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Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. I’ve been no stranger to feeling sad, off, or have prolong feelings of melancholy that seem to make the days drag on. They say the depressed see the world in duller tones — which I can attest to be true. Once in a blue moon, I feel myself at the depths of despair even though, by all accounts, life is going smoothly. I have a nice job, car, a few nice possessions, friends that care about me, and people that I can reach without much trouble. I’d trade all my worldly possessions for the relationships I have with my friends and family without hesitation. I firmly believe that is what is important in life — people.

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I feel broken. But perhaps I’m not wording that eloquently enough. I’ve had a number of events in my life that traumatized me whether I can freely admit it or not. The deaths of a few close family members, an emotionally abusive relationship with a former girl friend, non-existent blood family, almost dying a few times, and a few friends leaving my boat to fend for myself alone in the ocean — life isn’t always glamorous or picture perfect.

Would I trade all those negative experiences for a life free of pain and suffering? Absolutely not. Learn from the past and just keep moving forward. It’s not your typical bullshit motivational post found on the likes of Facebook or Instagram — it’s the truth. I have a hard time forgetting and I would say time only slowly removes those unwanted feelings and emotions. I’m honest. I hope everyone else I care about is also.

It’s May 2019 and I can recall feeling completely lost in my own word numerous times in the past. Alone. It’s strange to admit when there are so many people who care about me. I’ve only recently realized how I perceive my world is not 1-to-1 to reality. I need a few words of advice and wisdom or a pick me up some months, but I listen intently. Perhaps, I am different, but I know there are others who feel the same way. All I have is this blog and the words in between. I fancy myself an optimist and hope that doesn’t change.

Take care of yourself. Thanks for visiting. Later world.

 

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Positivity 101

I’ve felt being positive is met with two opposing teams. I found this chart on Instagram and couldn’t agree more. Everyone wants the same end result, the approach differs drastically. I wish everyone would stop to think for a minute.

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Disconnecting

I find the concept of social media overwhelming. As if I’m suppose to go on it everyday to see what people are doing. People whom I’m not all too concerned about or have given much a thought throughout the week. I think at my absolute peak, my Facebook had about one thousand of my not so closest friends on there. It worked well though. You need to be connected with everyone you meet where ever if you’re looking to party and get drunk every weekend — Friday included. For a while, it worked great for this purpose, however scandalous it may seem.

Now that the party life has long since passed, social media feels more like a nuisance than a means of keeping in touch. I find myself too distracted by all the bullshit friends share on there. It’s a wasteland of memes, graphic videos, and misinformation. It comes naturally. People gravitate towards information that support their own beliefs — rarely looking at ones that oppose it. It’s an echo chamber for everyone’s notions. I’m hard pressed to find anything useful on there just casually browsing. I’ve went as far as to unlike everything to clear the clutter. Fun fact, I was one of the first few thousand users on Instagram when it first launched prior to being acquired on Facebook. Its wide use to photograph everyones food was a more recent phenomenon in its history. Last I checked, I had only friends with a wide assortment of food blogs followed. Shit I’m genuinely interested in. Of course, anything my friends share gets shown on my feed, but it’s worlds better. It’s all ads if you take a deeper look.

In my time studying psychology, I did a number of reports on the effects of social media. Two in community college and one while at UCSB. More or less, my suspicions about its utility were confirmed through research I compiled. It does more harm than good, makes you less satisfied with life and weakens interpersonal relationships. It’s the new breeding ground for the socially inept generation who post for likes, hearts, and comments. It’s the feedback loop at work. It’s feeding into everyones fears of missing out while making your mind addicted to small hits of dopamine through likes and comments. Somehow, complex face-to-face communication has taken a backseat to more primitive texted-based communication. Replace hugs with heart emojis and facial cues with a smiley. It’s the not the same and never will be. When I browse, scroll, or flip through the feed, I take everything I see or read with a grain of salt.

It’s all bullshit.

I deactivated Facebook and Instagram a few days ago, and you know what? Seems like I didn’t need it. I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything from anyone I actually care about. Less ads, less memes and less of a burden on my mental health. Later world.

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Thoughts on Suicide

The following are my thoughts on suicide. For anyone reading this, I don’t expect you to agree with everything I say. The United States has a growing mental health crisis that’s risen exponentially year after year. I can’t offer any reasons why this is the case other than what I am aware of.

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For some, the thought of ending their own life is a fixation of the highest magnitude. The perils of living have outweighed the desire to continue on, which it’s a thought that is hard to grasp. To somehow be alive and conscious, but seek the solitude that death brings. It’s terrifying and almost salvation in some sense.

They say the ones who go have no warning signs. That they live normal run of the mill lives that otherwise wouldn’t raise any red flags. Perhaps they seek a therapist, but don’t admit to having suicidal thoughts. You have to ask, why would they? The guilt admitting wanting to go brings a lot of conflicting emotions. Burden is brought on to them and those who know. It’s a lost of autonomy for them. The stigma is too strong, especially with the cloud over mental health as severe as it is in the US. The cynicism that suicide brings makes it seem like death will be their ticket out. A permanent one at that.

Mental health care in the States is a joke. Some believe those who are affected by this illness are easy to spot and clues can be found in their behavior. I’m inclined to believe this couldn’t be further from the truth. Those who are suffering suffer silently. There are no hints, no warning signs, and nothing unusual about them. It happens suddenly when you least suspect it. They are silently dying and suffering.

If the act is unsuccessful, you’re met with high medical costs, time in suicide watch, handcuffed to a bed, court dates, mandatory therapy sessions, and round the clock surveillance. It’s fucked up how we can treat people like this.

There has to be a renewed focus on mental health care and prevention. Not all illnesses are so cut and dry. Emotions come in many forms and levels of intensity. How we can condense the complexity of a person’s mind and thought processes into archaic and systematic steps isn’t a solution. We shouldn’t punish those who are calling out for help — not like this. Ever.

Later world.