The tragedy and hope of confronting suicide and mental health

The tragedy and hope of confronting suicide and mental health

I grew up listening to Chris Cornell’s music as most other 90’s teenagers did. He was able to easily evince a feeling of sensitive yet aggressive angst with operatic bravura. This ability most likely came from his own struggles with mental health and personal darkness.

I understand what it’s like to be artistic and depressive. I’ve been suicidal for long periods of my life. I’m not suicidal now and haven’t been since January of 2016 when I sort of figured out how to exist in my darkness. It’s work. Daily work. Artists and sensitives have to deal with their environment, and America as a country is very dark. America tries to wear this ridiculous, happy mask to try and convince the world that it’s “so happy!!!” However us sensitives get to swim in the darkness, seeing the realness that others might be able to ignore.

There is relief of mental health troubles, but overcoming these struggles requires the best in us. I’ve found ancient Zen and Taoist concepts of letting go, nothingness, and peace to help me cope. I’ve also found solace in the passion and suffering of Jesus although I’m definitely not a mainstream Christian by any measure. I also use modern mental health techniques like dialectical behavioral therapy to address my anxieties and extreme emotions. I try and use a holistic and whole body approach to tackling mental health concerns, and I believe I’ve found a modicum of success in this respect.

I don’t really blame people for committing suicide because it’s a tough row to hoe, but I definitely think it is a tragic error that tends to amplify your suffering onto other people. I’ve come to see suicide as “self murder,” and I believe that murder is not really helpful in most if not all circumstances. Through this re-framing of concept, I’ve been able to take the romanticism out of my old obsessions with suicide. Mental health concerns challenge us to radically confront ourselves, and this is often a most precipitous mountain to scale.

But I want to say that there are other climbers on this mountain willing to help you if you reach out for help, which is my final point: always reach out for help. If you humble yourself and say “I just can’t figure out how to live,” most likely someone will be there to help you, and often this act of letting go can free us from the notion that we have to fix everything ourselves.

Hello it’s me

I suspect that people think I’m slightly off and a little dogmatic. Honestly, I’ve just adapted to a hard life, and I got really scared by death and suicidality, so I have my ways of just dealing with the shitty situations in my life. They can be extreme, but my situation has been extreme. I really just want to connect with people but I’ve been plagued by disease and malapropism. I’ve been rejected and sick my whole life. I’ve always felt like an extreme outsider and it has been reaffirmed by my life. I don’t want to cry over every oppressed identity; I just want to explain to my friends why I can be odd. Being me has been hard at times, but I’ve found a life for myself. I’m happy now. I have peace. 

Being roundly rejected for something over which you have no control is very challenging. But then again God or whatever runs this show thinks we might be just the people who can handle it. I don’t know. I’m just trying to connect.

Why we as Americans must sacrifice and chose proven and moderate means of solving our current political crisis

Why we as Americans must sacrifice and chose proven and moderate means of solving our current political crisis

Donald Trump is the archetypal confidence man who uses verbal attack tricks to manipulate others by using techniques like globalizing (either/or, black and white thinking), distraction, cutting people off, and other obvious tactics. He also includes a small amount of truth that most people in power don’t talk about, and this endears him to people who feel muzzled and powerless. They are willing to accept the mountain of garbage because there is that little bit of something they really need. Because the media has become so controlled and centralized, it opens the door for demagogues like this. We must have a media that is less focused on middling, sponsor approved, “feel good,” and tepid stories. The reactionary right wing would not have the ammo that it does if the media wasn’t so out of touch.

Yes, there are generalizations here, but I think this is part of the problem. There are obvious problems in America that are not being addressed by the mainstream, and the Internet is a very fertile field for these types of people who can exploit this imbalance. We must support independent media who are not just working to appease their sponsors and the faceless, empty suits who represent the billionaire class. This is not a new phenomenon in America, and we have seen this kind of class conflict before, but the Internet is the jet fuel that spurs on the horse of radicalism.

Lastly, our democratic mechanisms must be updated to handle the changing environment of our republic. Gerrymandering has to be addressed. It is an undemocratic power grab by the incumbency. It is rendering our democracy constipated and intractable. We also need to experiment with alternative systems of voting like many other affluent countries use. Runoff style, two-stage voting systems might be better suited to our country as opposed to our current monopoly system: first-past-the-post voting. This is kind of technical, so I apologize if the language is a bit obscure.

We have a robust system of democracy still in America, but we need boldness to address the problems here. I believe that radical simplicity like Ayn Rand style anarcho-capitalistic libertarianism or alternatively Maoist communism are not the solution. We need a radical yet moderate approach to fixing our problems. Only by meeting in the middle will we move forward across the bridge that crosses the chasm of discord that we currently face. I do not know if this is possible until a certain percentage of hard-line older Americans pass on. This might sound harsh, but these 70 and 80 year old anti-change zealots probably will not change at this point.

Anyway, I hope we can preserve as a representative democracy. We definitely need lots of change, but let’s hope that it arrives in a constructive and logical form rather than a dictatorial morass of alternating power grabs. I have some confidence in the American people, but we have to sacrifice some of our comforts in order to invest our focus on this issue substantively.

This is the new Earth

This is the new Earth
We don’t live in the same world that was 1985. The Internet has transported us to another dimension. As individuals we now socialize primarily with society as a whole. In 1985 so much more of our socialization was local, in person. There has been a great dissolving of the old Saturnian order by the electronic Uranian power of the Internet. Where you once had to pick your friends from a very small pool of the people in your local geographic vicinity, now you pick from that same small pool plus everyone else in a virtual representation on a device in your hand.
The Virtual Global World is invading, not the Mexicans! This is most definitely a new Earth. The average human born this minute will have a socialization that is completely global. That is a completely novel situation. We are now one mind. We have to come to terms with this. And this is why people are freaking out. It’s not that the changes going on are so bizarre, it’s just that there is this alien quality to our existence as the Internet slowly dissolves and erodes the old social order. It is happening. It has been predicted as the Age of Aquarius or whatever new age eschatological mumbo jumbo you can posit. We’re in it.
Let’s get to work figuring out how it works, so we can thrive as a global humanity.

They say it’s your birthday

They say it’s your birthday

Why on such a birthday noon
does my heart still so vilely swoon?
A guard dog to the enemy
his sound my strong anxiety
I’m paralyzed by feeling’s shiver
so desperately I swim that river
that leads to solace, solitude, and peace
escaping the torment society keeps
I’m just a normal happy girl
with a heart so heavy they’ve branded me ill

For transgender day of invisibility, I Zeronom, wait, it’s visibility?? Oh how boring!

For transgender day of invisibility, I Zeronom, wait, it’s visibility?? Oh how boring!

Hi I’m Zeronom. It’s Transgender Day of Visibility, and I happen to be classified as a transgender person in our society. It’s not who I am. I am a spirit that has manifested in this lifetime to enjoy planet Earth. My gender expression, or the style by which I communicate is what it is. I don’t really know what I am. I know that I am something, and then that there is whole lot of ignorance.

I do know that from a young age, I really wanted to be friends with the other humans that were called girls. I wanted to act like them. I wanted to be expressive and dance around and sing and be fun. I didn’t know what boy or girl was until I learned that I wasn’t doing “boy” the right way, and therefore I was gay, queer, a faggot, etc. It was an attempt by society to split me and my friends apart into acceptable and unacceptable categories so as to split us up and make us easier to manage and manipulate.

We tell our young boys that they are acting “too girly” so to instruct them on what is the proper and correct way to be a man. This seems on the surface to be a logical extension of a system of ethics, and many Americans see this idea of what is the “right way to be male” as inherently tied into moral and religious issues like whether or not someone is reliable or friendly or helpful or dangerous. But gender is not what most people think it is. Gender is mostly just a sophisticated form of style.

When I get excited about something, I tend to be vocal, and expressive in a physical manner. I might be very talkative or vulnerable in my expression. This is just me. It’s not male or female or whatever. We create those categories, and we as a society say “we should have two genders and not four” or “real men don’t express themselves that way.” The individual people are wavy and dark, and the strictures and codes that we put on ourselves collectively are bright and straight, and the more curvy among us are constantly scraping up against these arbitrary old fashioned concepts.

It’s not that I as a transgender person wants to destroy gender. No, I just desire an upgrade for gender. Gender is currently an 8-bit concept, and we want at least some Nintendo 64 Gender action up in this place already.

When a person is born as a biological female, chromosomally female so as to speak, and they say “I want to have short hair, I want to wear pants, and I don’t want to wear makeup,” they are tolerated. When a person is born as biological male, chromosomally male so as to speak, and they say “I want to wear a dress, I want to put on makeup during the day, and I want to be very expressive with with my mannerisms,” they are shamed to the deepest part of hell and their lives are physically threatened constantly. There are definitely places where this is not true, but it is still the average truth of America.

I’m not ashamed. I love myself. I’m so happy to be me. I hope we can get along. Because I’m here, and most of us are here just to be friendly and help keep this boat above water.

The Hope by Abbey Pope (me)

The Hope by Abbey Pope (me)

He was a candle that burned in the wrong shade
everyone knew it and whispered about his way
and the children go
where the wind won’t blow
a smile betrayed his tender soul
but kindness is murder to boys in the wrong role
and the children go
where the wind won’t blow
and so the peaceful ones
called the faggot sons
they’re the hope of young
people everywhere

He never believed that he could win
layered with chains of every kind of sin
and the children learn
how the fire burns
they bottled up love and sold it at the store
angels drink spirits to numb out all the war
and the children learn
how the fire burns
and so the peaceful ones
called the faggot sons
they’re the hope of young
people everywhere

But time has begun
when the halo rings the son
who burns like a star
he’s the flaming savior one
he’s the time where evil runs
he’s the end of coward’s guns
and anyone can dance whatever dance they want