Things Better Left Unsaid

There are some things you just do.not.do to a person who suffers from depression and anxiety. Some things you just do.not.say. Believe me, we hear it all the time as it is — from our own minds. Our “sock monkeys”, “jerk brain”, “psychotic roommate”, “demon”, etc. Many of us have a term for those voices in our heads that, if we’re somewhere close to stable, have managed to dial down to faint hum but are always in the background, muttering.

Muttering things like, “you’re not good enough”, “no one wants you around”, “why even try?”, “maybe you should make another attempt, and do it right this time”. A friend of mine had a bad day, and posted about her anxiety sock monkey giving her a hard time. Her friends commented, boosting her up, sharing their experiences with the same kind of thing….doing what friends do. Doing the RIGHT THINGS for someone that was suffering and having a bad day. Another friend posted about having a tough time accepting herself — and the same thing happened. Compassion is a beautiful thing to see, especially in relation to anxiety sock monkeys.

Then I posted about mine. I said I was feeling lonely – and whether it was loneliness caused by my anxiety sock monkeys working overtime or some other reason…I was also treated with compassion and other friends shared that they too also felt the same way at times. It helped to a certain extent, knowing I wasn’t alone — even though the loneliness remained. There’s no magic pill that suddenly makes everything better, especially when you’re already suffering a downturn in depression.

(I’m coming to my main point, but this is an important tangent. Part of all this is that I was told I “share too much”. Really…I wonder how many of my readers — those who are actually on my Facebook and consider themselves my friends — know just how deep into a depression I’ve fallen. Have I shared that? Can you tell? Have I actually said anything, to anyone? I don’t think so. Not until this very moment have I said one thing to anyone…that’s how close I play it. I post a lot but rarely do I “core dump”. This….this is a core dump.”)

Ok, where was I? Oh yes. So I made the post, went on with my life. I didn’t expect anything from it – I was getting something off my chest, letting out a little of the darkness and I felt better. Now, one of the cardinal sins in mental health is giving an actual voice to those sock monkeys — literally say to a person who is suffering: “Maybe you’re lonely because you really are {insert anxiety reason here}”.

*record scratch* *blinkblinkblink*

WAIT. WHAT? SAY THAT AGAIN?

WTF Jackie Chan

It’s taken me an entire day to process this entire conversation. I’ve slept on it. Talked about it with other friends. Gone over it in my mind, word for word. Made sure I didn’t take it the wrong way. Nope. Armchair psychoanalysis is DANGEROUS, man. Dangerous. And it’s a damn good fucking thing I’m as stable as I am (even though I’m struggling, STRUGGLING, right now). I realize I’m struggling. I know I’m struggling and that I’m hurting and depressed and freaking falling and I know the abyss is over there, in the corner, beckoning. That’s STABLE, because I KNOW IT. I’m so fucking aware of how close to the edge I am. I’m grounding and centering and BREATHING and meditating and doing everything I can to keep myself together.

And I’m suddenly told, “Maybe the reason you’re lonely is because {insert anxiety reason here}”. Jeez, lady. Why don’t you just hand me the fucking gun? Why don’t you just put a pharmacopeia into my hand? ‘Cuz you just freaking pushed a suicide survivor (and you know the recidivism rate on those?) two more feet toward the edge….and “I like to psychoanalyze people so I’m really just trying to help you.”

First off: I have a therapist and psychiatrist, thank you. Second: I have a psychology degree and post-graduate education and training. Only thing you’re qualified to analyze is rocks. Third: Fuck you. Really…fuck you. Seriously? ARE YOU SERIOUS? You actually thought that saying that to me was HELPFUL? How, exactly, was that supposed to be helpful? I’ll wait while you come up with an answer. Especially since I’ve ‘overshared’ and you already know my past and the reasons I suffer from PTSD and all the shit….so, come on. How was that “helpful”?

Whew. OK. I’m done being pissed off and writing about this because people — really — THINK before you speak. Chris Cornell just committed suicide, so all the memes and posts about suicide prevention are going around again. As a survivor, I can tell you that when someone is really, truly ready — they’re not going to call a hotline or a friend unless they have a moment of clarity and those moments are fleeting. And if a person is struggling with the decision, or just struggling in general and are having thoughts — a careless, thoughtless, “helpful” person saying something like what was said to me just might be the ammunition needed to push them over the edge.

This is a warning, so to speak. If you have a friend or acquaintance that is depressed and suffering and you don’t know what to say or do, and you’re afraid they’re possibly going to attempt suicide — GO TO THEM. Don’t wait for them to come to you because they won’t. Don’t berate them, don’t list all their character flaws or all the ways they make you crazy or frustrate you. Don’t criticise them or tear them down. DON’T use their honest Facebook posts against them. DO tell them they matter, that you care, that you love them, that you want them around even if they’re sad or anxious or feeling like a slug.

Words matter. How you use them matter. The people you use them with, and to, matter. Think before you speak.

Disabled, and Differently-Abled

I have a chronic illness, a hidden disability that sometimes causes me to be utterly incapacitated to the point where I can barely walk or even move. I’m in pain 24/7 to varying degrees and each day greets me where I have to force myself to push past it to just get out of bed and feed the dogs. But I do it. I do a lot, considering it’s a constant battle against the entropy and the “You Can’t Do It” demon in my head and it’s minions out in the “real world”.

Those of you that also have disabilities know that demon. The one in your head that questions whether you can actually do a thing that you’re actually in the middle of doing. If you have difficulty walking, and are enjoying a day at an outdoor event with a lot of ground to cover, that demon is saying things like, “Are you SURE you should even be here? You’re holding up your friends. They’re moving slower, waiting for you and your cane/walker/chair. People are looking at you.” That guy…Gods, I hate that guy.

But his minions out in the world are worse. You can ignore the demon in your head, but his minions inhabit humans and what do you say to them? How do you tell a person that thinks they’re showing concern for your well-being that they’re actually undermining you? That they’re being ableist by saying things like, “Are you sure you should be doing that?” or “Maybe this job isn’t for you.”  What are you supposed to say — unless it doesn’t matter whether you ream them out, because believe you me, I can tear someone to shreds when I want to. But I’m at a loss with this one especially since I’m pretty sure it’s unintentional.

I’m already on SS disability because I CAN’T work a full time job due to my disabilities. But I do some part time work, have a small (very small) business making dog collars, and volunteer where I can. I do what I can when I can because I NEED to be a productive member of society and have a lot of skills from when I was in the workforce. I have a college degree. I don’t want to be a drain on resources, or someone that’s pitied or looked at with scorn. So when I say in conversation that my body doesn’t always function the way I need it to and that it’s frustrating, I’m not looking for pity or sympathy — and I’m definitely not looking for any type of response like, “Isn’t there someone else that can do __________ for you?” The answer is, no, there’s not. It’s just me, but that’s besides the point — that question shouldn’t even be asked.

Do not presume what I can or cannot do, I’ll be the one to determine that. Sometimes, I’m not even sure. It changes from day to day. Today I might be able to run a mile (hahahahaha). Tomorrow, I might not even be able to walk to the bathroom. We are all differently-abled, even those without any kind of disability. All it takes is ONE injury or illness to knock you out, and you can find yourself in the same boat as I and many others — begging for a chance to prove oneself worthy of consideration and equality.

On Finding Compassion

Compassion. The dictionary definition is: sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it.

Such a simple concept isn’t it? Another is suffering, and I wish to heal them of their suffering. It differs from empathy in that empathy is when you feel others’ distress but don’t necessarily work to alleviate it.  To feel compassion necessarily includes feeling empathy, but empathy doesn’t always include compassion (although the western world often conflates the two.)

Compassion has been spoken about a lot lately by my yoga teacher, by other yoga and Buddhist friends and teachers, and has come up a lot in discussions with other friends of spiritual dispositions – from ALL different paths. We’re all in agreement – the world and the state it’s in is a direct result of the lack of compassion between human beings. So why is it so hard? Why is LOVE so hard? Because that’s what compassion is — loving others through their pain and suffering, through your own, and wanting them to be healed. Even if those other are the cause of your pain and suffering, showing compassion for them will be healing to YOU, if not them.

There’s a video making the rounds of Facebook, saying that racism is a form of mental illness, a type of PTSD. Racism, homophobia, xenophobia — any of the forms of hatred — stem from a lack of empathy (and ignorance) and compassion for others. Buddhist thought would say that this is indeed a form of illness, of suffering and through compassion and understanding, we can help those suffering from this and heal them thereby healing society and ourselves. We can even take it outside of Buddhism into the Judeo-Christian realm — Jesus preached love and compassion even for the least of us. As my dear friend (a southern Baptist. Yep. The Witch has a close, CLOSE friend that’s a southern Baptist) said, “But as a Christian how can one justify hate? Which directly conflicts with the edict in the BIble they swear by to care for widows and orphans? Because as far as I’m concerned you can’t claim to “follow” Jesus and hate you can’t do so and deny any responsibility for your fellow man. JESUS would probably tell them that one never wins anyone over with hate and force and if they wanted to “win” believers they are doing a piss poor job by showing a picture of Christians that looks a whole lot more like Pharisees than followers of a man who lived his life preaching love and tolerance and forgiveness.”

Compassion. Something so lacking in our world lately. (Or maybe all the time, it’s just a lot more noticeable what with the Leader of the “Free World” tweeting threats and banning entire segments of the population and threatening war with anyone that disagrees with him.) Compassion seems to be the one thing that is truly separating the “liberals” from the “conservatives” these days — and I don’t even want to use those terms anymore because they almost don’t apply as the political lines are blurring past the point of recognition.

Those that have compassion are protesting the mistreatment of others, not because they want illegal immigration to continue unchecked (I agree that there needs to be some kind of immigration reform but a blanket ban or a WALL? No, that’s not going to work but that’s a whole different post altogether) but because they think human beings should be treated with respect. ESPECIALLY those that are already vetted and have green cards and have been in this country for years, LEGALLY. We marched on D.C. the day after 45’s inauguration because we know his policies and cabinet and SCOTUS picks will do harm to the minorities of this country. White suburban women, tardy to the party, finally found their compassion and stepped up and said, “No more”. Even those lucky people who will likely not be affected too badly by the coming tide of fascist authoritarian changes (the few white cisgender heterosexual christian males of moderate and stable financial means, long may he remain with us) maintain compassion and try to stave off the tide of hatred.

But….why are we doing this? How can we continue when “the other side” is so hellbent on destroying us? Logically, rationally, it makes no sense to look upon the face of an “enemy” and feel compassion for them when you know they feel nothing but enmity for you. Because if we don’t, we become just like who we’re fighting against. We must maintain our compassionate stance, even when it’s hard. ESPECIALLY when it’s hard. Change may never happen, there may never come a point where we reach an understanding  but remaining a compassionate person amongst the hate and turmoil is  good for *us*. It’s self-care against the tides of hate and chaos. You might not end their suffering but it’ll change you and potentially help you find an end to yours.

So don’t give up. Breathe it all in and love it all out. And remember that there is nothing more fierce  than unconditional love, more courageous than compassion. This is our strength.

Peace.

Don’t Rage, Just Love

I’ve seen a few admonishments, or maybe they’re not so much admonishments but statements of practice from folks within the yoga and Buddhism community saying that we should not rage against the current atrocities being done in the name of “safety” by the US government. That marching “against” policies rather than for love or for understanding is somehow wrong or goes against yogic principles.

But I don’t see it that way. Maybe that makes me a bad yogi. If so…so be it.

See I rage and protest and fight BECAUSE I love.

I fight against injustice and oppression BECAUSE I love those that have experienced injustice and oppression. Not because I myself am oppressed. Not yet anyway.

I protest against harmful policies and administrations that seek to implement them BECAUSE I love humanity. Even those I don’t know, agree with or love me back.

I rage against the evildoers and express my rage for all to see BECAUSE I love and feel compassion for all beings on this planet and don’t want to see it destroyed just to line the pocketbooks of a very few.

It is because I feel love, and empathy and compassion for so many including those that don’t feel it for me that I rage, and fight, and protest and am willing to put myself in a position where I could be taken to jail, or hurt to keep others from harm. I help those that need it, knowing they’re unlikely to return the favor. Even those that voted for Trump get my compassion — for they so badly need it, probably more so than anyone else. For they were so badly misled. I am angry at them, yes. I acknowledge my anger — and then do my best to turn that anger into action to stop the harm from progressing.

So I rage.

I rage because I love.

My rage is tempered, purified and transformed by that love and vice versa.

I am not ashamed of it, nor will I be deterred from it.

Rage on.

Love is the Law. Love under Will.

Namaste.

 

 

 

He’s Gonna Blow Us All Up

Inspired by this blog post: https://infinite-coincidence.com/2017/01/22/donald-trump-is-going-to-snap-very-soon-and-here-is-how-i-know/

 

I’ve said before — and I know it’s not the most popular thought or opinion but … it’s entirely possible that the best thing for THE PLANET is for the human race to extinguish itself. We’ve had millions of years to get it right, and we keep screwing up. Look at what’s happening here. We thought we’d moved past so much of this.

The planet, Earth, will survive even a nuclear disaster. The most intense periods of growth come after devastating fires. It’ll take years, more time than any of us can outlive in the best bunkers. And another species may be the ones that become the dominant species on Earth. Maybe cetaceans (dolphins and whales). They have the largest mammalian brains and DO NOT WAR with other species or even within their own species. They have language, and culture within pods. Or the cockroaches are waiting, biding their time….

The EARTH will survive us.

And if that scenario is too doom-and-gloom — my ideal society is the one shown in Star Trek, where humanity is risen above petty wars over religion and race and doesn’t even use money anymore. No, we reach for the stars and explore the universe. But remember what it took to get there? A NUCLEAR CATACLYSMIC WAR. The survivors built a warp-capable ship from the remnants of a nuclear missile and got the attention of Vulcan’s passing by the rock full of barely-literate monkeys. (I know it’s science fiction but we have iPads now. Star Trek had ’em first. Roddenberry was truly before his time and that society is utter utopia, truly, for people that think science AND art AND religion AND humanities can all coexist without killing each other.)

Doesn’t mean I’m going to sit back and let it happen but the simple truth of the matter is: we’ve been given our chance, over and over and over for millennia and the goddamned neanderdouches keep dragging us back into the caves.

Image result for star trek roddenberry

PSYCH!

JUST when you thought 2017 was going to try and make up for the shitstain that 2016 was….the last coupla days happened. Some teenagers in Chicago tortured a disabled person chanting ethnic slurs and “Fuck Trump” (I’m leaving their color out of it – it doesn’t matter – it’s a hate crime no matter what color THEIR skin is). A mass shooting in a Florida airport today. It’s supposed to snow/sleet/ice/RAGNAROK in Alabama so the whole state is in a frenzy, the schools and banks and everything closed and I walked outside to….nothing. 
The PEOTUS (which is so close to piteous it really should be spelled that way) is Twitterbating  about Arnold Schwarzenegger’s ratings on TV rather than taking intelligence briefings. The GOP congress has made its first attempt to repeal the ACA without a replacement. Oh, and defunding Planned Parenthood is next. They only scrapped their plan to gut the independent ethics committee after a bajillion constituents made a lot of noise about not — not the Twit-in-charge as he’d like you to believe. And the US is still thisclose to being annexed by Russia.
Yeah. Ain’t it a great day to be alive. Actually, yes it is. You’re here. You’re breathing. You’re feeling the feelings you’re feeling. You mad? You should be. You sad? You should be. You think the whole world’s gone crazy? You’re right. This is all a fucking dungheap of insane douchebaggery, I can’t even come up with any more words to try and explain it anymore. It’s like the Universe took a sharp left turn at Albuquerque and went to some alternate dimension filled with negative images of  decent people where our leaders should be.
So what do we that are still sane, rational (we think), compassionate, caring and hopeful (we hope) do?
Hell if I know. I’m asking the questions here, don’t look to me for answers. All I know is that I’m going to continue breathing, working through my feelings and trying to turn those destructive forces into productive actions. I’m angry at what is happening — but whining about it isn’t going to do anything. Writing to my congresscritters won’t either since they’re all GOP and eating the cilia in Trump’s large intestine right now. (I’ve tried. The response was regurgitated Trumpshit. That’s how I know they live in his bowels.) So I’ll have to find other ways to make my voice heard or at least be thorn in the side of the “Make American Terrible” crowd.

1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3 drink

My theory on the Stein recount rigamarole. (I’m turning into a regular conspiracy theorist. I should start writing for the “alt-right” sites LOL)

(This was originally a comment on someone’s Facebook post. So it’s not as fleshed out as an actual blog post would be, but I’m not adding to it. It’s explaining what “CYA” means, and why I feel that Stein is doing it and thereby covering hers, and possibly Hillary’s. Trump’s ass is bulletproof at the moment. For now. Such is the way with politicians. Cover you own ass as the expense of those you purport to serve.)

The Stein campaign stands to gain nothing from this except perhaps some ground back from those voters they lost with her anti-vax stance and pro-Trump propaganda. I mean, the Green party went completely whacko there at the end. So by saying that the recount isn’t “for Hillary” or “against Trump” but “to make sure our election process is fair” or whatever is the claim — that’s how Stein’s ass is covered.

She’s not shilling for Hillary. She’s doing the country a service in general to verify the system works as it should and if it doesn’t, get it fixed.

Hillary’s ass is covered, because it’s not coming from her campaign, she’s not calling for recount and looking like a sore loser even though she has more popular votes than ANY CANDIDATE IN HISTORY.

Hell, even Trump’s foul orange ass is covered because you can bet he’s shitting in his didies that should this investigation turn up tampering, the calls didn’t come from his campaign. He already covered himself by SAYING BEFOREHAND that elections were rigged. He already said it, he told us, so he’s covered.

Everyone’s ass is covered, except the American people’s. We’re the only ones hanging out in the breeze, waiting to be shot straight through the keister.