3 AM Thoughts

In my life, I’ve done a lot of questioning and I’ve come a long ways.

And, I’ve been uncomfortable A LOT.

My family is both uber religious and ultra conservative.

Among other things, they are self-righteous and care only about themselves.

Many of my friends are slightly less religious, but also quite conservative.

I live in the Midwestern United States, and here, that is the norm.

That being said, I’ve managed to travel in the opposite direction of everything I once knew!

I’m definitely different, the odd ball of my group.

I’ve worked on myself for the past 25 years. And, I have done the best that I could as often as I’ve been able.

And, it has been soul-crushing, trying to make sense of the senseless.

I haven’t been privy to ignoring so many of life’s atrocities, anymore than I can ignore the fact that many Americans think that the U.S. is the only country worth consideration in the world!

Yes, I struggle to love those who could care less. I grapple with loving the “shitty.”

So, as of late… I don’t.

If you didn’t come to your own (healthy) conclusions about religion and politics early on, based off of YOURS (and, others’ experiences)… you are probably following the religion and politics of your family.

An easy and automatic decision for many.

And, I get it. It’s uncomfortable for some people to think about others as their equals, and it’s easy to explain away others’ grief, especially when so many people haven’t “paid their dues.”

But, why must we do that? Think that way? Aren’t we more evolved than that? Don’t we see the shades of gray?

There are lots of choices in life. And, numerous reasons for choosing the (liberal) path that so many before us, have.

Racism. Social Justice. Equality. A woman’s right. To name four!

We are in a war of morals, of human decency. And anymore, I am creeped the fuck out!

But, I’ve also learned that one’s suffering can be the greatest of teachers.

And, I’ve come to learn that you are either practicing greater self-awareness or you are feeding your ego.

Please remember that.

I have found the above statement to be one of life’s ultimate truths!

You are either practicing greater self-awareness or you are feeding your ego.

Powerful thoughts for 3 AM.

Mr. Olsteen Chimes In

I appreciate what Mr. Olsteen is trying to put forth (at least a “little”), which is a good reason to use your voice!

He’s wrong as it pertains to the crux of severe mental illness.

No one works harder than myself and a few people I know in the blogosphere, who want to share their story and make a difference.

Please don’t be taken in by the Olsteen’s of the world!

Faith And Cognitive Dissonance

How many of my readers, struggle with the notion of faith and cognitive dissonance? Or __________ and cognitive dissonance?

I know that I do and I would love to hear from others who do as well!

I waver in my life, a certain amount, so for me to feel this way is not totally unusual!

For instance, one day I’ll feel totally removed from any sort of ideas of “faith,” and on another day, I am firmly rooted in my ideas of “faith.”

This is torture! But, this is also a part of my illness (I believe)!

What is your experience with faith and cognitive dissonance? Is this experience, similar to other patterns in your life that you deal with regarding the notion of cognitive dissonance?

Using My Words To Help People

“Don’t ever underestimate the impact that you may have on someone else’s life.” — Anonymous

I couldn’t do what I am doing, with the writing, the blog, and the social media… if I wasn’t at least “somewhat” functional.

Also, how could I work a job, and not expect to find myself in the hospital every six months?

I am not well!

I have a number of persistent symptoms, and my blogging is sustainable (at least for now).

I can forget about even volunteering, which I can’t do anyhow (and, hopefully help somebody with my words).

Using big and helpful words are everything! For me. And, while I love to help people with my words, I know that not everyone has a rich vocabulary!

So, how do you personally use your words to make people feel good (in real life and on the blog)?

I Am Learning To Double And Triple Check Many Beliefs

I can’t always do this, but I have noticed (as many anxiety sufferers probably have) that many of the things I fear in life, are unfounded.

To elaborate, it is more than fear that I am talking about—it’s my delusions.

I have realized (through speaking to my wife about certain matters), that, if I give it a few days, it is quite possible that I’ll be wrong about something that had previously been troubling me.

For instance, let’s say that I believe that someone has it out for me, and that I can tell by their actions, that I am soon going to be a “victim.”

If I give it a day or two, the exact thought(s) or “delusions” that I experienced regarding said person, will usually come around again, accompanied with newfound knowledge, that I was “wrong” about my “assertion.”

Of course, I am embarrassed (I don’t need to be) when things do come back around, but I am learning to not be surprised either!

If I am going to worry about a plethora of things, some of them are “bound” to be off-the-wall untrue!

Right?

Right!

And, this is just a part of the hell of working through issues related to severe mental illness.

But, at least I am “trying.”

In fact, that is my new mantra—to at least “try!”

Am I at least “trying?”

I’ve always been someone who tries, but I haven’t always had that all-elusive awareness, which many times held me back!

What about you? Is a lack of awareness a problem for you? How do you get around it?

This Is Not An Anti-Recovery Post!

Isn’t recovery merely a series of “self-care” practices?

The more I study recovery, it sure seems that way!

I am interested in the idea of full-recovery, which many psychiatrists seem to think exists.

But, does full-recovery exist amid future, potential hospitalizations?

I personally believe that psychiatrists have it wrong, because I find a full-recovery, as they view it, impossible!

What is possible (for some), is as everyone has been saying, a recovery that the person with mental illness designs themselves!

We hold the key, and that’s what’s real…

If recovery is to happen, one must understand that much of recovery is understanding how to “self-care.”

Am I right, community members?

Thanks for your participation!

The Case For (And Against) Religious Conviction

Sorry, but the title should read, “The Case For (And Against) Being Spiritual.”

That said, I believe in a higher power. And, I’ll admit it, to some, it makes little sense.

But, I do!

And, I do because it “grounds me,” and make me feel like life is more manageable.

It also helps me to occasionally dream of a better life—one that escapes me (to some degree).

Yes, it is illogical in a number of respects.

So, I do see why many people do not have religious convictions (or spiritual beliefs rather).

But, I’d like to know more if you’ll share.

Can you live well without spirituality? Or, what does spirituality look like for you?

How Spirituality (Not Religion) Helps Me Cope With Schizoaffective Disorder

I feel a tad bit silly writing this amid doubts and concerns about all religions, but here goes…

It took me a number of years to find my way back to the religion I was raised with… Christianity.

By the time I was reintroduced to Christianity, I had experienced enough “hell,” that I could only see life as a spiritual (but not quite religious) person.

I have chosen to follow Jesus Christ, and I realize that religion rubs a lot of people the wrong way; but, I am not trying to change anyone’s mind about it either.

I am simply stating that I have noticed quite a bit of improvement in my life as a Liberal Christian.

I can’t explain it very well, but I don’t worry as much about the things I cannot change. I still worry, just a little less…

I also have doubts, which will likely stay with me for quite awhile.

Anyway, this is just to let you know that there are alternatives to being a part of a religion. Hey, you could be spiritual! 🙂

And, you can do it with or without Jesus!

I am sure that Jesus doesn’t mind which path you take in life, as long as you are a good person and are true to yourself…

Anyway, what are the crux of your beliefs in life? How do you cope existentially?

Denzel Washington Quotes

When Denzel Washington won the Outstanding Actor In a Motion Picture Award in 2002 (I believe it was for Training Day through the Screen Actors Guild), he said the following things, which I find quite helpful to anyone who wants to be great in any endeavor:

“Fall Down Seven Times Get Up Eight.”

“Ease Is A Greater Threat To Progress Than Hardship.”

“Keep Moving, Keep Growing, Keep Learning, See You At Work.”

The above quotes are reminders to me that it takes hard work and discipline to achieve our goals!

I Am A Christian Because…

  • Christianity, in general, gives me hope.
  • I look towards Jesus as an example of how one might strive to be.
  • The stories in the New Testament especially, are lessons for everyone!
  • I choose a different (liberal) approach to my religious views because that is what is demanded of me in 2020.
  • Contemporary Christian music lifts me up!
  • Q – What do I lose by believing in something that helps me (and countless others)? A – Nothing. In fact, I might even gain something.
  • I view God’s love as the “perfect” love.