Some people think mental illness is a matter of mood, a matter of personality. They think depression is simply a form of being sad, that OCD is a form of being uptight. They think the soul is sick, not the body. It is, they believe, something that you have some choice over.
I know how wrong this is.
When I was a child, I didn’t understand. I would wake up in a new body and wouldn’t comprehend why things felt muted, dimmer. Or the opposite—I’d be supercharged, unfocused, like a radio at top volume flipping quickly from station to station…Eventually, though, I realized these inclinations, these compulsions, were as much a part of the body as its eye color or its voice. Yes, the feelings themselves were intangible, amorphous, but the cause of the feelings was a matter of chemistry, biology.
It is a hard cycle to conquer. The body is working against you. And because of this, you feel even more despair. Which only amplifies the imbalance. It takes uncommon strength to live with these things. But I have seen that strength over and over again.
Everyone who terrifies you is sixty-five percent water. And everyone you love is made of stardust, and I know sometimes you cannot even breathe deeply, and the night sky is no home, and you have cried yourself to sleep enough times that you are down to your last two percent, but
nothing is infinite, not even loss.
You are made of the sea and the stars, and one day you are going to find yourself again.
26, 29, 31, 35, 36 (I figured I'd start from the bottom of the list)
26. What did you want and get?
To get into grad school! To move out of Denver! (hey some of this sounds familiar) To get a job where I feel appreciated and also like I can kick ass. To learn to set some boundaries (working on this one still. oh man). Also, new tattoos. (next one is January 10!)
29: What one thing made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Friends. Not to be super mushy, but knowing I had a support system of people who kick ass and care about me.
31: What kept you sane?
Getting into running. Now time to get back into running— consistently….
Coffee. And Teen Wolf. Laugh, world, but sometimes having a stupid show you know is stupid and can watch with friends and laugh at the science! and Da “the rock” Johnson with makes all the difference.
35: Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.
I mean, I’m working on learning it, but mindfulness. Come back to me in a year and we’ll talk.
36: Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Nada Surf “Blankest Year”: “Oh fuck it, I’m gonna have a party! I had the blankest year!
“Picture yourself when you were five. In fact, dig out a photo of little you at that time and tape it to your mirror. How would you treat her, love her, feed her? How would you nurture her if you were the mother of little you? I bet you would protect her fiercely while giving her space to spread her itty-bitty wings. She’d get naps, healthy food, imagination time, and adventures into the wild. If playground bullies hurt her feelings, you’d hug her tears away and give her perspective. When tantrums or meltdowns turned her into a poltergeist, you’d demand a loving time-out in the naughty chair. From this day forward I want you to extend that same compassion to your adult self.”—Kris Carr (via alchemy)
A girl I knew was murdered, and her mother, out of grief, wore the dead child’s clothes. Soon she believed she was her own lost daughter. Later, they discovered someone had filmed the girl being killed. How can we bear witness to this? A child dies, and a woman goes mad. A man pays to see the child tortured, and while he watches, comes in his hand. And I tell a story, about a girl I knew, because grief is an echo that calls me, and it’s wrong, but it’s all I can do.
“Some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system. Meanwhile, the excluded are still waiting. To sustain a lifestyle which excludes others, or to sustain enthusiasm for that selfish ideal, a globalization of indifference has developed. Almost without being aware of it, we end up being incapable of feeling compassion at the outcry of the poor, weeping for other people’s pain, and feeling a need to help them, as though all this were someone else’s responsibility and not our own. The culture of prosperity deadens us; we are thrilled if the market offers us something new to purchase; and in the meantime all those lives stunted for lack of opportunity seem a mere spectacle; they fail to move us.”—
So I had to wiki to understand what this quote is from, and basically the pope can release something called an apostolic exhortation whenever he wants, and it doesn’t dictate church doctrine at all, but it’s kind of like a long blog post where he’s like, “Hey, hi, hope everyone’s doing well. Here are my thoughts on some good tudes we might want to try out as we walk through the world.”
Anyway, the new pope seems like a good pope. Nice pope, Italy. Solid pope.
I remember when I thought people in their 20’s were adults. Now all of my friends are in their 20’s and everybody is just kind of fumbling around bumping into each other, trying to figure out where the free food is