This BLOG may be a little scattered but if you bear with me I swear there is a point. While vacuuming today I had an epiphany. I am a soul that is tied to music. I find music a great blessing. It is my sadness, happiness, helps through confusion, anger, hurt, everything. Music ties us all together, it is a common thread. So, while vacuuming and listening to my iPod, Pink Floyd ‘on the turning away’ comes on. Now I love Pink Floyd and love their lyrics and some days things touch a deeper place in my soul than others. I hear the lyrics and became utterly moved and experienced a coming together, confluence of thoughts, feeling and beliefs.
I am taken back to Friday and the shooting in CT. I have read, heard and watched so much media on this and it is an utter whirlwind on so many people’s agenda’s, sadness, confusion and wonder at how do we fix this. How, is the question?
I am a person who has suffered with ADD/ADHD my whole life and many accompanying issues….Depression, Obsessive Compulsiveness and so on. I am a broken person or could be considered to be diseased or suffering from mental issues by some. I do not consider myself any of the above! I consider myself a slightly quirky, OK maybe more than slightly, well rounded, different from others, possessing special gifts and generally happy and kind person. I experience the same emotions and issues that every other human being does. I however get to deal with the ‘gift’ that they are amplified. Yes, I said ‘gift’. I do not see my afflictions as anything other than a gift! I have different insight, talents, and enhanced feelings that make me different than others and I see those as all good things. I am here today because I had a family who loved and supported me and NEVER gave up no matter how awful I was or how much I tore everything apart. I was not condemned by my family as ‘different’ (difficult yes!) but encouraged to see ‘different’ as a good thing. Now, I may not be the most messed up person in the world but to some I may be considered less, tainted, sick or suffering from mental issues. Again I consider myself none of these and am quite proud of the person I am today because I survived and will continue putting one foot in front of the other for the rest of my days.
I have so many thoughts and words flowing through my head I only hope to transpose them to this page in a constructive and comprehensible manner.
There is so much ugliness in this world that it is easy to become consumed by it. You have to make a choice, in everything, to see the good and not let the darkness consume you. It is easier to give in and succumb to sadness and darkness. You have to fight like hell some days to find and hold onto the goodness in awful situations. This is the only way that I survived me, well and having a family (and husband) that loves me regardless and would not give up on me. I chose to see the good in myself and my life and all that surrounds me verses giving in to all the darkness….negative clinical diagnoses, negative people and people making me feel like I was less of a person because I was not what ‘they’ considered normal. I am not too proud to tell anyone my set backs or failings as I see them as nothing more than a lesson that I learned and maybe someone else can learn from.
We are only as strong as our weakest link. I have heard this throughout my life and now it has a different, broader meaning. We cannot alleviate such problems as a sick person committing ungodly acts if we do not stop condemning and looking down on others for what ‘we’ believe is not OK. Instead of cutting mental health budgets maybe we should be increasing them so not as to only help those who are afflicted but also to try and break the taboo about mental health issues. Maybe instead of cutting school budgets and programs that encourage children to direct their energy to healthy activities such as music, sports, theater, whatever is a healthy outlet for children to exercise their energy, feelings, everything….we should create more programs and make these items untouchable when it comes to ‘budget time’. Children need somewhere where they can relate to others, spend their wheels in a constructive and safe environment. My parents forced me into sports….I love sports but played more sports than I would have if I had chosen for myself (I would have been a cheerleader, cheerleader and a cheerleader *laughing*). This was not necessarily a bad thing as it was an outlet for me. A way for me to focus on something constructive and spend my abundance of energy. I was so exhausted by the time I got home that wreaking havoc was not in the forefront of my mind. From these childhood lessons I have learned to focus my negative energy, thoughts and feeling on constructive things. I work out (even thought I don’t like to), I write and dance around and sing out loud (to the iPod) while I am cleaning/vacuuming….I try to pursue things that I know will help me to feel good about myself and screw what anyone else thinks. Now don’t get me wrong, I still have exorcist head spinning moments…just ask my husband, but I have learned that if I am honest with him it is easier to work through and I am thankful that I have a spouse who does not condemn me just because I can be a little crazy sometimes.
I do not live my life according to others and that is a hard lesson to learn and teach others. But when you have spent your life being torn down (I was quite picked on as a kid and it was tough to hold my head up some days) and told you are ‘less than’ by others you can either believe it and drown in a dark hole somewhere or you can put on your big girl pants, hold your chin up and say screw you! I am awesome the way I am and I don’t care what you believe. This is how your survive. We need to be strong for those who are weaker and those of us who have voices and aren’t afraid to use them need to speak up for those of us who are too scared to say anything. Maybe my place in this world is to be a translator for those who don’t believe in themselves or are ashamed at what they are told is not normal. Maybe my voice will help them find their strength and once they have found their bearings and strength, they can be the voice for someone else.
We are no stronger than out weakest link! If we do not stop condemning each other, we will all be consumed by our own lack of attention to the issues at hand. Such as Friday in CT. Maybe had someone reached out to him and tried to help him understand what he was feeling/experiencing. Maybe if he had a healthy outlet verses weapons. Maybe if he knew it is OK to be different 20 babies would be alive. Maybe we should stop ignoring the problems in our society and start addressing them. Start by raising healthy children and not giving up on them because they are not perfect. Nobody is perfect and WE ALL have issues! Maybe instead of bullying and cutting someone down you try to embrace what makes them different. Some of my best friends in life I despised until I was FORCED to get to know them. Once I removed my own judgment and prejudice I realized they weren’t so bad and that I actually liked the person behind my tainted thoughts. Maybe if we took the time to actually get to know and help some people we might find that the people aren’t as tainted as ‘we’ believed they were. Maybe we will realize that it is our own prejudice that clouds our eyes and makes things difficult for others. Simple kindness goes a long ways.
“No more turning away
From the weak and the weary
No more turning away
From the coldness inside
Just a world that we all must share
It’s not enough just to stand and stare
Is it only a dream that there’ll be
No more turning away?” – Pink Floyd, ‘On the turning away’