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.

How I’ve Kept Friends Amidst This Volatile Political Climate

Many of my friends think differently than I do—vastly differently in the majority of cases.

And, navigating the rough waters of relationships with these individuals has been tough!

It required a lot of trial and error, to include more than a few disgruntled fights.

The very mentioning of politics today by anyone other than my partner pains me!

What did I do to make things easier on me?

I put up boundaries with my friends.

I said, “I don’t want to discuss politics.”

And, I have been known to cite my illness as the reason for it!

I have definitely been quite adamant about this as being my standing policy.

I’ve also learned that you can gauge someone’s respect for you by how well they honor your wishes!

I do have a few friends who still bring up politics – but, they know my policy and (usually) do their best to adhere to it.

It’s just a messed up situation all the way around!

Because politicians want us fighting each other. That is their goal!

Anyway, I don’t do that any longer. And, appreciate what friends I have kept for what they bring to the table, and not which side of the table they sit on.

What’s been of great help too, is A) Knowing the issues. But, B) No longer following politics except perhaps during an election.

I’ve had to do this for my own mental health.

What is going on with politics where your friends are concerned ? Have you done something similar? Something different?

Why I Keep Getting Back In The Ring (So To Speak)

So, the “ring,” for me, is waking up every day and “trying” as best as I can to follow a checklist, which includes self-care items and a few chores.

More often than not, I do poorly.

I call it failure, because I can sometimes learn from it, which makes it a “fail.” For me.

If it were a “success,” I feel as though I would learn little.

That said, I am beginning to see that the latter is not always the case!

Also, while I’m at it…

It is one of the bravest and most difficult things a person can do, is battle a chronic illness!

And, when I have an hour or two of happiness in my day… I relish in that!

What makes me do it all over again tomorrow?

I have a mother whom I love, a wife whom I love and adore, my wife’s family who I am still getting to know – but that I also love and greatly appreciate… Oh, and a dog that’s pretty wonderful!

What makes you get back in the “ring” (so to speak)?

Ruminating On My Shitty Family

Before I get started, I want you all to know, that I am practicing kindness towards my shitty family.

That said, the devastation that poverty brings is significant!

As I look back at growing up with my cousins and all of their parents (on one side of the family), I am reminded of the horrors of growing up poor.

All of the adults in this dynamic were employed, but none of them had an education.

Personally, I feel as though if you want to work, you shouldn’t be making total peanuts. Education or no education.

Moving on…

None of my family ever reaches out to me or anyone I am close to.

I’ve done plenty of reaching out on my own, but they just do not reciprocate.

It’s sad; and, I personally blame poor role models, a lack of desire for healing/personal development, as well as (of course), all of us growing up impoverished.

I mean, is it normal to only see one another at the “more important” funerals?

Weddings are also overlooked.

And, sadly, I think that this is fast becoming the way that it is!

Maybe it’s just me, but I wonder…

How did you all grow up, and how do you get along with your (close and extended) family today?

The Friend Who Helped Me Get Up The Confidence To Date My Wife

My progress with my mental health is quite unusual. I’ll admit that.

And, I took a big leap forward in stability and in life, just prior to my dating my now wife.

One of my best friends was there. A lot more than what most people would have been able to be (even if time wasn’t a factor).

He is an owner of a small business, and gave me his “time,” which allowed me to figure out a lot of what I needed to figure out.

As I look back on those days (when I didn’t have a clue about dating), I am reminded that my friend was “there” for me.

So, this goes out to the guy who demonstrated “above and beyond” friendship.

Thank you, my wonderful friend (you know who you are)! 😉

I Think A Lot About My Relationships, And About Death And Dying

Talk about thinking too much, about things that should occur naturally, and without drama.

I am so frustrated with my thought process as it pertains to my relationships and death.

I think about who likes me, who really cares. I think about how much I like someone, if I want them in my life. And, so on and so forth.

I also think about attending the funerals of everyone who I know, in one form or another.

It just sucks.

On the one hand, I want connection. On the other, I want out of all responsibility.

I wish someone could help me.

So, if anyone knows of any good books or online reads (regarding this subject), I would greatly appreciate hearing about them.

Thank you!

I Am No Longer Preventing My Family Members From Seeing My Facebook Content

Not too long ago, I wrote about how I find some of my family to be toxic.

mentallyillinamerica.family.blog/2020/02/11/family-toxicity/

My previous desire to not post to them on Facebook, changed shortly after I made the above blog post.

Basically, I am mad at a few people and a few situations, and I thought I would “punish” everyone.

Not only is that not fair, it doesn’t do me a whole lot of good to treat others like they’re treating me.

Yes, I am dissatisfied with a few family members, but I’m not going to stress over it.

At the end of the day, you only get one family. Like them or not, there’s no point, for me, in making bad situations worse.

Everyone’s dynamics are different though, and I support people doing what makes them happy.

The Art Of The Apology – Where Do You Stand On The Following?

A metaphor for relationships, which has a definite impact on one’s mental health…

A father once gave his son a book on “How To Forgive.”

A son once gifted his father a book on “How To Say I’m Sorry.”

Though it may not be so easy (or even possible) for some people to make amends, here is a good write-up on the art of saying I’m sorry…

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/moments-matter/201701/saying-i-m-sorry

10 Ways I Battle Chronic Mental Illness

  • I refuse to give up, although I feel like doing so some-of-the-time.
  • I found a Liberal Higher Power (the kind of religion doesn’t matter).
  • I kept on putting myself out there until I found my partner.
  • I wasn’t afraid to put myself before people who don’t care.
  • Making personal development plausible in spite of being ill.
  • Living life on my terms, but with character and accountability.
  • Reading about things that interest me.
  • Working on my emotional intelligence.
  • Working on the relationships that mean something to me.
  • Being kind without being a push over.

Family Toxicity

I have 20 family members that I am now preventing from seeing my Facebook posts. I’m also not looking at theirs either.

Life is better this way.

There are only a few decent people in the mix, with the majority of my family being toxic.

I have tried to cultivate relationships with many of my cousins, for example, and no one seems interested in having a relationship.

Just a lot of dysfunction, and I’m no longer having it.

I work on myself, and yes, I will be cordial when seeing family members. But, that’s the extent that my kindness will reach.