Who are you?

Every day that we open our eyes, we get SO much immediate power from simply existing. Each day that we move forward, we make one EXTREMELY important decision, that many of us in mentally healthy states take for granted without a single passing thought. 

Who you are. 

Your interactions, your thoughts, your environment, your emotions, your choices, your ego, your intents, and most importantly of all...your actions. All things we are actively in control of at ANY given moment. Things we can manipulate (be it positively or negatively), with the simplest of action. 

Yet it seems once we drift too far from the center,  whether by achieving so highly, losing sight, and falling into the traps of grandeur delusion, or failing so spectacularly over and over again that you feel as if simply accepting defeat is the only option in front of you, we start to lose sight of the fact that there is 86,400 seconds daily and change HAS to start NOW.

You just...lose scope in those states, though. We're almost taken from ourselves, in a way. You lose who you've known your entire life, as the pain starts to change you daily in terribly negative ways. I think thats why so many different types of mental diseases share the same state of extreme disconnect from reality. It's hard to be connected with really anything while you're doubting who you yourself are. Day by day the problem worsens as new intrusive & harmful thoughts take over, and day by day you lose who you are even more...which results in a dangerous revolving door of either spiraling to "rock bottom"...or death.

You can only run so far from the problem. You can only self-medicate so much. You can only lie to some degree. At some point? You just have to sleep in the bed you've made. 

I don't really know why that saying is usually used in negative context, but having been in that exact position, I'll tell you this right now: I'd gladly get 3 hours of sleep in a bed that I forced myself to sloppily make with the torn sheets I have...because I can wake up, and small bit by small bit start sewing those sheets back together. With hopes that getting back in that same bed the next evening, more comfortable than the night prior, i'll get a slightly better sleep. Next week though, as I'm putting the sheets on my bed as i've been doing, I'll realize that my sheets are starting to look almost...whole. I'm starting to actually comfortably get 4-5 hours of sleep a night again! If this pattern continues? By a year from now, I very well might just be sleeping through the night soundly.

On the other hand, if you just keep sleeping on that shitty bed, hating your shitty bed, being spiteful and jealous of others with nicer beds, and don't ever improve your bed...you're never going to get that sleep you're wanting.

In these states, it's all too easy to assume things either won't get better, or that they're too good to fail. Neither of which are any kind of true in this existence. Life will change in an INSTANT. Sometimes in spectacular ways...sometimes in horrendous ways. The only constant is life is existence itself. We need to learn to utilize every. single. second. to enact change to not only others lives, but to OUR OWN. If there was ever a time to be selfish, it's in this state. 

The past causes depression for many of us, and the future causes anxiety. Allowing for those states to take away our PRESENT is what we all have to work to get past. Learn from your past, don't dwell. Dream for your future, don't compare. 

Thought by thought, action by action, day by day, if you simply exist as the human you want to be, instead of allowing struggle to take away who you are...you'll start to become the human you want to be. Please don't allow your past to take away your future. Use the present to create your future. The worst things in life can make us stronger in ways that honestly probably won't be immediately apparent, but we'll reflect on to appreciate at some point. You don't have Yin without Yang. 

Be whoever you want to be. 

It starts right now. 

-

Please note, I'm not in ANY way saying, "just be happy".

As even my own mental wellness plan entailed medication, counseling, therapy, and many more of the wonderful resources this community offers. Mental illness is a VERY broad range of conditions, yet is also extremely personal and different for everyone involved. I'm not EVER trying to turn anyone from any other community resources that exist. As there is no one single solution to overcoming our illness, some find healing with insight

So I will continue to share my insights and my personal story, as it is not only healing to myself...but may also help someone else out there with their own struggles.

Free Mental Health Resources: NIMH, NAMINational Suicide Prevention Hotline

 

How do you go to war with an idea?

Didn't you know that almost any good social movement was birthed in an alley with a dream and a joint? I stood late night in an alley beside my friend's house, enjoying the beautiful 50-degrees-and-misty-rain-for-10 months-straight Washington weather, smoking one of my first actual joints with one of the kids who introduced me to weed, Darren. His face, at this point, looked something along the line of this. He passed me the joint one final time, and asked if I was feeling anything yet. I only smoked about once a month at this time, so when I got high, it was not a minor elevation. I went from zero to "why do my legs feel like skyscrapers", plus, I'm walking like I have sea legs on land. As I looked up at the streetlight, I started to watch the light kind of streak out into the sky as I'm faced with a very sobering reality...my grandma expected me home at least an hour ago. Growing up in Tacoma is like.. we'll call it Pabst Blue Ribbon, while Seattle is more like a craft IPA. That is, until a homeless person and/or questionably hipster person snatches said IPA from your frigid rainy hands, while you watch the shady stumbling figure jog off, still smelling like either years of rainy tent living, or nothing but Whole Foods unscented granola deodorant (the smell of B.O. and hedge fund). As this figure disappears into the streetlights, wearing an eerily similar flannel ridden outfit to the one you just spent $175 on at Urban Outfitters, you occasionally remember we may just be what cool, progressive, cousin Seattle needs after all.

Back to my story though.

So, I've been staring at this streetlight for way too long now...it felt like 2 years, but was probably more like 20 seconds. That being said, still high. Real high. Pretty confident I'm blind now though, cool. Starting to panic just a little bit. For the rest of my life, I will distinctly remember having the thought that, in that exact moment, "I was feeling about 2:30pm on a Thursday Snoop Dogg high". Oddly enough, thinking back to my early days of smoking, this moment of time...this absurd thought that in itself really doesn't make sense, that I was having during a near THC coma is one that I dwell on the most of all. At least once a month that stupid saying crosses my mind...and i'm without a doubt a believer in manifesting your life mentally first, and watching things you'd at one point would have deemed FULLY impossible come to fruition in front of you with enough hard work of your own, a good chunk of luck at the right time, and the right people around you. Positive thoughts will bring positive vibes. Forward thinking brings forward progress.

Right as I set off home, I turn and ask that one question that so many of us asked a friend right before we got caught smoking weed the first time: "Am I good??". Looking back, THIS HIGH ASS DIDN'T EVEN LEAN FORWARD! He gave one 3 feet away, half stoned, and half giggling uttered SUCH a confident, "oh, FOR SURE BRO" that I'm pretty sure even a cop would have believed him. I've spent many hours doubting that he even understood my question in the first place. Fuck, he probably didn't even hear my question, let alone how to answer it correctly, but we were all young, dumb, and way too high for-our-own-good a few times in life. Builds Character for when you have a friend who doesn't quite know how to handle a bad high, or when you unfortunately experience something like that, if you ever do! I came home at like 1am on a Tuesday school night (Please, if you take anything from this, DON'T ever follow that example.. Do well in school, get good grades, make good money, smoke hella weed later.. don't put all your chips in one basket too early). Smelling like I just had my own grateful dead concert, she busted out a classic "grandma was and always will be way more bad ass than you story" that make me realize JUST how much different smoking was before the internet. You're probably thinking something along the lines of.. "well no shit, Sherlock", LIFE was different back then...just how much so? I'd go as far to say, we've damn nearly evolved as a species with the world of differences between the past only 50 years. An aspect of entirely normal day to day life that I bet most of us take for granted hundreds of times a day without even realizing it, is how much information we directly have access to. The "culturally elite" and "royal" are not ONLY the wealthy, literate, & those with access to information, or those that wanted to devote their entire lives to being a scholar, mostly to be died forgotten with less information than Wikipedia manages in several seconds (whoops, that got morbid). 

We all have VERY different levels of access & accessibility, as that's how privilege manifests itself in a digital age, I don't have an iota of a doubt that FAR more information readily accessible to any free person than ever before, and this is where we'll see the behavioral evolutionary changes of society start to form through the way we interact. More information just means less interaction. Once two people start opposing thought today, it's no longer beneficial as a non tribal society to work together to figure out the problem, or solution. It's breeding an inherently conflicting foundation of belief. (meaning when people have biased opinions, no one listens. People immediately disregard the basic human nature of CONVERSATION and immediately turn to ARGUMENT.  Instead of working together, the first thought on all sides is "look at the other side" or "look at my side". Talking to each other on an entirely level playing field is lost in bias, not evidence. This does NOT mean your perceived evidence is the 100% truth without fail, as everything we view in life is rooted in our own confirmation bias's and environmental experiences.  

 It's not at all how it's always been though.. Conversation was SO different before everyone developed their Google confidence.. as we relied on a more tribal and less selfish societal infrastructure that actually benefited from opposing knowledge. Being wrong was not "a game we play" arguing your team on social media, discussion was literally how we learned ANYTHING AT ALL and moved society forward. We were okay with being wrong and now were not, as we view it as a "personal" attack on us. I assume I don't know even a tiny sliver of everything, as simply assuming such is an anomaly.  That being said, people started to realize that you could use small bits of personal information maliciously, so we saw a HUGE up rise in ponzi schemes and mutual fund syndicates rising to prevalence, as no one could really spread information globally, unless it was through television and only about 60% of homes had access to TV's (which showed you what they wanted, not what you were curious to know).

In social situations (which was where most information was being spread at that time, verbally), this allowed the opportunity for the best liar in the room, who was the most confident in their bull-shitting abilities, to be the one who was left CORRECT MOST OF THE TIME. So you could argue your points, but eventually you just had to leave it at a shoulder shrug and whoever seemed more "right". I'm basically saying a falsely confident public speaker ACTUALLY had an advantage over information & knowledge (a great lesson in history repeating itself). Unless you wanted to go all the way to the library, you simply wouldn't know until you forgot about it most of the time. Cannabis research was very guerrilla in the US during this time, as it has been stigmatized & racially propagandized during Nixon's "War on Drugs" that was "started" June of 1971. I'll be doing a full MUCH longer write up on this "war on an idea" at some point soon.  So, until magazines like High Times came around in 1974, false cannabis myths & incorrect information were almost a normal part of smoking culture.. So part of the absurd "lazy dumb stoner stereotype", was that you'd have a group of stoners all high and arguing about "the best way they could get themselves one of those Thai sticks" or "how they felt" and they all felt entirely different, as cannabis is a much more subjective substance than most in individual effects of each user. Especially when drugs like alcohol, coffee, and tobacco seemed to have more standardized (less subjective) consumption rates, and what they perceived as less "intoxicating" and "less physically harmful" effects...Whoops ya missed the mark on that one...So society saw these now "legal" drugs as "safer" and thus, the world was spoon fed the false stigmatization of drugs, which didn't allow for almost any research to be done until recently. While allowing Now it's our job to keep moving those legalization efforts forward, fighting the fight for those that have either been imprisoned or even killed directly because of this absurd prohibition.. over a beautiful plant that heals. They wont stop us forever. 

Keep moving forward.

StrainCentral - 6/26/18