Enter the Circus

This is a Christina Aguilera song that I played repeatedly while I was hospitalised.  It was how I felt about my friends and family coming to visit me in a mental health hospital – that is to say I felt like a circus freak.  Can anyone else relate to this?

Your can listen to it here:

The lyrics are:

“Enter The Circus”

Ladies and gentlemen

Boys and girls

Step right up, step right up

Come closer, you won’t believe your eyes

Behind this curtain,

Witness something you’ve never seen before,

Heard before, dreamt before

The most amazing show on earth

La la la la la la la

It’s the most amazing show on earth

La la la la la la la

Do you want to be widely entertained?

People to know your name?

Do you crave fame?

Well they say “things aren’t always what they seem to be”

Even your greatest fantasies

You won’t believe your eyes

Won’t even recognise

The wonderment that lies

Behind the shimmer and the lights

Is it true what they say?

Is it all just fun and games?

Or is there more behind the makeup,

And the faces full of paint?

I ask you, do you want to come and play?


Get the world to come and play


So sit back, relax, fasten your seatbelts

It’s going to be a bumpy ride to the other side


Let me know what you think, or what songs resonate with you.

7 thoughts on “Enter the Circus

  1. secretneurotic December 31, 2013 / 6:25 am

    Your post made me laugh. Thanks for sharing it. It’s a cool idea and Christina Aguilera can be pretty awesome.

    Don’t know if this is what you wanted, but when I was going through rehab I listened to this one a lot. Kind of tribute to my drunken days, high on cocaine, walking around feeling like a god, slipping on the shades and verbally assaulting anyone who gave me a funny look (without the gun):

    This was in the charts at the time (Ha, ha!):

    And this one resonates with me a lot:

    I could go on. I have a song for every mental occasion.

  2. sknicholls January 2, 2014 / 6:40 am

    I am still musically stuck in another era…but I can relate.

  3. John February 2, 2015 / 9:12 pm

    Hi Emily, have a close friend with BP who has been hospitalised 3 times now. How might someone visit without making them feel like a “circus freak”? What do you find helps? What doesn’t? Thanks.

    • emilyjtelfer February 3, 2015 / 6:36 am

      Hi John,

      This is a very difficult area. I think a lot of the “feeling like a circus freak” is in the patients head, so it is almost impossible to alleviate that completely. I would say however that when people visit me there seems to be two types of people, those that are uncomfortable around the other mental health patients and those that treat everyone the same. My husband is the second kind and he will introduce himself to other patients sitting near us and even start up a conversation with them, he sees them no differently than he would other patients in a normal hospital. This puts me at ease.

      Another helpful hint would be regarding conversation topics (with the person you’re visiting). Talk with them about the things you would normally discuss, ask them how they are of course but talk about other things too, common friends and family, current events, sports, whatever you would discuss with them when they’re well. They may not talk as much as you, but you will probably see their eyes lighting up a bit to let you know they’re interested and more than likely glad to be talking about something other than their mental health for a while.

      Take a thoughtful gift. Over my many hospital stays I have received some amazingly thoughtful gifts from people, that make me feel more at home and closer to that person even after they leave. Eg. the new release book in a series I have been reading, a body pillow for me to cuddle in place of my husband, a set of three head bands I used to cover up my regrowth in my hair because I couldn’t get to the hairdresser, a picture collage of all my pets. It really depends on what’s important to your friend, but perhaps before you visit them speak to their family or other friends who have been to visit and see if anyone knows of anything they need or anything that would give them a pick me up.

      I hope that gives you a few ideas to start off with. If you have any questions please just let me know.

      Kind regards,
      Emily Jane

      • John February 3, 2015 / 8:49 am

        Thanks Emily, lots of good ideas there.
        Have lots of other questions too. But
        maybe another time. Take care.

    • emilyjtelfer February 23, 2015 / 4:48 pm

      Hi John, I thought I had replied to you but I now can’t find my response – due to having ECT my memory is a bit shady, can you confirm for me that I have responded to you, I would hate to think I overlooked doing it. Thanks, Emily Jane

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