Sunday, May 27, 2012

Playing cards

Have you ever played the card game, Spoons?  Oh it is a ton of fun.

Friday at work, we had a training put on by NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness). It was a sensitivity training to give us an idea of Bipolar disorder and Schizophrenia.  We had to wear headphones with voices, telling us various things. 

I was terrified.

But I did it and it was hard.  The first half, I had to read an article and answer related comprehension questions, and be interviewed.  For a moment, the voices made me pause when answering the question, "Who is our vice president."  The voices would pause for a while and then start up again and when I was in the bathroom, the voice shouted, "You suck!" and it made me jump.  And I talked back to it.  "I do not suck." 

The second half, as we listened (or tried not to listen) to the voices, we could play games or talk or whatever.  I played Crazy Eights with two coworkers and told them about how I used to play with my grandma.  When I had to draw cards, she'd say over and over, "Pick 'em up, honey! Pick 'em up!"

We played a round of that, then I told them about a really fun game which my sister called "Rat Screw" and my mom called "Fast money."  I couldn't remember the real name.  But then I remembered that it was only for two people to play.  I thought a moment.  Spoons!

My coworker remembered it and we taught our third to play.  Then people started watching us as we were laughing hysterically.  More joined us.  It was much easier to block out the voices when we were playing, laughing and having fun together.

I was relieved when it was over, but so glad I did it. My eyes are open to mental illness in a whole new way and I think it will make me better at my job. 

And I can't wait to teach my kids to play spoons!

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