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Sunday, February 21

Mental Illness in the Age of Information, and the Struggle to be Something in a World of Nothing

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This is a series of stories that is part of my own healing. I welcome you to read along, or not, but I'm going to write it anyway. I hope you take something good from it, and I hope I do too.I get most of my news from my phone. I tend to think I follow a varied stream of information - multiple viewpoints are important to me, but also facts and objectivity. I like trusting the news. I think that’s it’s purpose - to be trustworthy.

But a funny thing has happened with news in the recent years, and that something has been exacerbated at astronomical speeds in just my lifetime alone. I don’t know anyone that would argue with me that most of the news that circulates is heavily biased, and that’s disappointing to a person like me who just wants to know what’s happening in the world.

A person like me also struggles with mental illness, and a person like me also has so much information literally at my fingertips.

So, I struggle with this.

I struggle with my own mental battles, shall we say, but my heart also breaks for Ukraine and Syria, and I worry about the struggle for Civil Rights in Uganda, and the generation that will be lost to disease in South America. And I worry about the refugees because I can’t imagine having to make that choice - to die here or there, or risk death for maybe a life, to gain maybe a life but maybe also be sent back to death. That’s an awful choice, don’t you think? I tend to think so.

And then I read about scientific discoveries. LIGO and NASA and GW150914. I see the beauty of our ever expanding universe, the beauty of nature, the colors of a sunset, and the exploding gas illuminating the black canvas we call space.

And still, I struggle.

I struggle to comprehend the plight of the disenfranchised - neighborhoods destroyed, a generation left behind, children who want to learn but can’t, families that want to thrive but don’t.

And I struggle with my own struggle. This overwhelms me to no end. Most people, logical people I think, would tell me not to carry the weight of the world on my shoulders - I’m only one person, they would say. And I might tend to agree.

But I am one person, a part of the human race, living on this rock hurtling through space, trying to find meaning and a reason to live. And I think that’s all of us, too. I think that’s you, and I think that’s me, and I think that makes us “us.”

So, I struggle.

I struggle because I see your struggle.
And I see mine too.
I struggle because I see your beauty,
but I struggle to see my own.

And I struggle because my heart breaks,
because I know your heart is breaking.
And it hurts me that you hurt,
and all I want to do is heal.

And yet, I struggle still.

And I think that makes me human.

You.
Me.
Us.

We.

All of us.

I hurt because you hurt.
And I hurt because I hurt.
I want you to know I see you.
I feel you.

You are not lost in the nothingness.

We cannot become the nothingness.

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