Last week, I overcame and beat my severe suicidal depression. Praise God.
I was feeling very well and had a great day at work today. After work I was happy and excited to go watch my youngest daughter perform at her show choir show in the evening. This is the first show of the year and is where three local show choirs perform showing their acts for the first time. They do not wear their fancy fashionable show choir costumes and their shows are not perfected yet, but it is our first glimpse of the great things they are doing so far. It is usually something I love to watch as I love show choir and watching my daughter and I love the performing arts. It usually brings me great joy.
One of the best show choirs in our area was performing and as usual their dancing, singing and performance was spectacular. I usually enjoy their show and respect and appreciate their great talent. Each show choir usually has a theme, so the music they perform all kind of fits together in some way. As I was listening and watching this show choir, I heard music that I thought at first was going to be something wonderful and positive about mental health and would eventually have a powerful and important message. At first, I thought this director was brilliant to do something about mental health.
As the show continued and I watched the rest of the show and heard the rest of the lyrics to the music, I realized I was wrong. It was not brilliant, but instead the music he selected for his high school students to sing and perform had many stigmatizing words in them.
I heard lyrics with the words crazy, losing my mind, weird, “dreams in which I am dying are the best I’ve ever had,” and during the very last song they sang “and we’ve gone cuckoo” as they moved their finger in a circular motion near their ear and smiled as if this was funny and cute.
After they were done performing I felt shocked, dumbfounded, bewildered and did not understand how this was art. How is this okay and acceptable to do today in our society today? I just did not understand this. I truly didn’t understand what I just saw and heard.
Mostly, I didn’t understand or know why I was feeling the way I was. Why was I upset? I did not consciously decide to feel this way. Something just overcame my mind with sadness and hurt. I was upset that I felt this way at a singing performance that I usually love to watch and that usually brings me great joy.
I did not consciously think these words are wrong and it is stigma and then it upset me, instead for some reason the words just bothered me with no control of my own. I couldn’t get the feelings to just go away. It hurt me unconsciously. This is what mental illness stigma does. It hurts. It is wrong and it should not be allowed to continue.
This director is a teacher and should not be allowed to teach impressionable young people that it is okay to use words that shame and stigmatize a large group of people. He should definitely not choose a group of songs that have stigmatizing words in them that will be sung and heard by hundreds of people over the next five months.
How can we still sing songs today that stigmatize people? Let’s say there was a song that was written back in the 1940’s about African-American people and the lyrics were written in a racist way, we would not want to or choose to or we would not be allowed to sing that song, even if it was a beautiful song with great musicality and rhythm. People wouldn’t sing a song like that and we would not allow it, especially in a show choir performance. So, why are people still allowed to sing songs using stigmatizing words about mental illness? Please someone tell me why it is still happening today. It should not be happening and it needs to stop now.
Also, I would like to know if I am overreacting. I feel bad about myself for feeling the way I do. I do not want to feel this way. I never wanted to be upset, but I am. Am I wrong? Am I too sensitive about this kind of thing? Am I too sensitive about stigma and feeling stigmatized? Would others be upset about this? I am now beating myself up about this.
There were three ladies in the row in front of me and they even said they were bothered by it. My daughter told me after the show that she knew it was going to bother me, too. She knows me too well.
The bottom line though is that I am mad that I had to be exposed to those stigmatizing words in a musical show, a show choir performance that usually makes me happy to watch.
What I watched and heard sung this evening is called stigma and…
stigma needs to stop now.
Here are three of the songs that I knew and remembered the names of. However, I do not recall the names of the rest of the songs and I think there were two more…
One of the songs is “Mad World” by Gary Jules and I think it is a beautiful song. I wasn’t upset with this song. I thought it was okay because it is a powerful song and has lyrics about suicide and students. It expresses what some people and students go through or have gone through before. They may have experienced similar feelings before. I still had hope that it was going to turn out to be a positive show with a great positive message. I thought it was going to be great, but I was wrong.
“Mad World” by Gary Jules (with lyrics)
“Disturbia” by Rhianna (with lyrics)
This last song they sang, but they cut it a lot and did not use all of these words, of course.
But they used enough of them…
**Warning this song contains some words of profanity**
“Cuckoo” by Adam Lambert (with lyrics)
This song was the worst one and last song they sung singing the most stigmatizing words like “crazy train” and “cuckoo” sung many times throughout the song. The show ended with the word “cuckoo” stuck in my head…
Copyright © By Susan Walz and myloudbipolarwhispers.com – All written content and personal artwork is © myloudbipolarwhispers.com and Susan Walz. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author/owner/artist is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to My Loud Bipolar Whispers and/or Susan Walz with appropriate and specific directions to the original content.