WE’RE NOT OK: A LAMENTATION ON MENTAL HEALTH IN A CRUMBLING SOCIETY/Canto #16

WE’RE NOT OK: A LAMENTATION ON MENTAL HEALTH IN A CRUMBLING SOCIETY/Canto #16

One night, some number of years ago, your parents decided to fuck. Not what you thought I’d lead with? Sucker. Hey, mine did too, and if you saw pictures of them from the 70’s you’d wonder how the fuck it happened in the first place just like I do. Note to humanity: white people should have NEVER been allowed to try afros, and we owe it to civilization to never let it happen again.

Always happy to make you feel icky.

So, there you have it. After a little white zinfandel and Dan Fogelberg, your parents, my parents, and every-damn-body else’s parents got loose and here we are. Thrust upon the world – either out of love, a “pull & pray” miscalculation, or because your mom just got a little too hot and bothered by Burt Reynolds again. You’re here, I’m here, and that’s that.

We’re brought into this world and we are (hopefully) loved. We have a wonder-filled childhood full of play, hugs, and Big League Chew. Raised with tenderness and loving care to go out into the world one day as a well-adjusted adult, it’s the journey we all take to become productive and successful members of a welcoming and happiness-focused society.

Sounds nice, doesn’t it?

You laughing yet? Yeah, me too. Cause that shit’s not my experience and if you’re here I’m willing to bet it fucking wasn’t yours either.

See, while that might be the experience for some you little flowers out there, the vast majority of us lived a wildly different version of that. Some of us were unwanted, some of us were unloved, and some of us were abused. Some of us were poor, some of us were alone, and some of us grew up in more pain than any child deserves, or any human in general for that matter. Some of us are bullied, some of us are cast aside, and some of us never fully get over it. Some of us will hurt forever and some of us will heal, but the truth we all share is this- we are born into a world that throws heaps of shit onto us from birth to death, and we’re expected to be OK. All the time.

Systematic Lies & Deception: It’s What’s For Dinner!

We’re expected to grow up, figure it all out, and go be the next billionaire megastar on the block. LeBron James did it, why can’t you? We’re expected to take “their” shit with a smile, make all the right decisions, and we better fucking look good doing it. Success is measured in dollars, horsepower, and muscle mass. Bra size, bank balance, thigh gap a-go-go. Watch the right shows, get the right jobs, wear the right clothes. Be star fucking athletes, have a million followers, FREE HOTEL ROOMS FOR EVERYONE! Influence and BE influenced, tailor your every word to the right algorithm, and make sure you “Like” all the right shit.

Are you fucking exhausted yet? Are you fucking crying yet? Does all this shit make you want to SCREAM? It fucking well should, cause we are thrown mercilessly into a world that stuffs this shit-pile into our faces on a daily basis and still, in 20-fucking-19, we live behind the shadow of the insidious stigma around mental health. We suffer, day in and day out, and we struggle with all our might to navigate the nightmares they’ve laid out for us- and we’re expected to be OK. Well-adjusted adults doing well-adjusted things with well-adjusted friends and you know what? It’s all bullshit.

Every. Last. Bit. Of. It.

When I was a kid they wanted my mom to drug me up on Ritalin, they said I was “hyperactive”. I had trouble focusing, I’d get distracted, and I’d act out. Most of the time I was a super-chill, super-sweet kid, but I’d lose my shit a little bit every now and again too. Of course, I was also dealing with the emotions associated with my father not fucking wanting me, a creepy-ass step dad who had a fucking PhD in calling me a pussy, and a sister who was too detached from me to give a shit because I was the reason HER dad left in the first fucking place. Maybe THAT shit had something to do with it, but I guess that would have been too obvious. Maybe I do have ADHD, but maybe that shit was environmental too. Whatever, let’s just throw drugs at the problem and see what sticks. Medication has it’s place for sure, I’m just sayin’- fuck with a kid enough and they’ll end up fucked up regardless of diagnosis or disease. I know that because of the stigma of mental health, she opted to NOT get me on the meds and the jury is out as to whether I needed it or not. It was the 80’s and believe it or not- the stigma shit was in fact much worse than it is even now. Yeah, crazy.

“How’s that math homework going, Chet?”

Christ. We’re told to play and have fun, make little Play-Doh cities and Tinkertoy towns for the first handful of years, then we’re thrown into school where we are taught NOTHING about actual life and how to live it. How do you manage money? How do you dress for a job interview? What’s a mortgage? You won’t leave high school knowing ANY of that shit, but it is ESSENTIAL to your well-being. Nope, better brush up on that fucking Algebra though! Fuck financial intelligence, let’s dissect frogs! Wanna learn about the workforce, kid? Tough shit, climb this fucking rope instead asshole! You know what I remember most about fucking school? Getting the shit beat out of me, getting high, and the day I finally told the whole god damn thing to fuck off. Every bit of useful knowledge I ever gained in this world came from ME. Fuck them, they get ZERO credit for this guy.

We’re young, we’re scared, and we go out into the adult world fucking entirely unprepared for the shit-sandwich we’ll be eating for the next 45 years or so as working adults. We’re told to be dreamers, to “be ourselves”, but all they really want us to do is make sure we stretch enough so we can bend over far enough to take their corporate dicks up our fresh-faced asses for the rest of our lives. We are taxed, we are evaluated, we are tested every fucking day. We work, we die, and the cycle keeps on going because we’re ALL here to do one thing- keep a small handful of rich white motherfuckers rich. Don’t believe me, look around.

Fucking swine, every single one.

Who’s signing YOUR paycheck? Who’s sitting in the Oval Office RIGHT NOW? Who owns Amazon? Microsoft? You see that same pattern I do? Yeah, of course you do, cause you’re not stupid and neither am I. We work and we sweat for their pittance while they figure out how to fly other rich people to space. We pay our mortgages late, we go to work sick, we do our best to get through it all every day, and we are expected to suck it up, be professional, and keep fucking quiet about how much pain we’re all going through.

The rich get richer and the capitalism wheels keep on turning. We all want better but we’re all told that the system is working, we’re just not measuring up. This shit is set up for most of us to fail, we’re just too fucking blind to see it. Give us some good reality T.V., a new chicken sandwich, and a nice big pair of tits to look at and we don’t give a FUCK what they’re doing to us. WAKE THE FUCK UP! As long as we’re down, they’ll keep right on fuckin’. When are we gonna learn?

We’ll drown if we keep letting them hold us under.

We’re NOT OK, and you know what? THAT’S OK! If we WERE OK I’d be deeply concerned because if you can be 100% OK with this shit you’re some kind of maniac that even MY crazy can’t understand. We are spirits inside of bodies and we are living in a COLD world of our own making. We shouldn’t be OK, and we shouldn’t have to feel fucking bad about it either.

We SHOULD be able to get help with out worry, and it should be affordable. We SHOULD be able to talk about it without people giving us the “side-tilted head of pity”. We SHOULD live in a world that values happiness over all this toxic bullshit. We don’t though, it could get there, but society isn’t give me the warm-fuzzies about THAT shit happening anytime soon.

It’s hard just to fucking LIVE these days. Women? You guys better be thin in all the right places, thick in all the others, and you better be the right balance of empowered and submissive so us men can pretend we actually respect you while still wanting to fuck you. Men? We better be lean in all the right places, muscle-y in all the others, and we better be rich enough so we are wanted but humble enough to be self-righteous. Don’t fucking look to movies or television for examples of “normal” people either, cause everybody is better than you there forever. Shit man, watch some fucking television, even the fucking “nerds” are jacked like bodybuilders (looking at you “The Good Place”) so, while I know women have been royally shit on when it comes to body image throughout human history- I promise, it’s getting just as bad for the dudes too. Our ideals are fucked, and it’s only our self-esteem to lose. What’s even fucking left of it in the first place.

Likes, Follows, and Retweets OH MY!

Social media, the slithering spiteful snake of human despair, has taken more from us than we’ll be able to understand fully for decades to come. We spend our lives looking at pictures of people whose lives we think are perfect, all while cultivating a growing sadness within ourselves because we just can’t measure up. We aren’t eating at the right places, we’re not hashtagging the right causes, we’re not drinking the right boutique vodka. We’re not wearing the right workout gear, we’re not traveling to the right death-wish selfie spots, and we’re not as into Beyonce as everyone else seems to be. We’re not punk enough, we’re not rich enough, and we’re not “woke” enough. Everywhere you look, everywhere you turn, you are “less than” and it is crushing our spirits to dust.

Happy and mad at the same time, like that face toddlers make when they poop in the corner.

If you’ve read everything leading up to now you probably think I’m the angriest person in the world. That’s kind of true, because I AM angry. I’m angry because I am a loving, compassionate, and inclusive person who sees a world that is hurting, and actively hurting itself too. I’m angry because we live in a world where greed is king, and we are all so lost that we let ourselves be ruled by tyrants and thieves. I’m angry because my children have to grow up in all of this, YOUR children have to grow up in all this, and we’ve ALL had to grow up in this.

I’m angry because you’re not OK, I’m angry because I’M not OK, and I’m angry because some part of all of us is ashamed of it. We are thrown into a hostile world and told we better know all the answers, and we wonder why we’re riddled with anxiety, crumbling from depression, and torn apart by fear. We are consumed by flames we didn’t light, and we are in ashes.

We have the power to turn those ashes into embers though. We don’t have to be ashamed anymore. We don’t have to sit and take it anymore. We might not be able to topple the entire fucking system but we CAN come together to fight it. Say it out loud, take the power away, fuck it- I’ll go first: I HAVE FUCKING ANXIETY! I STRUGGLE WITH DEPRESSION! SOMETIMES, I’M INSECURE AS FUCK! SOMETIMES, I HAVE CRUSHINGLY LOW SELF ESTEEM! SOMETIMES MY OCD MAKES ME AN ASSHOLE! SOMETIMES I DON’T FEEL LIKE I’M WORTHY OF THE LOVE OF MY WIFE AND CHILDREN! SOMETIMES I JUST HURT, AND SOMETIMES I FEEL AS FAR FROM FUCKING PERFECT AS PLUTO IS FROM DELAWARE!

Hallelujah, holy shit, where’s the Tylenol?

Your turn! Go outside to your front fucking yard, look that fuckface neighbor of yours in the face and scream “I DON’T NEED YOUR APPROVAL TO BE MENTALLY ILL, AND STOP MOWING YOUR FUCKING LAWN SO GOD DAMN MUCH!”. Do it, do it now-fuck it! What do we have to lose? Let this world know that you ARE in pain, and FUCK anyone who gives you shit about it. Maybe don’t yell at your neighbor, but you get the point. That might be me projecting. 🙂

It’s time we stop letting this fucked up culture make us feel like we’re less than. Fuck the celebrities, fuck the fucking the billionaires- you getting up every day and taking care of your fucking business? You’re alright with me. You a decent human being who isn’t a racist windbag? Cool, we can talk. There is honor in all work, so value yourself regardless of what your business card says. There is love out there for ALL of us, so fuck what you see in the mirror. There is hope out there for every living thing, and we can find it together, but we have to STOP the stigma. We have to stop the hate. We have to stop chaining ourselves to the bottom of the fucking ladder and let ourselves find our way up to the light. Life is short, and we are in this shit together.

Listen, what I’m trying to say somewhere in my incoherent tangent is this- I know you’re hurting, I know you’re not OK, because I’m right there with you. We are ALL struggling, and we have all been thrown into this circus of adulthood, of society, and we have all been expected to smile through the pain and you know what? Stop. Have yourself a good cry, go ahead- I do that shit all the time. Get it out, and then let’s get to work. Let’s storm your therapists office and get ourselves a volume discount! Let’s be proud of our scars and let’s heal together, and let’s not let one more person feel like it’s not OK to be not OK. The Ghost Generation exists to help YOU feel less alone, so let’s all be not OK together. And if you wanna scream at your shitty neighbor be my guest, but you didn’t read that here if they call the cops.

AJH

A brand new blog/website where this happily married, 30-something father of 2 little minions rants, raves, and speaks in tongues. Raw, honest, and riddled with profanity. Get on board and let’s make The Ghost Generation awesome together!http://theghostgeneration.com

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