Saturday, December 16, 2017

What Are You Advocating? Why Should Anyone Care?

What are you advocating?

When our lines get crossed we send mixed signals, but sometimes we project well thought out and specific bits of information we are perhaps, passionate about.
Passion. Rage. Fear. Love. Hate.
All of these are some of the most intense emotional states a living being can express and experience, but what are you advocating and why should anyone care?

We’ve been having some interesting conversations in our DM’s and via email given a few recent blog posts and tweets they’ve brought up many things for myself and some of my parts.
Which lead me to ask this question... What are you advocating? Yes I know I’m beginning to sound redundant but an endless stream of tweets spouting “#EndTheStigma” only go so far. It’s a worthy cause that goes without question but it isn’t necessarily an action word/phrase. This discussion is one I had with the community and faith leaders in one of our Living DID Talks earlier this year.
Prayer. “I’ll pray for you.” Thank you, but what are you actually doing? If you want to discuss your higher powers purpose in your life and only stop the action at prayer then I pray thee, what good are you? What are you advocating?

The same rule applies here. The mental health community by and larger is powerful and vast, yet everyone travels (mostly digitally) in their own circles. So you and your like minded peers tweet each other about change and awareness but you’re preaching to the choir, aren’t you? Aren’t we? Who are you reaching to and why? Are you changing minds and attitudes, if so, how are you doing this? 

This post here began months ago but currently is being dictated via Notes. I just listened to Electroboy (Andy Behrman) on the @Voices4ChangeRJ podcast. As you know it’s one of our favorites but we’ve been “bad” and got behind on episodes... let me interrupt myself here, I was not bad. We were not bad. I do not mean this in the literal sense, I know that word can project negativity onto people within the mental health community specifically. I very much support the Lombardo’s and missed a few episodes, this is not bad nor should anyone self deprecate due to this creep of an emotion that sneaks in. I digress...

Andy brought up an interesting point on the podcast today, "We get too caught up in the word stigma," With that I agree to the fullest. You don't need to go far to find something inspirational, whether it be, a story either fact or fiction, a tweet, a blog, a website...Literally anywhere, there is someone with an inspirational story. They're doing it. In many instances, exceeding and support overflowing in what it is they can and know how to do, but why should anyone care? Yes, people deeply care, they feel less alone and that is definitely a powerful thing, but when so many like-minded people come together and share, the community grows, but is the cause? Does this strengthen the cause or is it more a pat on the back to everyone within this one community? These are only a few of the thoughts that swirl my mind day-to-day and I wonder...
IMG Courtesy of @Arien_Inspires

Yes, I am aware this will sound "mean" or "harsh" to some, this is not my intent. I'm seeking thought and real conversations. Everyone is guilty of it, in my opinion. You get overwhelmed or stagnant in life and just go about reposting, re-graming, rewording, re re re re re re... I get it. 
Life gets in the way, whatever that means for you, it happens. It happens to us-- myself and my parts-- too. But now what? What are we advocating and why should anyone care what we have to say?

I don't want every person to like or even accept us. I advocate because I want real information available to people who watch the media portrayals of mental illness--specifically DID in our case-- and fear it or view these portraits as absolutes. Life doesn't give many, if any, absolutes. I find it odd people even those advocating state this and at times, demand they are accepted, praised and adored. It's an odd thing in my mind. If I had to sum things up, I'd say I simply want people to think, have conversations and in turn come to their own conclusions.

Again, yes. I know "not all people." I find it obnoxious I thought, "yaaa you should probably toss in the not all people before you receive a barrage of messages regarding that very thing and ignoring the point completely." I did think that long mess of a sentence. I don't always think in perfect linguistics, in fact it's largely the opposite. Why you would care I've no idea, but I figured meh lets add another paragraph, yet again explaining myself. Why though? 

Shit is chaos, but you can navigate it.
If someone relates to this, then good(?), I do sincerely hope they don't feel alone and it helps, but I want people who have no idea what I'm talking about reading this blog. I want to speak to the people who do hate and fear the disorders of all sorts many of us live with. Not so I can change their minds about me specifically and say "all hail Erika, good job another mind changed," but because I'm selfish. Correct, selfish. I want to understand things that don't make any sense to me, at least try. I want to try. Hating and fearing someone I don't know because one person said something is odd. I don't understand it and likely never will, but I want to specifically ask you, "Why should you care?"

There is a limitless supply of love and support available to you, and yes you're correct there is plenty of hate, but that is not up to you. Some people will not accept you. Some will fear and hate, others will love and respect though. This is not meant as some lovely generic quote. It's simple statistics and probabilities based on numbers, demographics, and general communities at large. 

(insert inspirational Google image here) 

I'll spare you the generic Google image and save myself a search to fill the above blog space, but do you see what it is I'm attempting to express? What is it we want to say? What is it we are attempting to advocate? Why?
Is it equality, the betterment of our societies, or our lives? Yes, specifically have you been wronged and it angered you so now you want to shove it down the throats of everyone you encounter or anyone who will listen? Or have you had these painful at times, experiences and want things to change? 

If you seek change then you need to be prepared for backlash, and far more hate. I'm not advocating the "toughen up" expression here I'm, more or less, thinking aloud. Considering these various thoughts streaming through my mind and attempting to make them coherent written (typed) thought, able to be absorbed by anyone interested in reading my trimmed fat.

Just us waiting to see what you take from this post...
I suppose I got so lost in these thoughts after listening to Andy discuss stigma, among many other things because, well shit because it is important to talk about. When we do our living with DID Talks the one thing we tell every single group is "It's important to know what you can and CANNOT do." I don't want every gungho "baby" doctor to be all bright eyed and bushy tailed leap into their fields and say "Yes I can." I want people to think. To know themselves and say, "Hey, maybe I can't or shouldn't do this, but I know someone else who can." Referrals save lives, again my mind wanders and practically gallops about in a chaotic mess of words thought and phrases, but before this becomes a tangent I simply am curious and do genuinely want to know the answer to the question I've asked a dozen or so times... What are you advocating?


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