Thomas Thwaites tried to build a toaster on his own. Watch how much time and effort went into building a cheap toaster that never worked. Through cooperation, a reliable toaster is built that costs us a fraction of the time and money.
Jonah Goldberg’s new book “Suicide of the West” is excellent. It is a defense of freedom and gives a framework for letting it thrive in a culture. If you can’t dedicate the time to reading this tome, then this is a good summation.
“An Open Letter to My Former Self”
by We Are Libertarians
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June 8, 2018
Suicides spiked 10% after Robin Williams took his life. My sincere hope is that doesn’t happen after Bourdain’s passing. Many genuine people are encouraging friends to talk to friends, and that helps… but I think it’s important for people to speak about their struggles with suicidal ideation like Bourdain did. When people like writer Yashar Ali dealt with depression for the first time, he knew who could help him, and it was Bourdain. Those of us doing well have to leave a roadmap for encouragement to those that aren’t.
How can someone like Anthony Bourdain take his own life when so many people love him? Is he at the top of his field? When he financially wants for nothing? Age and years of drug abuse likely robbed him of a healthy chemical balance. When you face depression, darkness follows close behind.
Depression Strikes Despite Circumstances
I have struggled with depression and suicidal ideation my entire adult life. To be honest, the last four months have been very difficult (It’s easy to hide with enough practice.) Due to a medicine switch, I decided to leave serotonin drugs for something else. The lack of serotonin led to some days of despair. There’s no rhyme or reason to it beyond that. Despite some personal turbulence, my life is terrific. I’m excelling in my physical, emotional, and spiritual life. (Thanks to my support system, I’m doing great, so please don’t worry.)
How do I know when I’m dealing with depression? It creeps up on me. It’s not as simple as “I’m feeling very sad today.” While that exists, imagine your emotional life as a Jenga set. Over time, little pieces get removed. One little self-esteem hit here. One little rejection there. One missed workout here. One week of bad sleep there. Eventually, you’re wobbling and wondering why you’re about to fall.
I’ve spent three years seeing a therapist who walks me through my thought and behavioral patterns. I know all my modes of self-destructive behavior. I remove Jenga pieces by emotionally eating and guilting myself for it. I isolate myself from the ones I love by pushing them away through harsh barbs of sarcasm. In therapy, you see all the ways you’re validating the idea that you’re not worthy of love. They then coach you on how to defeat this wrong thinking.
How Does One Fight Depression?
Healthy self-worth is the anti-virus of the mind. It’s essential to update it through self-care regularly. Get exercise, get sunlight, get good sleep, go to therapy, read books, meet friends and family face to face, eat nutritious foods, attend a religious service, journal, and talk to yourself the way your best friend would. These things are essential to keeping depression at bay.
I also have a plan when I feel like the water is at my neck. It’s reaching out to friends to help check my thinking. If some thought or behavior needs correcting, then I know they will be honest. If not, they tell me I’m irrational. I also will schedule a therapy appointment as soon as humanly possible. After those conversations, I’ve processed the underlying issue and have put together a mental strategy to combat what caused the attack on my self-esteem in the first place.
In my 20’s and post-divorce, I spent 90% of my time in a depressive state. I would say it’s less than 10% now because of changing my approach.
If you’re reading this and deal with depression or suicidal thoughts, I want you to know that none of this was as hard as I imagined. The journey of letting others love me, accepting that others love me, and loving myself has been incredibly rewarding.
Two Steps Forward, One Step Back
There’s life on the other side, but you have to choose to do something. Just pick one thing a day and put one foot in front of the other. You may move back two steps, but never stop crawling forward. Today, pick a therapist by going to your insurance website and making an appointment. It takes five minutes. (It’s like dating. Don’t like them? Try someone else.) tomorrow, go for a long walk. The day after, get a book called “The Undervalued Self” from the library or Amazon. Just do one thing a day.
I can tell you that there were times where I couldn’t do anything for me because I thought I wasn’t worth the effort. I began making changes for other people, and it ended up being for me. If you’re not willing to change your circumstances for you, then do it for the family weeping over your casket if you don’t. (The idea that no one would care is bullshit. That’s the idea that you should no longer allow in your mind.)
Suicide, anxiety, and depression are curable. There is hope. It just takes you deciding you are sick of living miserably and doing something about it. Within a couple of months, your entire life can be different. Trust me. It’s worth it.
If you love someone with depression, reaching out when you see behavioral changes is always appreciated. As is patience and empathy. Hurting people will sometimes vent their pain on the safest people in their life. Give them grace. Ultimately, they have to fix themselves, but knowing they are loved and supported is an important step to lifting out of depression.
Read and watch Dr Jordan B Peterson lectures. Hear what he says first hand. Then read articles about him over the last two months in any magazine or newspaper and you’ll see why the media isn’t trusted. It’s a consistent campaign of defamation where his words are twisted to turn the ignorant reader against touching his work.
Why? I have no idea. He’s a decent person trying to bring decency to public discourse. That’s bad for ratings, and you wouldn’t want that to spread.
He’s not a beltway or New York writer for a magazine. The Matt Welches of the world seems to hate it when someone strikes it big and isn’t in their circle. Goddamnit, THEY are the keepers of thought in America, and there’s no room for others.
He discusses tyranny so he must be a kook. Any person that outlines the steps to authoritarianism is a nut job… Unless they are talking about Trump in a veiled way. Peterson doesn’t ever address Trump, not even in a negative way, so he’s suspect.
He’s catering to men. This is clearly a violation of the new norm being built. Only women should be encouraged to be their best selves. It is the same with his prattling on about traditional families. He must be a closeted Pat Robertson fan.
Maybe his greatest sin is trying to nuanced in a world that only wants sloganeering and simple (liberal) truths. Peterson wants people to think about politics and religion, the two subjects no one is allowed to discuss unless it’s against religion or against politics (Trump).
Part of this nuance came when he had the AUDACITY to say that a government should not arrest people for language. Canada wanted to criminalize not using the proper pronouns for transgender people. His take was that you should be respectful of a human being and use the correct pronoun, but no one should go to jail for speech. Can you imagine what kind of world we’d have if everyone was allowed to say what they want when they want? The government can’t just allow people to say offensive things.
Fortunately, the press is here to step in for the government. If they aren’t going to stop this monster then they will, even at the cost of truth.
“Education in the truest sense – education directed toward awakening a capacity to differentiate between fact and appearance – always will be a more or less furtive and illicit thing, for its chief purpose is the controversion and destruction of the very ideas that the majority of men – and particularly the majority of official and powerful men – regard as incontrovertibly true. To the extent that I am genuinely educated, I am suspicious of all the things that the average citizen believes and the average pedagogue teaches. Progress consists entirely of attacking and disposing of these ordinary beliefs.” – H.L. Mencken
February 2, 2018
January 9, 2018
January 11, 2018
January 3, 2018
January 2, 2017
A friend recently asked me to boil down the Russian-Trump investigations. What were the smoking guns? What had he supposedly done wrong? The truth is that no one has articulated clearly and accurately what Trump or his campaign had done wrong. I offered the following analysis:
Incredibly, the educated guess has become a reality due to leaks, likely from Republicans on various Congressional committees, which are exposing the seedy inner workings of the FBI and the special prosecutor’s investigation. One text, in particular, is a damning piece of evidence.
Lookout fam… The internet is about to be filled with foreign policy experts.
The truth is that no one knows how the Arab street will react in the short-term. The long-term? There will never be peace as long as Israel exists and the governments of the U.S., Russia, and China are willing to ship weapons to Israel and Muslim nations by the billions. America will have a vastly diminished role in the Mid-East peace process, but so what? We are only involved in it so President’s can be the “one” that solves this problem. It is a vanity project. The sky is not falling and the world is not coming to an end.
This is Trump delivering on promises to his base. Trump is the first President to not pretend that he is everyone’s President. He is the President of his base. He is just not faking that he cares about the opinions of his opposition
Liberals give me grief when I say it’s wise to wait a day or two to comment on a mass shooting event out of respect for victims, and to give themselves time to learn what happened. We now know that the Texas shooter should have been in jail or prevented from getting a gun. Various levels of government failed to keep 26 citizens alive, so it’s juvenile to argue that more of what failed will prevent the next mass shooting.
What stopped more deaths? A well-armed citizen protecting his community. If ever there was a tragedy that should give the left the imperative to stop reacting and reasoning like children, this was it.
The criminal justice system doesn’t actually protect the victims of domestic violence. How about we fix that?
I ranted a couple years ago on We Are Libertarians about the trend to switch prayers to “healing vibes” on social media. Somehow, prayer became a shameful act to display to social media friends despite Barna research saying 94% of Americans have prayed once in the last 3 days. Pew says 55% of Americans pray daily. In the wake of the Texas shooting, prayer has been mocked by progressives and Hollywood. Using their favorite weapons, shame and bullying, they are trying to silence public displays of the freedom of speech and religion.
Prayer to whomever or whatever is an act of contrition and reflection in an effort to become a better person. Some faiths say that signal of obedience makes God move in places he might not have before. Moments of tragedy are the best times to do a self-inventory and ask where we can change ourselves to be more loving and giving.
The vague “do something” where no policy is prescribed actually does nothing. It is vanity to show off for friends. Mock prayer, Keith Olbermann, but it is more effective than anything you’ve done in your “career.”