Depression * Denial * Dysfunction * Demand

Welcome to the 90's

by Charla Hawkwind Hermann

    So who wouldn't get a little depressed. We wake up; the news in the paper and on TV is bad. We go to work; the pressure is on to be more productive with lower budgets and less help. The air is polluted, the water filled with waste, our food chain is filled with enough poison to guarantee that 50% of us are carrying active cancer cells. Our kids are in danger in a less than acceptable educational system filled with violence and killer drugs. We have all seen too many divorces and felt the aftermath of patching up broken hearts and ripped apart homes. Our parents called it strict, today's system calls it child abuse and neglect. We're mixed up. We were taught that social drinking was part of the management job and now everyone talks recovery. Every direction we turn is filled with contradiction.
    So life has it's ups and downs. Coping is part of living. Creating a balanced support system is part of surviving. Far too many out there stopped looking for balance a long time ago. The process of hiding from reality has had much training and support. We can hide in drugs, alcohol, food and anger. And now we have the new Quaalude for the 90's, it comes in the form of over two dozen anti-depressants and mood elevators. These things range from light weight to turn off your brain and become like a zombie type stuff.  It's everywhere we go.  Almost
everyone the conversation with, "I'm trying to get off it, but I need help coping  with all the bummer stress around me". or "My  folks were manic depressive, thus so am I and THEY say I should take this for the rest of my life, what do you think I should do?"
    The question is, WHAT DO YOU THINK? Does your body really need this stuff? Have you muscle tested it and then herbs? Are you experiencing side effects? Do you still feel depressed? What makes you think you cope better when you use this stuff? Are you really coping better, or are your closest friends and family not telling you what they see in your empty eyes and torn up skin? Are they not telling you that the silly smile on your face says, "I'm having a great time aren't I..." is not fooling anyone. When I hear these emotional cries of pain, I have to ask myself if a refugee that had to walk through the killing fields of Viet Nam had time to worry about depression? Does the mother in Somalia try to figure out how to fill the next prescription of Prozac? She must be pretty bummed out over war and hunger. The Yin/Yang theory in life says that there must be as much sorrow as joy to balance out karma. Somehow, we are all ready for the joy. The sorrow part makes us think we have done something wrong that needs to be fixed. Some act like a few days of depression is a permanent state of mind. When we look at the global picture, depression is easy to see. It's the one on one that baffles me. It seems like so many people have just given up.
    Most of us who are recovering from a painful childhood or screwed up adulthood will agree that we learned from the crap that we went through. We look our Monster in the eye and excuse them from further dancing through our lives. We found a way to balance the sorrow with the new found Spiritual joy. Well, at least that s what we think we are doing. It's always easier to see someone else's denial, while avoiding our own.
    What confuses me, is the fact that drugs and alcohol have always been around here. Our ancestors lives were filled with peril. They always show the scene in the old west bar of everyone downing a whiskey as they jump from their horse. Seemingly here was less suicide, less child abuse, less dysfunction... or was there? Was there just less people? History makes it look like every day they got up and kept on living. I'll bet my Great Great Grandmother had a few anxious moments while crossing the prairies. She probably thought that life was over when she saw the mountains become subdivisions and the waters turned into nuclear power. As small pox killed entire cities, there were bound to be some folks that got a bit depressed as their family members died. It wasn't always perfect, but it wasn't so bad that everyone felt like they could get numb and it would just disappear. That's what we are doing. We've become some hi-tech Sci-Fi movie with a pill for everything. Sex life bad? Take a pill. Want bigger breasts? Pump them with poison. Smaller hips? Suck 'em with a vacuum. A better attitude? Take another pill. It goes on and on. Who's checking to see what all this crap is doing to us? Where is the research on what long term attitude adjustment will get us?
    Our Parents and Grand parents began this vicious cycle with alcohol. They were of the Bible generation of spare the rod and spoil the child. We decided to put a change to all that. We tried to create a pink bubble with no pain, no grief, no shame and block out everything that resembles guilt. We taught our children that divorce is an everyday part of living. If we can't face our own creation of a planet in crisis, we just look away, or worse yet, we stop looking altogether. This is third generation dysfunction for some of us. Some blame our parents, while others blame the corporations and the system. We've come through a seemingly endless journey that has been filled with disappointment and sorrow. Our only report card demands achievement, while the system is designed for a certain failure in a variety of areas. We get titles of manager and the dangling carrot of Vice- President. We're rated by the styles of clothes, the kind of car we drive, who does our hair, and designs our homes. Our children are given a financial score card for future success while being raised by career moms and weekend dads. Our teen-agers have green hair as if to scream, please LOOOOOK at me. The younger children have bad dreams about bombs and rape on the way to school. Who's going to fix it? Which drug do we hide in? Is our soap opera more dramatic than our neighbors? Do we hold contests to see who had the worst up- bringing, or do we take that time to create something new and better for our children?
    Some where between the words denial and dysfunction is the word. DEMAND. Our planet demands change, NOW.' The national budget demands change, the cancer, the children, the old ones and the hunger all demand change. IF WE DON'T CHANGE, WE DIE! Meanwhile we put outrageous demands on each other, we put each other through hell to prove we are recovering from past dysfunction. Now we are all demanding a quick and painless resolution to '~ years of destruction. While we blame everyone else, we are not hiding our own dysfunctions so well. We can cover it with any drug we want, but the sickness still lives inside. IT DEMANDS HEALING OR WE DIE!
    Back in the 60's we took LSD and got high to expand our consciousness. When we started to realize that we were poisoning our systems as our friends died around us, we got smart and cleaned up our act. Now there's a whole generation that swears that they're drug free but live every day on Prozac, Xanex, Zoloft, Kolonipin, Litheum, Valium and God only knows what else. We hear that it is prescribed for depression, recovery from abuse, insomnia, weight control, blood pressure, etc., etc. These bottles of pills come with two page disclaimers on possible side effects and experts everywhere are telling us that if these are used even a little wrong, they can cause suicidal and homicidal tendencies. What we see is folks who take this stuff trying to do the Sweat Lodge or other Shamanic healing work that are becoming zombied out and going into shock. THERE IS A WARNING ON THESE CHEMICALS NOT TO EXPOSE YOURSELF TO TOO MUCH SUN OR INTENSE HEAT FOR TOO LONG. YOU ARE NOT PAYING ATTENTION. These are DRUGS, we must stop the denial of this new dysfunction. How did we go from enlightened and committed activists, to clones of a system that is created to never talk back or question authority? There are plenty of safe, non-addictive herbs to produce calming effects for a person under stress. Taking these pills is a lazy cop-out that I fear will leave us with thousands who will not have the will or strength to save themselves when times get even more tough. (As our indigenous Elders have promised.) Feels like we are creating our own genocide.
    If doctors or the school system is insisting that our children need these drugs to cope with the pressure of the classroom or divorce; Question authority. If our doctors are telling you that this is just temporary until we pull ourselves together and won't be addictive; Ask the last hundred people we met that were struggling with the pains of withdrawal. Most are going back to something even stronger and act as they are in short term lobotomy. If we are not checking with our holistic doctors and chiropractors, we are selling ourselves short. If we are not willing to get counseling to support a full healing for ourselves and our family, then we are still kidding about wanting healed. When we go to Elders and ask for healing, we have to really want to be healed for it to happen. OTHERWISE we are wasting everyone's time in the healing ceremonies if we are just going to keep on hiding behind these chemicals.
    Throughout history there has always been pain and disease. It is happening again on an outrageous scale. And if we keep weakening our immune system when those diseases come to our town, we will be the first to fall. Why do we do this to ourselves? Do we not have a desire to live on planet Earth anymore? Are we all just giving up? Where is our fight and our Spirit? PLEASE WAKE UP BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE. We have a lot of new information on these drugs that take away dreams, muscle and nervous control. We have all studied with teachers who have shared with us the alternatives, then why are we not using them?
    If we are to truly be alive again, to be whole and healed, then we must ask ourselves what we are trying to heal and how we intend to get there. How did it get so bad that these medications are even an option? Most of all, what are the options for solution? We must each create our own twelve steps to healing. It seems that beginning with a clear mind is a good way to start.

Copyright (c) Charla Hermann. All rights reserved.

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