Life’s Gonna Suck When You Grow Up (It Sucks Pretty Bad Right Now)

I stopped taking my meds a week and a half ago. Why? Because I ran out because I haven’t seen my psych in 6 months because making appointments and being an adult is hard. Luckily, I was able to call and make an appointment for this week, so I’ll have my meds again, but being “off” of them again is…weird.

I’m rapid cycling through hypomania and depressive phases – constantly on the verge of weeping and yet moving through life so fast that I can’t control what I do. I’ve been sleeping less and feeling fine about it, except for the fact that every day I want to cry all the time. I’ve spent so much money that I technically have, but shouldn’t be spending, on things that I don’t need at all, though about half of them are useful (dresses and shoes I can wear to work? Useful. Yuri!!! On Ice merch and Harley Quinn cosplay stuff? Makes me feel better, but not as useful.)

I’m still managing to go to work, but I only have a part time job right now, so I’m actively looking for a full time job now that I’ve graduated from my Master’s Program. But that gives me a lot of empty time where I watch youtube videos, laugh manically, watch anime and listen to podcasts, weep silently, shop online, shop in stores, and text and text and text my friends. It’s also a lot of time on the computer.

You know what else is on the computer? The news. You know what sucks worse than my own life? The things I see on the news. Not the least of which is the fact that we live in some sort of fascist something I can’t articulate right now because my head is both cloudier than it ever has been and clearer than it’s been in years. Separating children from their families and putting them in cages is what this country has come to. And by “come to” I mean “come back to.”

I am a middle class (??) white woman with somewhat severe mental health issues. (The question marks are because if it was just based on my salary and assets, I would live below the poverty line. But my parents are helping me until I get a job post-grad, and then I’m on my own. [did the font just change or am I imagining things?] But I also know I always have the opportunity to go back and live with my parents if I need to, and they’re willing to support me that way/help me get back on my feet if it comes to that. Etc). Point being, I’ve been having a lot of personal troubles since I graduated, but when it comes down to it, I’m /fine/. Sure, I may be having a bit of a mental break, but I’ll come out the other side of it probably. And if I don’t then I’ll be dead and it won’t matter anymore.

But my point is literally everything else in the world is a shitshow. And I don’t know what I can do to help. I know I can’t fix it on my own. I live in a blue state with elected officials who are (theoretically) doing their best to change things, and even though I think the system is corrupt and needs to be thrown out completely, having government officials who think that putting children in concentration camps is immoral, child abuse, wrong, what have you is MUCH better than anything that we currently have. So I don’t know that calling them will help, because they’re already working on it. In theory. I don’t have any money to donate. I don’t have a network of influential anything, and while I have some time to volunteer in between the part time job and the job search, I don’t know where or how to help.

What can I do?

And so my morals and my mental health are also almost fighting with each other – because both of them want me to do SOMETHING, but my brain is telling me that if I’m not in the space to take care of myself how the hell can I help anyone else? (Put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others). But then my heart is like, “you silent, selfish bitch.” because if I don’t say anything, if I don’t do anything, then aren’t I just complicit in the acts of violence, cruelty, and literally everything else going on?

So I’m in a constant state of personal and interpersonal distress. And I don’t know what to do.

I just don’t know. I just feel like sleeping and screaming and ahhhhhhhhhhh.

So I make gnocchi in spicy tomato sauce for breakfast, tweet about being rickrolled, and post Waluigi memes on my timeline. I search for jobs, and go to work, and text and text and text my friends. And I lay on the couch and cry without crying, without sound or tears, but with great, wrenching sobs. And I still don’t know what to do.

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Another complicated suicide

This week we lost two high profile celebrities to suicide – Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain.

I’ve been suicidal before. In fact, earlier this week, even before the celebrity suicides, I was horrifically suicidal for the first time in at least six months, maybe longer. It was terrifying because I had no idea where it was coming from. I just wanted to die, and more importantly, I was afraid of what I might do to myself. I have a knife in my room, a well-made, but decorative, knife that I got at the Renaissance Faire. It’s not super sharp, but it is sharp enough. And I was afraid to have that knife in my room this week. In some ways I’m lucky that I need refills on all my meds because usually poisoning by overdose is the way I contemplate suicide – but I knew I wouldn’t have enough of anything, even if I washed it down with the bottle of vodka that was in the kitchen. But did I tell anybody I was feeling suicidal? No, not until more or less right now, when I wrote it out in this blog post. I didn’t reach out to anyone. I did tell my roommate the next day that I “had a bad day” and told my friend that I was kinda thinking about the feeling of going to the hospital, but I didn’t come out and say, “I am suicidal”

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Not Good Enough – Thoughts on what I can do to combat facism and white supremacy in the United States – based on the Charlottesville march that occurred this past week

I’m outraged. I’m not surprised. And I’m scared.  But here’s the thing – I don’t know what to do, or what I can do.

With the exception of the occasional post on this blog, I don’t share news articles or anything to my other social media sites because I like them to be safe spaces for me. And yes I know it’s a privilege to ignore things that upset me and make me uncomfortable. But I also find that in some ways, simply sharing and doing nothing else is “slacktivism” and I know I’m preaching to the choir of my Facebook friends (I have carefully cultivated my friends list as such), I have only friends as followers on Twitter, and I guess I don’t know anything about my followers on Tumblr, but I still don’t have a large enough platform to make a difference there.

I would donate money if I had any I could spare – but I barely make enough to live on without support from my parents and I’m personally fighting a shopping addiction and hypomania-induced impulse control issues that leave me with less than I need, let alone any disposable income.

I would go to rallies – and I’ve gone to one or two – but the big ones in my city this week are all happening during the first couple of trainings for my new internship at the suicide prevention hotline – which I can’t miss.

So I have all these things and all that’s running through my mind is EXCUSES EXCUSES EXCUSES.

I’m queer and Jewish and have a mental illness. I am a woman. I am not the pinnacle of white European-ness or whatever these Nazis and white supremacists want me to be. But I am white. And for all intents and purposes, regardless of the intersection of my other identities, that gives me a great deal of privilege. But I don’t know how to use it.

And I can’t deny that I’m scared. Even as a bisexual female Jew, I haven’t been personally discriminated against in my own life, nor have I ever been in any danger. And I’m really afraid to put myself into danger. But I am sub-human to these fucks, even if my general whiteness allows me to “pass”

I saw a post this morning that said something like, “If you ever wondered what you would do during slavery, the Holocaust, or apartheid, STOP. Because you’re doing it right now.” And that made me wonder what I was doing.

In practice I am doing nothing. And that’s not what I want to do. I want to do something, but I want to do something meaningful. I don’t want to be a “slacktivist”.

What I’m doing now is Not Good Enough. It’s not good period because I’m essentially doing nothing except trying to start conversations with friends and family members who mostly agree with me already, but are also not doing anything.

So I’m looking for advice, here. What can I do?

Doctor WHO? An Opinion on the Announcement of Jodie Whittaker as the 13th Doctor

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Jodie Whittaker as the Doctor

Yesterday it was announced that the 13th Doctor in the popular British television show Doctor Who would be Jodie Whittaker. Up until now, the 12 ½ Doctors, including Steven Moffat’s controversial War Doctor regeneration (that’s the ½), have been arguably straight, cisgender, white men. I say arguably straight because all of actual romances, primarily from New Who, have been with women, though the New Who Doctors have occasionally flirted with men – that could easily have been joking or queer baiting. As for Classic Who, I don’t know much about it, but the First Doctor had a granddaughter (implying a son or daughter of some kind), and wasn’t involved in much romance as far as I know. So for all intents and purposes, he was likely assumed straight, though he may have been asexual as well, from what I’ve heard. But again – I don’t know much about Classic Who.

Continue reading “Doctor WHO? An Opinion on the Announcement of Jodie Whittaker as the 13th Doctor”

“The Hate U Give” – More than a book review

f043712f-4655-4c8a-b60f-fca1e4c6ca9fLet me preface this whole thing by saying: I am white. I am Jewish, and that does mean something in terms of not being “white enough” – but I am white Jewish. I consider myself white. People who aren’t white supremacists consider me white, and I get all the privileges that come with being white and growing up in a white, suburban, middle-to-upper-middle class family. There certainly is anti-Semitism that affects my life, but it is not racism, and the difference does matter.

With all that said, I read a book yesterday called “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas. It’s the story of a young black girl named Starr Carter who lives with her family “in the hood” but goes to an elite “bougie” school. Her father is a former gangbanger who went to prison, but now is successful as a grocery store owner. Her mother works in a hospital. Starr is dating a white boy from school. She feels she has two separate personalities – the one at school and the one at home, but neither of them are really her, and both of them are really her. But one night, on her way back from a party, Starr’s friend Khalil is shot by a police officer right in front of her. Starr becomes a key witness in a case much like many we’ve seen in the U.S. all too recently: A white police officer shoots first and asks questions later. Now Starr is caught up in an absolute circus of events, where she has to recount the events of the night over and over to people who don’t believe her, or who believe because Khalil was a drug dealer, that he deserved to die. And SPOILER ALERT – at the end of the day, at the end of it all, the white police officer doesn’t get indicted. Even as we see the story from Starr’s point of view, and know what truly happened, the police officer gets away scot free with killing a young, unarmed black boy. And even though this book is fiction, it closely mirrors real world events. I can’t even name all of the “incidents” like this that have happened in the past year in the US. Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland, Eric Garner, Philando Castile – those are some of the names you may have heard on the news, but it’s not all of them. Not by a longshot.

I think everyone should read this book. First of all, it’s a good book. But it’s a young adult novel, so it’s written as something that’s easy to digest. It’s not inflammatory like a news article might be, but if you truly understand it, you will get angry on behalf of Starr, on behalf of Khalil, and on behalf of all the real world black men and women, boys and girls, who have been mishandled, mistreated, and outright abused by the police. What happens in this book is what happens in life, and it’s something everyone should know, but doesn’t.

As a white person, I can say this and hopefully other white people will listen: All white people say and do racist things. All white people are, to a certain extent, racist. Because of the way our society is built, on the backs of slaves and at the deaths of Native Americans who had their land stolen to create what is today our country, it is impossible to not be racist if you don’t actively work to be anti-racist. It’s hard, and it’s exhausting, and you’re going to fuck up, over and over again. You’re going to put your foot in your mouth over and over again. But the point is to learn from it. And it’s the very least you can do. (I say you – but I also mean me. I also have to work to be anti-racist. And I’m still learning! I fuck up! But I keep going to work to live an anti-racist lifestyle to the best of my ability, and use the privileges I’ve gotten from being white, from being middle-to-upper-middle-class, from being able-bodied if not quite neurotypical, et cetera, to help make the world a better, more equitable and equal place.)

Angie Thomas has done us all a favor by writing an incredible book that can help us, as white people, have a very necessary conversation with our friends and family. Because even though the particular situation she writes is fictional, the story she tells is not. This book should be on summer reading lists. This book should be at the top of bestseller lists. And from there, white people should research. They should take what they learned from this fictional account and go read about the realities of police violence and abuse. It shouldn’t stop there. “The Hate U Give” is where the conversation should begin, not end.

And I’m here to help get the conversation going. Any of my non-white friends and followers, I may not have much influence, or a loud voice, but if you need a platform to speak from, I will do my best to give it to you and step aside. Because this country is racist. But I do have hope that one day it won’t be. But we have a lot, A LOT, of work to do first.

The Best Advice?

I like to say the best advice I ever received was from an airline instruction pamphlet. Well, technically, I got it from the book Deadline by Chris Crutcher, and he got it from an airline instruction pamphlet, but I digress.

The point being, the best advice I ever received was “Put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others”

You need to take care of yourself before you can take care of others. It was this advice that helps get me through my depression. It’s this advice that allows me to say, “I can be a little selfish, just this one time.” It’s this advice that makes it so I can’t hate or resent my ex, no matter how much he hurt me, because he was putting his own oxygen mask on first. He needed to take care of himself first, before he could take care of me. And that meant, well, that he couldn’t take care of me. I needed too much from him, and he had to get out. Him not being able to handle my depression isn’t a reflection on me, as it took me a long time to learn, but a reflection on him, and his need to take a step back.

But in today’s political climate, can we afford to put our own oxygen masks on first? It’s a privilege to be able to take a step back and say, “I need out of this.” It’s a privilege to be able to think like this. It reaches a point where you have to ask yourself, what is putting on your oxygen mask first, and what is denial or avoidance? You need to help yourself before you can help others, but the point of that is, after you take that moment to help yourself, you need to actually assist others. Put on your own oxygen mask. Then make sure you use your privilege to help others who don’t have it breathe.