On Martin Luther King Day

On Martin Luther King Day

When I think of the famous speeches of Dr. King, I am always reminded of this fact. We have always seen certain groups of people as less deserving of the rights we willingly claim for ourselves. Be it blacks, immigrants, prisoners, those with mental health struggles or disabilities, members of the LGBTQ community, or addicts, it is far too easy to look at them with judgment and disdain. Maybe even fear. They’re different than me. What happens to them is not my concern. They probably brought it on themselves anyway.

Those are all too easy to say. The hard work is in looking at people who are different from us, who live different lives, make different choices, and recognize our common humanity. That’s what Dr. King was talking about. Not being blind to our differences but being aware that we are all human and deserve respect based on that. So when a black man is lynched, or a prisoner dies from a lack of medical care, or someone struggling dies from suicide without access to mental healthcare, or because their own family won’t accept them for who they are, we fail as a society. We fail to see human life as human life.

Grief is Hard, and Long
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Grief is Hard, and Long

Something else interests me about grief though and that is the grief that child abuse survivors have because it’s complicated. We aren’t grieving a person we’ve lost, we’re grieving something we never had. A safe, happy childhood or a loving parental relationship that didn’t exist. The lack of any kind of family bonds as an adult, or the inability to trust anyone. Those are things we can, and should, grieve. Often we aren’t given the chance to do that. Other people expect us to “put it behind us” because it was a long time ago. We may even convince ourselves that the best option is to suck it up and forget it, no reason to think about any of that. But, I think there’s a reason to grieve the things we didn’t have as children. They are very real losses. They have very real impacts on our brains and our emotional well-being. We can’t change it now, but we can allow ourselves the freedom to feel grief over it. It’s part of the process. 

There’s A Lot of Mental Health Data Out There, But Do We Understand It?

There’s A Lot of Mental Health Data Out There, But Do We Understand It?

I wanted to write this as a companion to something I wrote on my professional blog, Will Big Data Give Us a Whole Bunch of Questionable Correlations? That post, and this one, is also based on a recent episode of Seth Godin’s podcast. – Sample Size. The reason I think both of those things are…

Why Are We Lonely, It’s Too Easy to Let Things Slide
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Why Are We Lonely, It’s Too Easy to Let Things Slide

This week, I’m taking some time away from work and visiting with family and friends but I wanted to share something on the blog. I had dinner the other night with two dear friends of mine. We all used to work in the same office, and became great friends. Over the years we all went…