It’s been a rough last several days for me. Spent most of the weekend at home and dealing with bouts of intense depression. Finally had a break down on Sunday night. Got into serious arguments with two of my best friends. Sent one of them a really nasty message over Facebook and another I yelled at over the phone and hung up before he could say anything. Summers are traditionally a tough time for me. And I think the bad seasonal aspects of my mental illness are beginning again.
It also doesn’t help that most people I know are in foul moods already. A week’s worth of nothing but news of shootings and violence would put anyone who pays attention in a pessimist view point. I have spent the last several months trying to get people to be happy about the good things that are going on in the world and in their own lives. But I don’t think I’m making any difference. If anything I think telling people the good news going on in science and technology advances and humanitarian endeavors only make people irritable. I don’t get any encouragement for trying to encourage people. That’s probably what led to my last meltdown. I wish I could just shut up from trying to encourage people. But that is not my personality. Never has been. Seeking and sharing knowledge is what I do. It has also gotten me in lots of trouble over the years.
The reason I spend so much time trying to tell people good news is because I heard nothing but bad news the entire time I was growing up. My teachers told me that acid rain was going to kill all the forests and poison the oceans. But that never materialized because as some adults were weeping and gnashing teeth over problems, other adults (namely scientists) were actually doing something to solve those problems. We developed better pollution controls. The ozone layer depletion was a big deal in the late 1980s. We got rid of chemicals that were causing said depletion and now the hole in the ozone layer is starting to heal.
The problems that people project into the future too often assume that people aren’t going to adapt. In the 1960s it was overpopulation and famines that would end civilization. Now the birth rates in most developed countries are not even replacement rate. I also saw a report that said there are now 2.1 billion people in the world who are overweight. That’s almost one out of three people who are eating too much. The United States isn’t even the most obese country in the world anymore (at least not by percentage). Then there were the concerns of nuclear war and communist scares. The first movie I remember watching from start to finish was ‘Red Dawn’ as a five year old. I was expecting the Russians to invade any day for weeks afterward. The scare the whole world was going to go communist was at the forefront of my childhood in the 1980s. Didn’t happen. People are now worried about terrorist groups abusing their religion and that the world will be completely radicalized in term of religion. If anything, as the internet continues to spread, people will become less dogmatic about religion. It happened in Europe, North America, and is happening in East Asia. I certainly became less dogmatic in my religious, political, and spiritual views since I got easy access to the internet. And I am not the only one. This is a trend that isn’t likely to reverse. The internet is one of those game changers, like the printing press or gunpowder. We still have only scratched the surface of what this easy access to information can do. It is one of the reasons I stay optimistic even with schizophrenia. In fact, except for the flare ups, I am hopeful overall. It’s that one percent of the time that causes me probably ninety five percent of my problems. And last night for a few hours was one of those times. I’m sorry I took out my psychotic break on my friends. I would prefer if I could just break down and sob uncontrollably. But that’s not how I’m wired. I lash out when I’m in pain, sadly at those that care about me the most.