What I Want The World To Know About “Wanting The World To Know”, Part 1

hands-on-world1My compulsive and nervous-boredom-induced stroll down Facebook’s news feed every morning is revealing yet another up-the-wall-driving trend. It’s two-pronged and it’s going to make me look like either a Luddite or a very insensitive, butthurt jerk to point it out: a) celebrities “coming out” about their struggles with mental health and b) the glut of articles and blog posts, the volume of which is rapidly approaching the amount of memoirs (especially, horrifyingly, of people under 30) water-logging the creative nonfiction market, titled something like “What I Want The World To Know About Bi-Polar Disorder/Anxiety/Post-Partum Depression,” etc.”  Continue reading What I Want The World To Know About “Wanting The World To Know”, Part 1

Another Shooting

gun controlDisclaimer: to make it clear from the beginning, I am not a gun nut, I have never fired a gun in my life and don’t ever intend to. I am for sensible gun laws. I am not obsessed with the 2nd Amendment. My main concern here is with how we are talking about gun control.

I cannot join the bandwagon clapping their hands at Pres. Obama’s speech regarding the massacre in Oregon on Thursday. And I’m pretty disappointed that The New Yorker called it powerful – no wonder we’re “numb” if that’s what we think “powerful” is – but I guess you can’t really expect much different from mainstream media anymore. Mostly what struck me about the president’s speech is how hard it was for me to distinguish his talk about those with mental illness from Donald Trump when he talks about Latinos, Syrian refugees, women, the poor, etc.: Pres. Obama continues to demonize and stigmatized those suffering with mental illness even though there is a TON of research that deeply problematizes the categorical link the president reinforced between mental illness itself and violence like this. There are, however, plenty of studies (that are, of course, being suppressed) that conclusively show a statistically significant link between psychiatric MEDICATIONS and acts of violence. This is not the only factor here, but I’m from Columbine town: after that iconic massacre, drug companies were required to put black-box labels on their drugs. That’s it. Yet we bicker and fight about gun control as if it’s this solve-all god. I’m sorry, but if your medication causes the same side effects as the “illness” you’re trying to treat (homicidal and suicidal thoughts being the relevant ones here), you are doing it wrong and we’re the ones left holding the (body) bag(s). Continue reading Another Shooting

Emotions Are Not The Enemy, Part 1

tar sands
Alberta, Canada – before and after a tar sands project

“My feelings, they don’t matter.” “Worship anyway.” “Feelings lie.” If those are various answers, the question might be something like “How are Christians encouraging one another when one is going through a hard time?” or “Name some song lyrics from contemporary worship songs.” Emotions in the church are increasingly scary, powerful and not to be trusted and most expressions of such are met with “encouragements” to recite “the truth” “despite” emotions, which apparently can’t ever contain truth, until you’re able to “calm down” about something legitimately upsetting. Or, best-case scenario, people will offer to pray for you, which has felt more and more like distancing, passing the buck to someone else (just like directing someone to their counselor). Whatever the case, demonizing feelings is considered legitimate, even Christ-like; we are, as a result, unable to care for each other effectively when complicated emotions come up that cannot (and should not) be ignored. Continue reading Emotions Are Not The Enemy, Part 1

Can Social Media Be Useful?

wiresThe topic request I received four days ago asks a pretty simple question – “Do you think there is a time and a place for connection through social media? Do you think there is a way it can be meaningful?” – yet I’ve really been struggling with it. On the one hand, I don’t want to rant. It’s a fair question and it deserves a fair answer. On the other hand, my personal experiences are clouding any objectivity I might otherwise have (isn’t that the way of it, though). So maybe that’s a good place to start.

Continue reading Can Social Media Be Useful?

Waiting for Hello

birdsWe’ve all heard it – social media is making far less social and far more isolated than ever before. Loneliness, which is deadly, is skyrocketing, effecting more and more people, and, amazingly, when I posted about this problem on Facebook and how much I related to the feelings of loneliness, someone actually commented, “I’m happy I’m not lonely.”  Ouch. Continue reading Waiting for Hello

“5 Reasons I Wish We Would Stop Talking About ‘Recovery'”: A Response

SraMorakot-NatureTrail-UnmarkedIntersection-2035_mdI know I was in the middle of something else here, but I wanted to take a few moments to respond to an article posted in one of my FB groups.  Liza Long, most popularly known for her “I Am Adam Lanza’s Mother” piece a few years ago, wants us to stop using the word recovery.  She may name some pretty important things to remember – like mental illness is not a choice – but overall, I’m annoyed (though not surprised, HP is rather mainstream-y after all) that this would be published.  What little she gets right isn’t worth the constellation of stuff she gets wrong, not to mention that this reads like a globalization of a personal grudge. Continue reading “5 Reasons I Wish We Would Stop Talking About ‘Recovery’”: A Response

“God is Dead,” Part 3: A Response to Atheists

Dawkins-RichardI know I said I’d be done on Wednesday, but no discussion of atheism would be complete without at least mentioning the likes of Richard Dawkins, Charles Hitchens and Susan Jacoby.  You’ve probably heard of at least one of these outspoken advocates for atheism.  A lot of the arguments against God use science, many want to say we can be good without God and eventually, most of them point to the violence religion has brought to the human species.  Ironically, many of today’s current outspoken atheist’s are described with words like “crusdader,” “attacker of science,” “viciously opposed to religion.”  And we’ve already talked about how religion does not have a monopoly on violence. Continue reading “God is Dead,” Part 3: A Response to Atheists

“The One Thing Christians Should Stop Saying” – A Response

My husband recently asked me when you all get to start voting on what I write about next.  He then quickly followed up with requesting that I write about my struggles with the Old Testament.  I laughed, shrugged it off and said that I didn’t have anything brilliant to say about the Old Testament yet.  I then promptly came across this article, which commands Christians, if they’re going to stop saying “one thing,” to stop attributing their material blessings to God because it “reduces The Almighty to some sort of sky-bound, wish-granting fairy who spends his days randomly bestowing cars and cash upon his followers” and that material blessing is “positive reinforcement.” Continue reading “The One Thing Christians Should Stop Saying” – A Response