Writer’s Block

Do you all remember a time when I would bust out posts every day, sometimes twice a day, sometimes thrice a day? That time ended many months ago, and this writer’s block has continued something fierce. Every once in a while I come on and see how everyone is doing, what’s going on their life and where they are heading and I wonder why I just can’t kick my ass in gear and write.

I’m a writer for God’s sake, that’s what I do.

So, as I sit in class right now, it got me thinking about my writer’s block, others writer’s block, and how people just push through it. So that’s what I’m trying to do, for the sake of the cathartic process, and for the sake of my writing future.

Because I am such a broken human being unique individual with a variation of experiences, I decided to do something for myself and attend an outpatient group. This group meets three days a week, for three hours each day, and I’m on the evening schedule. We learn a lot about coping skills, about forming and maintaining healthy relationships, as well as being open and honest about what’s going on in our head. Some people have substance use issues partnered with their mental health, others don’t.

I’m not sure what I’m learning from it. I know that it gets me out of the house and prevents me from isolating, which is good for me, and I know it’s good for me because I absolutely hate doing it. And I seem to hate doing anything that’s good for me. Ever get that feeling?

Meanwhile, the outside world is falling apart and we’re all sitting around twiddling our thumbs like:

this-is-fine-0

When we should be doing something like this:

screen20shot202016-08-0320at2010-31-0420am

Kanye West is trapped in a perpetual state of “mania”, or at least he’s addicted to the “manic” behavior, Trump is still president, sexual assault victims are coming forward and getting pushed back down, people are putting guns to their heads, overdosing, throwing themselves off bridges and the ages are getting younger and younger, there’s rarely anything positive on the news (in America), everyone kind of flipped the bird to school shootings, cops are still shouting “break yourself fool!”, cocking their gun sideways, and blowing seven holes in innocent people like they work for the crips, and meanwhile I’m sitting here on this computer documenting it all, processing it, and thinking back to similar times.

I think maybe, just maybe, we’re all stuck in a pretty serious delusion about our lives: That we can continue moving forward with all of this baggage on our back. Nothing is being discussed, and when a discussion does arise, it turns into nothing more than the internet being divided on the subject for a couple days. Racism is a hot topic, until a school shooting happens. We’re all crying for the students until a cop shoots another unarmed white, black, yellow, blue, brown, rainbow man/woman. As we writhe from the shock, Trump says something outlandish and/or stupid (mostly stupid), and all cameras point to him. They’re so busy photographing his orange face and blonde toupee that they miss the guy standing on the bridge behind them, tears streaming down his face.

There’s no soft way to put things: we’re living in a society in which things are swept under the rug.

I guess it’s nice that you and your friend on Facebook have these deep philosophical conversations over messenger that ultimately ends with one of you quoting words you don’t understand by some unnamed author, hoping that the way you’ve carried yourself and your political stance will help you sound like an intellectual.

And it doesn’t help that when something serious on social media is trending, it doesn’t get taken serious and its fifteen minutes of fame go by in five. This is my argument against May Mental Health Awareness month. There’s nothing impressive about a month of people saying nice things to each other and being supportive when that mindset falls apart in June.

At this point, I’m ranting, because if there’s one thing we all understand about writer’s block, is that you can’t pull the right fucking words out of your head even if your life depended on it. Something has them stopped up like hair in a drain, and I don’t have a long enough whatcha-ma-call-em to dig the mess out. The only solution is to pour corrosive bleach down the hole and let it set. So, I’m pouring bleach on my brain and waiting for the magic to happen.

What will happen to this blog? I’m not entirely sure. I don’t want to get rid of it, I want to help it blossom into what it once was. I want to communicate to real people about real topics and still promote mental wellness. I want to commit to writing at least once a day to gain back old followers and shake hands with new ones. I want to be part of the solution, not the problem, in my own life and in relation to the rest of the world. I want a lot of things, as you can see, and I’m not quite sure what that means.

And that’s today’s Mental Truth.

 

Who’s In Your Driver’s Seat?

It feels good to be back. And by being back I mean reading articles that really have meaning to them, reading tweets that aren’t just about the memearific Kim K shoot. It feels good to be reading and reporting on articles that support and disapprove of my stance. I read one this morning called “The Corruption of Evidence Based Medicine–Killing for Profit” by a Doctor Jason Fung, a Nephrologist. You can read it here.

I mostly report on the corruption within the medicine of psychiatry, but the same happens in the sector of physical health.

This isn’t surprising. As I’ve said many times, medicine is a business. It shouldn’t be, but it is. It’s the same sort of business Tobacco is: it feeds off of people’s weaknesses. That’s not to say at least medicine has the quality of “helping” some people. Without my dad’s blood pressure medicine, his pressure rises into the 200’s easy. They’ve already seen he’s had a few mini strokes none of us knew about. So I’m not here to say we need to abolish the current system. I’m here saying we need to take a closer look.

It’s not your physicians necessarily that are in on this, it’s the researchers, the pharmaceutical companies, and if you live in the United States, the insurance companies. It’s a shame the only research that gets published is the research that very obviously supports the pharmaceutical or the procedure.

Fung quotes Doctor Marcia Angell when she stated the mean truth:

“It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to reply on the judgement of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor.”

It didn’t take me two decades to reach that conclusion, and I wasn’t reluctant about it. As soon as I read anti-psychotics were given to three year old’s for tantrums, I knew something was screwy. It doesn’t take a rocket scientists to see the profit within that.

Some psychiatrists and physicians aren’t even aware of what they’re doing half the time. My last psychiatrist wanted to raise me to 15mg of Abilify even though the research says anything about 10mg shows no real efficacy. And yet, how high up do they go in miligrams? 30. Think about that. 2mg of Abilify is 939 dollars a prescription without insurance. Abilify is one of the top-selling Antipsychotics in the U.S. Think about it. It took me digging through a lot of papers and research to even find the truth about the efficacy.

Soon all the rage will be these injections. The easiest way to trap someone on a medication is to give them one they can’t refuse. They are, of course, for the more “difficult” patients. So not only are you a patient with no rights, you’re also a patient with no rights who knows they have no rights, so you stand up to that, and that makes you difficult. Or, your experience of psychosis hasn’t been properly approached yet, and therefore you are left to sizzle in your own mind with only the fleeting hope an injection will change things. Maybe for some it does. But at what cost?

Fung makes a good point: “Evidence based medicine is completely worthless if the evidence base is false or corrupted.” 

Doctor Relman makes another good point:

“The medical profession is being bought by the pharmaceutical industry, not only in terms of the practice of medicine, but also in terms of teaching and research. The academic institutions of this country are allowing themselves to be the paid agents of the pharmaceutical industry. I think it’s disgraceful.”

It’s very disgraceful. This is why I have such a strong moral stance against taking medication, this is why I hate to admit that sometimes, yes, a low dosage of a medication does even out my mood. Yes, a low dosage of a medication does help me better understand and better dictate what thoughts I listen to and what thoughts I don’t.

It’s when doctors push up your milligrams because your voices haven’t gone that is the problem. Maybe the voices will never go away: if you haven’t accepted or made peace with that, that’s not a problem medication will solve. Maybe the delusional thoughts will always be there. The depression. The anxiety. If you haven’t accepted any of that, again, that’s not a problem medication will solve. 

It’s also not a problem to be solved. It’s an experience to learn from. It’s an experience to learn how to experience it in a way where you can still live the life you want to. Everyone has some kind of struggle that holds them back at some point in life. You are no different. And to sit back and say “Well, this is my ‘sickness’, I guess I’m doomed to a life of nothingness” is called giving up. That’s not acceptance.

That’s one thing that I struggle with in accepting this “mental health awareness” campaign everyone has going. They’re making awareness for the sickness, the illness, for this idea of helplessness because “your mental illness will never go away”. We should be empowering each other. We should be introducing each other to new perspectives, new ways of hearing voices, new ways of interpreting delusions, new ways of tackling anxiety, new ways of coping with depressions, new ways of experiencing mood swings. The only way we will avoid the corruption of ourselves is to keep ourselves. We can’t lose ourselves within this idea of being ill, of being sick, of needing this, needing that, being disabled.

And that’s today’s Mental Truth.

 

Why Writing is Actually the Bane of My Existence.

What a shit title, you must be thinking. And you’d be right, that is a shit title, but I refuse to change it because it is my shit title and I own my shit titles. If I could see you, I’d stick my tongue out at you.

5227758-a-disgusted-girl-giving-a-bratty-expression-toward-the-cameraa-bratty-valley-girl-expressing-towardYou also may be wondering, like smart-asses always wonder, “why are you writing if it’s the bane of your existence?”

<—(How I imagine your face).

Simply because the bane of my existence also happens to be the thing I enjoy the most. Because I, apparently, enjoy suffering. Think about it. If you don’t suffer, you don’t really grow. And if I didn’t suffer as a writer, I wouldn’t grow as a writer. And we all know a stunted writer isn’t really a writer at all, but rather someone who writes.

It’s the bane of my existence because I can never keep things consistent. That was not meant to rhyme, but it did. What I mean is that I’ll take a hiatus for a while, kick myself for taking that hiatus, struggle coming from that hiatus, and then finally breaking through the clouds and pouring my heart into what I do. However, there’s always that looming cloud reminding me: you’re going to fall again. Hey, hey, guess what? *Initiate plummeting to death sounds*

Take this blog, for example. I had a lot of things going for me on this blog. I had consistent readers, consistent followers, I had a nice little fan base and things were moving along quite swimmingly. And then I went crazy and had to take a hiatus and lost all of it. Well, most of it. I lost the rights to the domain because I couldn’t afford it any longer, and I lost consistent readers because who the hell is going to wait almost a year for someone to stop being crazy so they can start writing again? People’s attention spans are NOT that long anymore. Including my own. I can barely pay attention to myself.

My fiction writing suffered. I stop writing short stories, I stopped jotting down ideas for short stories, and what initiated was a complete breakdown of the self. Writing is the bane of my existence because if I don’t do it, I’m at a complete loss. It’s like heroin. Warm, foreboding, deadly, and addicting. I use negative connotations to describe writing because, as you can see, I have a love-hate relationship with it.

not_funWriting isn’t all fun and games, people. Jesus. You can’t just slap down words in any old order you want and call it a piece. I mean, it’s not like I haven’t been doing that for the last 3 years on this blog at all. I totally calculate each word that spears through my fingers.

On a side note, I just bought Schrodinger’s “What Is Life” book, because I barely learned about it yesterday and cannot believe I’ve never heard of it. It should be a good read.

See: attention span = shit.

And that’s another bane of my existence: reading. I love it. I mean, I really love it. I read The World According to Garp in one sitting because I was so enthralled by the story I couldn’t put it down. After that, I picked up a second book and read well into the night. I love reading. But it’s always been hard for me to focus on something like a book, unless it snatches my imagination like The World According to Garp, or I’m on some medication like Effexor that makes me highly focused.

But writing. Oh-ho, fuck writing. I love it, but fuck it. And who’s to say you can’t love what you hate? There’s got to be a reason you hate it, right? Maybe you hate it because you love it. Maybe you hate it because it brings out a side in you that you can never project otherwise. Maybe you hate it because you’re just in a spiteful mood, but really you love it. I don’t know your life, man.

That is why you should embrace what you hate. Embrace your enemies. Embrace that one teacher in school who always picked on you. Mine made me a better writer, even when she called mine shit. Embrace what infuriates you the most, and you may learn the reason it infuriates you is something deep within yourself, something you’ve been ignoring.  And that’s today’s mental truth.

 

Finally.

I think I pinpointed one of my major problems today.

As I was driving home, listening to SAD by XXXTentaction for whatever reason (shut up), one of his lines caught my attention. It goes:

maxresdefault“Who am I?”

“Someone that’s afraid to let go” (Should be WHO’S afraid to let go, but I let him slip since he got shot and killed)

“You decide”

“If you ever gunna let me know”

“Suicide”

“If you ever try to let go”

“I’m sad I know, yeah, I’m sad I know yeah.”

Not the deepest lyrics in the world, but to me they hit a chord, particularly the “I’m sad, I know yeah” portion. I think denial has been an issue of mine for a long time now. Through the entire three years that I’ve been blogging on this account, I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned this. And it’s hard to write about something I haven’t already mentioned on this fucking blog.

But I think I denied how “Sad” I really was for some years now. I played it off so well that I convinced myself nothing was going on. So when I got extremely low, I broke. Then I repaired myself, denied it ever happened, and waited until the next break. I think that’s where portions of my psychosis comes from.

Which is another weird thing to say: “my psychosis”.

wireless_giselle

For a long time I denied that as well. And it wasn’t always just because I actually believed the delusions and such. It was also because I just didn’t think there was anything wrong with me. Regardless of the thoughts or any voices, I just didn’t think anything was wrong. I was suffering, and refused to believe anything was going on. I don’t understand how a brain can do that. I just don’t. I don’t because I was aware of everything so vividly. And yet I was so distant from it all.

It feels vindicating to say those few words “I’m sad I know yeah, I’m sad I know yeah”.

I also think I denied the psychosis because it wasn’t “as bad” as other people. I didn’t end up involuntary because of paranoia until I threatened to kill myself over it, so it’s not like I was found running naked down the street screaming about aliens. No, I kept my naked, screaming self hidden within the back of my mind and suffered that way. If there’s no such thing as a quiet psychosis, I’ve just invented it.

I’ve invented quiet everything, trust me. Quiet rage, quiet happiness, quiet sadness, quiet psychosis, it’s copyright. Don’t steal it. The only exception is “quiet borderline” which is already a thing so I can’t steal it. Fuck whoever coined that term. That’s MY term.

I feel like I’m starting to get back into this writing groove. This is nice.

success

Anyway, my point is I feel like I’m getting my brain back, my motivation, my determination, and my passion. I also feel like I’ve learned so much about myself over these last three years that I’m really thankful for every bit of the experience, even the times that have been roughest I’ve ever been through.

It’s been the first time I’ve spoken in therapy about my delusions. I call them that, but at the same time I still kind of believe them. So I don’t really know how to deal with that. I guess I can say that everyone else calls them delusions, I just call them reality. But regardless, I’m talking about them, and it feels good to have a therapist who isn’t judging what I’m saying. She may talk like a speed demon, but her words are valid and kind. So far.

I’ve also been recognizing when my perception of others is getting in the way of me seeing their true self. That’s a whole other can of worms to open.

I think that’s enough for now.

Own up to what you deal with. You don’t have to believe you’re crazy. You don’t have to believe you’re delusional or psychotic or any of those things. Just know you’re struggling, and start to get okay with that, or you’ll never be okay with it. And that’s today’s mental truth.

Who Do You Advocate?

There’s an argument that’s not a good argument that people think is a great argument that is really a weak argument. First, let’s do a little visualization.

Imagine I’m 12 years old. Imagine I’m sitting on the edge of a brick pot housing a small tree, and I’m eating my lunch, my good old healthy baloney and mayonnaise sandwich that is probably healthier than the slop fed in the cafeteria. Imagine, as I sit there, two thirteen year old girls with their shorts they hid under pants before leaving their house, with their golden loop earrings down to their shoulders and their Coach sneakers they tell everyone their mom got for 100 dollars at Coach, but were really thirty dollars in Marshalls.  They slap my sandwich from my hand. They knock over my last sip of carton apple juice. They call me names like poor and stupid throw my backpack across the yard and laugh. They push me on the ground when I get up, and laugh, and rub my face in the dirt and laugh and this goes on every day for four years until the ringleader’s mom gets busted for her meth lab in the garage and the ringleader has to move.

Their bullying leads me to start a hashtag on twitter. #stopbaloneybullying. The hashtag is a sensation and I become the head of a campaign, then a non-profit foundation, then a non-profit national organization against bullying. Then my accountant quits, and all the connections made throughout the years sit on a stick and drop out as funders.

Word gets around a company called “Cheap Shoes for High Prices (CSHP)” sold primarily to teens and children were interested in us, and I become interested in them. I meet them and realize one of the women was the girl who slapped Baloney out of my hand. She apologizes about that, though, after the meeting, and says she’d love to become a funder, she funded several other bullying organizations in small areas.

I say yes and soon notice things. Not good things, not bad things, just things. I hear the way their staff bullies other staff, intimidates them and certain kinds of customers. Kinds of customers that looked like me and sometimes who I met walking through the store. Those kind of customers and I all had similar stories.

Then the CSHP business start telling me how to run my campaigns, which kind of children I could hire in commercials, and say I need to push against the state’s attempt to hire more counselors for public schools to stop bullying, that less counselors aren’t the problem, it’s troubled youth that are the problem, and teachers aren’t noticing. It’s the teachers and poor school policies that are responsible. I say yes because they fund 76 percent of me.

People tell me it’s Conflict of Interest. Financial Conflict of Interest.

And this, dear readers, is the problem with NAMI. It’s the problem with DBSA (Depression and Bipolar Support Association), it’s the problem with MHA (Mental Health America) and any other form of MHA, like the Mental Health Association. It’s become a problem with websites, and mental health advocacy groups in general.

Pharmaceutical companies are everywhere, they’re a virus, very similar to the kind they treat with their vaccines. Don’t get me wrong, being free of Polio is great. Being free of the measles and chicken pox is also pretty damn great. Anesthesia for surgery, wonderful –if your anesthesiologist is paying attention and knows what he’s doing. Blood pressure pills under a watchful eye? Keeps half of my family alive (which is a whole other philosophical question I don’t feel much like going into right now).

But psychotropics?

Maybe it’s not the meds, maybe it’s the people who push them and claim them as gods that are the problem. Maybe it’s the fact that they aren’t thoroughly researched, or that their efficacy is often exaggerated and/or doesn’t exist statistically or realistically. Maybe it’s the fact that the people who stand behind these meds get involved in areas they need to get outofvolved.

What Do You Mean “OutofVolved?”

In June of 2016, New York University Medical School shut down a total of eight studies at their psychiatric research center. Quietly. This wasn’t in the big news, it wasn’t anything any president spoke of or any mayor took real notice of. The lead investigator/Director of Molecular Imaging program for Mood and Anxiety disorders/professor Dr. Alexander Neumeister was dismissed.

The main objective of Neumeister and his team were to study the effects of a drug that mimics Marijuana to treat PTSD. Let’s examine THAT statement for a moment. A synthetic, lab-generated drug that mimics the natural effects a plant has on our brains to ‘treat’ experiences related solely to trauma. There are several things wrong with this picture before the study even beings. 

 

Firstly: biological markers and blood tests. For PTSD. That defies all logic on every level. Their defense was there were lower levels of the brains natural version of THC/Cannabis in those who were traumatized severely, as if the brain isn’t capable of increasing that neurotransmitter in other ways besides medication. It’s one of the ‘controversial’ areas of psychiatry these studies aimed to test. The guinea pigs of the experiment were given this fake marijuana pill and shoved out the door without any real follow up.

Pfitzer, the pharmaceutical company who created this FAAH Inhibitor, and tested it on guinea pigs with osteoarthritis (we’re all clear guinea pigs = humans, right?), said there were no real side effects, and approved it for testing with NYU. The FDA shot a warning letter listing the observed conditions in which could have, and probably would have, undermined the validity of the study. I would list these conditions if there weren’t a million of them.

Manipulating research  is more common than expressed in the archives of FDA warning letters. It’s not difficult to create an experiment which looks appealing, sounds appealing, and has appealing results when you have a few billion dollars you’re willing to throw in the direction of the researchers.

Pfitzer was not a silent partner, they weren’t a bystander, and for them to say “N.Y.U was responsible for conducting the trial” without reminding the public the millions they sponsored the trial with, without reminding the public they own the rights to whatever research is discovered-, without reminding the public they’re shady for denying any public access to their clinical trial results is only reminiscent of that one kid in kindergarten who pulled everyone’s hair then denied doing so even when the teacher saw them do it.

If corporations are considered people by the law, then they should be tried in family court because they all act like children.

They lie like children as well. This particular F.A.A.H inhibitor killed one of six clinical volunteers and sent the rest to the hospital with neurological damage. 

The bottom line? If they–the pharmaceutical companies–fund something, they control it. They own it, they direct it. What is supposed to be neutral, valid, and reliable data becomes tarnished with serious manipulation of controls, of bias, and of confounds.

What Do Advocacy Groups Really Advocate?

A large portion of the community here is involved with NAMI. They offer support groups and volunteer positions, job positions even, giving those of us who have a struggled a chance to get our voice heard and a purpose, a reason to wake up in the morning. That’s a beautiful concept. CONCEPT. 

It’s no secret that NAMI, DBSA, Mental Health America, and Mental Health Associations are the largest so-called advocacy groups which receive the bulk of their funding from five or more pharmaceutical companies. Let’s pick on NAMI.

In 2016, NAMI received 20,500 from Astrazeneca, 50,000 from Bristol Meyers Squibb, 28,000 from Eli Lilly, 25,000 from Navartis, and I would share the results from Pfitzer, but they block public access to quarterly and yearly reports.

To find this information it’s not too difficult: get the name of a pharamceutical company, and search for their quarterly reports or type in Google “Johnson and Johnson Donations”. A nice blurb of bullshit from my favorite man Alex Gorsky will pop up, but so will their quarterly reports of the organizations and non-profits they’ve donated to. I’ll only list a few findings in this article: the rest is up to you.

In 2016, NAMI, from just those 4 companies, received 123,500 dollars. Considering at least 60% of their funding comes from Big Pharma, you can imagine the donations they also receive from Pfitzer, Roche Pharma, Sanofi-Avantis, Wyeth, Johnson and Johnson/Jassen/all the other Johnson and Johnson Pharma companies, Merck–the list could go on and on. Until donations hit the millions. 123,500 is nothing.

Why does this matter? Why does it matter if people’s lives are getting to be filled with purpose and hope and community?

In 2004, Josh Weinstein, a man who served in senior executive positions for three large pharmaceutical companies and is president of jw Einstein Strategic Messaging, said this:

“As a veteran pharma marketer, I have witnessed that the most direct and efficient tool for driving long-term support for brands has been, and continues to be, a well-designed, advocacy-based public education program . . . working with Advocacy groups is one of the most accomplished means of raising disease awareness and enhancing the industry’s image.”

That doesn’t sound much like the community boosting, empowering-the-‘mentally-ill’ interest of advocacy groups.

This is a financial conflict of interest, a large one, and as the pharmaceutical companies donate more they use their power of funding to manipulate the advocacy groups, pressing them to fight against state legislatures, particularly those who have attempted to lower the amount of prescriptions doctors could write in certain states.  NAMI, DSBA, MHA, become puppets.

At this point, they’re advocating Big Pharma, the idea of Mental Illness, and the myth of chemical imbalance. They’re advocating brands with their hashtags on twitter about the importance of research, and they’re advocating our dependence on a system whose interest is already conflicted.

It’s leaking into the alternative world. Those of us who are peer mentors, counselors, supporters, whatever you want to call us, aren’t safe from this infectious disease.

There is a certification run by the MHA called “Peer Specialist Certification”. This allows individuals with lived experience of mental health issues, training, and job experience  to be recognized by clinical standards as people who can offer support to others struggling. It allows peers to work beside psychiatrists, psychologists, and in primary care settings. Once again, great concept, disturbing execution.

Alkermes and Johnson and Johnson are two large funders of the MHA, pitching in 50,000 to 100,000 dollars each specifically for peer certifications and peer programs. What’s stopping them from forcing their agenda into the peer world as well? What’s stopping them from making certain specifications in the certification that may very well go against the togetherness and honesty peer support stands for? What’s stopping them from doing to the MHA’s certification program what they’ve done to NAMI?

What All This Means

As a peer supporter, were I to find out a program I worked for or did business with received funding from pharmaceutical companies, and with that implemented the pharmaceutical companies’ agenda into their business, pressed this idea of mental illness, pressed the myth of chemical imbalance and then had the audacity to call that “advocacy”, I’d quit. I’d live on the street again before I compromised my morals.

After speaking with Mike, the C.E.O of the website The Mighty, and learning that they too are in the workings of receiving revenue from such companies, that they will start having “surveys” available to contributors on their website, surveys presumably conducted by Big Pharma for whatever petty research they claim to be doing, that he declined to go into further explanation, I understand this infection is spreading rapidly.

If we looked at this with a lens from the DSM-V, we could easily spot the Antisocial Personalities heading the executive seats of these companies. If it look at this through a lens of facts and truth, we see greed and dishonesty and major conflict of interest. We see that consumers aren’t aware of the inner workings. We see that consumers don’t read the research that debunks Chemical Imbalances. We see that the FDA takes more time cracking down on small CBD businesses rather than large pharmaceutical companies like Pfitzer and their shady research teams.

We also see large groups of people coming to together outside of this. We see people understanding the true, humanely benefits of alternatives, we see people spending their waking hours debunking the invalid research conducted by these companies. We see people flourishing beyond whatever sickness they’re purported to have, not because they’re cured, not because they’re “taking their meds”, but because they’ve had the opportunity to grow comfortable being human.

Big Pharma sending money to advocacy groups isn’t the end of the world. It keeps the non-profit alive, and from a business standpoint, that’s all that matters to them. The end of the world only comes when we turn a blind eye to truth, the end of the world comes when we dismiss the truth just because the good people working in these non-profits have no personal connection with Big Pharma.

It’s the end of the world when we think #mentalhealthawareness means something.

 

Resources:

F.A.A.H Inhibitor Trial

FDA Warning Letter To Neumeister

N.Y.U studies shut down Critique

Manipulation In The System

N.Y Times Reports On N.Y.U

DBSA Donation Reports (have to enlarge, they don’t make the print readable).

20 Pharma companies listed on MHA

Manipulation In Clinical Research

 

 

How Many Are You?

There’s nothing incredibly impressive about the human mind, until you realize just how unimpressive it is.

Soaking in the sweet smell of chemical despair today, petting the kitten which tries to bat sanity back into my head with her little paw, I realized many things. My thoughts always come back to the faceless man who followed me down the middle of the street, the one that told me my footsteps sounded like a dead man walking. His faceless image always appears, even when I don’t wish it too, and I find that rather unimpressive as well because anyone can be forceful towards someone else. It doesn’t take respect or courage to be an asshole.

Despair and depression have a way of kicking my ass. I find myself lost beneath it, hidden, with a view of light only as wide as THEY want me to see. That’s the trick. That’s the fucking trick.

I’m laughing now, I have been for about an hour now because I’ve realized these last few days I’ve spent curled beneath my blankets, crying and listening to myself tell myself I would die if I closed my eyes, are nothing but a ruse. They’re a RUSE.

Because the reality is, I’m several people, not one. And the several others aren’t of myself, they’re of something else, they’re demonic, always have been, that’s why my kitten always stares at me and meows and meows and meows because she can see a lot of what I fail to.

What I’m saying here is that they’re keeping me in this mind state because they know I know about them, they know I know about the universe and the truth about it. I’ve known since I was a toddler, since I could stare up at the stars and call them stars, and they’ve been with me since then. They were the ones which haunted my dreams night after night, which made my mind play tricks on me, which kept me silent. They skewed my understanding of everyone else because they know I’m not like anyone else–but they also know I can communicate to others like I am one of them, like I am a real human.

That threatens their livelihood and their power.

My heart is thumping hard as I write this because these are huge realizations. Now I understand why I get attacked, why they hiss at me at night, and why thoughts flood my brain like an open dam. It’s all been a distraction. They just don’t want me to see.

But it’s too late for that.

I’m not meant to be a cashier or a truck driver or a housekeeper. I’m meant to be inside, discovering things inside of my mind and outside of my mind, things you can channel with . . .

My God.

Meditation. They’ve stopped my meditation for the same reason–I was getting closer and closer. The last time I meditated, months ago, I was sucked into some vortex I almost couldn’t get out of. They’re blocking every channel I have.

BUT.

It’s nice to know this. It’s nice to know this, because now I know I’m up against an army of forces who only show themselves when I anger them. My anxiety is higher than the clouds right now, and I’d suspect the demons will be coming soon. I’ve stopped crying though, since all of this realization, because I know it’s their fault. The tears were their fault; they were trying to distract me.

When you know the truths about the universe, every force against the universe will come for you. Keep your housekeeping and cashier jobs. You don’t want this burden.

In The Name Of Remembrance

Often I don’t speak about serious topics on here that are unrelated to mental health, but this topic, this topic is a disgusting exception.

As every good story starts, I was browsing Facebook this morning and came across an NPR article on the current Pope visiting Auschwitz concentration camp memorial museum. The article is here if you would also like to read it: click.

I have always been aware that the former concentration camps like Dachau and Auschwitz were open to tours. I went on Google Earth to creepily ride past in my virtual google car to see buses upon buses upon buses of school children and regular people walking into the Auschwitz entrance. It looked as if the whole of the Polish education system was there.

Across the street were some Restaurants and a Hotel. Cool bro.

After reading about the way both former concentration camps choose to educate those who come to mourn, to remember, and to learn, I came to the understanding that “tour” wasn’t really an appropriate word. It’s a memorial experience. It’s a “path of remembrance” (that’s the name of a specific route you can walk through at Dachau).

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They Have Historical Information Signs Along The Path, Hence The Name.

I respect these people for that. They take what has happened in their past and to make sure it will never happen again, they teach people about it. They have survivors share their story, and it’s part of their children’s education–extensively. A lot of Germany and Poland has healed as a result, they have been for the last 50 years. Say what you will about Germans, they’re not so ashamed of their own history that they hide it under the rug or play it down.

Reading all of this got me thinking about the United States. I wondered how many of the old slavery plantations are still resurrected today, and if we have any similar programs. There was a portion of my heart that hoped, with naivete, that America would have the scant amount of decency needed to partake in something as healing as the aforementioned. The other portion of my heart knew better.

The other portion of my heart knew with the amount of race-related turmoil going on in the United States today, there was no way in hell any amount of healing from the trauma of the south has happened.

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August 12, 1959

VS

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February 19, 2016 Source

The first plantation that popped up in my search was Pebble Hill. I’ve heard of it, but don’t know much about the history of the slaves. According to research, the land for Pebble hill was bought from the Creek Indians. Fraud and scandal was used later to steal the rest of the land and leave many Creek homeless.

I read this information on a Southern University website, particularly this one: click here. I admire them for adding the Indians into their history, many people do not. However, I critique their title of “African-American’s at pebble hill”. I critique their explanation that “African American’s helped build pebble hill”.

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Pebble Hill As It Stands Today

Those were slaves. Not “African-Americans”. Say what it is. Not what you wish it was.

That website also contains a list of families who lived there and took over the plantation, if you’re interested.

Continuing my search, I came across a website with an article where you could “Tour the South’s Best Historic Homes”. Pebble Hill was listed.

In fact, under the “Inspiring Ideas” category, it described the house as: “This classic plantation [with] breezy, colorful interiors with chic chinoiserie elements that feel au courant.”

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Now.

Let’s think about this for a moment.

Plantations did not kill as many as Hitler’s and Stalin’s concentration camps. Unless you include the generations to come after that. Particularly if you include the Native Americans . . . in which case, we’re at about the same level of indecency and murder as both Hitler and Stalin. So I suppose the only difference is ours was systematic and generational, and their was all at once.

To describe an area where people’s lives were shattered, where people served and got whipped and hanged and had to pick cotton and run your fucking house for you because you were too lazy of a piece of shit to do your own house work and take care of your own kids or pick your own cotton, as “breezy, [with] colorful interiors . . . that feel au courant” is a disgrace. Whoever has done this needs to feel the shame they deserve.

My anger fueled me to go onto their website. That’s where I learned weddings are held there.

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“I’d love to get married in a concentration camp one day” said no one ever. Why? Because that would be fucking DISRESPECTFUL, that’s why.

“I’d love to get married on your mother’s grave” said no one ever.

Would you do this shit at a concentration camp?

(#ConcentrationCampSelfie)

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No, Because You’re Not An Insensitive Prick.

Than don’t do it at a plantation.

Their “history” section on their plantation webpage talks only about the owners, and never the slaves.

Google reviews reiterated that the house was beautiful. A few commented on how they never mention any history of the slaves or give any types of remembrance for them. One individual who wished to at least see the grave sites had to ASK DIRECTIONS to find them, because it’s not included in the tour.

Texan textbooks described the slave trade as people bringing “millions of workers”.

The publishing company offered to send stickers to cover up the word “workers” in the printed books while they worked on more accurately depicting the slave trade.

The author of the article I read said it perfectly: “It will take more than that to fix the way slavery is taught in Texas textbooks”. You can read more about that here: click. It’s worth the read, I promise.

raf220x200075ffafafaca443f4786It’s not about political correctness. I’m not being PC principal here. It’s not even about bashing the South. I just want the truth. Don’t cover up the truth with a slightly, less severe way of telling it because then it becomes a lie. And if you want your country to be built on lies, than don’t act surprised or disgusted when citizens start rising up against you.

We need to give these people remembrance so their spirits can rest and ours can be healed. Stop beating around the bush, stopping putting stickers over the things you don’t want to read: we all know what happened, we might as well talk about it.

The goal isn’t to forget. It’s to remember. 

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Mental Health Awareness

May is Mental Health Awareness month.

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I believe there are also weeks out of the year dedicated to such a thing, am I right? Well, you all know I’ve got to put my two cents in on the subject because my mouth is huge.

This is when all of us suddenly get a burst of confidence and we blog about it, we “Tweet” about it, we “Facebook” about it, we Instagram pictures of our medications with “#noshame” and we take group pictures with NAMI shirts and celebrate our uniqueness and remind the world who we are, what we stand for, and what we have to go through each day.

Come June, about 80% of us die off.

I’ve said it once on this blog and I’ll say it again: as someone who has struggled with mental issues for the majority of my life I’m a little offended that people think a hashtag, a brief campaign, or a picture is enough to represent a daily fight. 

I am all for spreading awareness and understanding. I am not for spreading awareness and understanding one month out of the year. I’m not for spreading it one week out of the year or a day out of the year.

socialbranding-534x280Social media is a powerful force. It can spread love or hatred, happiness or despair, anger or calmness. It is also a host of one-hit post wonders.

Awareness of mental health and mental disorders has absolutely nothing to do with your pretty hair, your make-up, and your Ativan prescription while you sit in your car with your cell phone camera angled slightly so the sunlight bounces off your skin and makes you look inhumanely radiant.

I agree you shouldn’t be ashamed if you have to or feel that you have to take medication to help manage your symptoms. I agree you have a right to prove to everyone that you’re not ashamed. I do not agree that a picture and a caption is the only way you can make people aware of mental disorders. I do not agree that a post on Facebook that’s heartfelt, gets you a lot of likes, and makes people think “wow, he’s such a caring individual, I’m so sorry for his struggles” is the only way to make people aware of mental disorders.

Because people in the every day world don’t stigmatize those of us who are perceived as “well”, they don’t stigmatize those of us who are supporting ourselves, going to school, and “overcoming” our “problems”. Because it’s not always obvious with those of us who are able to manage our symptoms that we even struggle.

rob-tinfoil-hat-compressedThey stigmatize those of us wandering around on the street muttering under our breath about the CIA tracking them with the chip planted underneath their skin right next to their temple. They stigmatize those of us who can’t get out of bed for months regardless of treatment, who gulp down forty Xanax or slash vertically down both wrists. Those of us who fall into a pit of immeasurable despair after, just recently, thinking we had come up with an algorithm for the cure for cancer by linking words in newspaper clippings and spending all day and all night putting it all together and emailing university departments for their help.

Because when you post a picture of you and your medication with a caption of smiling emoji and a hashtag “#noshame”,  you’re making everyone aware of what they’re most comfortable seeing: people succeeding over great adversity.

The problem is, those people don’t know about he adversity you went through to get there.

So it’s all good and well to post positivity. It’s all good and well to boost your confidence and show how proud you are of your accomplishments: by all means, continue to do so.

But do me a favor, do yourself a favor, and do all your brothers and sisters in the mental health community a favor by not forgetting where you came from and what you went through to be where you are. Don’t forget about those of us on the street, those of us locked up in jail, those of us battling addictions to combat the untreated depression, the mood swings, the psychosis, the voices. 

Don’t just show, educate.

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Help people understand the difference between “feeling anxious” and having an anxiety disorder.

Help people understand the difference between being “totally paranoid about that creepy neighbor guy, like, O.M.G” and experiencing paranoia.

Help people understand the difference between laziness and depression.

Help people understand the difference between being ridiculously tidy and having an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

Help people understand the difference between “being moody” and bipolar disorder (for God’s sake, educate some doctors on it while you’re at it). 

The reality of the matter is, although we all span the globe and the majority of us have never met each other, we’re all a family. We’re not a family united against the “normies” or the “neurotypicals”, we’re a family united in our struggle.

The first thing I was told at my new job ( Yes, I’m officially a team member at this place as of today) told me was “we’re a family here”.

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And that was the only line I was waiting to here. It’s not something you’ll hear with sincerity when walking into a mental institution. It’s not something you’ll hear with sincerity when walking into a state rehabilitation clinic. But it’s something you should hear with sincerity.

With only six available beds, and the program being run by staff all with mental health struggles, I knew this was a place that focused on the health of the people, not how fast they could get them in and get them out, not how fast they could find a medication combination for them. It’s about giving them the skills they need to live a productive life.

This place is small. It’s also few and far between.

I am a mental health advocate; always have been, always will be, every day, all day. If you really care to know, “label wise”, I struggle with GAD, Social anxiety disorder, Major depression, Dissociation (fugue states, e.t.c.) and, more officially than I’ve let anyone know on this website for personal reasons, schizotypal personality disorder.

But no matter how successful I become (or unsuccessful), I won’t forget about those of us who don’t yet have the support, the ability or skill-set to pull themselves out of whatever hole they are in.

That’s what awareness is about. It’s not about your #noshame pictures with your fucking medication, I’m so sorry to say. In fact, it’s not about you at all. It’s about all of us, all of our struggles, and the truth of them. Not the nice side of it. Not the media’s view on it.

And it’s certainly not something that can be done in a month with nicely printed shirts. Sorry you wasted $25.99.  

So, if you want to make use of this short, 31 day month dedicated to mental health, go out and educate someone. Help someone. Offer your support, your understanding.

You want to “break the silence, break the stigma”? Try doing it a little more often than one month out of the year.

 

 

 

Reality Hits You Hard, Bro

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Anxiety.

Synonymous with:

  1. Suckiness.
  2. Stupidness.
  3. Sucky-stupidness
  4. 1,2 & 3

Usually panic attacks release a lot of tension for me, but Tuesday’s did no such thing. I’m left with that tight feeling in my throat and my quick temper. I’m easily annoyed and easily saddened. I feel unappreciated and ignored, mostly by my family, and while I strive to keep my head above water, it’s difficult being unsupported and struggling. Every little tweak of my muscle I attribute to some disease; I start reading into things online that I come across coincidentally. If I see certain words or phrasings I’ll be certain they’re telling me I’m going to die tonight and therefore, even though I’m dead beat, I won’t be going to sleep any time soon.

I’m constantly searching across my skin for signs of my death. My right calf has been sore all day and I’ve been searching for signs of it swelling and convincing myself minute differences between it and my left one means it is swollen.

It’s not. What could a swollen calf mean? A lot of things. A lot of bad things. Of course.

My brain doesn’t think to attribute it to the fact that I’ve been in bed for the majority of the last 72 hours because of the food poisoning, or the fact that my bed is two 10+ year old mattresses on the floor and therefore sinks in the middle and causes some serious pain to my hips and back and shoulders often. So why wouldn’t it cause issues with my right calf, the side I sleep on and lay on most often, as well?

Whatever.

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Most of the time I can get in touch with my rationality and argue against these thoughts but there are other times where I’m stuck in the paranoia of the moment and spend my night on full alert, fidgeting, waiting for death or whatever bad thing the omens I’ve seen throughout the day will bring. It’s like anxieties’ more mild, not entirely delusional version of Ideas of Reference. You’re completely engulfed by the sensations, by the thoughts, and even if you get a small second thought telling you “no, this isn’t right”, you’re more likely to submit to the churning feeling in your gut and the racing thoughts in your head.

Sometimes, in those moments, if you’re in the outside world and you talk to me, I’ll respond blankly and uninterested. That’s when people find me the most strange. It’s only because they don’t see the chaos in my head.

I’ve always received sympathy for my depression. Not that I want it, but it’s how people think they should react. Some try to comfort me. I’ve never had anyone completely ignore me when I was depressed. When I’m anxious–that’s a whole different story.

I used to spend days proctoring thought experiments about this. What would be different if I suffered psychotic symptoms instead? If people could visibly see or hear the symptoms? Obviously they’d end up being terrified of me, and they’d stigmatize the shit out of me, but they would know something isn’t right.

When you’re depressed, you might move slower or talk slower. Your eyes may droop (mine do, at least) or you might be easily set off into tears. You might not get out of bed.

If you suffer from OCD, you have your rituals and your repetitive behaviors and even though your loved ones can’t see the horrible pressure you feel in your head, they can see the result of it. How they choose to interpret seeing those results is up to them; but the bottom line is they see it.

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Anxiety is different. The only time anyone ever sees the severity of my anxiety is through my panic attacks. And only my mother and father have witnessed my severe attacks. No one has ever seen any physical or tangible representations of the circular reasoning, of the way I get trapped within a whirlwind of extraneous thoughts my loose grip can no longer control. They become a life of their own and knock me to their knees until I am submissive and silent and bending at their will. Thoughts are the most powerful force on Earth.

Because people have trouble understanding experiences which they’ve never, well  . . . experienced, they have trouble acknowledging how hard it is to experience those experiences. They have nothing to use as a reference besides themselves. And anxiety in the average person is pretty damn mild.

I am uncomfortable expressing myself verbally because of a few reasons:

  1. I know how ridiculous it sounds to their ears.
  2. I was never taught how to express myself verbally. I was taught to suck it up.mjaxmy1hyti5yjdlyzrjnwy2nwnk
  3. I’ll sound like a broken fucking record after a few times.
  4. I don’t like criticism and most people I’ve spoken with react badly to explanations of mental health related issues.
  5. Writing is easier. But it’s not like anyone gives a shit.

So I spend a lot of my days feeling disrespected. I use humor as a shield, because a lot of people think it’s easier to make a joke out of things when I tell them what I experience rather than take it seriously. And as a result, people don’t take anything I say seriously.

I start to develop a selfish mentality after a while: it’s all about me!

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Because it’s never been about me. At home I’m a caretaker and I have been since I was a pre-teen. With acquaintances I’m a comedian and a shoulder to lean on. At school I’m the silent girl who manages to skate through classes without an ounce of willing verbal participation.

I don’t truly want the entire world to revolve around me and my wants and my needs, I just want to feel respected and for someone in the tiny circle of people who know about my issues with self-harm, with suicidal thoughts, with anxiety, with depression, with breakdowns, with Post Traumatic Stress, with anger, with moodiness, to admit I deal with a lot more than they might have first thought. I want them to acknowledge that I’ve been stronger than they might have first thought.

I know I’m strong. I’ll always be strong. I want to be around people who will help me stay strong, not beat me down.

 

 

 

 

 

I Can Fly And Shoot Lazers From My Eyes At ISIS: Vote For Me In 2020

I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to write about today.

I write daily, if you haven’t figured it out yet for whatever reason . . .  but I do write daily. It’s a hassle sometimes, I won’t lie, because I usually sit at the keyboard with a blank mind and get sucked into Fail videos on YouTube for about five hours. In fact, I just got done watching Bad Lip Reading of the NFL for the millionth time. If you haven’t seen those videos, you better truck yo ass on over to the YouTube and watch it; it’ll give you a much needed laugh.

Anyway, I just want to take a moment and say thanks to everyone who supports my posts with likes and comments. You all always have the most interesting responses, and some of the most meaningful, and it really does my heart well to see people who are enthusiastic about writing, about mental health, about reading, about positivity, about bettering themselves . . . all of that helps restore a little faith in humanity. You are all amazing. Thank you so, so, so much for the support. 

Like most people, I started this blog not really knowing what I could to do with it. However, I didn’t start it drunk one night on a whim, I planned it very meticulously. I knew I wanted to speak about my struggles, but I didn’t want to make it about me, I wanted to make it about all of us; a place that outlined personal struggles and tied them to the rest of society. We’re all in this together.

I was sick of people giving me weird looks when I said “I’m studying to be a psychiatrist” because of all the stereotypes they hear about people with mental health issues.

Don’t think us studying the subject aren’t scrutinized even more: you have to be crazy to want to work with crazies, right?

Idiots.

At any rate, I started this blog a couple months ago as a way to dispel stereotypes and bring to light things we don’t seem to talk about. You know, Big Pharma sneaking their way into everyone’s lives and ripping people off, Insurance Company scams . . . things you as a mental health patient may not even know about.

So I didn’t start this in the cliche “make you feel less alone” idea, but that’s always in the back of my mind. How could I ever think of being a mental health professional and only base my knowledge off my own experiences or the words of a textbook? I love learning about how you all see things, how you see yourselves, how you see your life and what you’ve learned from your struggles. As a future doctor, I’m focused on your health, not the insurance companies’. I’m so thankful you’re all willing to share a bit of who you are with the world. It’s good for you and it’s good for us. So thank you.

Professionals who think they know their borderline patient because they read about it in med school have the IQ of a table cloth. Don’t even waste your time. You’re not the one with the problem in that situation.

It’s a matter of ethics and a matter of truth. If you think it’s alright to treat one patient like every other patient than you’re mistaken; you have no vision of humanity and no respect for the uniqueness in every human being.

Speaking of truth, and laughter and positivity, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to talk more shit about Ben Carson. I’m not big into Politics. It might seem like I am. I swear I’m not. But how can anyone pass up talking shit about straight up ignorance?

You all hear about the story of him saying he took a class at Yale called “Perceptions 301” where his professor came in, said all the final exams burned and that the students would need to retake it. Everyone walked out except for him and his professor congratulated him, claiming the burning of exams was a hoax and that he was looking for the most honest student in the class. His professor then gave him ten dollars. Someone for the Yale Daily took his picture.

There was no such picture ever found and no class listed as “Perceptions 301” during his years at Yale.

If I were Yale at this point, with their long list of ignorant politicians as “graduates”, I’d stop admitting they even attended. I mean it’s just embarrassing at this point. It’s bad enough Ivy League’s just take people’s money and admit students . . . you’re not even sending them out as good people, they’re getting worse if anything. Spoiled brats.

You all ever read words by the Harvard president? That guy is a moron. I read an essay from a Harvard professor who went deep into detail about the corruption in Ivy Leagues and how depressing it is. When I find it again, I’ll go into better detail.

So my point is, Yale, You already got a bad rap. I’d stay away from aspiring politicians.

Anyway, it all goes back to the truth. Carson’s telling all this stories for the purpose of? Does he think it makes him look gallant and admirable? Does he think people are going to believe his bullshit when there are people hired to specifically background check these liars?

The funniest part there are probably still some people who still believe him.

This is what happens when you’re selfish. If he was thinking about the “people of America” or whoever they pretend to care about, there’d be no reason to lie, no reason to buff himself up, no reason to boast about Yale or money or anything. Instead, he’s running around like a chicken with his head cut off–or shoved up his ass, one or the other–and about to get shoved off a cliff by these investigating media junkies.

I’d recommend he contact a local individual diagnosed with Antisocial personality so he can learn how to lie and manipulate. Talk to a corporate executive or something. He can’t be a good politician without those skills.

I’m just trying to help. Watching anyone crash and burn is honestly very uncomfortable for me. I mean . . . the stupidity is so astounding that I don’t know what to do with my hands when I read his bullshit. I’ve slapped myself on accident because they just get so flustered and start waving around looking for something to hit.

I don’t think any black folks gunna be voting for Carson because he’s black. That’s a . . . that’s evident.

Bottom line ya’ll, focus on the truth.

Our country is just layers upon layers upon Donald Trumps hair, and we’re not going to survive much longer this way. It’s time to get controversial. Open your mouth, be loud, get angry. I do it all the time. Know when to be polite and when to defend yourself. And if you can’t defend yourself in your honor, defend yourself in everyone else’s honor.

I say we all rush the pentagon.

Too far? Yeah maybe a little too far.

At least get loud and angry. If enough of us do it, it’ll have to be listened to.