Feelin' Fucked Up? Join the Club!
I’m not big on summing someone up. Don’t know what I mean? Look around, listen, you’ll hear it everywhere, every day. Drug addict. Soccer mom. Genius. Cosplay enthusiast. Potential candidate for sterilization to prevent spreading stupid. We take these little boxes in our brains and we file fellow humans in them because it makes us feel safe and secure.
But we’re not safe and, if you’ve ever opened a newspaper or read any recent studies, we’re definitely not secure.
The older I get the more I’ve come to recognize that we file people under the absolute worst things about them. For example, if you’re introduced to someone who spent time in prison, chances are that’s the label on their box. Sure, you may be able to see them outside of that small detail, but it’s probably still a part of the pie when you’re sharing details about them yourself. “This is Joe, he loves puppies, picking wild blackberries, and he served a nickel for armed robbery so hide ya kids, hide ya husband…” You get the picture.
We love labels. LOVE them! And, at the same time, they’re killing us aren’t they?
My generation is struggling. Depression is an epidemic. We’re shooting each other, driving cars into crowds, fighting about fences and walls and throwing kids in cages to try to get our way. We’re divorcing faster, sinking deeper in debt, and we’re sucking back opioids at such a colossal rate that even Tony Montana is telling us to calm the fuck down.
What’s wrong with us? Maybe it’s that we’re always pointing at what’s wrong with everyone else.
With the help of social media, we’ve managed to connect billions (BILLIONS!) of humans all across the globe. And in spite of the complexity of each individual’s existence, we’ve managed to sort and label ourselves so precisely that it’s easier than ever to gang up on anyone who doesn’t belong to our group. Democrat, republican, gay, straight, whatever it is, we’re surrounded by it and when someone steps out of line we’re here with virtual pitchforks ready to take your shit down!
Even worse, we play the comparison game. "If so and so has this, I need to have that.” Facebook feeds are filled with fake smiles, exaggerated wealth, and such a toxic level of pretend positivity that it feels impossible to understand each other when we go through anything that is even the least bit difficult. If you’re reading this, I probably don’t have to tell you that for anyone with a mental illness, this kind of culture is not only devastating, it’s deadly.
To this, I say “no.” That’s all, just “no.” I refuse. I don’t want to play. You can take your toxic tetherball and leave this playground right now!
We, my friends, are complex creatures. There’s no two bones about it! I, myself, am a complicated collection of all kinds of contradictions. I live with MDD, General Anxiety Disorder, and Panic Disorder, and yet I’m a happy, somewhat healthy, mildly confident woman. When people hear that I have depression or that I struggle with anxiety, they automatically assume I’m broken, unstable, a sad stuffed donkey with a tail nailed to my ass.
This blog is a love letter, a passionate poem, dedicated to all of the complexity within who we are. Living with illness is a challenge, a huge one, but we don’t have to do it alone. Sometimes we’ll talk fun things like art and beauty and random bits of hilarity that will hopefully get ya giggling. Other times we’ll go deeper, dirtier, and talk about the darker side of our humanness. This blog is all about getting to know ourselves a little bit better and finding ways to cope with who and what we are.
Maybe you’ll discover that you aren’t so fucked up after all. Maybe you’ll learn that you’re horribly human… just like the rest of us.