I have to start off this post in a completely non-clever way because I need to point out this petition to get those dumbass “Dorothea Dix: Psych Ward” and other such ignorant costumes out of retailers like Amazon. I mean really, it’s going too far. If you want to send a big middle finger to stigma and the people who perpetuate it, sign today. Or, for those of you less-aggressives, if you want to send a big “please learn some respect” finger to stigma and people who perpetuate it, sign today. I was signature number 2,616. We need 5000. So haul ass over there.
I’d be a complete liar if I didn’t admit I sometimes get frustrated listening to people’s troubles. You know, people who don’t fight with their mental or physical health everyday. When I hear people complain about trivial things, like the fact that their new Iphone 89 is going to be delayed an extra day or the item they wanted to buy in the store was out of stock, and they keep talking about it and talking about, I get offended. At least you can walk out of your house. At least you don’t suffer from crippling depression. At least you’ve never tried killing yourself because voices told you to or at least you never got admitted to a hospital because you’d been up for two weeks planning the cure for cancer through newspaper clippings. At least you don’t have to go through chemotherapy or fight H.I.V. while in poverty.
If you’re not of color (any color), at least you grew up with “white privilege”. That exists. If you were born a man at least you don’t have to live up to the expectations of femininity or get called a slut for sleeping around with a bunch of women or fight a glass ceiling. If you were born a woman at least you don’t have to live up to the expectations of masculinity and be expected to hold everything inside of you until you pop. If you’re “straight” and attracted to the opposite of your biological sex than at least you don’t get called unnatural or a freak or disgusting or godforsaken. At least you aren’t sticking a needle in your arm. At least you don’t have diabetes or heart disease or even a broken leg. And at least you don’t have Multiple Sclerosis. There’s a plethora of things you could have that you don’t.
I don’t want people to feel guilty, because everyone’s pain is valid. If the worst thing that’s ever happened to you is a delayed Iphone and that’s really painful for you, than it’s really painful and I have no right to deny that. I just want people to realize what they take for granted everyday. Our health, mental and physical, is one of the most fragile things about us as human beings and yet we treat it as if it owes us something. As if it’s invincible and immortal. I’ve never had a serious physical illness, and I’m thankful for that but my mental health could use a lot of work. I know a lot of us expect things to be better after we pop a pill, especially when what we’re dealing it is scary and feels like it’s taken away our control. But it’s true: physical health in mental health patients is being ignored. If you don’t think the state of your physical body effects the state of your mind, than you’ve got some more things to learn.
That’s the problem with summing all mental health issues up into a “chemical imbalance”. I hate that shit. Firstly, it’s not an imbalance because each brain is as unique as a fingerprint. If everyone’s brain is different, how can one be more imbalanced than the other? There’s no “normal brain” to compare it to. Couldn’t some brains just have a specific way of behaving that’s different from their neighbors? Simple logic here. Secondly, it insinuates that you’re helpless to the chemistry of your brain when there’s been plenty of studies that show even something as abstract as a thought can alter neurotransmission. You’re so much more complicated than any imbalance ever could be.
Take Elyn Saks for example. I watched her Ted talk like, what, four years ago? I bought her book “The Center Cannot Hold” a long while ago not knowing it was the woman I watched in the Ted talk until I read the intro to the book and realized this shit sounds familiar.
Shut up; I just go on Ted Talks and just click on whatever interests me, I never pay attention to names.
If you haven’t read The Center Cannot Hold, I’m not going to go into a summary of it, but basically it’s a memoir about her struggles with schizophrenia. What I was freaking out about in her book was the fact that she made it through fucking law school in the midst of psychosis with the help of a psychoanalyst. Of course she got hospitalized a few times (back when Yale Psychiatric hospital was completely uncivilized. Not that psychiatric hospitals are anywhere close to being civilized) and all sorts of things, but somehow she did it. Makes me feel like an ass. I can barely get through classes with depression and anxiety. If I was as deep in psychosis as she was, running around in circles on campus flapping my wings expecting to fly and shit . . . well, I wouldn’t even be in school anymore. A cop probably would have shot me. I got mad respect for her.
I don’t know how she did what she did, but she found something that worked for her (in this case, Freudian techniques, which is even more baffling) and she ran with it. It’s something we don’t do enough of these days–looking into what makes us function better with ourselves rather than what someone on the outside tells us will make us function better. First you have to define what functionality is to you. If you can’t do that than how are you ever going to get where you want to be? Don’t throw yourself blindly into treatment, that’s just putting yourself in yet another situation where you won’t feel in control.
It’s not easy getting help when people judge your behavior before you get help and then judge you while you’re getting help. You end up stuck as the middle ball of those little Newton ball things–you know, this:
Newton’s Cradle; that’s right. Totally knew that. Didn’t read at all from the image URL.
But here’s the thing: no one is ever going to be accepted until we as people can describe someone without having to also describe their skin color. No one is going to be accepted until people realize the LGTB community (and the rest of the gender spectrum) should be allowed to marry not because of equal rights, not because it’s a federal law, but because they’re fucking human. It’s very simple.
Laws themselves hold no ground, not when people blatantly disobey them. Laws are just words and what meaning do words hold until you choose to put a meaning on them?
The stupidity of our priorities is as malignant as Glioblastoma.
I mean, did I really just read an article that worries about the economy if the magnetic poles of the earth shift within the next 1000 years like they predict? The economy is what you’re worried about? That shit doesn’t even exist. Was the economy here on earth when you were a neanderthal licking the wound on your foot? We put way too much value in the economy, we need it to survive as of now, but if all your technology gets fucked up, if storms and weather ruins all your material items, if this magnetic switch destabilizes the already decomposed Ozone layer and you start getting blisters and cancer all over your skin from UV rays, than I foresee a rise in Native traditions once again. Your iphone isn’t going to exist to get delayed anymore. Your neighbor will share their bread with you because hey, you’re human and you deserve to live too.
I’m not saying it’ll make the world peaceful, I’m just saying there are more important things within our lives than the things we as a society have constructed. Like our health. Our view of ourselves. The giant ball we’re currently inhabiting.
You hear about the water on mars and shit? Psh. Whenever we send humans up there, they can just stay there and investigate the possible microbes in that water by themselves, far away from Earth. I am not fond of having Ebola’s vicious second cousin wiping out our entire population because some freaky scientists wanted to visit a dried up planet with a 45 degree tilted axis that causes extreme winters and extreme summers. Does that sound like a ball of rock worth inhabiting? We can’t even love our own planet. Don’t put mars through this bullshit.