Over the weekend terrible things happened. And many people I know were devastated and angered. And they wondered where they would find the energy to fight darkness. I know I did. My life is hard. I am a single mom to two kids dealing with their own special needs. I am self-employed. I am a full time student. I struggle with depression and anxiety and numerous nebulous physical symptoms that leave me tired before I even begin to deal with my immediate responsibilities, let alone fighting injustice. My friends and I talked about this as we drove down to the vigil here Sunday night (“I’ll go if you go.” “Okay I’ll go if there’s coffee”). We all agree that we don’t have to attend every single event, we don’t have to do All the Things Every Time. But we also agree that it hurts not to. We are not sure how to balance that. t what point is it legitimate to not do An Important Thing, and at what point should we try to rally for one more rally?

I don’t have the answers.

But a funny thing happened at the vigil. It’s almost stupid it’s so blatantly obvious, but I swear I am not making this up.

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We are standing there lifting our candles and singing “This little light of mine/I’m gonna let it shine” and my candle starts to go out. Just mine. Some small breeze wound through the crowd and hit my flame, but not the flames around mine. So I brought my little light down and sheltered it until it was strong again, and until the little breeze went away. When I lifted it up, it shone as strongly as those nearby. The Universe was reminding me how community works.

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The estimation was that more than 1,000 people attended this vigil. Not every one held a flame, and sometimes our flames needed tending to, or went out entirely and needed to be refueled by a generous neighbor. But look at the crowd. Look at all those lights. They are working together and it is not obvious whose flame isn’t lit at this moment because, as a community, we are strong.

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I still don’t know the answers. I don’t know where the line is between when I’m legitimately too tired and when I can push myself a little farther. I’m sure I’ll have to reassess every time. And I’m sure I’ll make mistakes sometimes, either pushing myself too far or not taking my turn when I can. But so long as we just do our best – our honest best – the community has got our backs.

Looking for ways to contribute? These links have some ideas.

5 Valuable ways to use your white privilege to fight anti-black racism

Women’s March: How to get involved

Get involved in the fight for black lives

How to fight white supremacy after Charlottesville

Filed in Philosophy, Political, Social Justice

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Drainage

altar

When my mom died and I had to clean up her house, her kitchen sink was clogged. We didn’t get to it right away because, frankly, a sink full of gross water was not a priority in that house. It took a few weeks to drain fully.

Later, as I was sorting through all her old papers, I came across a move out list from when we moved in 1989. This was the house we lived in when she fell apart. It was the worst of all her toxic waste (literally) and her hoarding. She fucked that place up. Once the toilet was broken for I don’t know how long. But we couldn’t call a plumber because of the state of the house. In the move out papers I found that she’d clogged that kitchen sink, too. And then I remembered her telling me that an old landlord of her in the 70’s had charged her for a broken garbage disposal when she moved out.

The woman had serious problems with draining, with letting shit GO. And this is metaphorical as well as literal. She was a hoarder with clogged sinks and grudges that were 30 years old. I feel like the clogged sinks were a desperate cry from the Universe to JUST LET IT GO, WOMAN.

When we first came to view this house, I could tell the woman who owned it at the time was a hoarder. She was clean, but her hallway shower was storage and that’s never a good sign in my experience. I don’t know how I find all the hoarders in the world, but I do, somehow.

Anyway, she put these stupid metal hair catchers in the bathroom sinks and they are forever getting clogged. She couldn’t let things drain, either.

I haven’t done anything about them in almost four years for a few reasons including not really knowing what to do (cause they were STUCK in there), being super busy in other, more important, areas, and, simply, being lazy tired. But today I yanked them out with jewelry tools because that is how I roll and I replaced them with cute little plastic cups from Daiso. I am so ready to let shit drain now. DRAIN AWAY, SHIT. BEGONE. (Certified witchy spell right there.)

I pulled a random goddess card for my altar last night and it was Ostara. Fertility. At first I almost burned it and ran away BECAUSE THIS UTERUS IS CLOSED FOR BUSINESS OKAY (despite the fact that it would have to be the son of god or some shit bc the vagina isn’t exactly a party zone either right now) but then I read the card and it can also apply to the fertility of art, creativity. I read that as: the goddess who motivates you. So, yes, I am choosing to tap into Ostara’s energy of motivation and creativity. I did a deep cleaning of the living room yesterday, pulling all the furniture out and doing battle with the sentient dust bunnies who have been trying to set up civilizations back there. I feel so much clearer in my head without al that dust. I feel so much lighter in my core now that my drains drain. Household cleaning is the same as soul-cleaning and I too often let it go because it feels too overwhelming, despite the fact that I know damn well how much better I’ll feel once I’ve just sucked it up and done it already.

These past few months have been filled with a lot – a lot – of psychological work, much of which has been the Universe’s way of forcing me to do the work of psychologically untangling myself from my mother. I spend so much time and energy worrying about whether I’m turning into her and apparently the Universe has decided it’s time to stop that bullshit and figure it out once and for all. So I’ve been tested by being put in triggering situations that mirror my own traumas and I’ve worked it out each time. When I used to knit more often, sometimes I’d have to untangle yarn. Sometimes I’d have to untangle a whole skein of yarn. I’d declare THE YARN NEVER WINS and it never did. I untangled it every time (except one time, but that was some of that fancy yarn with fringy stuff and so that doesn’t count). That’s what this felt like. I’d struggle with it, and then suddenly, I’d find the key knot and I’d feel it loosen and come undone. And just like that I was me and she was she. And – surprise! – turns out I’m not my mom.

It’s fitting that I’d finally get around to making my drains drain after all that. It was like closure on this chapter of the psyche work I’ve done recently (KNOCK WOOD, UNIVERSE, PLEASE NO MORE PSYCHE WORK FOR AWHILE OKAY). I untangled myself from the shit, and now I’m washing the shit away. Furthermore, I’ve worked to redo my drains in such a way that they won’t clog again. The little cups I’ve got in them are easier to clean, and semi-disposable. In the mean time I’m looking for a more permanent solution, but the point is that things are flowing away again. Just as they should be.

Filed in Children of Hoarders, Delving into the Psyche, I Own a Home. WTF?, Witchy

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I am Pagan and I call myself a witch, but I don’t do spells. Not the usual spells Wiccans do, anyway, with an athame or crystals or candles. I’m simply not called to them in any way. I think I’m a little too Atheist for them to speak to me. I have a need to be grounded in a spirituality which is very tangible.

But last night I took sharpies and poster board and did magick with them. I sat with my friend Sofia and made all these signs. I think this is magick. When you create some kind of art, any kind, even if it’s just markers and poster board, you’re constantly thinking about what you are doing. This is a prayer. Knitting a baby blanket is like a prayer for that baby. It is mind work. It is magick. It is spellwork.

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And then we took those signs and joined I-don’t-even-know-how-many other people on the streets of San Diego to show the world that we exist, that we are taking back our power, that we are here and not going anywhere. And we were answering the call of marchers on the other side of this country, this continent. And they were answered by marchers in countries around the world, on every continent, even Antarctica.

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This is spellwork, this is magick, this is a prayer that we all, of every religion and culture, can do together. We raise our voices together and send messages of hope and power together. Of course it’s magickal; of course it’s prayer.

But it won’t fix anything, said my inner voice. It’s not enough.

Of course not. Prayer is not the world’s work. It’s the spirit’s work. As Bethany says, prayer doesn’t change things. Prayer changes the pray-er. We still have to make the phone calls. We still have to vote. We still have to be aware and educate ourselves. We still have to stay conscious.

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But I came home today and, after napping for two solid hours, I watched a White House video and read some news stories without having to scroll past them before I could allow that horror, our new reality, to sink in. This sounds simple enough, but I’ve not been able to do it for weeks now. My mind’s eye is purposely not making eye contact with the concept of this new president, of his inauguration.

So that’s what the spell did: it gave me renewed strength. Where before I was too weak to do the work of the world that needs to be done, when surrounded by my sisters and brothers in that March today, and throughout the world, I was recharged. The spirit’s work lifts a person up to get the world’s work done.

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This is spellwork. This is magick. This is prayer.

Filed in Delving into the Psyche, Political, Social Justice, Spirituality

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Word of the Year: Nourish

nourish

Oh my. It’s been more than two years since I last wrote here. That’s a record! Life has been overwhelming. There was a time when I was a stay at home, homeschooling mom who enjoyed cooking nourishing foods from scratch and finding ways to make it all work out even though our income was quite low. And then I became a single homeschooling mom and I still enjoyed cooking and making it all work on a meager income. And then my income became frightening small and I went back to school so now I am a full-time college student raising two kids who are both in school now on very little money and let me tell you that the current me has no time nor energy nor money to make nourishing foods from scratch these days. I’ve never been rich – far from it – but even then I was quite privileged compared to my life now.

I wish I could tell you here that I love it and that I wouldn’t change a thing, but that’s not quite true. As it happens, I definitely would not change anything, but only because the way my life is right now, is just the way it has to be right now. I’m finally finishing college and my kids are in schools that suit them well. There isn’t any room to change. I have no regrets in the life I have made for myself right now, but I cannot pretend it’s easy. These last six years of growth have had a toll on me and I am exhausted.

Don’t misunderstand – my life is not lacking in joy. My kids are growing up into incredible people that I am so proud to know and we have a lot of fun together. I am loving every minute of being at university and the fact that my responsibility right now is to read literature and discuss it and analyze it feels so luxurious and delicious that I have to pinch myself regularly to be sure I’m not dreaming. I somehow wound up with the two best cats I could dream of – they are just the perfect mix of quirky and not too troublesome. My apartment, while not my favorite location, is growing more and more homeish and lovely inside as I continue to, slowly, fix it up. There is a lot of joy in my life.

But I am tried. I am so tired.

And it’s made me get too far from my better habits. Where I used to eat whole foods cooked in wholesome ingredients, now I eat at taco shops way too often. Where I used to be regularly connected to my spirituality, now I find myself too busy to focus. Where I used to have time for art, now I find myself struggling to meet the minimums of all my to do lists. Where I used to feel good, now I feel terrible.

So this year I want to focus on the word nourish again.

I love the word nourish. I love the way it sounds and the way it feels to say. I love that it means more than just “healthy” – it means to feed yourself making holistic health the goal. And I don’t mean just food. You can nourish yourself with exercise, too. But also with kindness and better thinking. And sometimes with a break from everything healthy. The psyche is just as important to nourish as the physical body. Sometimes, let’s be honest, trashy TV is exactly what you need at the end of a long and difficult day. The key is to do it mindfully.

So I’ve made this little doodle. I plan to print it out in various sizes and post it in places in my life that will help me remember that nourishing me is the goal. I’ll put one on the fridge for obvious reasons, but also on my bathroom mirror to help me remember to nourish my health by flossing every night. One on my bedside table to remind me to nourish myself by sleeping well. I’ll make one my lock screen on my phone to remind me to use it in ways that nourish me rather than as a means of escape or mindlessly procrastinate (notice the use of the word “mindless” there, because surely some procrastination is nourishing). I’ve made this doodle in black and white so that, during the year when I inevitably fall into old patterns, I can color it up or decorate it in different ways to make it new and obvious again. Art is meditation is prayer. And new things in the environment remind me to refocus. Win-win!

My life is still overwhelming and it will be for the foreseeable future. I can’t simply decide things like “no more eating out!” when, quite frankly, that will be an unreasonable goal for me at times. Instead I want to relearn to take a moment to focus on the word nourish and decide whether eating out is the most nourishing thing for me at that moment. Maybe it is at that moment. The goal is simply to stop acting mindlessly and to start connecting with my whole self on a regular basis. Remembering to nourish me means to remember to nourish all of me.

Do you have a word for the year?

Filed in Delving into the Psyche, New Year New Me, Philosophy, The Zebra

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OH HAI

I don’t think I’ve gone this long without blogging in a long time. But here’s what’s going on:

~I am taking two classes at school – Spanish and creative writing.
~I am homeschooling my son during the day (this is going quite well these days) and I am staying on top of my daughter’s homework at night.
~I am pretty much never cleaning the bathrooms. So. Like. Don’t come over.
~I am taking Prozac daily and I think it’s starting to make a difference.
~I had like 100 doctor appointments recently including an ultrasound of my heart and the opportunity to wear a monitor for a week, and then another appointment where people touched my eyeballs. No sir, I did not like that.
~That same week my son had two teeth pulled. Turns out he is a happy drunk. He said things like, “I LOVE the dentist,” and when the hygienist told him he was doing wonderfully, he replied emphatically, “No YOU’RE DOING WONDERFUL.” This from my son who has such severe sensory issues that he cannot even tolerate a teeth cleaning. It was hilarious and, frankly, a major relief.
~The kitten (you know, the fourteen pound 19 month old cat we call a kitten?) is just a general mess right now. She’s limping for some reason that is probably (hopefully) just an injury, and she’s barfing for some reason that is probably (hopefully) just a stubborn hairball. But it’s so very stressful and she’s so very sad and I just miss when she used to feel well enough to annoy me by climbing on the table and eating our food and stuff. *sigh*
~One day they shut down the building my Spanish class is in because ebola, but it turned out to be a total lie from a student making excuses for absences. But that was, you know, a really fun day. Who makes excuses like ebola?? I mean, really??
~It’s never going to be colder than 80 degrees again and I just cannot.
~My daughter has a terrible head cold and I just know it’s coming for me. It’s like a horror movie where you know you’re the next to get murdered except way worse because you have to live through it.

I feel like I’m forgetting some stuff, but that’s the general idea anyway. And that’s why I’m not here. I have a lot of things I want to say and then at the end of the day I have zero energy to say them. It’s frustrating, but I guess it is what it is right now. And that is okay. Smiley emoticon.

Filed in Uncategorized

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Depression is an Abuser

Here’s a novel idea: Maybe I’m not actually a terrible person who’s basically a lazy sinner?

No, but really though. This is something that, at 36, I am just now digging out of the muck of my psyche. In fact, this is such a recent and active mental archeological site that the use of the word “sinner” up there surprised me and then led to a WHOLE BUNCH MORE ARTIFACTS. Disclaimer for those new to this blog: there is a lot that is beautiful about Christianity, and certainly a lot of Christians actually act as Jesus would have, but the churches I grew up in were more focused on control and hate than on the love they pretended to preach. And, as it turns out, I just found a new layer of pain from having grown up with the belief system that if I wasn’t perfect I was sinful (full of sin, apart from God, alike to darkness, bad).

But backing up a few months. Sometime last winter my hands were doing the thing they do sometimes where they go numb or tingly or tingly-numb. I have been told this is stress. And lord knows it could be. But it also seems entirely unrelated to anything. It happens on its own schedule, independent of anxiety attacks. I don’t know. But I hate it. So every so often I’ll take a moment to re-Google it, in case I am missing something. And this time I fell down the autoimmune disease rabbit hole and, oh my goodness do I have a lot of symptoms. Throughout my adult life, at one time or many, I’ve had sudden exhaustion, weight gain or inability to lose, hair loss, and on and on and on and seriously on. And a lightbulb went off: mayyyyyybe when I get suddenly too tired to do something, it’s not just that I am a lazy sinner who’s just the absolute worst – maybe there is a real reason for it?

And of course, the thing is that there IS a real reason for it. I’m not feeling terrible just cause I think it’s super fun. And, regardless of what the spiritual leaders of my youth would say, there actually isn’t any such thing as sin.

And then just last week I read this (from this post).

Until I started taking my antidepressants, though, I didn’t actually know that I was depressed. I thought the dark staticky corners were part of who I was. It was the same way I felt before I put on my first pair of glasses at age 14 and suddenly realized that trees weren’t green blobs but intricate filigrees of thousands of individual leaves; I hadn’t known, before, that I couldn’t see the leaves, because I didn’t realize that seeing leaves was a possibility at all. And it wasn’t until I started using tools to counterbalance my depression that I even realized there was depression there to need counterbalancing. I had no idea that not everyone felt the gravitational pull of nothingness, the ongoing, slow-as-molasses feeling of melting down into a lump of clay. I had no way of knowing that what I thought were just my ingrained bad habits… weren’t actually my habits at all. They were the habits of depression, which whoa, holy shit, it turns out I had a raging case of.

I read that and started bawling. The bolded bits clearly came out of my own heart.

At the beginning of the summer I had that, for lack of a less cheesy term, breakthrough that helped me so much. And I felt pretty much instantly better. And at the time I wondered if that wasn’t just the high of a release after having been trapped in my own head for too long – and it turns out that, yes, that probably is exactly what it was. I had a terrible week the week that Robin Williams died and all that terrible shit in Ferguson was happening, and I haven’t really felt consistently good since.

But there is still a difference. Because things are clearer now. I can see what I am dealing with (depression) and I know that it lies, and I know that it’s real, and I know that it isn’t me. I may not feel good, but I am working to change my inner dialogue so that it reflects the truths. Instead of, “Ugh. I am so lazy today and can’t get anything done!” I say, “Wow. Depression is strong today. That’s okay. Tomorrow might be better. If not tomorrow, certainly one day in the near future. Depression comes and it always goes.”

For the record, I am also working to find meds (or something) but for reasons I won’t go into right now, that’s currently at a standstill, and anyhow, hasn’t been a simple process for me this year.

And then, this week, I started noticing that the bad thoughts were sinking back in. The abusive ones. (I nearly wrote self-abusive, but it’s not me doing the abusing and I will no longer blame the victim.) But I could see them for what they are. Nearly, anyway. It was like trying to spot ghosts in the mist – I knew they were there and I could almost make them out clearly. But it didn’t matter. I didn’t need to be able to take a clear photo, I just needed to know they were there so I could work to stop them and to change my internal dialogue. To take back my power.

Late last year I wrote that I am so sick of writing about depression. And then shortly after that, I wrote about how everything was good again and depression was totes gone forever and ever. That has been the story of my entire adult life. Depression -> having a good day and feeling like Depression was gone -> being depressed and being embarrassed -> overly hopeful that the depression was gone for good this time for reals. And feeling like I let everyone down if I was, in fact, still depressed (oh look! Another new artifact!).

Aw, how dearly innocent I was 11 months ago. It’s embarrassingly hilarious that I didn’t see what was so obvious.

I think I see now that I’ve just always been depressed. It’s hard to see for a lot of reasons. Partly because it looks so much different than my mom’s did. Partly because it doesn’t let me see it (it lies, remember? it’s an abuser, so it puts the blame on me). But also partly because it’s not really that bad. I allowed it to let me believe that I didn’t suffer from it enough so I didn’t really have the right to be gentle with me.

In fact, yes, let’s take a look at some of the more subtle signs of abuse (from this list), here are the things my depression did to me:

#2 Incessant lectures. Your partner constantly tells you how you’re so flawed and how you still need to improve in so many ways.
#3 Painful comparisons. Your partner constantly compares you, either with your more prettier or successful friends, and tells you how much better than you they are. (Also comparing me to those who are “more depressed”.)
#5 You get blamed for no fault.
#7 Your self esteem is crippled. Your partner constantly tells you how bad or worthless you are.
#10 The humiliation.
#11 Big demands.
They set unreasonable expectations and make big demands from you.
#19 Emotional memories. Your partner constantly reminds you of all the times you’ve screwed up each time there’s an argument or a discussion.
#20 Your achievements don’t matter. Your partner glorifies even the smallest of their achievements and proudly brags about it. But on the other hand, no matter what you achieve or do, your partner always mocks your achievements and makes you feel silly for celebrating it.
#21 Denial. Even when you point out their emotionally abusive ways, your partner doesn’t accept their emotionally abusive ways as a flaw. Instead, they convince themselves and try to convince you that they’re doing all this only to help you become a better person and stand on your own feet.

I don’t know what the future holds. I know it will hold a lot of ups and downs. I know that depression will always be a part of my story and a part of who I am. I hope that I will continue to be able to make the distinction between it and me, but I also know that abusers are crafty and that I might not sometimes. I believe that the more I dig and the more artifacts I discover, the more I will be able to separate myself from the depression, even if the depression is here to stay. So, even though I feel like crap today and told Facebook that I was having a hard time humaning and was, instead, turning into blankets, I feel so much clearer than I did last year. And I’m holding on to that feeling.

Filed in Depression/Anxiety

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Just so you know... This exists now.

The past few weeks I’ve been exhausted. Like. EX.HAUST.ED. Like where I feel like I’m wearing a suit of weights and I cannot make it through the day without a nap. I have always had moments or days like this but never for a stretch this long. I have various other health concerns being checked out so I figured I’d have to bring this up to my doctor, too, and hope to god it’s not something deadly (mild hypochondria mayyyybe).

But then.

Earlier this week, I ran out of this super delicious iced coffee Starbucks sells in grocery stores now so I did my old standby of making an iced coffee out of a packet of Via. I felt great all day. I was so relieved to think the exhaustion might finally be clearing up. I even had the energy to run to the store to buy more iced coffee.

You know what’s coming right?

THIS STARBUCKS ICED COFFEE DOES NOT WORK. I REPEAT: THIS STARBUCKS ICED COFFEE DOES NOT WORK.

It doesn’t say it’s caffeine-free, but IT CLEARLY IS.

THIS STARBUCKS ICED COFFEE IS A DIRTY, DIRTY LIE.

I Googled but no one else online seems to be talking about this very serious problem. Of course, that could be because no one online seems to be talking about this coffee at all?

IDK WTF you did here, Starbucks, but I, for one, am personally hurt and I’ve lost some trust.

My lovely readers, spare yourself weeks worth of health-related anxiety and don’t buy this coffee even though it’s got a warm and rich, slightly nutty flavor. Sigh. What a loss.

Filed in Just Life, Ranting and Raving

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compassion

So last week was terrible.

I kept wanting to write about the Ferguson shit, but I couldn’t find any words because I was so sad about the Robin Williams shit.

Things I found myself arguing about on Facebook:
~Whether suicide is selfish or cowardly.
~Whether Robin Williams “just didn’t try hard enough” to overcome depression.
~Whether white privilege exists or not.

And the thing is that I don’t really understand why any of these are arguments at all. Because people who struggle with depression have SAID WITH THEIR MOUTHS that you can’t just decide to be happy and then *poof* the depression goes away. So why are you still arguing about who tried harder? (Watch out, I feel some bad words coming on.) And, do you know how hard it must be to get to a place where you suddenly decide to not live anymore? Millions of years of evolution and your entire biology will do absolutely anything – including cutting off your own arm in certain cases – just to not die. So how can people still say it’s a selfish or cowardly thing knowing what desperation must have been present? (No, really, here comes the cussing.) And the white privilege thing is really pretty fucking clear. (THERE IT IS.) Even before we knew that Michael Brown had, in actual fact, been shot no less than six times from a distance, there was Eric Garner and two others.

Super embarrassing to admit: When I was an ignorant teenager being raised by a woman who later in her life would subscribe to multiple Bill O’Riley email lists I didn’t get the need for Affirmative Action. After all, my education taught me that Rosa Parks and Dr. King fixed the racism problem and now we all lived in a happy world where we could totally share the drinking fountains. (I had similar ignorant ideas about feminism. I KNOW.) But, honestly, how the hell would I ever have known that racism was still alive and well? I never had to live it.

So here is the big secret about how I learned about white privilege and feminism and depression:

I FUCKING LISTENED TO PEOPLE WHEN THEY TALKED.

It turns out – and this may shock you – people tend to share their feelings and thoughts and experiences. Sometimes they do this when asked, and sometimes they choose to start the conversation. But you have, to paraphrase Mark Twain, twice as many ears as you do mouths. SO FUCKING USE THEM OKAY.

There is no fucking way this earth is ever going to get better, there is no fucking way humans will ever stop being terrible unless we have fucking compassion. You already have everything you can possibly need to make the world better, you have the ability to fucking change shit, and all you have to do is fucking LISTEN TO PEOPLE WHEN THEY TELL YOU THINGS.

If someone you know says you are struggling with depression, you DON’T say, “Well, try harder!” Or “Have you tried being happy instead?” That shit shuts down the conversation and alienates people which, as it turns out, doesn’t really help depression. Weird, right? Instead try something like, “How can I help you?” And “I love you so much and you mean so much to me.”

This listening trick can work in literally every aspect of your life. Know someone who’s overweight? Listen to their feelings and experiences and help to end fat phobia! Know someone who’s trans? Listen to their feelings and experiences and help to end trans phobia! Know someone who’s a different religion than you are? Listen to their thoughts and experiences and help to bridge the massive gaps we have in religious and culture differences. Just shut up and listen! It’s amazing! It’s free! It’s revolutionary!

The word compassion just keeps coming up for me this week. Everything has been about people lacking compassion for other people. Compassion. Compassion. Compassion. Fucking focus on that shit right now okay? It will fix everything. Not right away, of course, because there are a shitload of other steps that need to be taken first, but fucking COMPASSION IS THE FIRST FUCKING STEP AND IT IS VITAL TO FUCKING EVERY SITUATION EVER.

Here are some good articles about the Ferguson shit and white privilege. Fucking listen, okay?

Explaining White Privilege to a Broke White Person.

Explaining white privilege with funny memes so you don’t have to word too much.

America is not for Black People (I kept being very confused about how people would show pictures of tanks in America with the caption that “this is not America” because, actually, it IS America. I mean. Very clearly it is. You mean that you don’t want it to be – which is also kinda shitty because what that’s really saying is “keep your mega violence in the Middle East so we can pretend MURRICA is totally radical, okay?”)

Things to Stop Being Distracted By When A Black Person Gets Murdered by Police (I was somewhat heartened when I saw these things being discussed more and more as the week went on. Some of you are listening. Go, you!)

Some people have suggested that we stop calling it “white privilege” because, I assume, it scares white people and makes them think they have to feel guilty for being born white. I mean. Whatever. I guess. I don’t really care if you call it something else, but I do think that white people should STFU, stop being whiny babies, and just take a moment to (say it with me!) LISTEN and understand what the phrase actually means. It’s really got nothing to do with YOU and everything to do with the SYSTEM. Which even our history books do not deny was built by white people. Here’s an article that puts it much more politely.

Stuff you can do to help:

Ten Things White People Can Do About Ferguson Besides Tweet

In addition to the link just above, if you need to actively do something, here’s a Tumblr post with some ideas.

AND THIS. This is a petition to the White House (which they have to look at since it’s reached the needed number of signatures) to have cameras worn by all law enforcement.

And listen. Just fucking listen. Have compassion and just fucking listen.

Filed in Ranting and Raving, Social Justice

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I am so, so sad today.

Logo

I am rarely hit so hard by celebrity deaths, but losing Robin Williams was, as someone on Facebook said, a punch in the childhood. His suicide has renewed the cultural discussion on depression and that is a good thing – so long as people listen with compassion to those who have experience in this area. The minute you start throwing out words like “coward” or “selfish” or saying that he just wasn’t as strong as everyone else the conversation is halted. From that point on, no one listens anymore and the words of those who really understand are minimized or disqualified. And that makes me angry.

I recently wrote about how I am coming out of a bad place. A place where I wholly believed I’d seen the only happy days of my life and I’d never be really happy again. It was a bad place. And I wasn’t even close to suicide. I can’t even imagine the level of despair that a person must have to get to to reach that place.

Here’s the thing: depression lies. I wasn’t suicidal and I still couldn’t see the truth. If someone had told me that good days would come back, I would not have been able to even HEAR them over the depression screaming at me about how terrible everything would always be. I was so fucked that I didn’t even realize until I came out of it, that those were conscious thoughts I was having. I mean. I might have even verbalized those thoughts, but it didn’t make me aware of them. Depression is like that person that tries to pick fights in your family and they isolate you and tell you what everyone else is saying but don’t let you actually speak to those people and clarify things yourself – except that it’s keeping your own mind and soul from you. It’s like those estranged parents I always heard about growing up who would abduct their own children and say, “Mommy didn’t want you anymore” often enough until the child finally believed it. Except that it’s your own brain telling you that your heart left forever.

And I wasn’t even close to suicide.

I don’t know what to say, guys. If your ears aren’t open and listening to your fellow humans when they need you, if your heart isn’t open with compassion… then you’re the real problem here. End of story.

FYI: Since it is sometimes hard or impossible for people to bring up the subject of their own suicidal thoughts here is a list of warning signs. Talk to your loved ones if needed. And you know what? It’s gonna be fucking HARD. And it’s gonna feel shitty. But if they know you’ve got their back no matter what, maybe you can save a life.

And if you are struggling with depression and think of suicide as an option, please know that you are valued and needed and that we – I – want you here on this Earth.

I don’t know if it’s the sad news I can’t tear myself away from, or if it’s the fact that it’s so hot again this week that I don’t want to cook or move (especially because not doing basic daily things can be a trigger for me), but today I am having a hard time remembering that tomorrow I might actually feel great. Today the depression is louder than my logic. So I am going to do some things for me:

1. Tell you guys how I am feeling.
2. Stop listening to the news about Robin Williams for now, even if it means staying off the internet.
3. Be extra nice to me today even if all I can do is breathe.

I hope that, if you are having a hard time right now, you join me in doing some things for you. Knowing you’re out there will help me, maybe I can help you.

Filed in Depression/Anxiety

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Um. Hi.

So I had that major breakthrough moment almost a month ago. And, while there is still some depression, and varying amounts of anxiety, and while I’m looking into meds to treat all that, I am still feeling worlds better. It’s profound how terrible I felt. I wholly believed that I’d never have a good year again and that everything would always be terrible for the rest of my life. All that shit has been lifted and I can think more clearly and see positive possibilities on the horizon after all. Thank god.

But I haven’t been writing here.

Because I’ve mostly been playing video games.

And video games are weird, you know. Cause, like, Hermione will be trying to save Harry’s life during that quidditch match where Quirrell was trying to, you know, kill him, but first Hermione’s got to stop and put up decorations along the way.

I feel like I should make some sort of joke about her priorities here. But I feel like that’s already been done.

(I AM HILARIOUS, YOU GUYS.)

And then I’ve been playing the Sims. Because I heard someone say it, and someone else said “Lost” and naturally my first thought was I SHALL GIVE SAWYER AND JULIET THE HAPPY LIFE TOGETHER THAT THEY DESERVED. Except then Sawyer drove somewhere in his car and walked home and I looked EVERYWHERE for that damn car and could NOT figure out where he parked it. Several Sim-years later I found the car. In his pocket. I mean. I know Sims have a really hard time, say, using the bathroom if there is, for instance, a plate on the floor in the way. But I do believe that forgetting you put your car in your pocket is a new low.

It helps me feel better about my problems. I mean. There’s still a ton of shit going on that I have to somehow deal with, but at least I don’t accidentally leave my car in my pocket.

Filed in Depression/Anxiety, Geek

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