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Sunday, January 15, 2017

A New Year, A New Hope

You didn't really think I was going to make a Star Wars reference
and NOT include something from Carrie Fisher, did you?
A pioneer for speaking out against the stigma on mental illness,
but so much of her inspirational work applies to chronic pain as well.
You will be missed. 
First and foremost, let me say- Happy New Year everybody! 2016 was rough for the world as a collective, between beloved celebrities dying and what felt like so many more attacks on each other for extremist reasons than we've seen in past years.
I don't remember if I talked about it on here, but I gave up Facebook for a while this past year. I remember it was right after the shooting of that The Voice singer immediately followed by the nightclub in Orlando ordeal. I saw the candidates for President turning it into a political talking point LITERALLY before the victims bodies were cold, before their families could be notified. Then the last straw was the little boy who was attacked by an alligator at a Disney Resort and died. The news itself was almost too much to cope with, but the absolute vile rudeness I saw  when people talked about  the parents. "Where were the parents??" (They were right there, horrified as one tried to protect their other child and the other hopelessly fought against a wild animal to save his son, By.The.Way.) There was too much hate. There were terror attacks in Nice, France, who was still emotionally recovering from the attacks the year before. I couldn't take the hatred coming from "sane" human beings that I had chosen to be digitally connected to, and so, I cut the connection. My account still existed, and pictures still got posted from Instagram, and tweets still got posted from Twitter. But I didn't log on. I deleted the app from my phone and my tablet. If I really needed to look at something I could get on my computer.
And that helped. I meditated a lot (Using a program I've mentioned before called Calm), I sought out news articles about the good that was happening. The programs to raise money for those affected, the people sharing pictures of that Disney beach just hours before saying "It could have been my child, it could have been anyone's child." Those warmed me, and I started to see the glimmer of humanity shining through.


This is a different year. This is a year that we can all change, we can change it ourselves by being nice to each other. By taking the half a second that it takes to think through a situation from the other person's state of mind (Maybe the parent of the eaten child needs, like, a WEEK before you start tearing into them? Just to cope a little?) We can change it ourselves by remembering that we all have a back story, but we learn about each other like an episode of Lost: you don't learn the crucial information about a person until AFTER you kinda needed it to happen.

Basically, why don't we all just chill?

Just. Chill.


You don't like the President? Fine. But do something other than flap your mouth. (And honestly, if you could learn about the political system before you do anything that would be GREAT.) You want a new group of people to be able to marry some other group of people? Super! But, again, DO something about it.

This year can be different because we can DO these things, and we can do them with the aforementioned chill.

Carrie Fisher was buried in an urn shaped like a Prozac pill because she was an incredible mouthpiece for the movement to destigmatize mental illness. So let's all take a page and be a little more chill for 2017.

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