Out of mostly sheer boredom and mild curiosity, I’ve been binge watching season nine and ten of CW’s hit show Supernatural over the past couple days. I used to watch the show religiously (pun intended) a couple years ago- often binge watching the first few seasons with a jar of salt clutched to my chest.
*Warning I will talk about spoilers from season one episode one all the way up to season ten episode five (the one I just recently finished).
I’ve written about Halloween already this month (and once last year too) but I wanted to include some more links to and reminders about the holiday, about racist/problematic costumes, and cultural appropriation.
A couple days ago, I had a Friends episode on in the background while I was cleaning and started to think about the ways the much loved show is actually really problematic. This whole thing really started after a sub plot in the episode I was watching made a reference or comment back to how Monica used to be fat growing up.
When I was finally starting to admit I’m struggling with both depression and anxiety, I went into my university’s health center during my junior year to see if I could get some help. It did not go well to say the least – there was not one moment where I felt welcome by the nurse practitioner who helped me with (briefly) getting on medication. During my first visit with him, he spent some time focusing on how I should exercise and lose weight, which really only made me feel worse about coming in to get help.
But the thing is that even during my best days, I struggle to get out of bed and do things like shower and cook. It’s hard for me to really accomplish pretty much anything other than sleeping. Getting out and exercising some days (hell most days) is damn near impossible to be completely honest.
And I’m not the only one who has struggled with this issue. Creigh and Caley Farinas (sisters) wrote about the six reasons why we need to stop telling people with depression to lose weight – even citing a study that found that weight discrimination actually promotes weight gain.
Helping someone through depression can be difficult but the thing is to not make everything about you. Struggling with depression can be hard – as Kate Bartolotta describes it:
It’s isolating. It’s a solitary experience. We feel like no one could possibly understand how dark things are. We often lack the emotional energy to even reach out and try to connect and find understanding.
For me, it’s always so nice when people reach out and make sure I’m okay, even on the good days. It’s nice when people don’t assume my experiences and especially when people don’t minimize what I’m going through by saying things like “there are people going through worse”. (Seriously, that’s a terrible way to support someone struggling with depression – for me, it only makes me feel worse and it makes me want to not be around you in any context.)
During one semester at my alma mater, I was involved in a student movement on my campus that called for more inclusive policies from the administration in relation to LGBTQ+ identities. For those few months, I had an incredibly difficult time balancing school, the movement, household chores, and everything else I needed to do to survive. There was so much that went into that movement during that time in my life that I still carry around with me on a daily basis – including the fact that others in the movement consistently spent time manipulating the ways I remembered (and felt about) things.
This morning I was doing some errands and I started thinking about the police and how even though I’m white (and that plays a big part in how I interact with the police), I still don’t trust the police. And there are so many reasons why there should be mistrust and criticism of police – like how a black woman named Kamilah Brock spent 8 days in a mental health facility because she owned (and was driving) a BMW. (Brock was arrested after being questioned by police for dancing at a stoplight – something I as a white person do every single day without harassment because my whiteness protects me on so many levels.)
To be really and utterly honest, I’m not entirely sure how I officially identify but it’s definitely something that I think about on a regular basis. I constantly wonder how to explain my identity but personally I love reclaiming the term queer because it gives me a certain sense of flexibility of expression.