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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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.

On being judgemental:

 

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I’ve been thinking a lot about judgmentalness.

Those who know me well know that at times I can be fairly judgemental, those that don’t know me as well normally wouldn’t guess it, because I try my hardest not to let it affect how I treat people. But, when I’ve judged people negatively I tend to avoid them and that’s what lead me to realize this was a problem.

When am in a situation where I must spend time with those I’ve already negatively judged, I normally end up liking them despite the few things that made me pull away in the first place. I might not end up being their best friend, but I always enjoy seeing them, I always want to catch up.

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I blocked all toxic media from my feeds and its almost left them blank: A social media realization.

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The original title for this post was why I left Twitter, but I ended up not leaving it for good. So what have I done? I’ve muted all slurs, all dramatic accounts, all political buzz words, all political accounts, all accounts that spew hate. I deleted them all from my Twitter feed. I downloaded a news app called Smart News to get actual articles instead of hot and angry takes. I had already blocked this all from my Facebook and Tumblr accounts.

And it’s made them completely bare of content. The amount of posts on my feed is alarming. I didn’t realize the amount of negative and toxic hot takes I was taking in a day. It was most of my media intake. I was feeding on toxins. Posts from publications I like have been removed because of muted words. I’ve lost entire accounts. My twitter feed is so dead that I don’t feel the need to check it that often.

So, I did the same thing with my youtube account. I cleared out my watched history and liked videos. I just removed all of the angry and toxic media I was consuming.

And with it gone I find myself wanting to read and create more, because I had to find new things to consume. Trying to find accounts without toxins seems to be impossible on Twitter and Facebook. Instagram and Tumblr I’ve managed fairly well. But it’s had me thinking about what kind of content needs to be put out and along with that what kind of content should we be reading. I’ve talked about this before but the serious lack of that content is becoming disturbing.

We live in a world that thrives on differences, divides, and drama. How do we go about correcting that? How do we counter it in what we’re creating?

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Depression jokes don’t count as healthy coping mechanisms.

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The internet is terrible at normalizing extremely self-deprecating jokes and any type of depression joke. When you criticize them people are quick to call them coping mechanisms, without stopping to think if they are a healthy one or not.

I find myself making them, I made one a week or two ago on Twitter, I liked one on Tumblr two days ago. I’m as guilty as anyone. The thing is, I’m not depressed and haven’t been for a long while. They aren’t a coping mechanism for me, they’re just ingrained in my mind as normal humor and I find myself saying them both out loud and mentally.

It’s not healthy to have the voice in the back of your head scream “this is why you’re going to die alone” when you something annoying. It’s not healthy to have it say “I want to jump off a building” when you embarrass yourself.

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