We went to see the newest adaptation of “Joker” last night and I just adored it. Definitely not for the faint-hearted. BUT it does portray mental illness and the crap people go through with it well. I’m going to talk a bit about the movie so some of these things might be considered “spoilery” so SPOILERS AHEAD seriously don’t read further if you haven’t seen the movie but my post is literally called “Joker” so if you thought there wouldn’t be spoilers you shouldn’t have clicked on a post called “Joker” in the first place… Here we go.
I love how this movie depicted therapy. I have seen therapists from the time I was about 15/16 to now. I have yet to find a therapist I truly connect with or even remotely want to go to. I go so that when I am ready to be back on meds I can go back on meds. It is basically impossible to just get meds. Therapy is part of the deal. Arthur gets sick of it eventually saying, “You don’t listen, do you? I don’t think you ever really listened to me. You just ask the same questions every week. “How’s your job? Are you having any negative thoughts?” All I have are negative thoughts. But you don’t listen.” I think I often feel this way at therapy. It feels boring and pointless and just repetitive. Therapy really does work for some people and I’m not saying to not try therapy. I’m just saying I get it. I’m someone who constantly has negative thoughts and it gets monotonous and annoying talking about them week after week.
This was super relatable. Probably the most for me, personally. I’ve been asked by many mental health professionals to keep a journal and it’s honestly very hard. I don’t feel at all comfortable putting on paper the things that go on in my head. I hate looking back and seeing them so I just generally don’t write them down. Sometimes I’ll tell them to Ben.
“The worst part of having a mental illness is people expect you to behave as if you don’t.” – Arthur Fleck / The Joker
I’m not even going to explain that one because if you know, you know. Another thing that he writes in his journal as a stand-up routine is, “I just hope my death makes more cents than my life.” I love this because he is purposefully using a play on words with cents, and also it’s something anyone who has been suicidal has likely felt. Lately, it feels a lot like I’m in a catch 22. If I stay I’m a burden to my loved ones in this way. If I go I’m a burden in a totally different way. So it’s a choice to be this kind of burden instead of that kind.
Without ruining the movie, there are delusions involved. I love this part because it shows an audience who likely doesn’t ever experience delusions just how real they can be to the one experiencing them. I think most people think of them as that typical cartoon where the person hallucinates an island with water because they are so thirsty. This isn’t how delusions are. There is no reason for them. They just happen and they feel, sound, taste, and sometimes even smell real. I have witnessed my house burning down around me with the entirety of my senses when it wasn’t really happening. Delusions are no joke. Ha, see what I did there?
All of this to say… I loved the movie. I don’t condone the idea that mental illness inevitably leads to violence but I don’t think that is what this movie was about. I think they depicted mental illness well. I related to many things in the movie. And just for fun here is a throwback to when Ben and I were Harley Quinn and the Joker back in 2016. I have always had a love for these characters and always will.