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    jezebel.com | Brandy Jensen | 5/7/20 | 4 min
    45 reads18 comments
    8.6
    jezebel.com
    45 reads
    8.6
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    • sjwoo3 weeks ago

      Why are we here? What are we doing? Does anything really matter?

      All we can ever do is create meaning in our lives, because the bigger meaning will forever elude us (highly, highly likely that it doesn't exist). One of my favorite quotes of all time is by Douglas Adams:

      “There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened.”

    • Pegeen
      Top reader this weekScribe
      4 weeks ago

      This is haunting, disturbing. I live in a state of gratitude, even more so after reading this. Sounds like a living hell - to not feel excited or ever feel like you are having fun. And to be so young. I hope this person gets the help they need. Truly sad.

      • Plum3 weeks ago

        Thanks, Pegeen I always appreciate your comments. I look forward to checking in on Readup for the comments of our community as much as for the readings. It is an issue of mine as a nurse who worked in mental health to push against seeing the problems and oppressions we face in society considered problems of the individual. It prevents us from changing our culture and doesn’t enable healing. My remedy, right or maybe wrong sometimes is to encourage people to go out and work towards a better world in any small way they can. So good to read with you and Raven too!

      • Raven
        Scribe
        4 weeks ago

        What help would you give Brandy if you were given the opportunity? It sounds like you are passionate about how a fellow human is feeling. It needs not to make you sad, you have their name, reaching out is another expression of the gratitude that you say you live in.

        • Pegeen
          Top reader this weekScribe
          3 weeks ago

          I think Brandy needs professional help. He seems depressed despite having friends and job opportunities. That’s what is sad to me. I am very familiar with mental illness and I know how difficult it can be to treat.

          • Raven
            Scribe
            3 weeks ago

            If you are willing to read my other comment on this article and consider that Brandy’s situation may not be caused primarily by mental illness but by the way our society is structured. During “lockdown” as people have been calling it, many different things have come up for people that have been lurking around on the periphery of their minds. Brandy, I think because of the way this article is written, has just discovered the inequities of modern life. Mental health is the foundation of all health and people’s need for community and familial support at this time has resulted in a reliance on relationships in the digital sphere to fill the entire void. My hope is in returning to intimacy with the world in the way that everyday opportunities for fulfilling our needs are taken. Level the field of social status and then we’re all together in a place where support feels like support, not just thinly veiled acknowledgement of someone’s digital identity.

            1. Update (6/14/2020):

              P.S. Brandy is a woman.

            • Pegeen
              Top reader this weekScribe
              3 weeks ago

              Sorry about that - old habit. I did read your comment. And I also thought about your reply to me. And I feel really good about how I am in the world, how I respond because I am kind and loving to everyone I meet - everyday. I look people in the eye, I smile, I say hello. I talk to strangers, I help when I see the need, I am involved and engaged. I love people, I love life. I willingly give of myself because it gives my life purpose and meaning. Always have, always will. As far as the “virtual” world, I feel I respond from my heart. I felt compassion for Brandy. I “felt” her pain and it didn’t feel “thin” to me.

              • Raven
                Scribe
                3 weeks ago

                Thanks so much for your honesty and openness to communicating with me about this subject, how do you feel about classism in today’s Western culture and how it relates to mental health?

                • Pegeen
                  Top reader this weekScribe
                  3 weeks ago

                  Hi Raven, You had me Google “classism” so I’m really clear on what you are asking me. What I spent the next half hour doing was watching really great short video’s by professionals and kids relating to the subject. The kid video was by far the most powerful. Of course classism is affecting all areas of people’s lives - mental health certainly included. I only needed to recall Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to understand how important physiological (1) and safety (2) needs are that form the very foundation of our wellbeing. And the needs are not being met by those in the more depressed and poor areas - overwhelmingly, those of color. I grew up with grandparents and parents of the Depression. I was truly living in a “middle class” neighborhood, back when there was a true middle class. We were working class people and well aware of those more financially well off than ourselves. But I am Caucasian and that’s a big difference - I am aware of that. How big, I will never pretend to know or feel. But I can imagine. What I do know is that love heals, that love is the answer in all situations. I am doing my best to be the love I wish to see in this world. I don’t know if that is a satisfactory answer to your question but it’s an honest one.

                  • Raven
                    Scribe
                    3 weeks ago

                    This is more than I expected and then again not because that is what made me want to engage with you. When I read that you have gratitude for your life I was compelled by hearing that to respond. I’m interested in the effects and affects of the act of truly feeling grateful, I learned recently from a health professional that giving true and deep gratitude for anything will activate the frontal and pre-frontal cortex causing us to have a greater ability to reason. This to me seems like one of the most profound and attainable life hacks that I have ever had the pleasure of learning. I cheer you for choosing love and I totally agree with you that love heals. Thanks again for all your consideration, honesty and your insights. Cheers Raven

    • MattHarwood3 weeks ago

      This is an article that will resonate far and wide. I feel the same, often. Days merge. I suddenly look for markers of progress, and within a small timeframe, dismiss those markers as "society's pressures". Ultimately I think a lot of us are in search of something that either doesn't exist, or exists already but we're not seeing.

      • aussak3 weeks ago

        100 percent.

      • bill
        Top reader this weekTop reader of all timeScoutScribe
        3 weeks ago

        Thank you for this comment.

        We see eye-to-eye in many ways.

    • BillEnkey3 weeks ago

      Wow. Deepdave nails it again. "[A]sexually reproducing dishes," and, "being wasteful and unproductive in [my] pursuits," had me laughing longer than is probably healthy. ...

    • Plum3 weeks ago

      I love the ideas below. They do capture my despair. Sometimes the powers that be want us to feel it is mental illness but it is actually oppression and injustice. Witnessing it helplessly for the privileged or experiencing it and having life crushed for more and more. I hope we all rise up.

      “That these are sad times and it feels bad to live in them is hardly insightful, but lately I’ve been wondering if it’s not so much the sadness but the sameness. Watching wicked people prosper over and over, having the same conversations about powerful men and the consequences they will never face, witnessing suffering that was easily anticipated and avoided, asking again and again what can be done about it and being told again and again, essentially, “nothing.”.

      • Pegeen
        Top reader this weekScribe
        3 weeks ago

        I appreciate your comment (and Raven’s). I did just assume mental illness because Brandy had a job, nice friends, a few hobbies and an apartment (albeit not such a great one). I didn’t automatically go to oppression and injustice but I certainly see the connection. This has opened my eyes in a more expansive way, which is why I love Readup. Thanks for the insight.

    • Raven
      Scribe
      4 weeks ago

      “Are there people out there with fulfilling careers that help them withstand the vagaries of a cruel world? Yes, sure. Do a lot of them come from families with enough money to withstand the vagaries of a cruel world? Also yes”

      Please everyone read this message twice before you think about it in terms of yourself. I hope that you’re willing to give this statement the gravity and grace that it deserves. Class and hierarchical structures are hard to break through, if not impossible for individuals who through no fault of their own are starting in the bottom of both. Keep your eyes open to see your own privilege no matter how hard it is to see the reflection.

    • deephdave
      Top reader this weekReading streakScout
      4 weeks ago

      It was tough to follow routine during the lockdown period. Thanks to Readup, I spent a healthy time reading on Readup.

      The only real antidote I’ve found to a sense of ever-present sameness is to attend to things that grow and change: living things. Care for something alive—start with something small and pitiful like a plant, if you want. A cat; a friend; a neighbor. Be wasteful and unproductive in your pursuits.