I know these memes play on stereotypes, but some of these are relatable. These are my favories from Bipolar Owl and Chronic Illness Cat.
1. Illness as an excuse.
2. Just Cheer Up
3. True story...
5. Oh yes.
6. Also true for me.
8. I've done this.
9. This is so true.
10. Ugh...People who say this make me angry.
This was originally published on Liberal America on August 14, 2016.www.liberalamerica.org/2016/08/14/lets-celebrate-left-handers-day-video-tweets/
Today (August 13) is Left-Handers’ Day. To celebrate, I’m going to give you lots of information about being left-handed.
Lefty FactsTo start with, here are a few facts about Left-Handers:
1. How Many Of Us Are There?Around 10 percent of the world is left-handed. Men are more likely to be left-handed than women.
2. HistoryHistorically, left-handed people were considered inferior. Teachers tried to force left-handed students to write with their right-handed.
3. Back-Handed ComplimentWe say back-handed compliment to mean an insult disguised as a comment. It used to be called a “left-handed” compliment.
1. President Barack Obama
Yes. Our awesome president is left-handed.
2. Leonardo DaVinci
The famous artist behind The Mona Lisa and many more paintings and inventions was a southpaw.
3. Tom Cruise
The actor known for Mission Impossible and for being a Scientologist is a lefty.
4. David Bowie
The late musician was left handed as well.
5. Neil Armstrong
The astronaut who walked on the Moon was also a southpaw.
Leftie StrugglesHere are some things that we lefties can relate to:
1. Trying To Find The One Pair Of Leftie Scissors.In school, you could never find the left scissors. If your class had a pair, they usually sucked.
2. If You Write In Ink, Your Hand Will Be Covered In It.It happens with any kind of writing utensil. Pencils. Pens. Markers. Dry Erase Markers. I can’t write anything without getting ink on my hand.
3. Elbowing People In Restaurants When You Are Trying To EatIf you have to sit next to a right-handed person in a restaurant, you will likely elbow each other at some point.
4. Tethered PensThe pens with chains on them at the bank are not placed well for lefties. Also, the stylus on the credit card machines is a pain.
5. Measuring cupsIf you hold a measuring cup in your left hand, it will be on the metric side. It can make measuring things very difficult.
6. These desksWe all remember these desks from school. You had to sit diagonally to be able to take notes.
7. Coffee MugsThe message on your coffee mug is always backwards or upside down. They are all printed for right-handed people.
Here is a video demonstrating some of our problems.
This was originally published on Liberal America on August 16, 2016.
Fuck yes! Professor Michael Adams’ new book, “In Praise of Profanity,” says that families that use swear words are closer to each other. The “taboo” nature of the words creates more intimacy in a family.
The children are going to hear and use them eventually. Parents can help control which words kids use and when.
Adams pointed out that:
“[Bad words] are unexpectedly useful in fostering human relations because they carry risk . . . We like to get away with things and sometimes we do so with like-minded people.”
When asked if overusing swear words are abusive, Adams said:
“There has to be a limit of society’s comfort with profanity or we lose the expressiveness of the language. There are people using profanity so much that profane words become inexpressive. They almost become repetitive dribble, but I think that people’s ears are very well calibrated to save profanity from overuse.
Adams had this to say about euphemisms:
“If something is taboo, you have to come up with something that you are allowed to say. The euphemism replaces what you aren’t allowed to say. Since we are allowed to use profanity more, euphemism is less socially important than it used to be. Some of those euphemisms can be just as poetic as the profane terms, maybe even more. One example is a Jesus Christ euphemism: Jiminy Cricket. If you are looking for something that is fun to say, just say Jiminy Cricket.”
Profanity can even have some health benefits as well. One of our Liberal America writers, Amanda Oliver wrote:
“You know when you accidentally run into the doorjamb or trip on the sidewalk and let rip some curse words? Science has proven that cursing actually tricks your brain into feeling less pain. The clinical term for this health benefit is “hypoalgesic effect of swearing.” No matter what you call it though, telling the inanimate object that you just ran into to fuck off for being there will help heal the hurt just a bit.”
It can also relieve stress and grow your confidence. Here is a Young Turks video on the subject:
I know I've done a list of memes, but I can't do enough to spread the love. We need to help people who are struggling, not stigmatize them. Here are some inspirational quotes to get you through the day:
1. Never be afraid to talk about what you go through.
Image by Michael Coghlan via Flickr, available under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license.
Image by Mindy Fisher via Flickr, available under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.
3. Practice this everyday.
Image by ShonEjai, available in the Public Domain.
4. You are NOT your disease.
5. Recovery can be a long process. Just don't give up on yourself.
6. It can feel like this some days.
7. This is an important issue. Some people still think mental illnesses are not real.
9. It's hard when your own mind goes rogue.
10. It's important to have real friends.
Mental illnesses are painful and debilitating. Humor can be a great tool in spreading awareness of what we deal with everyday. These memes are all about fighting the stigma. It is also fun to point out the ignorant things people say about mental illnesses.
1. This. Always This:
2. Boom! Schooled!
3. Yes, I will have this forever. Image via Facebook.
4. Depression is a very complicated disease. Image via Facebook.
4. This shit has got to stop. Image via Facebook.
5. Bahaha! Image via Pinterest.
This was originally published on Liberal America on July 5, 2016.
At least 1 in 4 Americans suffers from mental health issues during their lifetimes. It is not always related to a diagnosis. Many people have issues that are temporary.
I have put together a list of the Top 15 Successful People that live (or lived) with mental illnesses. When I was diagnosed I felt so alone, and I still worry about how I will be able to live independently.
For those of you who are struggling, I hope these people will inspire you to do great things. I am including anyone who is famous for any reason, and from any era. Some even may surprise you.
1. Buzz Aldrin
This guy flew to the moon in 1969, helping to make history. Later in life, hesuffered from depression and addiction. He was Chairman of the National Mental Health Association.
2. Isaac Newton
This man was a scientist who discovered the law of gravitation in the 17th Century. He was instrumental in the scientific revolution that occurred around that time. Obviously, they didn’t have the diagnoses that we have now, but Mr. Newton probably had anxiety and maybe a touch of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
3. Patty DukeThe late actress and activist won an Academy Award in 1963 for her portrayal of Helen Keller in the movie, The Miracle Worker. Off the screen, she suffered from bipolar disorder and an addiction herself.
She was raised in a house with an alcoholic father and a bipolar mother.
4. Brian Wilson
Brian Wilson is the founding member of the music group, The Beach Boys. He formed the band in 1961. He battled drug and alcohol abuse for decades. He has also battled schizoaffective disorder for years.
5. Edvard Munch
The famous painter behind “The Scream” suffered from mental health issues. He was admitted into a sanitarium in 1908 when he was hearing voices. He quit drinking and got better after that.
6. Demi LovatoThis Disney Channel star checked into rehab in 2010 for issues with bulimia, cutting, and bipolar disorder. She said:
“I had no idea that I was even bipolar until I went into treatment. I was conquering the world, but then I would come crashing down, and I would be more depressed than ever.”
7. Chris Cornell
This beautiful man has the best singing voice in rock music. He fronted the bands “Soundgarden” and “Audioslave.” He has also done solo work. He has suffered bouts of depression over the years. He has also dealt with social phobias and addiction.
8. Emma Thompson
Emma Thompson is a very talented, versatile English actress. She has suffered bouts of clinical depression in her life. She said:
“I find the job I do emotionally very demanding. I suffer from occasional mild depression, which I think is a very common thing.”
9. Brooke Shields
Actress Brooke Shields suffered from postpartum depression after the birth of her daughter, Rowan, in 2003. She eventually found medicine for it. She evenadmitted to having suicidal thoughts at times:
“[I believed] I should not exist. The baby would be better off without me. Life was never going to get better — so I better just go. Finally I did fight. I survived.”
10. Zach Braff
You may recognize this guy from the TV show, Scrubs. He wrote a little movie called Garden State; he said he identifies with his melancholy character from the movie:
“I think I suffer from some mild depression. So to have millions of people go, ‘I watched your movie and related,’ was the ultimate affirmation that I’m not a freak.”
11. Bryce Dallas Howard
The beautiful lady is Ron Howard’s daughter. She admits to struggling with postpartum depression after the birth of her son, Theodore, in 2007. She said:
“It went untreated for 18 months, because I was just so ashamed and frightened. I didn’t know what it meant and didn’t know what happened to me…You can’t raise kids alone, you can’t heal alone — you really need a community.”
12. John GreenThis brilliant man is a great author. Two of his books have been made into movies: The Fault In Our Stars and Paper Towns. He admits to struggling with anxiety. Here is what he said to a fan who wrote to him about:
“It’s not easy and I don’t always do it well, but I’ve been living with this for a long time and have a good medication regimen that works pretty well (at the moment at least) and also have a good therapist I’m able to work really closely with. None of that happened overnight, and it’s a difficult thing to live while you’re figuring out how to manage it. But it’s important to know that it can get better, and that you are not alone in this experience.”
13. Colin Farrell
This may surprise you, but this hunky actor has been to rehab for his depression and addiction. He said:
“Desperation will allow you to do incredible things in the name of survival … I had created an environment for myself, a way of living for myself which, on the outside, seemed incredibly gregarious and vivacious. I don’t believe I have any chemical predisposition towards depression, but let’s just call it… I was suffering from a spiritual malady for years and I indulged it.”
14. Jared Padalecki
You may recognize this hunky man from “Gilmore Girls” and “Supernatural.” He just recently came out about his struggles with depression. He just recently sold t-shirts to benefit mental health charities. He said:
“I say constantly that there’s no shame in dealing with these things. There’s no shame in having to fight every day, but fighting every day, and presumably, if you’re still alive to hear these words or read this interview, then you are winning your war. You’re here.”
15. Wil Wheaton
This nerdy dude is a blogger and actor. You may recognize him from the all time classic series, Star Trek: The Next Generation, or from the Stephen King movie, Stand By Me. He was also on the Sci-Fi Channel’s hit show, Eureka and guest-starred on The Big Bang Theory.
Wheaton deals with depression and anxiety. He said:
“You are not the only person in the world who has anxiety. You are not the only person in the world who has depression. You’re not the only person in the world who has thoughts of self-harm. There are people who want to help you. There are people who have spent their entire lives helping people like you and me and all of the people that you’re seeing in this video. And you’re not alone. You are OK.”
I would like to give you some inspiration. These songs can help us get through a day. That’s what you do with depression. We try to get through each day and hope that tomorrow is better. I’m including some songs that are specifically about depression, but most of these are just songs with generally inspirational lyrics.
By no means is this a cure, but I hope these songs will make you happy for at least a few minutes. Dealing with depression is painful. It’s a kind of pain that most people can’t wrap their heads around. I hope some of these words will give you hope and inspiration:
1. 3 Doors Down – “Let Me Be Myself”
Always remember to stay true to yourself during your recovery:
“Just let me be myself / So i can shine with my own light
Let me be myself / Would you let me be myself”
2. Katy Perry – “Firework”You are special. Remember that when you are struggling:
“You don’t have to feel like a wasted space / You’re original, cannot be replaced.
If you only knew what the future holds / After a hurricane comes a rainbow”
3. Ingrid Michaelson – “Keep Breathing”This one was on Grey’s Anatomy, my favorite show, so it is special to me:
“I want to change the world, instead I sleep. / I want to believe in more than you and me.
But all that I know is I’m breathing. / All I can do is keep breathing. / All we can do is keep breathing.”
4. Demi Lovato – “Warrior”This is actually one of the only songs I’ve heard from her. I’m including her because she fights bipolar disorder and fights against the stigma:
“This is a story that I have never told / I gotta get this off my chest to let it go.
I need to take back the light inside you stole / You’re a criminal,
And you steal like you’re a pro.”
5. Linkin Park – “Somewhere I Belong”This is my favorite band. Their music has helped me through many bad times:
“I want to heal, / I want to feel, / What I thought was never real.
I want to let go of the pain I felt so long (Erase all the pain ’til it’s gone) / I want to heal,
I want to feel, / Like I’m close to something real / I want to find something I’ve wanted all along / Somewhere I belong.”
6. Natasha Beddingfield – “Unwritten”This is bound to lift you up:
“Feel the rain on your skin / No one else can feel it for you / Only you can let it in.
No one else, no one else / Can speak the words on your lips / Drench yourself in words unspoken,
Live your life with arms wide open / Today is where your book begins / The rest is still unwritten”
7. Green Day – “Basket Case”
Billie Joe Armstrong said that this song is about his experience with panic disorder:
“Sometimes I give myself the creeps / Sometimes my mind plays tricks on me.
It all keeps adding up / I think I’m cracking up,
Am I just paranoid, / Or am I just stoned?”
8. The Rolling Stones – “Paint It Black”This classic deserves a spot here:
“I see a red door and I want it painted black / No colors anymore, I want them to turn black.
I see the girls walk by dressed in their summer clothes / I have to turn my head until my darkness goes /
I see a line of cars and they’re all painted black / With flowers and my love, both never to come back.
I see people turn their heads and quickly look away / Like a new born baby it just happens every day.”
9. Sara Bareilles – “Brave”I used this on a list of LGBT anthems, but I think it works here as well:
“Say what you wanna say / And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave / With what you want to say,
And let the words fall out / Honestly I wanna see you be brave.”
10. The Beatles – “Hey Jude”“Take a sad song and make it better.”
11. R.E.M. – “Everybody Hurts”This is a powerful song about suicidal ideations:
“When your day is long / And the night, the night is yours alone /
When you’re sure you’ve had enough / Of this life, well hang on.”
12. Christina Perri – “Jar Of Hearts”For when your personal demons won’t leave you alone:
“And who do you think you are? /Runnin’ ’round leaving scars.
Collecting your jar of hearts / And tearing love apart.
You’re gonna catch a cold / From the ice inside your soul.
So don’t come back for me / Who do you think you are?”
13. Evanescence – “Bring Me To Life”The lyrics are beautiful and her voice is breathtaking:
“Wake me up, wake me up inside I can’t wake up, / Wake me up inside, save me,
Call my name and save me from the dark, wake me up / Bid my blood to run, I can’t wake up.
Before I come undone, save me / Save me from the nothing I’ve become”
Bonus: Linkin Park – “Papercut”I’m putting this here because it perfectly describes the paranoia I’ve been through with my disorder. I listened to it a lot when I was sick:
“Why does it feel like night today? /Something in the air’s not right today.
Why am I so uptight today? / Paranoia’s all I got left,
I don’t know what stressed me first / Or how the pressure was fed,
But I know just what it feels like / To have a voice in the back of my head.
Like a face that I hold inside / A face that awakes when I close my eyes.
A face watches every time I lie / A face that laughs every time I fall,
(It watches everything) / So I know now when it’s time to sink or swim.
That the face inside is hearing me / Right beneath my skin.”
This was originally published on Liberal America on July 15, 2016.
Sometimes we all need to hear some inspirational words to get through the day. Smartasses appreciate some inspiration as well. Here are some very zen wordsfor those of us with the quick wit.
Where are the funny inspirational quotes? Where are the sarcastic ones? I have a few for you.
1. To Walk Or Not To Walk…“Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me either. Just pretty much leave me alone.”This quote is good for when you just don’t want to deal with people.
2. Car troubles.“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a broken fan belt and leaky tire.”I just had to replace two tires. I’m way ready for the journey. This quote can inspire your next road trip.
3. For job troubles…“Don’t be irreplaceable. If you can’t be replaced, you can’t be promoted.”This is to remind you to keep working hard.
4. Be careful.“Never test the depth of the water with both feet.”Don’t dive too deep.
5. Always try to succeed.“If at first you don’t succeed, skydiving is not for you.”
Who would want to jump out of a perfectly good airplane?
6. Don’t lie.“If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.”I believe in honesty anyway. This quote just helps reinforce the sentiment.
7. True story…“Everyone seems normal, until you get to know them.”This is just a reminder that there is no such thing as normal.
8. It’s true.“We are born naked, wet and hungry, and get slapped on our butts. Then things get worse.”Oldie, but a goodie. This one is still true.
A study found that people who are sarcastic are more creative and have greater mental health. One of our Liberal America writers, Corey Clark, had these wordsabout it:
“But what does all this mean for everyday communication? If you enjoy a bit of snark then the findings are truly liberating. Instead of having to hold back those razor sharp quips and withering barbs out of fear of hurting your loved ones’ feelings, you are now free to let rip, safe in the knowledge that you are helping them to become smarter and more creative!”
This was originally published on Liberal America on July 27, 2016.
When I was first diagnosed with a mental illness, I was watching videos about stigma. One remark struck home: mental illnesses are not “casserole illnesses.” People don’t offer to help when you get diagnosed with schizophrenia. No one is going to show up on your doorstep with a casserole. People don’t offer to take you to the doctor or anything.
One Australian company has released a line of greeting cards for those suffering from mental illness. They cover topics like anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder. This could pave the way for other companies to make similar cards. Here are some of the wonderful Hope Street Cards.
Here are some examples:
Dorothy Coughlin, director of the Office for People with Disabilities in Portland, Oregon, said she had a man come to her in distress. He was with some other dads talking about their children’s accomplishments. He didn’t want to admit that his son had to take time off school because he was battling schizophrenia. That father said:
“If my son was sent home because he was in a sporting accident, that is something that could be shared. But to say my son came home from college because he was diagnosed with schizophrenia, it just stops the conversation. People just don’t know how to respond, how to offer support.”
The stigma happens all the time. Often, it happens to young adults and children. This father should not be afraid to share his pain with his friends. If they shun him, then they weren’t real friends to begin with.
A Chicago Deacon Tom Lambert hit the nail on the head with this statement:
“If a person is in the hospital for a heart situation, people in the parish come over to the house and bring casseroles every other night until you get to the point that you’re sick of casseroles. People with mental illness may be hospitalized either in a state hospital or a psychiatric unit not even near the parish. And because of the stigma involved, there are not a lot of people relating to the situation and so nobody brings the casseroles.”
This was originally published on Liberal America on July 4, 2016.
As ya’ll know, I’m from The South. I was born and raised here in northern Alabama. There are many special expressions that we use here. I’ve compiled some of the funniest southern expressions I can find. We’ve all heard “ya’ll” and “buggy” and others. These are the most obscure and hilarious.
1. “She/He’s having a hissy fit.”This is used to refer to someone who has lost their temper.
2. “He/She’s having a duck fit.”This is one step above a hissy fit.
3. “He was so poor, he had a tumbleweed as a pet.”This is for when you are really broke.
4. “Those pants were so tight I could see her religion.”Obviously, this is used for scantily-clad women.
5. “Law, pull that down! We kin see clear to the promised land!”This is another one referring to skimpy clothing.
6. “Well butter my butt and call me a biscuit.”This is used to express surprise.
7. “I’m gonna cut your tail!”You might hear this if there is a fight going on.
8. “He’s so ugly, he didn’t get hit with the ugly stick, he got whopped with the whole forest!”For when you really want to insult someone.
9. “I’m gonna tan your hide.”Southern kids heard this when we were about to get a spanking.
10. “If that boy had an idea, it would die of loneliness.”If you ever had this expression directed at you, then you were probably very stupid.
11. “Don’t pee down my back and tell me it’s raining.”This is for when someone is lying to you.
12. “She could make a preacher cuss!”This is for when you are really irritated with someone.
13. “It’s so dry the trees are bribing the dogs.”This is used when referring to a bad drought.
14. “He’s so cheap he wouldn’t give a nickel to see Jesus ridin’ a bicycle.”This obviously describes a very cheap person.
15. “She’s stuck up higher than a light-pole.”When referring to a stuck-up person
16. “You’re lower than a snake’s belly in a wagon rut.”This is for someone you really don’t like.
17. “If you don’t stop that crying, I’ll give you something to cry about!”Many Southern children have heard this expression. This is for when your parents are extremely mad at you.
18. “There’s a tree stump in a Louisiana swamp with a higher IQ.”This is for when someone is particularly stupid.
19. “I’ll knock you into the middle of next week looking both ways for Sunday!”This means some shit is about to go down.
20. “It’s hotter than two rabbits screwin’ in a wool sock!”This is a very colorful way to complain about the Southern heat.