Mental Illness and the Decline of Civilization
I walked down the cold halls of the courthouse and stopped in front of a prosecutor’s office. Taped on her door, somewhat crooked, was an 8x11 piece of paper with the following quote:
“The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.”
The post had obviously been there for awhile and it showed the wear and tear of countless people coming and going through the door of this busy office.
What shocked me the most is that 1) this particular prosecutor was in the Juvenile Court and 2) the timeless words were attributed to none other than SOCRATES who lived in...
The mindset of those struggling with addiction is often that they are in control. They choose when, what and how they will use.
After careful consideration, however, it becomes quite apparent that the choice is being made for them, subconsciously.
Substances play tricks in our brains on a very deep, primordial level. “Don’t make plans for the morning, I will be hung over; I need to budget my paycheck around the visit with my dealer.”
Without knowing it, we alter our lives to make room for the addiction because it his effectively chooses us.
I know a person who is forced to do things every day. She must answer to the same call and perform the same menial tasks in order to keep her mental anguish at bay. She is forced to harm herself. She is made to feel ill and depressed and ashamed. She is physically assaulted but it is difficult to see any bruises. She has the opportunity to stop the cycle but, psychologically, she cannot.
The Bartender just bought her last round and her friends all toasted her good fortune.
Using your own scale of comparison, the determination of potential benefits of substances are completely subjective – until they become objective reality.
Can we realistically think of a time when our use of drugs or alcohol has been of benefit to us?
For many, a drink or a drug, are a social outlet and a release. This is seen as a benefit.
For many, a drink or a drug, are a social outlet and a release. This is not seen as a benefit.
You did not read that wrong. For all of those who may benefit from a drink, there are many who are hurting themselves with every sip.
Once again we should explore the vale that our substance use has brought to our lives. Seriously, sit down and make a list of the pros and cons. Be serious but have fun also.
Many who suffer from addictions are faced with hard questions. Indeed, it is those tough issues that may have led them down the road to addiction to begin with. Perhaps the toughest question we all must face is, in light of our bad habits or overall neglect, are we prepared for the consequences? For the vast majority of us, changing the way we think, even on the smallest scale, may profoundly and positively change our lives. Changing the way we think may even change the lives of countless others.
For some, however, the reluctance to be introspective and address the issues we face may very well be a matter of life and death. As the world comes to grips with the “opioid epidemic”, reaching out to help others or, reaching out for the help we need may be life changing and life-saving.
Who are we comparing ourselves to? Why do we feel that we must be what others tell us to be or that we need to live up to a standard set by others?
When we continue to “should” all over ourselves, we are preventing ourselves from becoming self-actualized or freely expressed into the person we want to be. Our measuring stick is our own and it is not subject to the perceptions or expectations of others who would tell us that we SHOULD do, or be, or act in a manner that they have prescribed for us because of their own set of beliefs and expectations.
There are so many things that we “awful-ize.” There are situations we do not wish to confront for fear of a perceived negative effect. We imprison ourselves in the thoughts leading up to or the consequences resulting from an even to the extent that we create a self-fulfilling prophecy. High performers know that part of success and the power to overcome is a result of casting aside our apprehensions and fears of what “may be” and act from a place of what “must be.”
In the end, Thoreaux tells us that it is never as bad as we imagine anyway: “I suffered a lot in my life but none of it ever really happened.”
Self-worth and Confidence are very powerful tools of the subconscious mind. Just as powerful, however, are the limiting beliefs that we tell ourselves like a skipping record (or mp3!) or a tape loop. Some of these beliefs may be rooted in our brains since childhood and have such a strong position in our sense of “self” that they define part of who we are.
We need to train our subconscious to redirect the way we think. When we change the way we think or interpret outside forces or influences and the inside “voice” with a bad attitude we can begin to make profound change in our lives and our approach to any problem. When we make drastic changes in ourselves we impact every single person we touch like the ripple effect of a pebble dropped into a pond.
The following article is a satire. It is provocative insofar as it is a real assessment of the duplicity and waste in our Human Service Systems. In no way is this piece meant as a criticism of the amazing work being done by the true heroes of social service agencies across this country with whom I have been honored to work for over twenty years. Rather, it should be seen as a commentary on the lack of support, appreciation and understanding of the valuable contributions being made on behalf of our most vulnerable citizens.
Let's discuss what we can do to make this system better.
Once upon a time there was a small town called Everywhere, USA.
The leaders and the people of this caring community agreed that it was in the best interest of everyone that they make provisions to care for those less fortunate, ill or otherwise unable to care for themselves.
It was decided that they would hire a social worker who could spend her time linking people in need...
There is another life for us. This is not to be some spiritual rhetoric or prophecy. The point is, if you are unhappy or dissatisfied with your current station you absolutely have the ability to change it. When you make the decision to make a shift, “the universe will align to help you.” As human beings we get to choose what we do with and in our lives. Make it Great.