I have a message from the land of pain. I night-traveled there. My back has been hurting, on the right side, parallel to my spine. Then sometimes a lot more hurts than that. I mean more parts of my back, and other parts of my body. My muscles get so ouched, I don’t know what to do. I stretch, take magnesium glycinate, resort to tylenol. Cry, and try to sleep.
grief is not a personal failure
The pain I was experiencing made me think about death. I thought something that I’ve been thinking for a while: The first 40 years of my life, so much was given to me. Then after I turned 40, so much of it started being taken away.
I thought how my dad died, my mom died. As everyone dies, the amount of people I love and feel deeply connected to will dwindle. I make new friends and add dear ones, but the family members die. And I didn’t have kids, so I didn’t add any family members.
The journey of life is full of joys, but griefs are real and inevitable. Griefs are not a personal failure or something to hide. Sorrow is going to happen, and anxiety doesn’t mean I’m bad or not living right. Emotional pain is valid and real.
There’s mainstream medicine which is supposed to help us with problems with our bodies. But what’s to help us with our inevitable emotional struggles? The needs can get so big, we turn into need creatures, and no one wants to reach out to us, because there’s too much to do.
I see older people like that, who have been so neglected for so long. Who wants to help them anymore? They’re like a bottomless well, so they’re more avoided and shunned, until they die.
There’s a huge need for emotional care and nourishment. Pornography, reductive platitude memes, big religion, Hallmark cards, and tv self-help gurus can only do so much. We are told to take our emotional problems, if they get big enough, to psychiatry.
Psychiatry, in my experience, is a joke. Psychiatrists disrespect me–they see a quiet, fat white woman who seriously failed. The power imbalance could kill me. More medication is not what I need, or a few therapy sessions before my insurance won’t pay anymore. I need a culture that actually works. Love is what I need.
psychiatry is failing
That’s why I strive for radical mental health and speaking my truth through blogs and zines. Mainstream medicine is huge money and deeply entrenched. Psychiatry is not doing the job, for the vast majority of people who need it.
Psychiatry is failing. Does anyone go into a mental hospital and come out happy and well? Your meds might be adjusted–maybe you’re more sedated, and learned what not to say. But do you now have the tools you need to survive in the world that almost destroyed you? Doubtful!
Psychiatry is jail for crazy people such as myself, a holding cell, a place where we lose our freedoms, getting forced medication and abused. In mental hospitals and all of psychiatry, I’m taught that I’m not a valid person, and the harm worsens. At least when you go to a medical hospital, you are expected to get better.
money is more important than
When you create a culture where money is more important than the well-being of humans, animals, plants including our food, water, air, and Mother Earth herself, what do you expect. Capitalism is for creating more money for rich people, not creating well-being for anyone.
So this is my message from the land of pain. Pain is not an anomalous, strange error. The life work I choose is to help with emotions. Feelings, inter-dependence, healthy relationships. I speak my truth and try to create radical mental health to contribute to emotional well-being for the world.
Kinda like sex ed–some people say kids should learn sex ed in their families. The shoulds don’t really help. Yeah, I should get love and support from my family, my whole life, but I only have two relatives I really speak with anymore. Ming and friends help me a ton. But family is where we are most abused, usually, right? A stranger or friend can assault you, but family is where most of our damage is done.
So thank you for reading this message from the land of pain, sharing my zines, being my friend, loving one another as you can. Thank you for understanding my project and respecting what I do. Art, poetry, poetry memes, photos, these words are all ways I reach out with my values.
Posting pictures of myself–a fat woman happily riding trike–I am doing the service I want to do. I’m an example of happiness, and it’s not due to psychiatry.
Psychiatry didn’t help me find meaning, leave a partner who hurt me, refine my values, or assemble my trike. Psychiatry fed me enough pills to choke a horse and told me I was severely, chronically mentally ill and the only hope for me was to subsist until I died. The psychiatrists I met had zero faith in me–they saw me as a lost cause and had no expectation that I could ever be happy. Of course, I’m capable of great things and am probably happier than they are.
It’s never too late to find joy and feel pleasure. You don’t owe it to yourself or anyone to look like a model in order to have fun. If you need more love and fun in your life, you can probably get it.
friendship is also real
With Ming’s help, I got to sleep with that pain. I slept in deliciously, more than eight hours of sleep. Ah, I needed that. Woke up feeling way better. “Is there such a thing as insomnia muscle pain?” I asked Ming. He said yes.
I txted with kind friends who love me. Ate for breakfast the beans I started in the crockpot at 3am.
Sorrow is real–crying in the night, hurting in multiple ways, wishing the sun would come up. And friendship is also real, my favorite Strawberry Shortcake shirt, and delicious beans.