will's insanity

The Ramblings of a Mad Man

Category: Mentality

Different Opinions are not Mental Disorders

First off, in order to understand some of this post, you will have to read an article. No, it’s not boring, and yes, you will need to at least glance over it to understand the context of this post. So without further ado, here is the article:

https://www.wsj.com/amp/articles/the-campus-left-vs-the-mentally-ill-1505343051

Now that you’re back from your glancing, let’s discuss this bull shall we:

First off, like the title suggests, A DIFFERENT POLITICAL OPINION DOES NOT REQUIRE THERAPY!!! Seriously, get out of your echo chambers, it’s really not so bad out here in the real world. Conversations usually do not result in fist fights or shouting matches if both parties can be reasonable about how they listen to the other person. In no way, shape, or form, does a political opinion on the other side of the aisle constitute an emergency worthy of counseling. As a person with a mental illness who has used counseling, the idea that just because you heard an opinion you didn’t agree with requires you to go to counseling is insulting. It seems like you’re equating mental illnesses with opinions. Let me outline the difference for you reeeeaaaallllyyyy clearly: one of these is afflicting 1 in 5 Americans today, while 1 in 25 have these so intense it inhibits their ability to function in a normal life (thank you NAMI). The other is a serious of social, economic, and political facts formed into “a view or judgement formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.” (thank you google). Now, which one of these is the mental illness, and which one is a fucking opinion? Hint: it’s not number 2.

Second: let’s talk about this whole left vs right thing. Both sides have become so bogged down in personal attacks and extremes that they seem to have forgotten their core values, so let me outline them for you: To be an American liberal, you need to support, in some shape or form, a more involved federal government (examples: Social Security, federal standards for food, drugs, etc.). To be an American conservative, you need to support, in some shape or form, a less involved federal government(States right to education, states right to tax those within it’s borders). Now, I am SOOOO grossly over-simplifying here, and I know my political science friends are gonna tear me up for this one (sorry in advance guys), but this is the heart of the issue. There are implications, for sure, but you know what doesn’t work? Either of these things in their entirety. Seriously, the only time that we as a nation thrive is when we come together for a productive conversation, highlighting the differences and coming to a compromise, gaining and losing ground in legislation, making the government work! To say that this conversation is worthy of therapy? Really?! This whole nation was founded on enlightenment principles of dialogue and debate! To equate either of those things with those who have mental illnesses and to take away resources that they need to survive most of the time?! Also, really?!! Just because you cannot FATHOM a world where your ideas are the only ones that matter does not mean you are mentally ill. To paraphrase: “An inconvenience on your end does not constitute an emergency on mine.” Just because your ignorant self cannot understand that conversations are necessary to democracy does not mean you get to demean the profession that aids millions of Americans every day.

Now while this was mainly focused more towards the isolated liberal movements you find on college campuses, it is equally applicable to the isolated conservative movement as well. However, I will include one point that I need to make VERY clear, but that I am sure is understood by the conservative movement: Mental illness is not a sign of weakness. Mental illness is not a sign of “being a snowflake”. Being “Triggered” is not meant for those who cannot handle different opinions (we call them indignant). That word is meant for those with PTSD, or Bi-polar, or Depression, or a variety of other mental illnesses where certain smells, sounds, tastes, sights, or tactile sensations provoke an attack of some sort. Understand, and this part really applies to both sides, that mental illnesses are exactly that: illnesses. And that therapy is a tool to help cure it.

So what now? Well, I’ll tell you what; I consider myself fairly liberal. I support a single payer system, I think that the federal government should guarantee fundamental human rights as outlined by the United Nations, and that those should be non-negotiable. The states can handle a lot of other things, and they have a lot of power to manipulate them according to who gets elected to the house and the senate. These are opinions of mine; and they will remain my opinions until another person can come along and show me enough evidence to convince me otherwise. I can change my opinions.

I can’t change my depression on my own.

I can’t magically say “Poof, go away now! It wasn’t fun, don’t come back!”

That is the biggest difference of all: Opinions are consciously formed by us as  a species. We look at the way that each of us sees the world and form judgments based on that. Mental illnesses are not consciously formed. I did not choose to have depression and anxiety one day. No, mine came from various areas, and is a result of how my brain was made.

So in short, sweet, and very stark terms: To the campus left mentioned in this article and represented around the world: GET OVER YOURSELF! HAVE A DAMN CONVERSATION OUTSIDE YOUR FRIEND GROUP FOR ONCE IN YOUR LIFE!

thank you for taking the time for letting me rant. Now go and converse with each other, and make one another, this country, and this world, a better place to live.

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Remembering the Gone,Looking Towards the Future

Screw 2016
Welcome 2017

Before we move forward, I think that it’s important that we remember those who inspired us with their talent, whether that’s music or TV or movies. Now, obviously a lot of people won’t be on here, But I’m going to do a majority of my favorites. Here we go:

Alan Rickman: “I do take my work seriously and the way to do that is not to take yourself too seriously.”

Glenn Frey: “We set out to become a band for our time. But sometimes if you do a good-enough job, you become a band for all time.”

Joe Alaskey: “HA! you never catch the rabbit being this heroic!” (From him as Daffy Duck)

Erik Bauersfeld: “It’s a trap!”

Morley Safer: “What does it say about us that people who are considered defective are instinctively caring and compassionate?”

Muhammad Ali: “It’s just a job. Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand. I beat people up.”

Anton Yelchin: “I want things to be characters and not me. Why would I want to play me?”

Ralph Stanley: “I’m thankful that I have lived long enough to become a legend, and I hope I deserve it.”

Elie Wiesel: “I have not lost faith in God. I have moments of anger and protest. Sometimes I’ve been closer to him for that reason.”

Kenny Baker: “They don’t always use dwarfs, unfortunately. They shouldn’t be allowed to do that! How dare they do ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ and not have dwarfs!”

Gene Wilder (Because I deeply enjoyed his work, he gets four. Get over it): “I never used to believe in fate. I used to think you make your own life, and then you call it fate.”
“All right, you win. You win. I give. I’ll say it. I’ll say it. I’ll say it. DESTINY! DESTINY! NO ESCAPING THAT FOR ME! DESTINY! DESTINY! NO ESCAPING THAT FOR ME!”
“The suspense is terrible… I hope it’ll last.”
“What did you expect? “Welcome, sonny”? “Make yourself at home”? “Marry my daughter”? You’ve got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know… morons.”

John Glenn: “There is still no cure for the common birthday.”

Carrie Fisher: “I don’t think Christmas is necessarily about things. It’s about being good to one another, it’s about the Christian ethic, it’s about kindness.”

Debbie Reynolds: “I gave it all that I had, and it’s gratifying that others seem to be receiving it so well.”

William Christopher: (an exchange with Col. Potter)

Father Mulcahy: Colonel, an ambulance has turned over in the compound, you better come on the double.

Col. Potter: Anybody hurt?

Father Mulcahy: Well, the driver’s a bit shaken-up, but he’ll be all right.

Col. Potter: No-one else inside?

Father Mulcahy: No.

Col. Potter: Thank God.

Father Mulcahy: I already did.”

These men and women meant so much to us. They inspired our movements, our passions, our humor. They lived in and for the moment of each day of their lives. And, as I am sure many of you are, as you mourn your personal loved ones lost in the absolutely GARBAGE year, remember this: The world continues to turn, God continues to love and comfort you regardless of your beliefs, and your life is worth living just as these people above had. Meet 2017 head on, with a resolve and a determination that could only come from perseverance. Keep your chin up, fight back against the injustice you see, speak up for those who need it, and live life with humor and energy sometimes only found in movies.

Your life is your own. How will you use it?

(For just this point alone, I’m going to post a couple of links to videos you should watch)

Happy new year!

 

 

 

Thoughts pt. 2 or Why I Fear Independence

So this next installment of thoughts from my brain is more personal rather than political. Just a way for me to get some things from out of my head and on to a piece of paper (or in this case, on a computer screen). So anyway, here goes:

I am afraid.

Not of the election, not of a person, not even of this coming school year. No, what I am afraid of is after the year. True independence for me as an adult: bills, insurance, taxes, etc., alongside seminary and other personal conundrums.

You see, I know I’m lucky. I am very aware of the state of my circumstances. I will be able to graduate almost debt free from my undergrad thanks to my dad’s GI bill, and I haven’t had to pay a bill yet in my life. Trust me, having gone into poorer communities and poorer countries, I know how INCREDIBLY lucky I am, and there is nothing anyone can do to convince me otherwise. I am afraid that my lack of experience will be my downfall. That I will have been so used to this that going into the real world will break me down and apart like nothing else can.

I don’t know how to shop for insurance of any kind, I can’t do my own taxes, and I certainly can’t tell you how to find a decent apartment of any kind. In other words, in the real world:

I’m utterly useless.

Now, I can learn these things (and trust me, I intend to) in the future, through finance classes and mistakes and all sorts of experience, but for some reason that doesn’t make me feel any better.

After this year, there will be some HUGE decisions to make, ones that I am terrified to make by myself, but ones that have to be done. I know I’m financially screwed for the rest of my life as being a pastor doesn’t pay that much at all. I also know I’m not alone in this thought. A number of my recently graduated friends from college have expressed similar sentiments, so I’m positive that I’m not alone in anything I say here. I’m 21 years old for crying out loud! If this is the hardest my life gets, then damn, I am the luckiest man alive. If not that, then God must be intensely helping me in so many ways, just like He does everyday.

But I’m still afraid.

I know what is expected of me: to put my fear and my worry into God’s hands and have Him guide me through these next, incredibly stressful, nine months, but still: When you have anxiety as a symptom/cause/co-conspirator of depression, these things bounce around in your head like nobody’s business, and it almost feels like they’re shouting at you for being a failure at basic adulting.

Joshua 1:9 (NRSV) says “I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

This one verse has stuck with me for a long, long time. Mainly because of a VBS song, but still, a long time, and has become a comfort to me in times of such panic. It may not make me completely better, but knowing that I am not by myself in these thoughts among peers and knowing that while right now I’m useless in the real world, I won’t always be. And even though I feel afraid, I know that God is there beside me. Maybe not taking my fear away, but helping me to control and combat it in so many ways. Personal decisions and financial responsibilities be damned, I have a God that won’t let me stray, a family to help support me, a girlfriend who loves me and keeps me sane, and friends to make the journey SO much easier. I may not be useful now, but I’m definitely not hopeless. There’s too much to look forward to in the future and so much to do in the present that fear can’t control me or dictate how I react.

And it sure as hell never will.