Dear Depression

Going through a difficult time?
Like Churchill said “If you’re going through hell, keep going!”

I deal with a lot of different issues. Frustrating, aggravating, and I work on managing the stress as much as I can. Some days are more overwhelming than others. I have good days as well, but it’s easy to do great when you’re having a great day.

It’s on those bad days when I have to push through and remember what I’m doing it all for.

I’ve almost given up multiple times in my life. Thought I wouldn’t see another day. I’ve had depression since I was 12 or 13. I have anger issues, anxiety, and a general self-loathing that looms over my entire existence. I deal with this every day.

Yes. On my good days. On my bad days. Do you want to know what gets me through? I have the desire to do better for my family, and the love for them.

I set goals, and bury myself in my work. I don’t talk about my depression with people, but there are a few people that know me that know that I have depression.

Don’t get me wrong, I have good feelings as well, and I work really hard not to let myself fall down in the hole.

I have learned how to restructure my internal dialogue, I’ve tried meditation, exercise, drinking, medication prescribed by a doctor, art, writing, escapism, you name it.

I have read many books on leadership and self-development.

I have stood up for myself and others against harassment and bullying. I have offered encouragement to others who have been suicidal, and depressed.

I have lost friendships over it. Either because they were afraid, or simply didn’t want to deal with me after they found out I had depression. The stigma of depression is a heavy weight to bear.

It’s only been the last 10 years or so but I felt more comfortable having those conversations about depression with myself and with others.

I watched the video yesterday that I shared about Kerwin Rae, and I listen to his podcast. His friend was talking about how freeing it was to be open and honest with people about his depression and addiction.

I don’t like to think of myself as being a broken person, I like to view myself as a work in progress.

It’s one of the reasons why I’m able to identify with other people who are dealing with mental health issues. The funny thing is, there’s no one solve it all for everybody. What works for one person may work for another, or it may not. It’s not a “take two aspirin and call me in the morning “kind of solution.

One of things that has helped me is grit. Resolving not to give up when everything seems lost. I often think about Churchhill’s “If you’re going through hell, keep going!”

I failed at a lot of things in my life. I’ve let a lot of people down. I’ve let myself down. This isn’t going to be a happy ending kind of post. Just want to share with you that you’re not alone.

New York Times best selling author Gary John Bishop

Gary John Bishop joins host Adam Messer on WRUU 107.5 FM Savannah to discuss his latest books and urban philosophy.

Gary John Bishop is the New York Times best-selling author – Unfu*k Yourself, Stop Doing That Sh*t. Wake up artist to the perennially unconscious.
https://www.facebook.com/pg/OneInSevenBillion

Listen live at 4 pm EST on http://www.wruu.org and listen to the podcast of the episode on  https://soundcloud.com/adammesser/gary-john-bishop-interview-with-adam-messer

#wruu1075 http://www.wruu.org #Savannah #Georgia @@garyjohnbishop @admesser @wruu_107.5_savannah @adammesser #podcast #philosophy #Leadership #grow #learn @newyorktimes #best #selling
#author #writer

Ah, the student loans

Borrowing this from a friend. I could not have said it better.

———–

I see so many older folks complaining and trying to pin it on the next generation for being lazy, entitled, greedy, whatever you want to call us.
Here’s the truth though.
We were lied to.
On several levels.

We were made promises and have been patient, hoping those promises would be kept, and they were not.

Now we are desperate, and we are angry.

Before I begin to explain what happened to us, and why we are ALL in this situation (yes, not just the younger generation, but you older generations are part of this too, you just can’t see it), let me just say, this will either make you angry because you don’t want to admit to the truth and see things our way, or you will be angry because you finally understand what we’ve been put through and you realize who’s really at fault.

When I was in high school, college was the only option I was given. That or the military, but since I am a small female with health issues, that was out of the question. I went to a conservative private school, and these were basically our only options because that’s all they told us was an option (we were too young to realize that we had a multitude of other options- trade school, being self-taught and doing the research on our own, waiting several years to save up and go to school when we wanted to, or waiting to even decide on what we were going to study). No, we had to decide now, and so I decided to go to another conservative public school because it was touted as one of the best. So many of the graduates from my school had gone there in the past. It was a place of pride to be accepted into this school. So I went to that school.

The education I received was not satisfactory to me, and I wanted to teach college level, so I went to a highly praised school down south to get my Masters. It was also said this was the best school to get the education I was searching for, so I went. I even got a scholarship. Worry about the costs later. I was promised a job within 6 months of graduating. This was a lie.

We had to go through an Exit Class, where we were told about how our loan companies would now be contacting us. They didn’t inform us about how to understand our loans, what we were signing away, what all the numbers meant. They just handed us a packet, told us to read it, and go. This is how I was lied to and made the mistake of consolidating my loans. This is how I ended up with a total student loan debt of $145,000 upon graduating.
I have paid it regularly as much as I could afford over the last decade.
I now have a student loan debt of $160,000.

Nobody told us that there wouldn’t be any jobs because the economy was broken and the previous job-holders weren’t retiring at the same rate as the generation before them.
We were lied to about this.

Nobody told us that even with consolidation, even with deferment of our loans while we’re on hard times, even with three part time jobs, we would barely be able to pay the interest rate on our loans.
We were lied to about this.

Nobody said that there wouldn’t be any affordable houses for us to buy because, again, the economy was broken, and the price of houses was only going up.
We were lied to about this.

There is currently over $1.5 trillion in student debt.

Most of those with student debt are working so so hard to try and pay those loans off, but can barely even make a dent.

We are all just trying to make a better life for ourselves and our next generations.

And here is the lie you were all told.

That money is the key to your happiness.
You were raised in a fairly good economy. Education was cheap. Jobs were everywhere. You didn’t need as much experience to get one of those jobs, and you could pay off your loans within years.
You were told that getting a degree, getting a job, making money, buying a house, having kids, and retiring early was the key to a fulfilling life.
Since those things all cost money, you believed that money = happiness.

Right now, the things you could buy with your little amount of money when you were our age, costs infinitely more. And education is disproportionately worse.

You encouraged the next generation to do the same thing you did anyway. Get a degree, get a job, buy a house, have a family.

You didn’t realize how much harder that was because you were no longer in that situation. You were comfortable. You were “happy.”

We followed your advice, and the advice of the schools, the big companies we wanted to work for, the institutions that wanted to lend us money so we could “follow our dreams.”
We didn’t know that all they wanted was our money.
You didn’t know that all they wanted was to bleed us dry.
Our education system is broken. They don’t care if we get a job or not, they just care if they get the paycheck from us and we increase the graduation rate so their school looks better so they get more attendees.

None of us knew we were being manipulated.
None of us knew we were being lied to.

There aren’t any jobs for our generation in the field we studied and worked hard for, so we have to take whatever jobs we can find, even if it’s not in our field, even if it doesn’t pay well.
There aren’t any houses we can afford, so we have to rent, which means we have to take on another job to help offset that cost.
If we try to live with our parents to save money, we’re labeled as leeches.
We’re trying to live our lives better, but it’s hard.

We were also told that money is the key to our happiness.
But after so many years of this, we are finally coming to realize that that is the biggest lie we were all told.
So we are working to change the system.
We are trying to make the world a better place, break out of the vicious cycle of capitalism and giving our time and energy and money to corporations and institutions that just want to bleed us dry until our dying day.

So sorry you think we’re lazy.
Sorry you think we’re greedy.
Sorry you think we’re entitled.

Sorry you think that forgiveness and change and wanting to make a better world for everyone is so scary.
I understand why.
I understand that you feel cheated. You lived your whole life based on this principle and now you are being told it was wrong.
I understand your anger about that.
I understand you feel like something is being taken from you.
But try to understand: we feel exactly the same.
We feel cheated, we felt lied to our whole lives, we feel angry, and we feel like everything we worked hard for was taken from us.
All because of a little set of lies.

So, to wrap this up, I just want to quote Bob Dylan.
“Your old road is rapidly agin’.
Please get out of the new one if you can’t lend a hand.
For the times they are a’changin’.”

Oh, and if you want to get angry and yell at me about this, go right ahead.
I’ll be turning off notifications on this post because I know I can’t change your opinion, and you can’t change mine.

So why did I post this?
To show solidarity to those who are feeling like their own parents and grandparents have abandoned them in this matter.
And also to tell you your time is almost up and we have a lot of patience, so change is coming one way or another. You can either be part of it and support the next generation that is inheriting this world from you, or you can watch it happen from the other side.

Y’all have a great day.
I hope happiness and fulfillment finds you all, and that money is not a factor in it. ❤️

Respect our elders

Image result for elderlyI met an interesting guy today named James. He and I were looking at used books at the local Goodwill, and I started up a conversation with him.

Vietnam Veteran, wearing his Vietnam Veteran hat, super nice guy. He was in great shape, looked like he was in his 70s.

We talked about family, life, reading, and laughed a lot.

He actually thanked me for talking with him. He said as a senior citizen, a lot of young people ignore them. He said they feel like invisible people. He told me he appreciated me taking the time for talking with him. He kept apologizing for talking too much.

I told him not to apologize, that I enjoyed the conversation, and that I love talking with people and finding out about their stories.

He told a lot of dad jokes, and we laughed a lot. I told him that I recently read an article that said exactly the same thing about elderly people feeling invisible.

I thanked him for his time and his service. Great guy.

With today’s smartphones, a lot of people have lost the art of conversation. I always enjoyed talking with people older than me, and value their wisdom and humor. I have learned a lot from my elders and show respect to them.

I strongly encourage others to appreciate their elders and teach our young ones to do the same.

They have a wealth of stories to share if only someone will listen.