#PunchaNazi – non-violently

It is hard to keep handling my own mental and physical health issues with the country/worldwide issues that are taking place right now. Some of these things I am addressing – not to be political, but to take care of my own mental health. I can not sit idly by and say nothing because my blood boils and my anger comes out and my anxiety comes at me full force. I stop being able to handle anyone or anything.

#punchanazi is a thing right now, and I will say I wholeheartedly agree with it, especially after #charlottesville (though I’d have agreed before). You do not have to use your fists. You do not have to use violence. You can punch through an idea with words and non-violent actions.

This is a post from my friend Mona (she is my adultiest adult friend) and I hope her words echo with some part of your heart through these times:

Here’s the thing.
This is my voice.
This is how I punch a nazi. 
I am not going to take up arms.
I am not going to be silent.
I am dismayed and terrified of what is going on in our country by a man so desperate to deflect from his own illegal doings he would rather ignite a civil war in his own country.

Make no mistake. This is a distraction. But it’s a dangerous one and one that I cannot and will not ignore.

Where there are two sides, and one of those sides contains NAZIS, then that is the wrong side.

I am first generation American. My grandparents were Holocaust survivors.

I will not be silent.

Never. Again. Is. Now.

I have seen posts that say to drown out their chants with annoying instruments and cover them in glitter to identify them… to use their marches against them by raising money for equality pledged for how far they march. You do not have to be violent to punch a Nazi / neo-nazi / white supremacist (to me these are all the same but apparently some people bother distinguishing between them).

However, should I ever come across one and they lash out in violence at me, or anyone near me, I assure you, I will use my fists. Not out of vengeance. Not even out of rage… but in defense of those that stand for true equality in our world.

~Brutally Honest Eccentric~

#Charlottesville …and things that don’t.

There are many ways people seem to judge themselves as superior or inferior to others. Below is a list of things that do not make me either. Below that is what I feel truly makes the difference between great and small.

Things that do not make me inferior or superior:

  • The color of my skin
  • My (lack of, abundance of) religion
  • The gender(s) of people I have slept with
  • The number of people I have slept with
  • Who I date
  • Who I marry
  • Whether or not I graduated college
  • Whether or not I’ve had an abortion
  • Choosing not to have my own biological children
  • Having worked 70 hour work weeks
  • Having become disabled
  • Being on disability
  • To me, “Greek Life” is Baklava and Ouzo
  • How much I weigh
  • What size my clothes are
  • Stretch marks
  • Hair color/style
  • Makeup
  • Being bipolar
  • Having anxiety
  • Hearing
  • Sight
  • Being (completely not) able to cook

There are some that believe these things matter. I’m not one of them. Even that is not something that in and of itself makes us superior… but things I think do:

  • Empathy
  • Loving those that are different from you
  • Loving those that are the same as well
  • Caring about issues that don’t affect you personally… but affect others.
  • Listening
  • Wanting to better myself

It’s not what we do for ourselves that helps to make us a superior person, it is what we do for others. It is seeing that there are people that are like us and unlike us and knowing that both sets of people deserve empathy and love.

If you don’t want to be judged for your mental illnesses, please consider what other prejudices you hold in your heart, and try to stop judging others for things they do not control either. We can always do better.

~Brutally Honest Eccentric~

I am trying.

How many times do you say this? How many times do you tell your doctor, your best friend, your family… “I am trying.” Only they can’t see it. “Are you?” … Yes, really, I am. It’s just there’s this constant fighting going on in my head, and I’m sorry. I’m sorry you can’t see it. I’m sorry you keep asking. I am sorry you don’t believe me. I am sorry it’s been years and I am still fighting.

For some people, depression is linked to an event, such as loss of a job or a relationship. Sometimes just moving forward can help these people out of their depression. This seems to make them think that it is that simple for everyone. “Chin up, this will pass.” It will pass, but for many of us, it comes back.

If you’ve had a depressive episode and managed to come out of it and not return, please don’t assume that everyone has that ability. For some, there is trauma, from war, from abuse… This does not just go away by “getting over it.” You don’t just “move on.” For some, there are chemical imbalances in the brain. Please don’t tell me that you did it without meds, so can I. I can’t. I’ve tried.

I can’t always just ‘cheer up’ – I have learned to pretend to but even that has become so exhausting, I can’t do it often. I can’t always ‘just relax’ because my brain doesn’t understand how to stop throwing thoughts at me sometimes. I’m sorry you don’t understand this.

Someone’s going to read this and think I was talking about them in particular. I’m not. Please know that. This is something that those of us with mental health issues deal with on a regular basis just by interacting with people. Sometimes this is why we don’t want to interact with people.

If we tell you we are trying, please try to understand that the processes we’re going through aren’t visible to you but they are very real. We haven’t given up. We fight every day. We are trying.

~Brutally Honest Eccentric~

First Impressions…

It’s a little different in person than online. Sometimes when you meet a person, you just feel off, and sometimes it’s a really good idea to listen to that feeling. Sometimes you feel like you’ve known them for lifetimes, and it’s good to listen to that too.

Online, however, first impressions can be completely off base. Just because the first time you interact with someone, you’re on opposite sides of a debate, that doesn’t mean that you won’t have things in common. It doesn’t mean you can’t become dear friends. Sometimes the first time you interact with someone is on a friend’s post and you agree with everything they say… but when you talk one on one, you realize that maybe that one thing was all you had in common.

I know most people know this, but I want to bring it up because I want to remind you to give people a chance when your first thought is, “Omg, what is wrong with this asshole?” Leave your mind open enough to be surprised by the kindness or empathy or complete and total dedication to the same fandoms … We are all multi-faceted.

I am not saying to let people disrespect you, or to ignore insults and attacks… I am just saying that a disagreement can forge a friendship if you let it.

~Brutally Honest Eccentric~

The Fallen Soldiers

do not always fall in combat. You hear about a number of soldiers from your country dying in a war torn section of land that’s not your own. What you hear less about are the soldiers that die every day once they have come back home.

In many countries, Remembrance Day falls on what we in America call Veteran’s Day. It is the day that we honor those that have come home that are still with us. Memorial Day is this weekend for us and it is when we honor those that fallen. The fallen veterans from my life did not die in a far off place, they did not even die during the war they served in. Or perhaps a piece of them did and that is why they ended their life.

I can’t pretend to know the motives of my biological father or my friend Teresa. I can not say that their deaths were a result of the battlefield itself or of navigating the battlefield in their mind once home. I can, however, tell you I have yet to come across the family of a veteran suicide in ANY country that has said “Our country is doing everything they can for those that gave everything for our country.” We can’t control the budgets of the government but we can control our money, our time and our voices.

Not everyone has money to spare, but if you do, look around at the lives of the veterans in your country and find a place to donate it where it will do the most good. If you have the time and ability, find a place to give of yourself, to volunteer. If all you have is your voice – let it be heard. Talk about it. Use social media, write to your government. Let people know this issue is important.

For us, in America,¬†this is not the weekend to thank a veteran for service. It is the time to stop and honor those that died for us, for our freedoms, for our rights, for our way of life. It is the day to honor those that fell in combat as well as those that have passed on outside of it. For me, it is the weekend I honor the fallen in my life and the time that I hope I will not have to switch anyone from Veteran’s Day to Memorial Day in my thoughts next year.

I would post a picture with this, but the reality is if it takes a picture of flag and a uniform with a crying family to move you, then my words won’t have any effect.

*In memory of David and Teresa*

~Brutally Honest Eccentric~

“My pain doesn’t matter because…”

Since the bombing in Manchester, I have seen a lot of “but my pain is nothing compared to…” This should stop. Yes, there are people out there grieving and suffering from trauma. This does not mean that your pain does not still exist. This does not mean that your pain does not still matter.

I have had at least three friends in the past few days use this phrase, and even more acquaintances. The truth is that there is always someone grieving. There is always someone experiencing trauma. This does not mean your pain and your trauma are “less.” The only difference right now is that it is a mass tragedy. This means you are more aware of the pain of others because it has been amplified by the number of people currently suffering.

You are no less important. Your pain is no less important. Mine is no less important. I have spent weeks trying to grieve while being ill due to side effects of a medication for my brain pressure. I was no less sick because of world events. In fact, I may have felt more grief in my own losses because I know others are grieving for theirs.

I missed my fiance’s mother’s birthday because of how ill I have been. I missed my grandfather’s memorial because of how ill I have been. Am I to dismiss my own grief because others are grieving? No. We both grieve. We both feel pain. We both feel loss. It is okay to feel and not compare.

There is no real “more pain” or “less” because people each experience pain, both physical and emotional, uniquely. When you say “my pain is nothing compared to” you are minimizing your own worth. You are saying “I don’t matter because they hurt” and this is simply not true. Please know that you can experience what you perceive as ‘minor’ pain while others experience major tragedy and loss, and your pain is still real and it still matters because YOU MATTER.

We’ve talked about others invalidating how we feel, and how hurtful that is. This is you invalidating your own emotions and I hurt when I see this because you deserve to treat yourself better than that. You deserve to treat yourself the way you would treat someone you love. Your pain matters. You matter. You ARE important.

~Brutally Honest Eccentric~

It’s a little harder for us…

Things you stop taking for granted when you have mental illness:

  • Sleeping through the night
  • Showering regularly
  • Getting out of bed
  • Getting dressed
  • Leaving the house
  • Going to parties
  • Finding joy in your own hobbies
  • Talking on the phone
  • Being able to make your own appointments
  • Feeling loved
  • Remembering to eat
  • Caring if you don’t
  • Being mildly annoyed instead of severely agitated
  • Smiling
  • Going an entire day without bursting into tears

There are so many more, but having the attention span to read long lists would be one of mine. I’m not saying that people should consciously appreciate the things that we can’t do and they can, but I wanted to just take a short moment to say, “Hey, we get that this comes easy to you, but it’s really hard for us, and no we’re not just saying that to get attention.”

What’s one thing you used to take for granted that you now have trouble with?

~Brutally Honest Eccentric~