheReal5150 is being handcuffed in the back of a police car and being transported to an acute inpatient psychiatric center.

#TheReal5150 is having a psychiatric technician subdue you by squeezing your breast so hard that it leaves bruises.

#TheReal5150 is being assaulted by another patient at a state-run hospital so that you show up to a court hearing about your capacity with a black eye.

#TheReal5150 is listening to voices that tell you to strip naked and stand in an open front doorway, finally comprehending reality when you are in an emergency room, catheter in place, being force fed a charcoal shake because the staff believes you have overdosed on your medications.

#TheReal5150 is being unable to be served a restraining order that a judge has issued on behalf of your mother because your whereabouts are so erratic, a process server cannot find you. Your mother dies before you can fully repair the relationship that has once again been damaged by your illness.

#TheReal5150 has you tasered by police when you are psychotic and mumbling incoherently on the street. You are homeless and the meds that keep you stable are always stolen in a shelter.

#TheReal5150 is not a lifestyle choice that makes you cool and edgy. It is not a slick way to sell a product.

#LiveTheMadness, a campaign of deceit.

#LiveTheMadness, a campaign of deceit.



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