Outrage is all the rage:

I’ve noticed something happening over the past few years. Outrage is in style. I should have noticed it sooner then this year, the viral “what are ya’ll mad about today” tweet that made its rounds everyday, opinion pieces losing their journalistic standards and gaining more explanation points, people creating anonymous accounts just to leave untraceable slurs. I was blind to it though, because I was busy being angry like everyone else. The end of that started when I detoxed my social media six months ago, but really, me deleting that only opened my eyes to how much anger there was, and how much people enjoy being enraged.

When I deleted all the politics and anger from my feeds I noticed that I had problems checking the accounts I had unfollowed. It wasn’t because I was uninformed, I was still keeping up with the news by following sites that reported facts without the slant. It was because I missed the raging opinions. I missed the hot takes.

I thought I missed the passion.

It’s a really interesting situation, being enthralled in anger makes us feel like we’re doing something about the issue, even if we’re just ranting online or to friends who in turn rant back, but in reality all we’re doing is stoking fires that burn out of control.

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Untreated Metal Illness, The Silent Killer.

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The news of Kate Spade’s suicide has rocked the internet this week. It rocked me too, because like others, I associated her with the happy, quirky, and glittery line that shares her name. It struck a lot of people because she had the fame, the fortune, the family and could still bare such sadness that she wanted to end her life.

I don’t want to write a think piece on a families tragedy, so I won’t, but I did want to talk about a topic that this tragedy brought to my mind, and that’s untreated mental illness.

There is a strong stigma around mental health treatment. Some of it has to do with the fact that there is still a stigma around mental health, but some of it has to do with the person who should be seeking it.

I often hear the pitch about how we don’t think negatively about blood pressure medication so we shouldn’t about anti-depressants, and I agree with it 100%, but what I keep hearing from individuals is “I think anti-depressants are great, I just don’t need them. I’m just a little sad.”

We downplay our own problems and dismiss them, because they’re inconvenient to face. It’s scary to say we’re not okay, to have to step back from things so we can take care of ourselves. So, we push through and things get worse and worse, then suddenly, there is no return.

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On facing our anxieties instead of nurturing them:

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I read an article recently about the huge increase in prescriptions for medications like Xanax. That we’re prescribing 5xs the amount that we were just a decade and a half ago. I then went on Twitter and saw a huge debate on why you should never call someone on the phone and should always text them instead.

The tweet with the most likes was one that just read: I HAVE ANXIETY, KAREN.

I’ve thought for a while that we’ve been creating the kind of culture that nurtures anxiety instead of cures it. I understand why we’ve done this. I hate when I email someone and they call me instead of replying back. There is so much less pressure over email or text. But you know how you get rid of that deep dread that happens when you talk on the phone?

You talk on the phone.

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Life Updates: The First of May

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I know post grad is complicated for everyone, but I feel like I’ve done a number on it these last two years. Between becoming deathly ill with Lyme Disease, changing up my bipolar medications, and trying to tackle normal post grad activities, it’s gotten a little crazy at times.

My battle with Lyme is not over, I don’t quite have it in remission yet, though I’ve been doing so well that we’ve finally started cutting back my antibiotics. I’ve been thrilled about that because being on antibiotics for a year and a half is really brutal on the body. I’m also excited because my activity level has returned to normal. I feel like I’m finally able to live my life instead of watching it fly by me while I sit unable to move on the sofa.

Health really is something you don’t truly appreciate till its gone, but I don’t think that’s a mistake I’m going to make again. After losing a year and a half to this disease and having another six months slowed by it, I can proudly say that I’m going to enjoy any health my body can manage to give me, because there is so much I want to do and see, and I didn’t realize how lucky I was because I got bit by that horse fly.

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The bad news has become the norm. What can I do about it?

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It’s the 23rd of April, another attack has happened, this time in Canada. I saw it, scrolled through Twitter’s hashtag for it, and I didn’t feel much, because I’m used to bad things happening in this world. I’ve become desensitized to terrible news, acts of terrorism, and mass killings. When I realize that all I’ve done is sigh and say “again?” I feel bad about it, because there’s no sympathy in that- there’s no horror in it.

But it’s what happens when bad things become the normal.

Terrible acts aren’t new, they’ve been around as long as we have. But in this age of mass sharing we hear about it more. We watch it on TV every night, we get news updates on our smartphone as they break. It’s constant and because of that it’s normal.

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Easter Sunday: Killing our ideals and being unwilling to sacrifice.

It’s hard not to think about sacrifice on Easter. God sacrificing his only son, Jesus sacrificing himself, all so that we may be forgiven of our sins. It’s the biggest sacrifice of all, for the innocent to die willingly for the guilty.

I was reflecting on the topic Saturday, but it started differently, without all the praise, but instead with a firm realization that I wasn’t very good at sacrifice.

I have a lot of good traits, I’ve done a lot of good things, but I like to tack on good deeds, I like when I can add them on without getting rid of other things I enjoy. The people on the receiving end never seem to mind. I still feel good about doing the good deeds. It seems like a win win, but it isn’t. You can’t only go out of your way to do the right thing or the kind thing when it’s convenient.

We all have a few people in our life that we’ll go the extra mile for, but it tends not to be a large group. This is one of the oldest problems. We think people have to earn that level of sacrifice. We’re stingy with it. I’m especially so when it gets in the way of things I enjoy, so much so that I don’t like sacrificing things for myself. I was praying about my health because I am still fighting the end of lyme disease and God helped me pray myself into a corner. I’ve been running low on effort, I’m tired of being sick, I don’t want to go the extra mile even though it would only be benifiting myself.

Now that gets you thinking. I won’t even make the long term sacrifices for my own benefit so I’m pretty positive that I’m not making enough sacrifices for others.

The goal with this life is to live as close to your ideal as possible. For Christians that ideal is Christ. We’ll never reach his level of sacrifice, but we could all stand to make more, for ourselves, for others, for humanity. It’s a tall order, and as much as we’d like to pretend we don’t understand how mankind put our savior on the cross, I think we all do. We would rather kill our ideals than try and join them. It’s less work. It’s easier.

But as it was then, it’s the wrong way. So stop listening to yourself when you’re trying to convince yourself that nobody’s perfect and it doesn’t matter if you sin one more time, sacrifice one less thing, enjoy more luxury then you should. Stop killing the ideals you would like to reach.

I’ll be here trying to do the same, failing at it, then trying again, hoping to get a few wins in between loses.

Seven Things:

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Sorry for the long time between posts everyone. Life’s been pretty crazy around here lately, but I’m starting to settle down into new routines. I have a list of brainstorming for new posts though, so hopefully another month a long break won’t happen.

Here are seven things from around the web that I love!

  • This Ted talk covers the politics of fiction. I often hear about books being political statements, but this take about how stories are told is A+.
  • These overalls are the first pair I’ve owned since I was 12. I’m in love with them.
  • Internet data mining is trending, this Twitter thread talks about what all Google has on you (it’s a lot).
  • This is J.R.R Tolkien’s essay on Fairy Stories and why they are so important.
  • I shared this article on Facebook earlier this year about the last of the iron lung machines. I know the anti-vaxx movement is unfortunately still picking up steam so here’s a reminder of why we need them. Oh, and autism? Here’s a study that suggests our rapid increase in cases is from the age of the fathers.
  • This satire article about God having all of your beliefs hits the nail on the head.
  • If you ever want to give a meal to homeless pets at no cost, all you need to do is click this link and sponsors will help you out.