Some Awesome People

Friday, November 13, 2015

Personal Ruminations (My Take on Social Justice)

Sometimes I find it really difficult to figure myself out. I'm one of these people who gets lots of new ideas and becomes passionately involved... but unless I have some push, I'll never finish my hundreds of new projects. I love to learn new skills like learning how to make a gif or knit a scarf, but, except for perhaps music videos, I never learn enough to become really good.

The thing about me that's decided to visit my mind recently and make me confused is the fact that I have a love-hate relationship with social justice. On one hand, I groan and roll my eyes when I hear the word "social justice" because I hear it championed everywhere to the point where I want to throw up. And, yet, on the other... I am deeply passionate about helping people. If there's anything that I've kept up through all my confusing teenage years and clung to during hard times, it's that. Over the past couple months, I've made several new friends just because they turned to me for help. I find that I can forget my own problems and self-pity and the like by stepping back: Okay, how can I help this person? What advice can I give? Or, sometimes, it's just a matter of a discussion to distract from the present sorrows (I actually just read a really inspiring piece of work from Germaine Necker de Staël on how literature can distract one from one's own life, but that's off topic. I'm only mentioning it because it excited me).

For me, social justice isn't just Mother Teresa or the social justice club at school (which I am actually a member of) - while people like St. Teresa of Calcutta who help the poor are great, I know I'm not going to be able to do something like that. I accept the fact that I'm just one person... I don't think I'd have the courage or strong will to do something like Mother Teresa, anyhow. No, for me - for me, social justice is making a little difference, one step at a time (a little like St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus?). I know I can't affect even an entire city - but I can help people here and there, and isn't that making the world a better place?

And I think that's where my passions and interests really come from. I've become more introverted over the years and sometimes I just need to hole up away and God help the person who bothers me... but other people's problems always come first before my own. It's actually come to the point where I've gotten sick because I couldn't figure out how to balance my own needs with those of others. (That's something I've started working on recently.)

Some of you know that I'm really interested in PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) - many of my favourite characters (Frodo Baggins, Bucky Barnes, Dean Winchester) have it. Recently, however, bipolar has become my new passion. There was always something about the manic and depressed states which switch throughout life that had always intrigued me, especially since I experience something to a much less extent in my own life because the ups always seems to excite me more than other people and the lows just crush me. (I compare myself to Anne Shirley in that way.) However, it was really when I started getting interested in the band Fall Out Boy that my interest really sparked because the songwriter and bassist, Pete Wentz (someone whom I really relate to and admire for his bravery and ability to go on with his life after what he went through), is bipolar. I also recently made a friend (through the Fall Out Boy fandom) who also has bipolar, Dru (I'll put the link to her blog at the end of this post). With my initial interest as well as these influential people in my life, I've actually become really passionate about bipolar. I've starting writing some bipolar fanfiction as well as placing a bipolar character in my own novel writing. My research project for psychology this semester is bipolar depression. I also find that I've just become a really big proponent of bipolar and people who have been diagnosed or associate themselves with it. Just this morning, I was getting so frustrated over my research for my project because these researchers just don't understand what it's like to have bipolar and for them, people with bpd are just another interesting puzzle to solve. Yes, that's a thought from a person who does not in any way have bipolar. I feel a little like the President of Outlaying Advocates for Bipolar or something. :)

Maybe this passion stems from the fact that I'm also really curious about how people feel in different situations and why they act the way they do - I think that's why I'm an English major, because we're encouraged to over-analyze everything. But then I think that part of this curiosity also comes from my wish to help others.

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Anna Elizabeth is currently reading an article about how people with bipolar have been shown to have increased mental state through the fact that they ruminate quite a bit (is this why so many people with bipolar are so creative????). She is also listening to Il Volo (she recently discovered how to play her iTunes library on the TV which is hooked up to the best speakers in the house - exciting!).

Dru's blog: http://folie-a-dru.tumblr.com/

1 comment:

  1. Nice post, I get your conflicted thoughts on it. It can be difficult to find the best place to help as an introvert, but yeah, anyone can help others in their own way, with balance.

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