Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Abortion Debate and Depression Stigma

This is really two posts, forgive me.

Currently really thinking through the abortion debate and trying to back up my position. I was raised Roman Catholic and Republican, I attended the March For Life every year and was an outspoken anti-choicer amongst my friends. Even after I moved to NYC and started having sex, and became more liberal in my social views, that was one issue that I always thought I would remain unmoved on. 
Then, something changed. I don't even know what, exactly. Perhaps my brain was finally ready to flex and see how the other side felt, ready to really examine the arguments outside of a biased environment. So I started pondering, and musing, and I came to the conclusion, at the end of a 4 hour conversation with my friend G over beers in Brooklyn (check out the Cherry Tree, cool little spot) last summer, that the argument was unsolvable. How can you define what makes a person? Isn't that the ultimate philosophical question? What are we? Isn't it a little arrogant to think that we can define it? And if you decide to legislate off of any theologically based argument (you cannot scientifically determine "sanctity of life"), doesn't that destructively start to blend Church and state?

Now, I still have a lot of thinking to do, and I am hesitant to take a strong stance either way currently, as I would not be able to defend my position. But, prompted by my brilliant sister, M, I am really trying to give this debate the proper amount of critical thought before I throw in with anybody. M can debate circles around me in terms of politics and philosophy, so I've got my work cut out for me. But, though I disagree with her, I am grateful to have someone to push my buttons in a non-threatening way; a worthy counter-voice who will actually make me think, rather than just attack me and tell me I'm going to hell. Additionally, I wish the greater political scene would behave like me and M, and have civil, rational discourse, rather than name-calling. Sigh. Anyway.


On a completely unrelated topic, I'm going to start posting poems I wrote from way over a year ago.  I have to admit, I'm almost a little embarrassed to post them, as they are quite "dark", and I suppose I'm still a little afraid of the stigma attached to "angsty/emo/depressing" material. Or, depression as whole, for that matter. But guess what? People get depressed and think horrible, dark, shocking things in their low moments.  Odin knows, I have. So, while I always appreciate constructive criticism (and will not discourage it simply because the subject material is very personal; all of my material is, so critique away!!), I'm really posting this to do something for myself. 
There is still such stigma around mental/mood disorders, and a lot of misinformation and confusion. I myself have never been professionally diagnosed with anything. I do know that depression (as well as alcoholism, a oft-time symptom of deeper emotional problems) runs on both sides of my family, and I have struggled with incapacitating bouts of "down" feelings, and suicidal thoughts on and off for a couple of years, as well as intense manic periods. I have them mostly under control now, as a result of confronting things from my past that were worming away in my subconscious unfettered. I'm sure I will continue to address depression/related topics frequently. 

Without further ado, this is "H(a)unted," written 10.18.09 (that fall was a particularly tough time for me).


It’s awake now.
Sometimes it curls up and
retreats into a cave of memory
and imagination
Leaving me unburdened as
though I had just woken and realized
“It was only a bad dream.”
I smile and sigh, feeling
a little foolish;
fretted over something I had
clearly only imagined.
My step frees, my body light with the ease of liberty!
My words roll out without care
My voice heard and unrestrained
I feel like everyone else must feel
Then -- it stretches, unfurls itself in my chest
and crawls up my throat
Ah. There it is. It WAS real.
And it’s hungry.
My true folly was presuming I had escaped
That I had found the way out without incident
How arrogant.
You would THINK I would learn that
When dealing with a predator

One’s survival depends on out-witting it
Killing it if need be.
It does not simply lose interest,
for it is driven by a desire
more primal than yours.
It does not just want to survive
it wants domination
of its ancient drive to destroy
it does not simply go away
And by forgetting its presence
I took another step back into
its slavering maw.
“Remember me?” it growls
as it tightens its claws around my breath.
All too well, my friend.
All too well.

And now, I leave you with this.

Peace and kittehs,

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