Are you someone who gets irked by reading positive quotes? Or maybe they just make you feel worse instead of inspired? If so, you are going to love this Instagram. It’s called @Satirically_ill and it takes a whole different -and darker- position on inspirational messages. Their posts won’t call for you to sit in the sunshine nor will they remind you to be positive. They offer up messages such as, “Yoga is the best therapy, false. Therapy is the best therapy.” and “At least the voices in my head tell good jokes”. This dark humored Instagram has quickly become one of our favorite projects yet and we had the opportunity to interview Chaz, the creator of this project. Read on for more info.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Well, I’m a 26-year-old guy with a beard from Cincinnati, Ohio in the US, who suffers from bipolar, anxiety, OCD, ADHD, and a dark sense of humor. In real life I spend my time in my Jeep with top and doors off, hanging out with my Blue Heeler named Rubi (after the Jeep Rubicon), and am always doing something with music. I write songs, sing, play guitar, and record them. I’m hoping to release an album totally for free to download in the next few months that’s completely centered around my life with mental illness.
What can you tell us about your project?
So my Instagram, @Satirically_ill, was kind of a spur of the moment idea that I honestly thought I would delete it after a couple posts, and I almost did but a friend on Instagram (@dontworryiknowimcrazy) talked me off the proverbial ledge. I found most mental health accounts were either using terrible graphics or were just too “fuzzy bunny” for my cynical heart. Like, if I’m in a depression, or being consumed by anxiety, you telling me with a shitty graphic, that “the sun will rise if I just believe it will”, physically makes my symptoms worse. My immediate response is, “fuck you, you must not have the mental illnesses I have because there is no sun.” It just doesn’t help me, but a crass joke about suicide when I’m struggling with suicide, will make me chuckle and then that little break in the storm inside my mind is enough to keep me fighting.
How did you come up with the name and how has dark humor made an impact on your own mental health?
I came up with the name because I’ve always been a huge satire fan and its kind of a play on words like “mentally ill” but obviously, “satirically ill”. Satire has always had a special place in my life; be it in depression, hypomania, incapacitated by anxiety, or lost in my mind to OCD, satire has always been something to bring levity to my struggle. It’s dark enough to reach any headspace I’m in but light enough to break up the darkness, so I figured maybe other people would have the same sentiment towards satirical and dark humor. I can always laugh. In my deepest depression or most guilt-ridden anxiety attack, the right kind of dark humor can slice right through my seemingly inactive prefrontal cortex and I’m laughing before I know it. So I hope that this account can do that for other people.
What has the response been like from the mental health community?
I’ve gotten so many messages and comments from people thanking me for what I’m doing, encouraging me to keep posting, thanking me for bringing some light into their dark days, and telling me my posts are the best part of their day. When I get messages or comments like this, I just stare at my phone like who the fuck are they talking to? Did they send that message to the wrong person? Did Instagram’s code mess up and send a message meant for some “stigma warrior” to me by some freak accident? But they mean it and I can’t even put into words how much the response and support means to me. I’m a cynical, sarcastic, bearded man, but some people’s comments and messages have brought me to tears because I never expected to reach people in their darkest moments that way this account has.
Are there any goals you hope to accomplish?
My primary goal is both simple and lofty. I wanted to reach an audience I wasn’t reaching with my more personal heartfelt account on my struggle with mental illness (@beard_bipolar). I reached a point within a month where I felt like I was firing into an echo chamber and saying the same things as everyone else, to the same people. So this account was a way to reach a more diverse audience and maybe have more of an impactful effect on challenging stigma and creating conversation.
How can people help/contribute to your Instagram?
Share the posts! I don’t even truly care if people tag me, though when I am tagged, then I know my posts are truly being enjoyed by people. (Which helps keep me going and knowing what’s funnier than others). They can also DM me ideas! I write all of these posts based on my own daily life but I only struggle with what I personally struggle with! I hope this account will be so much more than my own struggles but I can’t write a post about what I don’t know. I’m ALWAYS happy to tag whoever gave me an idea! Click here to follow Satirically Ill on Instagram.