Sorry Republicans, I’m taking Lincoln back.

If I hear/read another person talk about Lincoln being a Republican as if he were a modern Republican then I may start a “going to your house and slapping you” spree. I get it, Republican and Republican it seems like they should be the same. Let me give you a few examples of why you are wrong. Lincoln wouldn’t know what to do with the Republican party of today.

  1. He would have never gotten elected because he was not religious. He considered himself to be a Christian, but did not attend church, and wrote about the importance of the separation of church and state.
  2. In 1861, he signed into law the 1st Federal Income Tax
  3. In 1862, he signed into  law the Pacific Railroads Act, funding the expansion of railroads in the west. Last year, Republican’s stalled funding for Federal Highway Funds. Yes, the roads that you drive on, and you already pay taxes on each time you buy gas. Yes, they want to spend that money on other things.
  4. In 1862, he signed into law funding for land grant colleges.
  5. He holds the record for being the most “activist president.” Yes, he used his executive powers more than ANYONE else.

And, my favorite thing, his life was so amazing that with only moderate amounts of tweaking Seth Grahame-Smith was able to write Abraham Lincoln Vampire Slayer and its violently impressive movie.

No really, Abraham Lincoln: Frontier Crusader For American Liberty is a really fantastic biography.

Oh, America get over yourself

Dear America,

Yes, things aren’t good here right now. But why aren’t they good? Hmm, I could go into a long explanation of the ultimate failure of the Civil Rights Movement, the myopia of the Baby Boomer Generation, and the other research-driven and supported reasons for why we are in this predicament at the moment. The problem is that you don’t care. As both a trained Sociologist and a Clinical Mental Health Counselor, I know a truth about you that you don’t want to read or acknowledge. Your personal experience is but one data point in a sea of 7.5 Billion data points. Your experience with a person or an ethnicity or a religion does not give you ultimate knowledge of that group. There are researchers who spend their entire lives studying ethnicity, gender, or religion and never claim to “know” with the authority of the average Facebook user. So, here is the truth, you are not special, I am not special, our knowledge is not special. It reflects only the experience that we have personally have and nothing more. It is not representative of the world around us, it is representative of us. What’s more, our experience and our memories are influenced by US.

You say that you want to make America great again. A presidential candidate can’t do that. Especially one with Antisocial Personality Disorder, look it up and I’m sure you’ll see what I’m talking about. Presidents really have limited power if you look at the structure of our government. Borrow your child’s government textbook or look it up if you doubt me.

If you want to make America great again then I have some real ways to do that.

  1. Be kind to each other.
  2. Volunteer for a cause that helps others.
  3. Embrace someone different from you.
  4. Try to understand someone’s point of view.

Most importantly, if your only reason for voting for a candidate is because you don’t “personally” like another candidate then you are doing it wrong.

 

Addendum: Family, Friends, & Strangers

People with mental illnesses and even those who are suffering from short-term depressions cannot simply “make themselves feel better.” You can’t will yourself out of mental illness. It is caused by a combination of chemical imbalance and neural pathway abnormalities in the brain.

Let me put it this way. It would be like me dropping a 50-lbs anvil on your foot and telling you that if you think positive thoughts that the broken bones will magically heal themselves. Yes, it is exactly the same. I know you don’t think so, but it really is.

Leave of Absence

Last Thursday, I decided to take a leave of absence from work. I have a number of stressful things occurring in my life at the moment and I reached a point that I needed to take a break. It is not a secret that I have Bipolar I and Panic Disorder. I talk openly about both with anyone who asks and if relevant with my clients. I haven’t had a Bipolar episode since July 2013 because I am careful about avoiding triggers. Recently though I have experienced stressful life changes, sleep deprivation, family distress, and… I will be honest, inconsistent medication usage. The primary reason for the inconsistent medication usage is because I forgot to put my medication in the pill caddy and I would just forget. My memory is another story.

Last week I could feel something shifting inside of me. I thank previous psychiatrists, psychologists, and counselors for the ability to be self-aware regarding my emotional state. I could feel that something was wrong, and I needed to take care of myself. I need to sleep, I need to find ways to relax, and I need to find ways to heal. I did put my medication in the caddy so that is covered.

I often talk to my clients about how it is possible to live a normal life with Bipolar Disorder, Schizoaffective Disorder, and Schizophrenia. I also talk about how it isn’t a failure if they have a setback, and that we all have setbacks. Right now, I am taking some time to take care of myself because I don’t want to get sicker. I don’t want to go to a mental health facility for a stay. I don’t want to scare my children. I want to be well.

For those looking for information:

Websites

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

National Institute of Mental Health: Bipolar Disorder

National Alliance on Mental Illness: Bipolar Disorder

American Psychiatric Association: Bipolar Disorder

Books

An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness: This book is a first person narrative of a psychiatrist and her struggle with diagnosis, treatment, and recovery.

Bipolar Disorder: A Guide for Patients and Family (A Johns Hopkins Press Health Book)

Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder: Understanding and Helping Your Partner

Touched by Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament: Because it’s only fair that we get something out of all of this.

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Today

Something happened today which at first seemed manageable and easy to move past. But, as I sat there and thought my stomach dropped and my insides clenched and I thought, “please just hold on a little bit longer.” As that first tear slid down the side of my face, I thought, “you are stronger than this.” Maybe… or, maybe strength is found in a thousand different expressions of emotions.

I often look at my hands, which shake uncontrollably at times.I sometimes wonder if they are connected directly to the jangling nerves in my head. I catch my reflection in a computer screen and see a plastered-on smile that magically reaches my eyes and wonder how I get that to happen. Because the inside is empty, empty, empty.

Today, I took a step down the rabbit hole and you know it’s not so bad. You can see carrots from here.

I’m taking a break from Social Media, and That Means Your Social Media Too!

I admit it; I am one raw nerve. After months of the most ridiculous presidential campaign in modern history, a Republican candidate with Antisocial Personality Disorder. Masses of people embracing their American rights to freedom, racial discrimination, and hatred, hatred, hatred… I just can’t do it anymore. People that I once respected, I have to shake my head and think, “when did you forget how to do basic math? I mean 3rd-grade math not even higher math”

And then the horrible and brutal deaths of young black men across the country and law enforcement officers in Dallas and elsewhere. I’m going to be clear here, Black Lives Matter. They matter because historically, they haven’t mattered. They matter because young black men die at a higher rate than any other group in our population. They matter because young black men die disproportionately at the hands of law enforcement when they have not committed a crime and are not carrying a weapon when compared to the rest of the population.

Is there a conspiracy to kill young black men by the police? Probably not, except by a few former sheriff’s deputies in Williamson Co, TX who were recruiting for the KKK at work. However, we live in a culture that believes that a young black man is more likely to be dangerous because of the color of his skin. Trust me, on any given day, I am far more dangerous than most young black men and that’s why I don’t have access to the gun safe at home. I support law enforcement, it’s a difficult job and at times a dangerous one.

Which brings me to my decision to cut off social media, no facebook, no twitter, no tumblr, or instagram. This will post automatically because the page that allows me to cut off that option is down at the moment. Every time I went on FB or Twitter, my blood pressure would go through the roof, and I would become angry and tense. I argued with family and friends.So I shut it down.

I’ll tell you a secret, it’s the thing that politicians don’t want you to know because you’ll stop being distracted by your own fighting and your own voices.

You really don’t know an effing thing about any of this. You only know the lies that the media has fed you. You only know the lies that politicians have told you. In 70 years when they release the classified documents about all of this mess most of us will be dead and the rest will be so dotty that we won’t care.

So, I encourage you to keep fighting each other with your lies. Ignore the actual data. Pretend you know the truth. It’s fine, your opinion, and your right to have one. They are like assholes you know.

I’m just asking you one tiny, tiny thing.  Stop telling me about the crap you read on Facebook. I’ve asked you nicely, I’ve begged and pleaded. To be completely honest, I don’t know who those people are, I don’t care who they are, and even if I did know them unless they are dying I really need this break.