Drowning in Hopelessness

Since starting this website with my partner, something that has astounded me is the low readership of the mental health articles. So I want to be clear right off the bat—mental health is just as crucial in a de-industrialized future as being able to grow and harvest your own food.

Routinely, our articles about mental health are read by a couple of people and then forgotten about completely. I don't think it's our writing style since we have had success with other articles, so it begs the question—what is going on?


My first thought is that discussing mental health might be boring to most people. Personally, I find it challenging to read through an article on a topic I have no interest in. Understandable.


My second thought is that people purposely ignore the topic because they don't want to take the time to look at themselves introspectively. I battled with the latter for much of my life, but when my eyes were open to the world of understanding your thoughts and emotions, I felt...liberated.


I call this article “Drowning in Hopelessness” because I believe most people ignore their inner thoughts and go about their days as if there will be no consequences. They are unaware that the way they process their emotions is faulty- either by ignorance or laziness. When I remember back to my former self, who avoided emotions at all cost, I recollect only one overwhelming feeling—hopelessness.


Not understanding your emotions is no different than being unable to feel physical pain. You are shutting off a critical function of your body. The average person has around 6,000 thoughts per day. I couldn't even imagine how many emotions someone would run through while thinking those 6,000 thoughts.


One of my worst character flaws is my impatience while I'm driving. I have a horrible allergy to drivers who aren't me. I'm not sure where the aggression comes from or why I gave it in the first place. If you know me personally, you've probably never seen me “mad.” Of course, I get mad, but I rarely have an outburst or tantrum. I find it tacky not to be able to control your emotions.


Driving is therapy for me. I love nothing more than to drive with my music blaring. So when someone causes me a minor inconvenience while I'm in session—it's on. Depending on the perceived violation, I can be as mild as just ignoring them to as spicy as raining hellfire on everything they've ever loved. Unfortunately for everyone else, I don't have a gray area.


So the problem has been identified. Now let's think about why.


When I go out for any reason, I meticulously plan every trip detail. Call it OCD or my intelligence training—I have to plan. Part of my planning is to give myself between 30 and 45 minutes to get to where I need to go. I think this probably comes from when I was younger. My parents were late to every single function. And not just a little bit late...sometimes hours late. Even though I had no control over when we arrived, I still felt the hot sting of humiliation on my cheeks.


As an adult with a driver's license, I vowed never to be late for anything again. I've stuck to that vow, but I think I need to make some adjustments to my actions and my thinking. The other day I was driving—I was behind a cement truck moving at a glacial pace and had about 2 miles until I had to turn. Ordinarily, I would get pissy until I could get around the truck. This time I didn't go around the truck even when I could.


I examined my emotions and decided to stay patient and precisely where I was. I was still going to arrive with about 20 minutes to spare, so there was no reason, other than vanity, to have a meltdown about the slow truck. The truck was just the symbol of my usual frustration when I think I'm going to be late for something.


Being introspective and aware of your emotions is easy, as I demonstrated above. First, I laid out the situation and the emotion that went with the action. Then I broke down the reasons why I felt those emotions. Finally, since I was able to identify the trigger, I was ready when those emotions sprung back up while I was behind the slow-moving truck.


Part of the reason I am advocating for introspection and mental health is selfish. I don't want to end up in a situation where a person, who has no idea how to govern their emotions, isn't able to find food. While their stomach is rumbling, they won't be able to make rational decisions based on their emotions. In the pursuit of cessation of their hunger, they will likely take missteps that could get them or someone else killed.


I'm not even being the least bit hyperbolic. The known world is falling apart before our very eyes. The disastrous administration of world affairs, as orchestrated by the stagnant Washington swamp dwellers, is untethering itself from reality.


Trans women are women, but a woman can't be biologically defined. The president doesn't even know what century it is. World War III is officially underway. Food shortages have barely started, but it's so damn noticeable. The drought maps are increasing. People have to work to be able to afford gas to be able to get to work. Children are being used as political pawns. And the Government is actively trying to assassinate their constituents.


As you can discern, up is down, and left is right. Every day we face the next great calamity to replace whatever our short attention span has tossed in the gutter. There have been so many life-changing spectacles in the past 24-months that I'm surprised more people don't have whiplash.


What's it going to take to break you? Some manly men out there and some tough ladies probably think, “shit, nothing’s gonna break me.” And those people would be morons. Everyone is breakable. Part of my military intelligence training and experience surrounds human intelligence, i.e., tactical questioning. Everyone breaks—it's just a matter of how much you want it to hurt.


Look, I'm not perfect—no one is perfect. Pursuing perfection is impossible, but that shouldn't deter you from working on yourself every day.


You need to have some uncomfortable conversations with yourself very soon. How ready are you to live in a country on the brink of collapse? I pride myself on my emotional intelligence, and I can tell you that I'm incredibly anxious about what's to come.


Do I work on my emotions to give myself a fighting chance? Or do I just allow myself to drown?

 

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