Blog: Mental Health and Saving the Natural World
I often hear people talk about mental illness as a static condition. Despite the prevalence of misdiagnosis, the basis of the DSM and the dynamics of the human life-span, psychologists and laymen alike continue to confine every pour soul to be labeled as a statically-mentally-ill. This stationary position becomes troubling for the individual because of the associations with every common mental diagnosis: intellectual incompetency and a threat of unpredictable behavior. This stigma that paints the mentally ill as too "out of it" to provide contribution or be a safe person is placed on anyone who gets a psychiatric label. Despite the fact that you're more likely to be abused by your corporate overlords or a well-to-do "nice guy", the stigma remains.
This is not to say that there aren't serious mental conditions for which one can suffer their whole life, that's already understood. I'm not saying that no one is ever violent, people are--both in the streets and sometimes in an inpatient ward.
I only point this out for my own narrative:
Right now, I am traumatized. I have "complex PTSD", for those who need the labels. Specifically, I am traumatized by multiple instances of male violence, abuse and degradation. I have been silenced, gaslighted and blamed for these instances which has added psychological trauma--the thing that drives me the craziest.
I am trying to heal and stabilize. I am trying to overcome.
My first step is to focus on what I love and something abusers have barely been able to touch in my life: writing.
Although I have been plagiarized, my abusive boyfriends never liked my role as a writer. Therefore, it is one thing that has survived, untainted, in my life.
My first step is to attend a Haiku meetup in a town an hour from my house. Haikus cherish nature and that is exactly what I seek to do with my writing. I would also like to connect with like-minded folks.
In the work I've done processing trauma I have connected my experience to that of the natural world. It is no secret that our consumption and civilization is killing the planet that sustains us. It is a dominant culture of violence, entitlement and supremacy. I don't agree with this. For four million years, humans lived as contributors and producers to the natural world; there was plenty of food to eat and clean water to drink. There was fresh air and nobody needed a cell phone.
Sure, I appreciate the advancements that protect me from old-world health hazards, but the rate at which we move is excessive and unnecessarily destructive. Many claim "that's just the way it is", that it will always be this way, that it is static.
I refuse to go along with that notion and demand a better way for myself and the planet.