Summer Sunlight Potpourri


Due to the recent suicides of designer, Kate Spade and chef, Anthony Bourdain, many people have posted well-meant messages on social media.  For example, they urge people who are depressed to call a hotline, or they remind people considering suicide that they have value, or, well, you get it.  And I don’t think that’s a bad idea, but the ever-brilliant Athenae explains why it’s not enough.   explains why it’s not enough.  I hope she won’t mind if I quote her quite extensively here.

When I was thinking of making a hole in the Chicago river back in 2014, or 2004, or 6 weeks ago, I KNEW I WAS LOVED. I KNEW THERE WERE HOTLINES. I KNEW PEOPLE CARED. You know what I thought? “The people who love me are idiots who’ll come to realize how wrong they were.”
Depression LIES TO YOU. About everything, but especially about how smart it is.
It tells you that hotlines are stupid and your loved ones are morons and that doctors and medication won’t work. I fight this every day and it is CRAFTY as a motherfucker. I have been on medication for 15 years now and it still occasionally outsmarts me.
. . .
You know what helped me? Doctors who took me seriously. Insurance that paid for my therapy. Insurance that paid for the incredibly expensive meds I was taking and will take every day for the rest of my life. MONEY to pick up what insurance didn’t.
And the blind stupid fucking luck that got me all those things in a reasonable amount of time.
People without my privilege wait months for doctors, or see shitty ones who say, “It’s all in your head. Go exercise.” They’re put on meds that don’t work, or that they can’t afford. They’re jacked around by insurance companies.
They get fired when they’re late or forget things or have to see a doctor during some bullshit 9-5 hours doctors keep.
I saw a tweet today that said, “We have to talk about suicide more.” No. We don’t. We have to talk about the bullshit economics of health care and medical attitudes toward mental illness.
We are all over the place this week yelling YOU ARE VALUED like depressives are just too dumb to know that and we fucking know. Help isn’t just listening. It’s fighting for infrastructure that will make a real difference in treating this asshole of a disease.
Walk in clinics in every neighborhood. Free meds. Doctors who know how to treat this like a real illness. And yes, family and friend support. Call the hotlines. Call your buds. But don’t yell at people who are already hanging on by a thread and feel shitty about themselves to just magically know their real worth. It doesn’t work like that, depression. I wish to hell it did.

If you really care about people with depression, you have to show up and vote for the politicians who aren’t trying to cut health care.  You have to vote for the politicians who will fund health care, including mental health and who will pass laws that prevent employers from firing people who need to see their doctors.  Posting the phone number for the local hotline is nice, but if you don’t vote for the politicians who will fund that hotline, forgive me if I’m not too impressed with your deep empathy.

I want to go.
Mrs. Whatsit will be back next week.  Until then, I’d love to hear in comments what you’re growing right now.  As you may have guessed from the picture, I have a lot of dill at the moment.  I’m getting ready to dig the garlic and replace it with bok choy, spinach, and some other greens.  Maybe a few squash and peppers, now that it’s finally warmer.  I have astilbe, day lilies, and iris in bloom and the daisies and black-eyed Susans have big, fat buds.

5 responses to “Summer Sunlight Potpourri

  1. Reblogged this on Sojourning Smith and commented:
    Yes, we need health services where docs will have the time to read the notes before they see patients.

    We need hospital beds where people in crisis can be safe.

    We need politicians with the will to make it happen. Because all the charity fund raising in the world will,not staunch the flow of suicide until we have services that are easily accessible to those in crisis.

  2. Has to reblog your reblog of Athenae. Yes, it’s accessible,serives to those in crisis. And it is not just a USA problem.

    And what are we growing? We have harvested kale. And are munching and lunching on lettus. Spuds, carrots, parsnip, peas, cauliflower are in the works. A tomato in the polytunnel (in Ireland we need to capture the heat. Possibly courgette, too, is my sowings come on and Imcan fend off the slugs.

  3. The heat and humidity hereabouts is stifling …. and plants are being watered right now – we are on watering restrictions. Usually do the watering by hand so I can talk to the neighbors and catch up on the local news! Hoping DH will pick up mulch to hold in the water as it looks like it might be a VERY hot summer. We managed to make it through the hailstorm without much damage – even the plants made it through the huge hailstones!

    The thyme is in bloom again and the bees are having a great time (pun intended! The lavender is in full fat bloom and just humming along too with bees on every purple flower! Must trim back the way-too-vigorous mint bed and just planted more herbs (more sage and lavender) in the new rock bed at the back of the pool. Will be picking up more rosemary this week to add to that very sunny and hot spot!

    Cleaning out the fridge and the apple bowl to put across the street to the green belt to help out any of the animals that live over there. Purple Martins are making nests and enjoying our three big Purple Martin Houses.

    And the fountains (we have three solar and one electric) are in great use by all! And my old cat is stalking a few sunny spots before I close up the blinds against the afternoon heat.

  4. Last weekend I was a delegate to my state’s Democratic convention (MA). I was undecided about the lieutenant governor’s race. Both candidates were qualified. Then Jimmy Tingle (whom some of you may know as a stand-up comic for people who don’t like stand-up comics — like me!) spoke. He spoke of getting into recovery, himself and others, and how important it was that when you’re ready to call, and when you need a rehab bed or someone to talk you down, there be a real knowledgeable person on the other end of he line. Can you say I voted for him? He didn’t get the convention’s endorsement, but it was pretty close and I still believe in this guy and his approach.

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