Life is like that. We don’t know anything. We call something bad; we call it good. But really we just don’t know.Pema Chodron, When Things Fall Apart
The difference between theism and nontheism is not whether one does or does not believe in God… Theism is a deep-seated conviction that there’s some hand to hold: if we just do the right things, someone will appreciate us and take care of us… Nontheism is relaxing with the ambiguity and uncertainty of the present moment without reaching for anything to protect ourselves.Pema Chödrön
When I’m at my worst mentally, the only thing that helps is playing video games. Specifically World of Warcraft. It truly does something to my brain that helps pull me out of depression (or at least makes it bearable). Crafting also works for me, but not to the same extent.
Cyber-psychologist Berni Goode talking about Flow on Charlie Brooker’s How Videogames Changed the World.
Flow is extremely important. So, so important.
It’s what keeps some people sane. It’s what drives the world’s most skilled and accomplished athletes, the most intense gamers, the hardcore hobbyists, even many of the most talented artists, musicians and actors - flow is what you get when unstoppable drive meets an unflinching will and unlimited dedication.
Flow is being utterly, truly “in the zone”. And it’s one of the most amazing feelings there is.
This is why finding a sport, or a hobby, or a martial art, or a handicraft, or a new video game, or any skill-based activity that uses focus and requires practice and repetition is so beneficial for things like depression and anxiety and overall mental/physical well-being.
Opinion is really the lowest form of human knowledge. It requires no accountability, no understanding. The highest form of knowledge is empathy, for it requires us to suspend our egos and live in another’s world. It requires profound purpose larger than the self kind of understanding.Bill Bullard (via mermaidporn)
Tragically, the well-off and the poor are often united in capitalist culture by their shared obsession with consumption. Oftentimes the poor are more addicted to excess because they are the most vulnerable to all the powerful messages in media and in our lives in general which suggest that the only way out of class shame is conspicuous consumption. Propaganda in advertising and in the culture as a whole assures the poor that they can be one with those who are more materially privileged if they own the same products. It helps sustain the false notion that ours is a classless society. When these values are accepted by the poor they internalize habits of being that make them act in complicity with greed and exploitation. Who has not heard materially well-off individuals talk about driving through poor neighborhoods and seeing fancy cars or massive overeating of junk food? These are the incidents the well-off emphasize to denigrate the poor while simultaneously holding them accountable for their fate.bell hooks (via wretchedoftheearth)
I was really upset to just read that one of my favourite authors as a young teenager, Ned Vizzini, committed suicide yesterday. He struggled with depression his whole life and he wrote great novels for young people who felt alone, sad or unsure about their place in this world. It’s Kind of a Funny Story is one of the few books I brought with me when I moved, it had such a hopeful and optimistic tone about mental illness and that’s why I think I’m so upset about this.
I’m trying to put my finger on why I feel so unnerved by all this. I think it is because this was a man who fought a hard battle and wrote books about it that spoke to people who were also going through the same things and he ended up losing his battle. The problem with depression is it never really goes away, it just takes a sideline until it sees an opportunity to flare up again. It’s not fair.
I think the best way to honour Ned’s memory is to keep talking about mental health and keep talking to each other. The holidays are a hard time and please, be kind to each other. Don’t be ashamed to ask for help. Although Ned’s story has an unhappy ending, yours doesn’t have to. Here are some resources (feel free to add on):
- Suicide: 800-SUICIDE (800-748-3433) / 1-800-237-TALK, 1-800-784-8433
- Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868
- Rape/Sexual Assault: 800-656-HOPE (800-656-4673)
- Self Harm: 899-DONT-CUT (800-366-8288)
- LifeLine: 1-800-273-8255
- Sexuality: 800-246-PRIDE (800-246-7743) / 1-888/THE-GLNH
- Grief Support: 650-321-5272
- Depression Hotline: 1-630-482-9696 AA/ALA (family & friends of recovering alcoholics): 888-4AL-ANON (888-425-2666)
- Domestic Violence: 866-331-9474
- Teen Relationships: 650-259-7136 Eating Disorders: 847-831-3438
- Post Abortion/Pro-Voice: 1-866-439-4253 Trevor Project: 1-866-488-7386
- Runaway:1-800-843-5200, 1-800-843-5678, 1-800-621-4000