Mentally Healthy Holiday Tips Revisited

July 9, 2013 Alistair McHarg

Like many other mentally ill people, I include a handful of sane citizens in my inner circle of esteemed friends. I don’t do this because I like them, I don’t do it because I think they have anything to offer me, au contraire mon petit fromage, I do it because my slavish devotion to a facade of political correctness dictates that I must pretend to believe that sane people are as good as folks like us.

(This is nonsense, of course. These Wonder Bread and mayonnaise chomping chumps have been denied the advanced education in life’s rock hard realities mental illness affords and consequently must be tolerated with patience, good humor, and condescension as they muddle through their Romper Room existences.)

Sane people can’t help themselves when it comes to revealing their emotional, intellectual, and cultural limitations. For example, just the other day one of my sanest acquaintances, let’s call him Zenith Etherington, was surprised to learn that I was going on vacation. When I asked why this surprised him he replied that he just didn’t think mentally ill people went on vacations, or at least not until they were all better.

Sometimes the lack of understanding really does make one feel like flinging a porcupine in a crowded streetcar and yet, what can one do? So I explained patiently that the mentally ill do go on holiday just like everyone else, with a few subtle differences. For example:

When we are driving cross-country with children afflicted with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder we never, never, never begin singing 99 Bottles Of Beer On The Wall.

If there is a paranoid schizophrenic in the family we disable the GPS in the family car.

If we are stopped by a State Trooper for speeding we keep any and all bipolar family members away from the window and enforce a ban on the phrase, “Do you know who I am?” Note: This goes double for the Sheen family.

If we have a family member saddled with Clinical Depression we scrupulously avoid Ingmar Bergman film festivals, Leonard Cohen concerts, and Diane Arbus retrospectives.

Finally, if we have a family member with severe agoraphobia we simply tell everyone we know we’re going on vacation, disable our smart phones, unplug our televisions – and read at home in an oasis of quiet and undisturbed bliss. It’s heaven. A book, it turns out, is the ultimate escape from reality.

APA Reference
McHarg, A. (2013, July 9). Mentally Healthy Holiday Tips Revisited, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 24 from

Author: Alistair McHarg

July, 10 2013 at 2:45 pm

Hi again Alistair! My favorite sane people were in the Pre-K class I taught, they always knew what was going on. Disabling the GPS for a paranoid schizophrenic is definitely a good idea along with leaving the walkie talkies at home. I've found that avoiding the movies Fribyl (the story of a DID tribble), and the Five Faces of Fran (the story of Fran Froible, a closeted tightrope walker and DID)does wonders for keeping extra personalities from sneaking into the car. I will try and remember to stay away from the car window when Troopers or Custom Officers are nearby. I get enough questions when they hear my slight accent,(lived in Europe as a child, Dad was career army). Fortunately I always had a passport on me! Have a great week and a fun vacation!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Alistair McHarg
July, 10 2013 at 4:11 pm

Note To Self: Find a copy of The Five Faces of Fran asap.

Marvelone Ompagua
July, 10 2013 at 11:30 am

Cest Bon!

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