AJR Sober Up and Adult Development

On my long commute out of Clearwater and into Tampa AJR’s song popped on the radio,

“Won’t you help me sober up / All the big kids they are drunk / and I want to feel something again…”

It spoke to my emerging adult self. I thought of friends and family going from those early 20’s to mid to late to 30’s and it fit the moment. It’s hard to know what AJR is going for here. Is it just what it sounds like? A longing for happier more free spirited and worry free days of childhood? A critique of how staunch, rigid, and drunk adults can be in their everyday grind, and a desire to break through that.

To break the addiction from normalcy and complacency and into creativity and imagination.

Is it a ballad for a lover? Reaching out for a feeling of something real and genuine, an authentic relationship?  Or maybe a song to a new born child imploring to live life in such a way that the singer can live vicariously?

Maybe both. It maybe about connecting to lost parts of ourselves in adulthood, as well as connecting to others with a childlike wonder.

Or it’s nothing and a dumb song.

I don’t know, but it makes me feel…

 

 

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A Letter From Depression

Read “A Letter to Depression” Here

Dear Paige,

It’s good to hear from you, and I’m glad you’re doing well and trying to help others. That’s always what I’m trying to do…

You are correct. I am always there. Most, if not all people, know me in some form or fashion at some point in their life. I feel good that some people want to hang out with me for so long, but I don’t always understand why. I may appear in a time of need, but after a while, I don’t choose to be with them, they choose to be with me.

Maybe it’s because I’m pretty reliable, I’m there more consistently than people. I’m better at reminding and remembering things you’d rather forget. People don’t show up or ask questions. People don’t ask about me or talk about me. People ignore me, deny me, tell me to go away, which never works. So, I stick around as long as necessary.

Sometimes I’m there to remind people of something that they forgot. People would rather be with me than the memory, whatever it is. It doesn’t matter to me what happened. I don’t judge. I don’t bring shame. I’m just something to focus on instead, and that’s cool with me.

But what makes me back off? That’s a good question. I mean, I know when I’m needed, and when I “go away” it’s more like melting. Or I’m like a force field that is no longer necessary. Most of the time, it does take some amount of time.

I feel like people want me to go away as quick as possible, they HATE me, which only makes me closer. If I wasn’t there, then people would never be able to be real. To deny me is to deny your realness and reality, and that’s why I can be so strong. Until that realness and reality is owned with other humans, I’m like slime or stuck like a barnacle. Imagine, people just walking around covered in slime, unable to talk or connect with one another… Or worse, a person yelling at a slimed person to get the slime off. “What? I can’t hear you.”

Hurricanes hit. Parents die. People hurt other people. Accidents happen.

And I’m there to help.

At least until you get a good hug. Or your pain is recognized by another. Or you tell your story. Or if you have a good cry, maybe even with another human. Of you have deep reflection. Or you’re caught in intense prayer. Or you figure something out. Or you forgive. Or there is gratitude. Or there is mercy.

I keep you safe and known until you’re ready for some of the above.

Hope this helps.

Depression

 

A Letter to Depression

Hello Depression!

It’s been so long, I can hardly remember what you are like. I can’t even remember the times when you were unnamed. But I’m writing you now, because I need better understanding to help people.

My relationship with you has been better and been worse throughout time. I remember being ashamed of a recording I found of myself from kindergarten saying how stupid I am (to myself). I itched my legs raw in childhood, and it was probably a manifestation of you. I remember middle and early high school being angry and crying all the time, having nice teachers look at me like, “What in the world is wrong?” Not in a judgy way, but genuinely concerned way. And I would think to myself, “I have NO IDEA.” It was you.

Objectively, those pre-adolescent and adolescent days were amazing, I wish I paid more attention to them, than I did to you. Trying to figure you out. Trying to make you go away. Not understanding how I could get along with so many people, live in some of the most amazing places, laugh, play, worship, but still feel you, and want to die.

Over time, with growth and maturity (and plenty of attention and help and, of course, figuring you out), I was ok with you. I was with you, because when bad things (or even just normal annoying things) happened, I needed to be with you, but I did not need to be with you forever. Depression, you made sense for various events in my life, even if my body and emotions were a little more sensitive, and I was sadder longer than I wanted to be. I stopped beating myself for being with you, and let you wash over me like a wave. Even if I felt it, I was never in danger of drowning. I was safe.

This is all retrospective though. You haven’t been at your strongest in over a decade, but Depression, I know that things can happen, and you will be there again.

That’s enough trip down memory lane, what I’m trying understand now is how to help others. You manifest so different in every person, and “feeling better” is also extremely different and objective for every person. Most kids and adults that I know who have a relationship with you fight you so hard. They want you to go away forever, or avoid you with busyness and/or dissociation, blame others, or are waiting for someone very specific to help them fight you.

It’s depressing (pun intended) to be away from you, trying to help people get away from you. It seems all they really need is for someone to simply hold them with you and remind them that it doesn’t have to be forever.

“This won’t be forever, and if it is forever, I’ll be here forever with you.”

Maybe that’s what you are, or could be, Depression, a warm blanket in the dark traumatic or annoying parts of our lives. I think many people think that you are the dark, but the dark is whatever has happened, and you are the warm blanket. Some of us stay under the blanket, too afraid to see if the light has returned or too afraid the dark will come again. We need help coming out, enjoying the light when it’s there.

No one wants to deal with you this way or be with you even when they need you. They want behavior modification. They want to do do do, or “Here’s this pill, it might work.” Medically, there’s this annoying thing that as long as a person is functioning, then you are not a problem. Depression, you are only a problem if we turn to self harm or self neglect or lack of productivity–which is pretty extreme–where a person literally can’t function for months at a time. Meanwhile, millions function with you, Depression, and still see you as a problem.

Even with this letter, I’m trying to find a way to grab a hold of you and throw you away, to save myself and others from a relationship with you. It’s like trying to save people from the inconvenience of breathing or eating or sleeping.

So, how do we get you to back off? I know that it’s possible. I know you’ve backed off quite a bit from me, but what about others?

Is it time? Is it busyness? Is it just replacement strategies? Is it a close social network, good family and friends? Is it self-awareness? Is it Jesus? Is it a lot of things or just a couple? Is it sudden or gradual? Can it be any, all, or combo? Why can’t you just make it easy?

Any insight would be helpful.

Peace,

Paige

Read “A Letter From Depression” next. 

5 Biblical Reasons NOT to Get Married

Warning: Hyperbole about to ensue.

Whenever people get their panties in a bunch over marriage, divorce, same-sex marriage, and gender identity issues, I can’t help but want to go back to the Bible, which is very anti-family and anti-marriage all together.

Usually when the Bible does talk about marriage, it’s not in a ritualistic sense, like, “This is how Christians get married…” but more in a, “Welp, you’re married, so this is how it’s going to work now that there are married Christians, and Christian families.” Marriage in culture existed before Christianity did, so Christians had to figure out how to appropriate it into their culture, instead of listening to what the Bible says and just not get married.

Here are 5 Biblical reasons not to get married

  1. Adam and Eve.

Let’s just start from the beginning. Adam and Eve are not good examples of a couple or as parents. People quote Genesis and refer to Adam and Eve like they are some kind of model of perfection, but they are responsible for the fall of mankind AND the oldest son MURDERS the younger. I don’t know what made people decide it was a good idea to get together and procreate after this. It’s as if our relationships were doomed from the very get go.

2. Pretty much every relationship and family in the Old Testament AFTER Adam and Eve.

Does anyone actually read the Bible? Multiple wives. Murder. Rape. Adultery. Incest. Manipulation. It’s like people were considered property or something.

3. The Cost of Discipleship: Luke 14:25-27

Large crowds were now traveling with Jesus, and He turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters — yes, even his own life — he cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not carry his cross and follow Me cannot be My disciple.

And there’s more…

Matthew 10:37 Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

And more…

John 12:25 Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.

It seems pretty clear to me that Jesus is not for family. It’s not something that he talks about a ton. We don’t even hear much of his own relationship with family. He wasn’t married as far as we know.

Basically, every Christian needs to be prepared to give up everything AKA person at any moment, and being married and having children does not lend itself very well to that.

Christians don’t want to be married because Jesus said that it’s good to be married, they want to be married because they want it. It’s as if people and relationships are things. And Jesus is definitely not for wanting, getting, or keeping things.

4. Jesus says to GIVE UP EVERYTHING.

I have never understood how Christians do mental gymnastics to get around this.

Luke 14:33 “…those of you who do not give up everything they have cannot be my disciples.”

Matthew 19:21 “If you want to be perfect, go, sell all of your possessions and give to the poor. And you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

And there’s more… Luke 18:22, Acts 2:45. Acts 2:45 is compelling because it is the example of the first Christians doing this command. If you are married and you have children, you are much less likely to share because it’s all about your family before anyone else.

Putting your family before the needy and poor in your Christian community is anti-Christian. How do you get around this? Don’t get married or have a family.

5. Paul on Marriage: 1 Corinthians 7

This is a treasure trove. In the first verse, it appears that the Corinthians assumed that they couldn’t have sex (with anyone), and it was complicating the community. Paul clears this up by letting them know they can get with their spouses–BUT NOT TOO MUCH.

Paul also highly recommends that widows not remarry, and that the unmarried remain unmarried.

1 Corinthians 7:28 “But if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this.”

Paul is LITERALLY reassuring the community that marriage isn’t a sin, but probably isn’t worth going through if you’re a Christian.

Why do we do it? And why do we care how other people do it?

Probably because sex is the biggest competitor with religion.

So, Christian, if you’re not married, don’t fret! You’re probably closer to Christ and more Christian than the rest of us who put a ring on it.

Baptized by Story and Stages of Healing White Privilege Edition

Lately, I’ve been baptized by the stories of people who are very different than me. I understand that the privileges that I haven’t earned and have enjoyed, many people of color have not. Their lived bodily experience is radically different from mine. Sure, I have my issues, but very few of them have to do with me just being me in my body, and other’s reaction to that. Continue reading “Baptized by Story and Stages of Healing White Privilege Edition”

A List Of Things My Dad Taught Me

  1. Ride a bike
  2. Fix a bike
  3. Fishing (fly, deep sea, taking a fish off a hook, putting a hook on a line, and cleaning a fish)
  4. Use power tools
  5. Load a dishwasher
  6. Rake
  7. Laundry
  8. Pushups
  9. A proper head lock
  10. Arm bar
  11. Birdman into a swimming pool
  12. Take care of my car
  13. Cook Italian
  14. Exercise at home
  15. Poker
  16. Chess
  17. How to deal with computers in the 90s
  18. Greet with a kiss
  19. Sarcasm
  20. Swimming in the ocean
  21. Stay in the shade (wear a hat)
  22. Bruce Lee
  23. Star Trek and Star Wars
  24. All love of sci-fi
  25. What to do in a tornado
  26. Jerry-rig anything
  27. Duct Tape
  28. Hand Stand
  29. Composting
  30. Recycling
  31. If it hurts when you do that, don’t do that.
  32. Coffee is good
  33. Generosity
  34. Poetry
  35. Don’t judge
  36. It’s ok to be Catholic
  37. Somersault

There are probably more things, but that is a few.

Jaded Millennial Doesn’t Buy Local Anymore

I love local stuff. But it is expensive and often over indulgent. For example: Coffee. I love it so much. It’s how you know that a place is being gentrified and thrives on an upper middle class economy. Just look for the fancy beer bars and coffee. People tout this local stuff and everyone who is a millennial and can afford it, buys it. Continue reading “Jaded Millennial Doesn’t Buy Local Anymore”