Today

I’m at work today and feel like crap. Now it’s not a mental crap but physical. The physical feeling is from either not enough or too much sleep. I feel kinda lazy and tired. I want to go to sleep and feel something other than exhaustion when I get back up.

I wish that things were different sometimes. I wish that things would change for the better. I just want things to change and they be positive. I need things to change because I feel stuck. I fell stuck in the past and what had happened to me.

I feel the need to change for the better. I feel the need to have some me time. I want they to be a difference between me and her. I need to be different than her. I feel the need to be better than her because she’s a dumb ass. All she wanted was kids and now it seems she’s regrets having them with who she had them with. Her husband cheated on her with their roommate and get best friend (same person). Things will not go the way she wants them to. Yet all she does is complain and ask my boyfriend to pay for shit for her and her husband.

Ugggggggggggggggggggggh it’s so aggravating. I’m sorry this is so long but I needed to rant. Thank you for reading.

Today and friends

So today I have been thinking about friendships and one in particular. My boyfriend has a female friend that has known for a couple of years long than he’s known me. Well over the summer last year they were talking all day every day for about a 3 hours a day. When I’ve asked him to not talk to her he said no that he wouldn’t stop. I’m supposed to be his partner, but I don’t feel like it.

Well the last time I had asked him to not talk to her she threatened to go behind my back to see and talk to him. This hurts a lot, but what makes it worse is that he did talk to her behind my back. Which hurts even more. I don’t know if I can trust him to not do that again. I really wish he just would block her on everything. He doesn’t need her all she does is add stress to him and then it gets turned around on me and he’s an ass to me.

I’m not even sure what to do with these emotions I feel like crying and ignoring his call later today. I feel like that would be a bitch move but I’m not sure what else to do. He has asked me to not talk to my family before and I can’t ask him to not talk to her. I’m not even sure what to do about my relationship with him. I already feel really bad lately about the way I am. I feel bad about myself in general and put myself down a lot. I understand that you are not supposed to do that, but I have such low self-esteem lately that I don’t feel capable to tell him how I feel.

Photo by Harli Marten on Unsplash

Clarity.

This is a two part post: The next part is scheduled to be posted tomorrow.

I want to start off by saying that I voluntarily see my psych doc weekly because I need a lot of accountability regarding my medication. It is a personal choice and in no way does it reflect my dedication to my mental health. I also have a therapist that I see biweekly. I am in no way manic and this is not a manic episode and it is not religious mania. I have been on a spiritual exploration for a few years now.

I always said that I was an atheist, and then I realized what an atheist is and I am not that. Then I said I was agnostic. I told people that I am too selfish to sit and learn about a particular faith to claim one. People really respected that and I meant it, but I wasn’t agnostic. I believed in a God, I just didn’t know which one. I prayed to a God. My God. It didn’t matter. I knew that I had no true control in my life. I wasn’t an accident. The world is bigger than me.

Then I started finding myself longing to be like a lot of people who emulate Jesus. I wanted something to be passionate about and to continue learning about. I wanted a higher power that I could name and a way to get to know Him. I turned to the Bible. Turns out it is literally thousands of pages. Where would I start? Would I understand it? Will it capture my attention or overwhelm me and I quit?

I tried a few bible studies and I completed maybe 3 of them. I tried and quit several. I really wanted a starting point, a place to get a foundation for the rest of my learning. I joined a small group so I could dive into the Bible and its meaning with an intimate group. It was amazing, and then I felt called out about being the only single person in the room. I didn’t go back. Then I started googling “what the Bible had to say about….” and reading from there.

I was having a really tough time with my sister. We were going back and forth about everything it seemed. Who is cleaning more, who is chipping in more, you name it. It was causing a huge rift. we smoothed it over but I still feel this tension in the air. Like she is waiting for the shoe to drop. It is familiar because that is how I felt when I had to move back in with them. It is strange to be on the other side and needing to forgive. This is the first time it occurred to me to turn to the Bible first. So I googled, “the Bible and forgiveness” and “biblical stories about forgiveness”. It returned wonderful scripture. I then wrote some of it down. Once I reviewed what I had found, I picked out some of my favorites. I noticed a lot of them were from the book of Matthew. I found myself emerged in this story that finally told me the ins and outs of how Jesus came to be. It has all kinda tumbled from there. I think I pick up my bible at least every other day now. I still am not completely independent. I still reach for the internet for a starting point, but I still read from there. I just feel better. I feel like I am in love with learning and also seeking comfort and guidance. It really calms me. I started to wonder if maybe that calm can be obtained through meditation and manifestation. I believe in manifestation. Maybe it is the positivity that it exudes or the feeling of influence it provides. Either way it feels like I accomplished something.

So I started looking into meditation and homeopathic ways of treatments or guidance.

(continued in next post)

My name is Kim Johnson and I am a recovering addict…of negativity.

Read Along:

This is vlog day 3 [technical difficulties with the video again, sorry].

“Thanks for tuning in again for hearing me out about my experience and just being human being coming to terms with the fact that I was a silly ass human being for most of my 20s and I can laugh about it now and I find that refreshing. Um..Here’s a picture of me when I was about 6 or 7 years old. I was that outdoorsy, head in a book, do chalk outside, rollerblade, bicycle kind of kid and I did very solitary activities. As a kid, we don’t judge ourselves for some things like that we don’t go, ‘Well, you know probably socialize a little bit and probably should get, you know, get out into the world and mingle with more people.’ You don’t have those kind of thoughts nor do we think what might be a disadvantage of developing that kind of a pattern, that lifestyle later on for when we’re older. I know I’ve heard time and time again, ‘Humans are social creatures.’

Well, yeah but that only works if everyone wants *laughs* to be social. So, Um..In my twenties, it was very textbook. Like, self-care was very textbook to me because I didn’t grow up with my parents weren’t like, ‘Alright, time to go do art now so we can express ourselves or let’s talk and have family time, play games together, go out into the community, do some community service, I didn’t grow up with religion as part of my life and community, not really. All my relatives were out of state for the most part: out of City, out-of-state, out of mind, out of country. So, when I graduated from college these thoughts bombarded me of, ‘Oh, I should be exercising, I should be taking care of my body now, I should be eating right, I should be finding a career based off of my degree. All of these shoulds started piling up and then in the meantime I’m one stroke away from having a mental breakdown about something that I didn’t even know existed which was my mental health which is part of my health. *laughs* So, for years, for years I was struggling just as a person.

I didn’t know how to feel, I didn’t know what to say, I didn’t know how to engage in a conversation where I could enrich someone’s day rather than bring it down. I struggled. And now I have this opportunity to reflect on those things. This is what this blog is about. It’s about reflecting on my experience as a human being. What is happening [got distracted by something else]. My experience as a human being. Has been, honestly a comedy. Like, a dark comedy. Can’t tell you how many times I got in my own fucking way.

I really got in my own way more times than I can count… I’d probably be a trillionaire if that was my livelihood –getting in my own way. I mention cognitive dissonance in a former vlog and basically what that means is you have this paradigm, this belief that you’re just holding on with for dear life like, ‘This is, this is it, this is the truth, this is fact, this is what I believe in.’ If something comes up and challenges that belief, that conviction, that Paradigm…if something comes up and whether it’s through *laughs* what are the other.. if it comes up to you in the form of a book, if it comes up to you in the form of meeting, um, meeting another person that just views the world in a different way than you, it’s somehow automatically threatening and in order for your mindset to change or shift or you know open capacity to something more before you even can*snaps fingers* you instinctively, knee-jerk pull away, box-off, cut-off, block-off, you create a barrier between you and a completely different way of looking at a situation.

That’s a low level of self-awareness. That’s what I experienced. I’m not trying to call anyone out but hey if it resonates with you, you might want to listen. A low level of self-awareness which is strong ego meaning me, me, me, I, I, I,  the world is centralized around me and if I don’t feel good and if I’m not taking care of myself and it’s, I’m here because this is who I am and it’s everyone else’s fault the world, that’s literally the strong part of the ego and by strong that means that it is… how do you how do you say… a strong ego essentially means your point of, um,  your ability to see things is very narrow.

And again, not good or bad… there’s no judgment here. Truly, I mean it. All it is is that you see less. I mean naturally, if you believe that everything in the world is blue and that’s your belief, you’re pretty much going to pick out only blue things. If you’re single and you don’t like being single you’re going to pick out seeing couples everywhere. If you are… if you don’t like Twilight, sorry, if you don’t like Twilight you’re going to deliberately find Twilight things and just think that it’s the bigger more dominant force and that’s what came up a lot when I was going through my experience as a human being.

Confirming. So there is confirmation bias too, when you see things around you it confirms when things unravel and go a certain way and you predicting this self-fulfilling prophecy, you pretty much proved yourself right because you filtered the world to fit your point-of-view. 

This comes up a lot in my work as not, not just as a life coach but also in my raising awareness to suicide first aid, Suicide Prevention. What is suicide prevention? A lot of people have a lot of ideas of both things: what life coaching is and what is suicide first aid and suicide prevention is and they also have a lot of ideas about what energy leadership is which is pretty much self-awareness and all of these things are tools.

I’m not coming in and saying I’m better than anyone. These are tools. Tools I wish I had 10 years ago. Tools I wish I could have shared with others 10 years ago and I just fixate on 10 because decade. That’s a lot of opportunity and a lot of cycles in life that you could have gone through. And that’s another thing that came up. Another thing that came up throughout my experience as a human being was obligation. Obligated to everyone and everything.

Expectation. I felt a lot of expectation from everyone and everything to be someone I wasn’t, to do things I didn’t want to do to make a ripple effect where I just didn’t feel like I wanted to be. An obligation. Obligation to others’ ideas, obligation to others’ visions for the world, obligation to family, obligation to friends and just because we have done something in the past or were with someone in the past or perform this way at a job in the past, it doesn’t necessarily mean I’m going to be the same way now or in the future. So that’s something that I puzzled over and mulled over and ruminated over for a long time.

Eventually all of it did diffuse my anger but then what came into play after that was rationalizing. I rationalized a lot of stuff going on. I tried to dig into my past to, to validate what was going on to reassure myself that I was doing everything I could. And that worked, until it didn’t. *laughs*

Rationalizing is what addicts do. And I was addicted to negativity. Rationalizing keeps you complacent or content in a way where the situation is not improving. When you want to…let’s limit it to me.When I wanted to improve the situation, I felt resistance from everyone and everything. Me wanting to improve a situation for myself doesn’t mean I don’t care about other people, it doesn’t mean that I’m judging other people and it doesn’t mean that I’m rejecting another person’s way of life.. it just means I want to improve my situation.

And I think a lot of us get stuck and I certainly did get stuck, from improving our situations because we feel obligated because we feel like all these expectations are something we need to check off and fill. Why? Where does that even come from? I know it came from society, upbringing, for me, that I would be a bad person or a failure or weak or careless, heartless, if I sought to improve my situations.

It’s laughable now. It really is.

We can’t control anyone’s expectations of us, anyone’s obligatory mindset of what we are supposed to be doing, should be doing, could be doing, ought to be doing. I was taking all of that on. I thought I was supposed to be doing those things, I thought I was supposed to be acquiescing to others’ demands and requests, expectations and obligations of me. And then I just I think after that then it then I fall back into and spiral back into victim mode…the strongest level of ego possible is blaming everyone and everything for where I was and what I was doing in my life.

I share my story…in detail because I think ailments of the mind aren’t ailments. It’s an experience. We are experiencing our health, we are experiencing menta,l we are experiencing the world and when we experience the world a lot of that is something we can’t put our finger on and if we can’t put her finger on it, how on Earth are we supposed to maneuver our way in the direction that feels like the situation is improving.

So, question… there are, in any situation there are five things you could be doing and this is something that I use all the time with my clients and with myself all the time. There’s five things you could be doing when something happens and as, not, and not as planned:

you can do nothing and hope and wish the situation changes itself,

Could try to change something in the situation, outside of you,

you could change the way you view the situation,

you can accept the situation,

or you can leave the situation.

So, it all depends on what you feel resonates with you in the moment. What of those 5 things can you do and if you haven’t tried one of those things, humour me here, maybe trying something different is just what the doctor ordered. I’m not a doctor, by the way.

But I do encourage you to get your head out of your ass. No one’s going to do the work for you. What can you do differently?

Shake things up. Disrupt your life. If you are refusing and resisting at every corner…from people outside of you or not trying anything new…nothing, nothing is going to change. Nothing’s going to improve, you’re going to stay stuck, just as I did.. fulfilling all these obligations that you didn’t ask for, striving every single day to meet expectations that were placed upon you and you didn’t ask for and you’re basically going to be a puppet to everyone and everything around you until you figure this out. What do you want?

The conversation is going to keep popping up in every aspect of your life until until you face it. That’s what happened for me and that’s what happens for I, I fail to think of a human being that is, that is exempt from this experience in life, of responsibility or victim. You can take responsibility or you can be a victim. What is it going to be? And how are you going to be held accountable for something like that?

I do have this phenomenal retreat where I take people that, that are really good at hiding. Just want all the pain to go away, all the overwhelming to stop, struggling to face the past, really challenged with how to let go of regret and guilt and burnout and loss and pain: addiction is real and if that’s something you wish to improve then you *laughs* you’re someone I definitely want to meet.

There’s a retreat that I’m holding it’s at the end of this month: it is June 27th to the 28th. I believe… June 27th and 28th, where you will be around other people just like you, keeping you accountable to the improvements you want in your life. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to improve your life even if it means challenging who you once were and challenging the notion of you are who you are. I’m challenging you just as I wish someone had challenged me. Where would I be, if I had someone like me, with this notion, and guts, guts to say, ‘Who Do You Think You Are? Who makes.. how, how is it okay for you to be your own bully? Is that okay? No. Maybe it is. Again, it’s up to you to decide. Truly..”

Curious to learn more about the retreat I am hosting? Hear about James Edgar Skye’s experience. 

Kim Johnson
Thought Founder of Grounds For Clarity, LLC

Creating choice. The past happened to have happened. Now what?

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Read Along:

“This is..uh..vlog post two. I wanted to share a glimpse and a look into my story.

I wasn’t really aware of this fact but around the time when I graduated from College in 2013, when I was 23…I am 30 years old now…I didn’t…I didn’t understand the concept nor was I aware of the concept of self-sabotage. I mean, I was doing everything I was supposed to be doing. I was going to work, I was taking care of my basic needs — food, shelter and connecting with other people.

I was really good at hiding…how I was really feeling and…people didn’t really ask because I didn’t give off any indication that anything was off or that I needed help in any way, shape or form.

It really felt like…it really felt like being trapped. In my own body, in my own daily routine, nothing really held any substance, I didn’t really feel connected to anyone. Nothing made any sense. Like, for, for…lack of a better way of putting it, I didn’t really feel like I had a purpose.  And…at first, I was in denial about it. I was in denial about my mental state, my mental health and really now what I understand to be was just my health. My general health. Something was missing and I was hungry for something more. And no matter how many people I tried connecting with, no matter how many folx I would tell and in my own way ask for help.

I didn’t feel…heard. I rather felt invisible. I remember this one moment where I tested something…my visibility.

So, I used to go to grocery stores, I used to go in public where lots of people would be going to and fro and just stand in one spot. I would just stand.  And the only proof that I got that I was physically in this world was people walking around me. So it’s those little things like that.

So, speaking about how I was feeling, my emotions and feelings was not really something I was taught growing up. So, that piece of denial was, you know, “How dare…how dare my parents raise me to be this way, how dare my friends downplay how I’m feeling. It was a lot of feeling subjected to everything around me and I didn’t ask for it. I didn’t ask to feel like shit. I didn’t ask to feel abandoned. I didn’t ask to feel invisible but I felt all those things.

And I stubbornly resisted any way to try something different, to break out of this consistently negative place that I now understand to be self-judgment, self-rejection. Really sabotaging my own quality of life and over time as I progressed through jobs, uh…that required me to help other people in a 1:1 capacity, to serve others and support them where they didn’t get the skills. or teaching or education  and that’s when I started getting mad, which then just worked me into this deep pit of exhaustion.

And I eventually burned out  from being angry. I just couldn’t physically handle it anymore. I couldn’t emotionally…I didn’t have the emotional bandwidth for enjoying things. Ever.

Raised to be “productive,” raised to do things I didn’t want to do. So, it’s this prison chamber I built for myself: self-sabotage,  and having no purpose, constantly putting others before myself and lashing out when I felt like I was done dirty. More on it another time.

But really, a question I have for all of you is…what is it gonna take for you…to realize that no one’s gonna do that work for you…to take ownership…of your past, instead of blaming other people?”

Kim Johnson
Thought Founder of Grounds For Clarity, LLC

Never Wrong.

My name is Bailey and I am defensive.

I am defensive in a way that gets me in a lot of trouble. Something that took me a long time to do is admit fault. I would say that this is one of the biggest improvements I have had since my diagnosis. The medication didn’t make me suddenly humble, or maybe it did… It made me calm, even toned, and of sound mind. I don’t feel as if it is me against the world. I am no longer sitting on a pedestal I built for myself. I am able to recognize that there are repercussions for my choices before I do them.

I still slip. I find myself in these conversations where I just can’t end with “you’re right”. The other day I was getting ready to leave for work and went to pour a cup of coffee. There was only coffee pod left and my mother asked if I was going to take it.

thoughts to myself- of course I am. I am going to work and need the coffee. You are staying home and don’t need it.

said out loud-yes….  This was followed by her saying that I told her she could have it.

Now, this should have ended with me saying that I didn’t remember saying that and I would pick more up after work. As you can imagine, this is not what happened. You see, I already made up my mind that she was wrong. She hadn’t even said something she could be wrong about…she just asked a question that I didn’t like. ‘

What ended up happening- I threw myself deep into a tirade about how she doesn’t work and can go to the store so I should have it. I told her that she is making up a whole conversation. I unapologetically took the coffee and stormed out.

I still have moments and days where I lose my cool. Days where I forget that my actions have consequences, my words hurt, and it is just okay to be wrong. I am infuriated with myself. I hate that this is a habit I have formed and I hate that when I realize I am doing it, my defensiveness only deepens. Once I realize, I get more defensive to hide my fuck up.

Thanks for listening to my rant for the day. Don’t tell anyone I admitted this, I will defensively deny it until the death.

Babbles: A Dry Well

There are many times that I have much to say but don’t end up writing.

I stop myself from typing because what I have to say is not uplifting and edifying and I fear that I will not be a positive influence on others and therefore what I want to write should not be published.

I have it in my mind that whatever I write must be positive, uplifting, encouraging and inspiring.  And when I am unable to be such things, I stay quiet, I write nothing, or I write but I do not publish.

No one told me that these were the rules.

These guidelines were never posted and I never signed anything that said I would follow something so strict and absurd.  They instead were what I came up with in my head and chose to hold myself to, I guess in a way of punishing myself (I am making a weird questioning face right now that you cannot see because I am not sitting with you in person, but I wish you could see it because it adds so much more depth to my writing).

So, today, I am breaking the rules that I made.  I am typing what I feel that I need to type with no rules attached.  It will not be a free frall, because that is just not the way I roll, but it may be a bit more transparent than my normal transparency.  You have officially been warned.

__________________________________________________________________________________________

And yet, several hours later, really a day or more later… several starts, stops, words and character counts typed later, and a lot of deleting, we just have the opening down on paper…

I have so much to say, and much is coming out, but its jumbled and jambled.  It’s like a Dr Seuss book.  I WOULD indeed like to write with fox in a box while a bird with a word watches…

I am not certain why I can’t unleash totally, let what is locked up deep inside of me flow like the rivers, rather than be stagnant like a dried up canal… but it is just not happening, and I have to respect the fact that my body, soul and mind are not willing to share, at this point and time.

However, I have a few things that I would like to share:

Confession #1:

I don’t always feel strong.  I feel weak a lot of the time.  But I am stubborn and it’s actually my stubbornness, oh and my pride, that gets me through the hard, long, trying days.

Confession #2:

I am angry.

I feel torn about the anger though.  Because I feel so incredibly blessed, so why should I feel mad.  I have more in my life than I think I would have ever thought I would have, but then there’s this whole Bipolar Disorder, and that is the thing that is the kindling to my fire.  Having gone through a “rough time” it is hard to focus on times that were “good” and to see past these struggles.  Hence the frustration that I feel, although these feelings are specifically pin pointed towards the disorder, and no one else.

Confession #3:

I am tired.

I am ready for the time to come where I am balanced.  I am ready for smooth streams and babbling brooks.  I am weary and tired after fighting rapids for so long.  My brain is fatigued as is my body and my spirit.

 

As the weekend approaches, I am nearing a day long meditation retreat that I am looking forward to attending.  I am hoping to get back in touch with my inner voice and obtaining calm and peace in my soul.  I hope that the depression will stay away and I will have the energy to participate.  But most of all enjoy the process.

May your days be blessed and filled with sunshine and warmth.

~Bella

www.bellasbabbles.com

The State of The World

I normally try my best to not get into touchy subjects when I write my posts. However, after a discussion with some of my coworkers (bad idea…I know) I can’t help but feel that these are some things that I need to get off my chest. For those of you whom are sensitive to the subject, I suggest not reading this article

**TRIGGER WARNING**

Politics + Suicide

**TRIGGER WARNING**

So, for those of you still here, let me first say that I live in America. I don’t hide this fact, nor am I blind to the obvious advantages that a white male gets in this country. However, I can say without a doubt, that the current state of this country, and the world, disgusts me. To the point where I often contemplate if this is even a world worth living in. Yes, I am talking about suicide, as the current state of the world has always been a rather large part of my depression. I mean honestly, if you take a close hard look at how the world is, how can you not feel overwhelmingly despaired. Though, I’ll save my view on World Politics aside, for another time, for now. The reason being, as my coworker pointed out, I have no experience living in another country. So I really have no place to compare to America. A portion of my coworkers are an entire family, of immigrants, who came to America in search of freedom. Freedom that they did not have in their native country. That being said, since they’ve moved here to America, they have too been dyed in the Nationalist red, white and blue. To them, America is the greatest country on the planet, especially compared to their home country. And to be completely honest, I don’t really blame them. Not only were they living in an oppressive regime, but they also were not given the same opportunities that they received here in America.

The one problem that I do have with their views, is that they are I incredibly skewed. They believe America to be the greatest country in the world, simply due to how much better it is than their country. There seems to be a common issue here in America, that in my opinion, effects everyone, whether they know it or not. I am referring to the near toxic levels of Nationalism, or pride in America. In schools, or at least while I was in school, it was subconsciously taught that there is nothing wrong with being extremely prideful in America, in fact they encouraged it. Now don’t get me wrong, there is not inherently anything wrong with having pride in your respective country, however, as I mentioned, it is almost toxic in America. It is not deemed by any law, or required by any rule, to feel immense pride in America. Yet if you start to dissent from that prideful stance, you are almost immediately ostracized by the general public. It’s as if there is this “unspoken” rule that says you can’t show anything but pride towards America.

However, there is this certain scene, of a certain TV show, in which a college kid asks a panel of “journalists” why America is the greatest country on earth (you probably know which one I’m talking about). The first says some stereotypical garbage, the second just double downs on “freedom”, and the third makes a rather obvious non-answer about a popular sports team. It is then that the third journalist sees a young woman in the crowd holding a sign that says “It’s Not”. Upon seeing this, the third journalist starts what would become the most infamous tirade in modern history, on why America isn’t the greatest country in the world, though at one point, it was. Needless to say, the entire crowd, as well as his “colleges” are stunned speechless. And to be completely honest with you, so was I the first time I watched it. Like I said, when I was in school, there was almost an indoctrination like pride being implanted in the students. Almost every day began with the National Anthem of course. Almost every class had their lessons skewed to emphasize the greatness of America. While it certainly isn’t the teachers’ faults, they still remained silent on this subtle brainwashing, that they might not have even noticed happening.

As you can probably tell, there are many, many things that I have issues with about my country. To quote the show I was talking about earlier, “We lead the world in only three categories: number of incarcerated citizens per capita, number of adults who believe angels are real and defense spending, where we spend more than the next 26 countries combined, 25 of whom are allies.” Also, to add my own to that infamous list, the number of mass shootings each year. There really isn’t anything all that great about America anymore. Sure we have FREEDOM, but so does over three quarters of the world. There isn’t anything special about freedom here in America either. The average citizen of the US spends the majority of their life trading their time for money. Money that doesn’t even really afford them most of the basic things in life, like clean water, healthy food, or a stable roof over their heads. There is another glaring issue with American freedom, the more money you have, the more free you are. For example, that whole college admissions scandal a while back. These celebrities with millions of dollars, essentially bribed various colleges to guarentee acceptance of their respective children. Not only did they succeed in getting their child into college by paying for it, but they also had barely any consequences, despite braking the law. If an affluent person of color did the same thing, they’d be thrown in jail probably for the rest of their lives. That’s another problem with America, we claim to be so free, and yet their is such rampant discrimination built into the cores of our society, it’s appalling. I’m not only talking about racism either, theirs sexism, classism, religious phobia, homophobia, and almost every other kind of -ism and phobia out there.

Granted, most of America’s problems stem from two things: The Ultra-Wealthy, and Stupidity. Often a combination of the two. In history class, we were taught that this country was created by the people, for the people. What they don’t tell you, is those people are those with either a ton of money, a ton of power, or both. Everything is run with profits in mind. War, profits. Laws, profits. Opinions, profits. Inovation, profits. Healthcare, profits. I could go on and on until the end of the world (which probably isn’t that far off at the rate we’re going). I personally like to think that I don’t fall into any political party, I’m solely driven by facts and respect. Though it might be a rather controversial stance, I believe that religion (any religion) has no place in government. You can’t force everyone in a country to follow your rules, just because “you want them to go to heaven” **cough**christans**cough**. Every living thing on this planet deserves some level of respect, regardless of religion, politics, skin color, nationality, “intelligence”, etc. Though where I do draw the line is pure stupidity. I’m not talking about the kind that you’re born with, you can’t change that, not easily anyways. I’m talking about the people who think they’re right, regardless of factual evidence stating the contrary. For example, flat-earthers and anti-vaxxers. These two groups of people believe what they want to believe (which I inherently have no problem with) but refuse mountains of evidence dropped at their feet, just because their “research” (5 minutes on Facebook mostly) claims otherwise. This kind of stupid, is clearly a choice. Anti-vaxxers use a single study from a decade ago, that has been proved false numerous times, and yet they believe it. I honestly want to ask an anti-vaxxer this single question: “Even “if” vaccines could cause autism, you’re saying that you’d rather your child be dead, than have autism.” I’m honestly rather curious on what their answer would be. It would most likely be a rather angry deflection that doesn’t answer the question, but rather somehow solidifies their stance. In my opinion, it’s similar to an animal chasing their own tail, thinking it’s some enemy creature of some kind, only to realize that when they finally bite down on this unknown monster, that they “suddenly” feel inexplicable pain for some reason.

There are a vast number of things that I don’t agree with, and so long as it doesn’t effect the freedom of others, you’re more than welcome to do whatever the hell you want. That’s what freedom truly means in my eyes. If you want to wear rotting fish instead of shoes, go right the hell ahead. But if you start preaching to me, that I should also wear fish on my feet, because sneakers were created by the evil lizardmen shadow government, that’s when it becomes a problem. Not only are you infringing on my rights, and wasting my rather valuable time (as we as humans only have so much time on this earth) you are making a mockery of the freedoms you hold so dearly. Yeah you can stand on your soapbox on the corner of a busy intersection and scream your opinions until the cows come home, but if you start doing so in the middle of the intersection causing an endless traffic jam, or visit my house and knock on my door just to spread the “truth” every day, then we start to have a problem.

If it wasn’t obvious at this point, let me clearly spell it out: I really could care less about what you do with what little life you have, or what you believe in, or don’t believe in for that matter. So long as you don’t vilify me for not bowing down and following your idiocy, you can do whatever you damn well please. I support the important things in life like total equality (gender, sexual orientation, skin color, etc), freedom to do just about anything you want so long as it doesn’t harm anyone else, and everyone’s inate, inalienable right to a happy life if you so choose. I don’t care whether you agree with me, or despise me, like I said, I follow the facts, and general respect for nearly all cases.

You’re generally free to follow whatever causes you choose, and I won’t infringe upon that freedom, so long as you really only hold yourself to those standards. I figure I’ve ranted enough for one day. I don’t think I’ll change any hearts or minds just by simply getting a few things off my chest. However, my hope is, is that you’ll begin to look at life a little more skeptically, and decide things for yourself, fully aware of the rewards or consequences that await your actions. Alan Wolfgang, signing off.

“Is Cutting a Cry for Attention?”

Just as a warning to anyone in a sensitive time, I am writing about suicidal thoughts and self injury. I even triggered myself writing this so please take care of yourself.

Last week at work we had a suicide prevention seminar. A client killed herself in our building earlier this year so my boss thought it was appropriate to have one of the local universities bring their special suicide prevention team over to do a presentation.

Being someone who has been suicidal and being relatively active in the mental community, I had my critic hat on. I didn’t expect to learn much because I know the signs that somebody is suicidal. I lived it for many months.

So the presentation went fine, I had no qualms or anything to be pissed off about. Until…

For some reason that I don’t have the answer for, two of our organization’s board members were present. I had no idea why they were there but they were. It all went to shit when the one woman raised her hand and asked:

“So what about cutting? Do people cut themselves as a cry for attention? Are they suicidal?”

I rolled my eyes so hard I nearly fell over. I was hoping the speaker would say something intelligent, to show that she actually knew what the hell she was talking about. Instead her response was outdated and she was entirely misinformed.

She said yes to both of her questions. I immediately became silently angry. I couldn’t believe that somebody who is an alleged expert about this is telling my coworkers that people who cut want attention and want to die.

Here’s my response to her question:

You can’t lump every person who self injures into a shallow explanation like that. As someone who has struggled with self injury for 8 years, I never once did it for attention. I have always work diligently to hide my cuts and scars from people. The last thing I ever wanted was for someone to see what I did to myself. For me, it’s always been embarrassing.

Some people are suicidal and cut but use self injury as a coping mechanism. Not as a means to kill themselves. During my severe depression where I had constant thoughts of suicide, I cut myself daily. But that’s just my experience, not everyone’s.

Responses to questions like that only perpetuate the falsehoods about people who self injure or are suicidal.

What are your thoughts about this? What would your response be to that woman?

What Anger Is To Me

Please don’t tell me that a smile and your sorrow just don’t go together.

I would not look upon my anger as something foreign to me that I have to fight. I have to deal with my anger with care, with love, with tenderness, and with non-violence.

When I get angry, I have to produce awareness: “I am angry. Anger is in me. I am anger”. That is the first thing to do.

Thank you for being with me. Let us rebuild a healthy state of mind.

Angel love and rainbows.

Love, Francesca.