This is the New Normal: a world where going Christmas shopping can get you shot, a world where you need to wear a bulletproof vest just to see a movie at the theater, a world where we drop our children off at school and never know if it will be the last time we see them alive, a world where teachers are the first line of defense against a killer barging into the classroom. We no longer need to worry about the world being annihilated on a given date (12/21/12 is coming up soon) or a virus wiping us out or WWIII nuking all living creatures off the planet. No. We have seen the future. The death of humanity, of civilization, of life as we know it will be a slow Decay. Our humanity will be stripped away one piece at a time. It will be the slow rot from the inside out, similar to a tree that has its insides gradually eaten away by termites. We will not notice the extent of the decay until the whole thing comes crashing down. By then, it will be too late.
Our society is dying right before our eyes but people are so caught up in the politics of debate that nothing gets done. With each new step towards anarchy, we huddle in groups and point fingers at each other. This is not progress. This is the antithesis of progress. How young, how helpless must the victims be before we actually do something? The latest tragedy is not about school safety. It is not about gun control. It is not about mental health. It is about our Values as a society. We are raising generation after generation of disenfranchised individuals. We have lost our sense of community in so many ways. We no longer are taught about how we fit into our community, our state, our country, our planet. We all have a role to play in each of the microcosms. We have family responsibilities, as well as civil responsibilities. We should all feel empowered to be involved in the world around us. Life is not merely about getting by, taking care of our basic needs, living inside our own little world, irrelevant to others. If we live our lives in an insulated world with tunnel vision the norm in order to avoid being pulled into the larger debates, then why bother at all? If we, as sentient beings, turn our backs on each other and on our greater responsibilities, what will happen to this world we inherited? We did not claw our way out of the Stone Age to watch it fall to pieces now. Throughout history, humanity has moved closer and closer to more civilized living. Granted, we make one step back for every two steps forward. We are not perfect; we are human.
We have reached a critical time in history. We, as a species, have made giant leaps forward. We have the tools and capabilities to do so much. All of history has driven us to this point. What will we do with it? Will we meet the challenge of looking beyond ourselves? Will we be able to make a difference in the lives of others? Will we accept our civic responsibilities with enthusiasm? Or will we go gentle into that good night…
The Fates are some twisted sisters. They must have sat around one day dreaming up the most messed up combinations of illnesses. They were really having fun when when they planned out my future. They must have gotten such a kick out of giving me polar opposites for chronic illnesses to bear – yes, the pun was intended. “Hey, Clotho! Wouldn’t it be hilarious to give someone a disease where they have to pace their physical activity and require good sleep habits, and combine it with another disease where they have way too much energy, can’t sit still and don’t need sleep?” Well, sister, welcome to my world! That is what you get when you have bipolar disorder and fibromyalgia. On days when the mania starts acting out of control, I can count on the fibromyalgia flaring up like a bad dream that just won’t go away. I mean, what the Hell! The cruel irony of having days when I feel on top of the world, like I can do everything I ever dreamed of doing, when I feel so vitalized and super human. Oh, those days are like liquid gold, like I have found the Fountain of Youth and it is calling for me to drink deeply… But then fibromyalgia rears its ugly, painful head. My body contorts in pain. My muscles spasm in agony. My joints ache like a son of a bitch. And the lack of sleep turns my brain to mush, fogging up my once brilliant mind. It can take days, months to recover from a glorious manic high. The consequences of not taking my medications or simply slipping on a banana peel of Fate. Whatever the cause, the damage is always the same.
The way I see it, I must have really pissed off someone in a past life to deserve the perverse hand of cards I was dealt. What could I have done? Maybe I offed Kennedy or Lincoln. I could have been Jack the Ripper or Typhoid Mary. Whatever it was, it was bad. I can’t believe life would be so cruel to send me these two chronic illnesses (not to mention the other health problems I have had or have) without there being a cause. I refuse to believe that I simply pulled the short stick in life. Pessimistic, I know. Instead of seeing the glass half full, I have always wondered who the Fuck drank my water? But I know how unproductive this thinking can be (cause lets face it, after the mania comes the depression). I know I need to force myself to think differently about my life. Therefore, I should focus on what my illnesses have taught me. Or maybe I should focus on the difference I can make for others because of my illnesses. I know at some point all this will make sense, there will be a moral to the story of my life. It may be something as simple as treat your body with respect when you are young so you reap the positive rewards later in life. I am just hoping it is not something sadistic like we all live a miserable life before we die.
On that cheerful note, have a great week! 😉