Last night, unrest in Ferguson, Missouri took a dramatic turn into a chaotic scene of Molotov cocktails, smoke grenades, rubber bullets and arrests.
Some things I will miss about Brooklyn, gorgeous photo essay by Chris Andrade
This Is The Face of My Mental Illness
I took this picture of myself at the end of a day I spent in bed, scared and crying, feeling alone and hopeless and completely desperate.
This is the face of my mental illness. This is the face of my sadness when it is at its most inexplicable and its most pronounced.
I am not ashamed of it.
On the day Robin Williams died, a Facebook friend posted this atrocious status:
A lot of people did indeed use the opportunity to call him an asshole. Some tried to make him understand just how ignorant his statement was. I’ve never been one for engaging with idiocy online, but this prompted me to reply: “Clearly you’ve never been mentally ill. It chooses you, not the other way around.” And still there were others who rallied behind his comment, saying things like, “We’re all sad, so what? Going outside, keeping busy, and doing hard work is all it takes to get by.”
There’s a lot of faulty assumptions made in the initial Facebook status that, I feel, most adults should understand—but many don’t. The first assumption is that you choose when to be done with mental illness. That mental illness is a weakness, not a disease, that you can overcome if you just put your mind to it. Only people who have not experienced how crippling depression is would ever assume this. Those who have been through it understand that, sometimes, no amount of love, friendship, exercise, eating well, fulfilling work, or therapy can help you out of the darkness. Yes, you can help yourself as best you can (as Robin Williams, and Chris Gethard above, have, many times), but, like any other real illness, you can’t just wish the symptoms away. They choose you, not the other way around, and they will release their grip on you when they see fit, not when it’s convenient for you, not even when you feel you can’t go on another moment living like this.
The second assumption made by the status is that having money and being successful in your field equals happiness. This truly baffles me, as I feel anyone who has lived through any sort of strife should understand that those things mean absolutely nothing when it comes to happiness. And they mean even less when it comes to mental illness. Sure, money can make things easier in life (it can also make things a hell of a lot harder) and success “should” give you personal satisfaction. But mental illness has a very specific, soul-crushing way of incessantly reminding you that you don’t deserve anything you have, that you’re untalented, that everyone will see you for the fraud you are very soon. It’a vicious cycle. Any life can be “good” or “bad,” subjectively, but again, that has nothing to do with a chemical imbalance in your brain wreaking havoc on your very identity.
It is truly time to end the stigma behind mental illness, and Chris Gethard, and many other comedians, performers, and celebrities, are brave to tell their side of such a personal experience. Maybe someday I’ll be brave enough to tell mine. Maybe our country’s communal mourning and the admission of bouts of severe depression from so many famous faces will bring some much-needed awareness and understanding to these issues.
If you still need an empathy lesson, here’s my favorite link explaining what depression is like. And finally, to end on a happy note celebrating the fact that Robin Williams, and every one suffering, are so much more than their affliction, here is Robin Williams’ Reddit AMA, a very, very happy read.
Edit: Hear Robin Williams talk indepth about his struggles on the WTF podcast with Marc Maron, a replay of an episode from 2010 that Maron said defined the podcast from that moment on.
When I get new clothes, I like to try them on in front of my cat.
She kindly obliges me, staring at my dress hem as I glide back and forth, every once in awhile stopping to look at me as if to say, “That’s such a lovely silhouette!” or “Do you really think you can pull off that print?”
Picture from the Bed-Stuy BBQ I was at last night.
Working at Gawker Media is a dream job for many of the women on staff here at Jezebel. This is a place that takes chances on developing writers, that has always stood behind us no matter what. But it’s time the company had its feet held to the fire.
"Higher ups at Gawker are well aware of the problem with this feature of Kinja (our publishing platform, in case you’re new here). We receive multiple distressed emails from readers every time this happens, and have been forwarding them to the architects of Kinja and to higher ups on Gawker’s editorial side for months. Nothing has changed. During the last staff meeting, when the subject was broached, we were told that there were no plans to enable the blocking of IP addresses, no plans to record IP addresses of burner accounts. Moderation tools are supposedly in development, but change is not coming fast enough. This has been going on for months, and it’s impacting our ability to do our jobs."
Gawker getting a dose of their own medicine, from their own people
Rode my bike over to the Brooklyn Museum to check out the Ai Weiwei exhibit before it closes Sunday. This was my favorite piece.
The American Museum of Natural History recently hosted its first-ever sleepover for grownups.
"The woman in the unicorn mask and the man with the werewolf mask were soon joined by Charles, the wine-hoarder. It was just before 5 A.M. A gorilla mask hung out of his back pocket like a bandana signalling gang affiliation. There appeared to be only four guests who remained awake. They wandered through the mezzanine level of the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life while the other guests slept on the floor below them. Charles stopped at a display of plastic models of jellyfish. Every few seconds, the models lit up. “So fucking amazing,” he whispered.”
If I had been at this event I definitely would have been side by side with these guys.