Posts Tagged ‘crazy’

My daughter has autism.

And according to TIME Magazine, she is crazy.

This is the screen shot of John Ashley Cloud’s article on the DSM-V:

Screen shot 2012-12-04 at 9.08.34 AM

click on image to link to the article


First item up in the article?  The redefining of autism and the possible affects of such redefinition.


Do I believe that Time Magazine really thinks that my little Brooke is crazy?  No.  Do I think that the author John Ashley Cloud truly believes my girl is crazy?  I’m pretty sure he doesn’t.  Do I think that he or whoever entitled his piece is a complete and utter asshole?  In the words of Sarah Palin, You Betcha!

The article in and of itself is not a bad one.  It’s fairly matter of fact in its approach.  But that title…that title!

I have nothing against the word “crazy”.  I use it all the time.  Random acts of violence?  That’s crazy!  A buddy of mine running a sub-3:00 marathon his first time out?  That’s crazy!  Preparing for the Mayan apocalypse on December 21st?  That’s crazy!  The Giants beating the Pats in the Superbowl on late 4th quarter drives?  TWICE?  That’s crazy!

Setting back years and years of hard work by those in the mental disability and disorder community with the simple stroke of a keyboard?  THAT is crazy!!!

As a society we have inched ever so slowly toward a more inclusive society.  More and more we are realizing the gift of having all people participate in our communities.  Slowly we have inched toward removing the stigma of either mental illness or disability or disorder.

Cloud’s article does nothing to change that, but the title does that and more.  We live in a headline society.  That is not a gripe, that is a fact.  Just look at this past election cycle.  So many of us get our news and information from either the headlines or from the 50 word bullet points at the beginning of an article.  The only things we WILL read are those articles we find most interesting; ones that reinforce our own ways of thinking.  That’s why a title like Redefining Crazy is awful, disrespectful and downright dangerous.

People will skim over this article and walk away thinking, wow, autistic people ARE crazy…I mean they flap their arms and run around and make strange noises. And they will hold on to that headline because that is what sticks in their head.

Now before you accuse me of joining the ranks of the PC Word Police, I want you to think about what the word “crazy” means to you.  I’m sure there was a time when it was a clinical word.  Is that how the word is used today?  Would you go up to the mother of a child with what was formerly known as Asperger’s and tell her that her son or daughter is crazy?  For those of you who know my Brooke, would you say that she is crazy?

Crazy is defined in the dictionary as:

mentally deranged; demented; insane.

I would not put my Brooke in that category, but thanks to Mr. Cloud, someone who doesn’t know her, but knows her diagnosis, might.

I hope that TIME and Cloud will change the title of his article and issue a general apology.  TIME used to be such a wonderful, even handed magazine, but lately they’ve been acting like a mud-slinging headline grabbing rag.  I called them this morning to cancel my subscription.  I hope you will consider doing the same.

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Uh Oh!!!

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What have I done???

And yes, that’s 50, as in 50 mile run.

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Why do you run?

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Crazy Marathoner

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Why would you want to do that?  You’re crazy.

That is a common question I get when it comes up in conversation that I run the occasional marathon here and there.  It seems like a absurd question to me, but I also realize that it is an honest one.  Why would I want to run a marathon?  Why put myself through the agony, pain, and doubt?  Why run a distance that has defeated so many?


3 years ago I would have been asking the same questions.

I recently read that it was one thing to think you could run 26.2 miles, but a completely different thing to KNOW that you could.

Is that why I run the marathon?


But that really only applies to the first time you run a marathon.  At this point I have 5 under my belt, and number 6 is just 2 weeks away.


It’s one thing to be a runner.  Running has tremendous health benefits.  But to achieve these benefits, one does NOT have to run a marathon.  In fact, there is some science out there that seems to indicate that marathon running is in fact NOT that good for you.  I can understand that running a marathon a day would have detrimental effects on one’s health.  Even running 4 marathons in a year and 5 in 53 weeks like I did last year can lead to overuse injuries.

So why do I do it?  Why do I want to?

I guess the simple answer is to see if I can.  And after finding out I can, to see if I can do it again, but faster! In the marathon, unless you are an elite runner, you are really only running against one opponent – yourself.


But I think there’s more to it.  We are a pack animal by nature.  We either live together or we die alone (bonus points if you can name that quote).  Even for those of us who are loners at heart, we need to know we have a connection to the greater whole.  In this age of technology where we are becoming more and more isolated from each other, noses in our crackberries, eyes glued to screens, many of us are losing our connection to each other.

Ironically, it is the solitary sport of running that can bring masses of people together, whether it be by taking advantage of the screens through social networks like dailymile or out on the road as we pound out the miles.  Personally, I have found that the longer the distance gets, the friendlier the people get.

I don’t say hello to every person I pass when I am walking around town, BUT when I am out running and I cross paths with another runner, there is almost always an acknowledgement of some kind, whether it be a nod, a wave or even a full-blown greeting.  Running does that.  It bonds us.  Whether we are speed demons running sub-6:00 miles or plodding along steadily at 20:00 per mile, we are all runners, connected and bound together by the ground beneath us.


So when it comes back to that question – Why would you want to do that? – I guess part of my answer is that I simply like the people.  Whether they are sub-3:00 marathoners or 7:00 hour marathoners, they get it.  They enjoy it.  They love it.

They are a little crazy.

Just like me.

Come join our nuthouse.  There’s always room for more.

And I promise you won’t have to wear what that guy is wearing.

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Why do you run?

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