Stream of Consciousness Saturday – SoCS Oct 31/2020

Here’s this week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday, courtesy of the lovely Linda. Please do take part, it’s fun to write and also fun to read the contributions from everyone else.

This week the prompt is the word ‘trick’. Here’s my contribution (albeit late!). And you’re welcome to another segment of my life. Who knows, you may eventually have the whole citrus fruit that is me! (No you won’t, by the way).

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That word ‘trickcyclist’ always used to confuse me when I was growing up. I think I heard it on a sitcom back in the 1970s, and couldn’t understand the context. Of course, being a little girl, I imediately thought of someone doing tricks on a unicycle, à la countless Royal Variety Performance shows, or a clown riding a bike that gradually falls apart as he rides it around the circus ring.

Eventually, of course, I understood that it was a malapropism for psychiatrist, and everything fell into place. But then I began to wonder if it was a way of referring to a need for psychiatric help that kept mental health in its dark, shady, uncomfortable place. By using a jokey term, we place mental health problems firmly in the ‘other’ category of health needs that we humans like to keep tidily organised and reserved for acceptable physical issues such as cancer or a broken bone.

We have got better at looking at mental health issues with less of a side-eye over the decades, we have got better about talking about mental health more openly, but there is still a long way to go. I personally have had my struggles, I’ve had therapy and I’ve been on medication and I’ve learned, over time, how to manage my anxiety and depression. It’s part of me. And I’m OK with that.