#12 – Teen Suicide: JUST DON’T. Be braver, be bigger than you ever thought you could be…you got this.

So, with the rash of teen suicides at my kid’s public school here in the SFV, we’re all freakin’ out. Yes, suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem, but when you’re in the throws of a depressive episode or a vast situational depression due to outside forces seemingly attacking you from every angle, it can falsely present itself the only way out from the chronic pain. Here’s the thing–first, if you off yourself you ruin so many other lives it’s criminal. Second–you rob yourself from being able to rise above the plethora of shit you might currently be swimming in, and actually help others out of their own shitstorm from your vast experiences. Yes, that’s right. Altruism, as in helping people worse off than you? That simple act of extending yourself to someone struggling is a suicide and depression cure on many levels in and of itself so look into it.

Not saying that chemical brain imbalance type depression (VS. Situational Depression) has a total cure, probably doesn’t, but it’s MORE than treatable and you can go on and live an OUTSTANDING LIFE OF SERVICE FOR OTHERS even if you’re bipolar or suffer anxiety and or panic disorder or such, yep–as in prior troublemakers make the best cops? Or the best drug counselors where once junkies themselves? We learn from the trailblazers that came before us.

Take me. At one time, for a long time that was, I lived my life as if a gun was pointed to my head 24-7, ‘on the ledge’ so to speak, for a person who seemingly has it all…and I’ve recovered, but aren’t we always in recovery from something? And that’s life and that’s what makes us vast and interesting and deep and the rock for someone else. Thanks to family, friends, my own education and evolution in expanding my mind and knowledge, I’ve risen above my own little life and have extended myself here, being present and ready to help others and of service, it’s the best medicine, and oh yeah, I take my medicine. I study mental health, I’m a writer, an actor, and a creative, and we have the highest rate of depression and anxiety and hell, I just got my little AA is in this field at 40 something and I wont ever judge your plight. So there. Go do something great, it’s never too late.

I realize if you only go around once (unless you’re a Hari Krishna, then you reincarnate into a rock or a tree or someone famous), don’t you want this ride to be the fucking best damn coaster you ever fuckin’ rode? I do. Now. And it’s the farthest thing from your mind when you’re in the trenches of the darkness, or the chaotic mind of chronic anxiety and panic, and that’s when you MUST reach out to other’s who can do something to alleviate your pain.

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(I would go to, and have, each and everyone of these great human beings for mental support when I’m down and out, but I’ve weeded many others out along the way…find your people)

Here’s the big news on THAT undertaking, so listen up: choose your audience wisely. Going to an asshole who unwisely spits out wrote comments in hopes of comforting you such as, “everyone gets the blues” and “being a teenager is hard, its called teen angst” or “you just need to get another job, or study harder, and or exercise…a lot” or “what the hell you bitching about, don’t you know there’s kids starving in third world countries,” can only make you feel more disconnected and isolated, even ashamed you are suffering to the depth you are. Stay away from these vapid ‘do-gooders’ for they know not what they speak. Seek out the people such as a sensitive and receptive family member or friend, myself even (yes you can write to me here in the comment section, but only real inquiries, if you’re a troll I’ll tell you to take a massive shit and fall back in it then rot in hell cause this is a serious matter) and online support in the form of suicide prevention sites and resource counselors at schools for help and I know that sounds kinda easy and maybe even boring, but it works.

Here’s my final thought. Social Media for teens…no bueno. That’s right. I have a huge hunch with the recent data coming out, the rise in teen suicide and suicidal thinking (ideation, rumination), that social media is a huge culprit. For one, Instagram and the like,  is set up to make people’s lives look so overboard-goddamn fabulous and exciting—hot n’ sexy when it’s the biggest damn scam in the world it’s laughable. It’s called editing folks. The amount of carefully edited pictures and posts you see of others lives you so obsessively stalk, is nothing more than picking up a dumb tabloid magazine with a slew of dirt-bag editors paid to make you feel little and ugly and fuck–boring, in comparison to the person they are paid to inflate. So boring and insignificant in fact, you will hopefully experience just enough personal lack to go out and buy these trash mags over and over—keep coming back to that social media account to torture yourself with the carefully edited lies, just to prove yourself right, they are better than you AND that’s the total intention! But you do know,  nothing could be more false, right? It’s an illusion put together with a string of shots and written, then re-written a thousand times ‘post text’ just to top off the over-edited shot. And you know this, course you do, you’re not as stupid as you look…kidding, I have no idea what you look like cause you, like me, put way too many filters on insta-pix. But deep down you know it’s all bullshit. You do. However, and this is like, science, our brain’s are hard wired for comparison. It’s true…just like the fact most writers can’t spell for shit, like me. Comparison is death, not inspiration. Comparison kills creativity, it can lower you emotional IQ, so don’t be stupid and compare yourself to the carefully edited lies of others. Got it? Good. BUT, as in However, looking to others you admire and getting inspired is great if it makes you get off your ass, stop feeling sorry for yourself, and go out and be the best version of yourself you possibly can. Your own self, not someone else’s version of themselves, see?

Make the commitment to stop comparing yourself with the edited lies of others and you will find yourself free-er and more effective in your life than you ever thought. Put fuckin’ imaginary blinders on if you must and keep pluggin’ away at what you want, you will get there, don’t matter how long it takes…I refer to myself once again here, It’s taken me to this part of my life to become actualized, for I wasn’t ready when I was younger, and that’s just the way it is. It’s never too late is what I’m getting at, but don’t you dare ask me how fuckin’ old I am cause I will lie.

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(an edited and photo-shopped picture of me…not too much though! No one looks exactly like what they really look like in pictures anymore…sad but true)

Furthermore, just so you can roll your eyes at me one more time with my over-pontificating n’ beratement of social, well, all media in that respect (n’ I love my own social media but it’s always with a wink, n’ I’ve earned the right to show off a little before I die), It’s the lie the professional and non pro editors don’t tell you. How making lives (and in a trash mag, the lives of celebrities–some of the most miserable people btw) look better than yours via visual displays such as: pictures of vacations you (or they) probably bickered half way through, laugh-riot but in all reality kinda boring hangouts, painful Brazilian vagina and anal waxing sessions with your bitches made to look uber fun but were really gross cause you all spread hep-c to each other, concerts that kinda rule but really suck when you have diarrhea and need to vomit from the cheap food and shit beer, beach bodies melted down with Photoshop apps, and finally the dreaded accomplishments and promotions of others that make your little participation awards in life seem like scrunched up sheets (that’s if you’re a scruncher, not a folder) of skid-marked toilet paper. It’s bullshit (so many fecal references, Omg). I’ll say it again, Media is set up to appear (appear people, not the way it actually always is), WAY BETTER than anything you have goin’ on. And trust me, what you got going is pretty much parallel to all others in many ways regardless of job or age or social status, we are all just people. We suffer loses, we celebrate wins, we have mental health issues, we have physical ailments (some of us don’t have all our limbs…I do, jus’ saying), some of us are older now (not me, I’m 25-7…yeah, I’m 27), some young and don’t realize the power they have, we all got shit, we all got the power to be altruistic and change lives…even our own. Whoa.

Be kind even when you feel mean, for it could be the one thing in someone’s day that turns the bad around for them, be responsible, you have no idea your effect on others, be loving–for love is the greatest thing you can give to yourself and others in a world full of negative assholes and the easy to come by hate, and be altruistic! The word of the day! Help others in helping yourself out of your own misery.  It works. Be bigger than your own little life, be huge in helping someone else who’s drowning just as you, me, he, she or it might of been, or are. Get help! Talk to the therapists, the school counselors (they’re free for Christ sakes), and remember, please please remember, in the darkest of dark moments when all seems as bottomless as the titanic with all it’s millions in un-scavenged diamonds, even this shitty time, or situation shall pass….this too shall pass. It always does. So stick around, don’t be lame, be massive in you’re courage to live a beautiful life on whatever scale you live it on, you make more people happy than you will ever know.

Xo, Kelly

# 10 – Depression, Anxiety, and Fitting In

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Short, sweet, n’ meant to rock your fuckin’ socks off, but not to the point you wanna throw down you’re half eaten bagel, the one you didn’t want anyway cause a’ your gluten free diet, n’ use that as an excuse to give up on me–writing about my not-so-normal life.  Or ours. Or us. As in my muse Lisa n’ I–bitch’s colonoscopy deep in this social experiment concoction we got laid out for ya’. All’s you gotta do is read on and reap the turds our amazing grasp of the obvious has exposed. Just like a Seinfeld episode. What? Well, wait a second. It’s tricky, very tricky, n’ I’m gonna try to serve this shit up all Beverly Wilshire Hotel High Tea Time style, but with the jet propelled speed of a fast food Del Taco in Van Nuys. Some of it has to do with one’s own paradigm–you know, you’re own personal values n’ ideals n’ all that nonsense, and or your interpretation of how secularization affects your own experience in this life as well as your mental illness. Kidding, not everyone has a mental illness or a secularization issue. Even if I think you probably do, and should be looking into it. Like now.

What in the? I know, but it’s really interesting community college stuff if you give it a chance. I’m talking total Sociology 101 right up in here. The Micro vs. the Macro kinda text book jargon crap. It’s good crap, no, fuckin’ fantastic, in fact.

OK, look; Macro-sociology basically encompasses a broader view of humans in the social world at large, where my area of interest lies in a micro-sociological approach, where our daily interpersonal interactions with each other and our immediate social environment produces our perspective…of sorts. the social sciences are, for obvious reasons, not so easy to prove with a glass slide, a few drops iodine and a magnifying glass—like frying an egg on a hot sidewalk 1983. Which, if you never got to do cause your childhood was stolen from you, was super fun, kinda scientific, but who really gave a shit but your drunk aunt with all the cats. Well, I do, and so does the new-media world. We are being studied just like a kid watching an egg fry on a blazing hot sidewalk, but shit’s like global now. N’ people care, just like your drunk aunt with the cats.

Did you know there’s sociologists out there right now, watching us, our behavior via online use? And, no dummy–I’m not just encompassing how we’re tracked and categorized by what we buy or look up online…well, partly I am. These social scientists are furiously at work, right now, building character profiles on us more goddamn accurate than a Briggs Myers Personality test. Taken voluntarily! Jus’ saying.

Anyway, fried sidewalk eggs aside, (it is Easter today after all) I’m kind of a traditional sociologist-like minded enthusiast. My ‘Micro’ view of the world in respects to our ( Lisa n’ I) gloriously simple, little social experiment should help prove, in a qualitative AND quantitative way, the impact we have on the social world and how the social world helps shape how we view not only ourselves, but how to become really good master manipulators. Which in essence, just fuckin’ means, our social research will have a real control group and a number of situations that are considered ‘the norm’ in which to produce a theory that doesn’t suck ass.

I’m full on traditional pragmatist right now–as in old school traditional sociologist George Herbert Mead? Remember him? He’s kinda my Freud to a psychology major. N’ I really get off on this guys ‘findings’, no matter how old n’ crusty they are, they make sense, cause I sure as hell don’t half the time. You might wanna light yourself on fire just trying to follow the trajectory of this here entry, it’s kinda like getting a fail in geometry but you fully synthesis quantum physics is what I’m getting at. Or not. I still watch cartoons.

Well, He was a pragmatist…like me. And I know you would never associate someone who suffers such debilitating anxiety, depression and even social fears ( I freaked out at CVS again last week), to be considered a traditional Mead pragmatist. But check it out: a pragmatist basically realizes that nothing is really ‘real’, that it’s not a big giant conspiracy somewhere OUT there in the universe who’s got it in for you. That in essence, our world is created by us…as we stumble, struggle, skip, run or walk through, INSIDE the world, thus our reality is then created. Or basically, it’s just figuring out what the fuck works for us as we interact with people at Target, school, work and in our personal relationships n’ chuck what doesn’t over our shoulder n’ speed off.

But then there’s those damn online, data collecting, social scientists tracking us relentlessly I mentioned earlier….hmmmm.

Anyway. Totally, serious fuckface.  Even if you suffer a mental illness, especially if you suffer a mental illness, taking a micro, pragmatist, sociological view of your world can rally you, you know, taking some fuckin’ pressure off for gods sake–really helps navigate you through a skewed vision of the world and how we, you, she, it and your dog fits in it. It’s helping me out of my usual go-to, as in my suicidal “goodbye cruel world, Christmas is cancelled” depression n’ all. Well actually, Christmas this year is kinda cancelled, but just my big giant party cause I need a whole 24 months to re-coop from last years fucking amaza-balls acoustic music festival, a thousand people invited—Xmas gathering.

We, as mini micro sociologists, yeah, you too, with or without a degree, can easily figure this shit out n’ how to effectively yet efficiently, always an energy saving approach with me, get what we want AND figure out how best to achieve that; using all sorts of our god given, instinctual ‘gut’ tactics. Like, begging, pleading, manipulating, faking, fucking, acting out, projecting, throwing things, you know the usual shit that produces results. No-no, don’t take that seriously, I’m taking the opposite approach, so is Lisa. That sorta bad behavior either get’s you an STD or 86’ed…for life. So let’s find a new approach.

A pragmatist. I like it. A lot.

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(Beautiful Lisa bottom left, Me in her white dress, Dear childhood friend Rachel in middle, Sister Josie above Rachel, sister Kat on far top right, and the lovely MaryJo far upper left above Lisa…phew! – Photo cred: The Talented Toby Fulp, shot on location at EVS studios, Glendale CA)

HERE IT IS FINALLY! THE MOMENT YOU’VE BEEN WAITING FOR! The Social Experiment spearheaded by non other, Lisa–my southern bee charmer (think ‘fried green tomatoes’ here) dearest friend.  Her brilliance never ceases to amaze me, even if she still doesn’t realize it, that she’s got something special. This is one insightful woman.

Here it is, my social mission via Lisa: I’m to dress, look (no make-up, no fancy hair), behave, speak, interact, and or mimic (fake it to ya’ make it) completely normal people, as in NOT trying to stand out and be so well, ME (we are asking ME to take a ‘together we stand, divided we fall’ approach in the city that only promotes individualism by any means possible, n’ yes, that includes hiding my tattoos, tits, cool AF wardrobe as well…boo Lisa). For a whole long day and night, putting as many situations in front of myself as humanly possible to see what happens. I will have assigned interactions to seek out is what I’m saying. And report back. In full detail, but of course.

Why? Why would we do this? Well, Lisa thought it could really help my natural propensity for confrontational interactions and unsolicited painful commentary via ‘those buttholes’ that drains me of my life force on a near constant basis n’ you know what? It’s not even my true nature to be like that! Or reap the fallout from such behavior! It’s fucking imprinting just like a duck the minute it pecks it’s way outta it’s shell and copies the first living thing it sees.

My mother was not the ideal woman to imprint off of, even if it did make for an exceptionally colorful childhood.

Relax, it’s just as an experiment to see ‘what if?’ Not gonna laser my ink off or get a breast reduction or nothin’. Even if this experiment proves such incredible, life-altering insights for me I can hardly stand it. I like my tits and tattoos more.

…Full sociological analysis and ridiculously detailed report of my ‘findings’ to follow once this plan is executed. Yes, I’m talking text book academia shit right here research paper. But that’s when, and IF, I ever put this experiment to the test…

….until then:

Happy Passover, Happy Easter, and Happy Happiness Hunting dear fellow humans!

Xo, Kelly n’ Lisa.

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