“His phone wasn’t hooked up. He just liked ringing that bell.”

woman with rabbit mask

I postponed my visit with my sister.  She was kind and reassuring about it.  I’m just waiting for my body to get the memo and stop stressing out.  I don’t know when we’ll reschedule yet.  She’s going to visit her daughter next week, so hopefully after that and before she moves to her summer place. I don’t want to visit her there as I’m not into lake-related activities.  I’m an indoor enthusiast who prefers interacting with nature in VR environments.

I’m no longer functioning in rote mode.  I still take too long to do simple things, like showering.  I never thought I’d say this, but it was a lot easier when I used a community shower in the Army and could copy the person next to me.  I don’t spend time pondering the universe or having a good cry in communal showers.  Get in, get clean, get out. When I served, the Army used public shaming as a deterrent for poor hygiene.

You can’t have bad hygiene habits in close quarters with hundreds of (sometimes armed) people for long, so I understand why they do it.  Well, that and the fact the military doesn’t give a shit about feelings.  (You can only have them when they don’t interfere with the mission.)  I still think it’s the ideal environment for comedian appreciators, though.  It’s what I miss most about serving.  I spent a lot of my time laughing so hard.  People who are voluntarily expendable and uncomfortable all the time, but accept their lot, for the most part, are ridic funny.

I find it ironic the military recruits the mentally ill, but eliminates the diagnosed mentally ill.  It plays heavily into my rapidly growing belief the mentally well don’t exist.  It’s why I get pissed off when humans shame other humans for mental illness.  It’s hypocritical bullshit.  Being diagnosed doesn’t affect the severity of one’s mental illness.  It just increases opportunities for treatment and mistreatment.  I don’t think volunteering for service is a means of suggesting sound mental processes.  (Either you’re a little suicidal, a little deluded or both; you know, around 18 years old.)

The More You Know

It’s Mental Health Awareness month.  I think they should rename it:  Stop Pretending You’re Not Human, forever. I also think shaming others for being diagnosed is bullshit. Nobody has perfect mental health. It’s more a matter of chronic or temporary. Every adult you’ve ever encountered has experienced a period of being mentally unstable. Children, teens, and young adults are often mentally unstable; their brains are still developing.

Mental illness isn’t deliberate. It’s not the same as acting up or being an asshole on purpose. It’s a human being trying desperately to cope with a brain that for whatever reason isn’t functioning correctly. It’s an abnormal physiological state. It’s like trying to walk normally, but while also having one leg facing the wrong way. If you’re fortunate, you eventually figure out how to walk in this condition without knocking anyone else over or breaking anything.

Some days, the leg faces the proper direction, and some days not. You have very little control over its state, but you know eating healthy foods, sleeping regularly, and exercise seems to help some of the time. The last thing anyone needs when trying to navigate this world while in a challenging involuntary state is an asshole with a mouth. Please remember this, the next time you’re tempted to call someone crazy.  A better idea is a little compassion.  Here’s a script to steal:  I’m sorry you’re having a rough time right now.  If there’s anything I can do to help you get through today, please let me know.  Often, a little quiet time to regroup is helpful, but a little compassion is fabulous.  Plus, it’s (literally) doing what you can to help by acknowledging instead of shaming.