Hey America!? Hey NRA Guy!? Yoohoo Joe Biden Commission!?…Some Notes From the Asylum…

AND as we find out that Jodi Arias’ parents were in fact aware something was very wrong with their daughter, and they wanted and tried to help but she is an adult and thus they could not. For all of you focusing on guns and “crazy people,” why not focus on what is wrong with the mental health system and the collective conscious of society’s treatment and fear of people with actual mental illness and brain injuries…Maybe Travis Alexander would still be alive…MENTAL HEALTH CARE AND PREVENTION MUST BE FIRST

I admit I have no answers but my own experience with the gun issue, and having survived a home invasion I was very happy to have an alert neighbor with a gun. That’s me. My issue is separating the two issues that have been melded together, when they are rarely if ever connected in real life. As far as guns go, my confusion is if there are 350 million registered guns out there in America today, what will a ban do? Are already overloaded, overworked cops now going to confiscate these guns, putting themselves at risk, and treating law abiding citizens as criminals? When someone is caught with a registered gun they do not want to turn in or confiscate because they bought it legally under the Second Amendment are they going to end up in an already overcrowded, bloated prison system just for being a free American making a personal choice to bare whatever kind of arms they want? But the most glaring of these knee jerk ban gun reactions is that if someone wants to buy an assault rifle they will, as there are enough out on the street already to fill any demand, and the black market will increase ten fold putting many more people in danger. The gun situation needs to be dealt with in some way that doesn’t triple the amount of criminals over night by criminalizing and prosecuting otherwise law abiding people who happen to want to own one of these guns. The last thing America needs is another category in which good people get sucked into a flawed criminal justice system or a shamefully overcrowded prison system destroying more lives and more families in the name of Government Reform and public safety. There is nothing safe about creating a powder keg of underground illegal activity that doesn’t need to be.

Speaking as a formerly untreated, noncompliant dual diagnosis mentally ill American who through treatment, therapy, medication, family and community support has been symptom free and living a healthy, sane life, which was never possible prior to participation in my own recovery, I have some notes from the Asylum. As most people who have mental illnesses do not speak up for fear of rejection or negative consequences of self admitting craziness, everyone I love and who loves me knows my story, so those who judge me or shame me are irrelevant in my life and the few who relate may be helped or encouraged to help themselves, so I believe it is my responsibility having been healed, by the sheer Grace of God, to speak for the community I call home. Just admitting this gives me pause, but I also think more people who are in recovery and treatment need to own it,speak out about their illness, how they over came it, and how their lives have improved after treatment and being medicated or not. Sound familiar? That’s because in 1934 a man named Bill Wilson wrote a book called the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous to treat a seemingly hopeless terminal mental defect we now call substance abuse or addiction. As most people who are blessed enough not to have a problem, not to have loved ones who suffer, who may have but do not think they have a problem, or refuse to admit they have a problem do not know or understand is that the 12 Steps of AA have very little to do with Alcohol. Anonymous meetings are not a room full of degenerate outcasts smoking and drinking coffee commiserating about how unfair life is and how victimized they feel, it’s 100 percent the opposite. Anonymous meetings have turned into a beacon of hope, a church atmosphere in a society that has gotten farther and farther away from community churches and outreach to your neighbors as time goes by. Anonymous meetings are in every city in every state in every county and can be found by making one phone call to an 800 number and grabbing some directions or the name of a person in the fellowship willing to come pick up newcomers-and there are always a few of those people available. How is it that a man in the 30s built the most successful of all mental health programs in a grassroots community by community fashion that self supports, does not promote or advertise, completely self sufficient with no outside help or funding from the government or private entities, and America can’t put two and two together to make Mental illness outreach for those who suffer severe mental disorders as easy and no brainer as that? His model is proven, it works where nothing else can, it is transferrable to what we now know as mental illness, and yet the stigma or apathy still prevents such a movement to evolve. I have often said to people who say they cannot get sober because they cannot afford rehab, that rehab is a luxury, the real miracle happens in the rooms of AA surrounded by those who have suffered and overcome and are open happy and willing to share their hope strength and experience with those willing to listen.

The goal of the Anonymous Programs, again for those who are blessed enough not to know, is to rise though the steps, not rules by the way, to The 12th Step of a solid, sustainable successful state of recovery in order to venture out in to the world and find those who still suffer and show them the way through their own experience and journey. Paying it forward they say today. Thus, I suggest that my walking up to a young woman I see in a manic state, feeling it is my duty to help those still suffering and knowing that only someone who has been there can really understand, and say, “are you okay? Can I help you? I am the same as you, and I have some answers from my own experience to share,” that I can do more in fifteen minutes to help her realize that there is a way out and there are people who understand and are willing to take her hand in solidarity and lead her to where she couldn’t get alone then any psychiatrist, politician, lawyer, mental health expert or cop. AA is so effective, arguably the most effective treatment of its kind, because it gives those who feel so down and out, worthless and alone, both the abused and the abusers, homeless and helpless no matter what race, religion, socioeconomic status, educational or cultural background a place to go to feel a sense of belonging and a feeling of being a part of a community and a piece of a whole bigger then themselves. The Anonymous meetings say we welcome you flaws and all and encourage you to join the discussion, ask the hard questions, find God as you understand him, and laugh and feel whole and human and accepted and safe in our presence. How can there not be as open, accessible available community based open doors for those who suffer mental illness? Why not? Maybe if James Holmes or Adam Lanza or Jeremy Loughner, in their moments of lucidity and fear of themselves, had a number to call or a location they could go to get out of their sinking hole of isolation and delusional nonreality before they sunk so far into the depths of no return, we would not be connecting the mentally ill with gun violence, as I believe there is no relationship at all in any way and there never will be.

Luckily we have possibly the greatest community organizer of all time running the country, so the key to the “problem” of the mentally ill the media and Joe’s Commission seems to be trying to solve can be best solved from the inside out with the help of a community based, grassroots outreach program in every city in every town in every state in the country where race, religion, sexual orientation, background and financial state has absolutely no baring whats so ever. If you want to get sober in this day and age, and I mean really want to get sober, AA is so easy to find no matter where you live. The network that is the AA, NA, CA, MA and Alanon is the best organized, most successful and most accessible of all organizations, and it is free, it is self supported, and it is run by and for those who suffer. Wouldn’t it be great if a very depressed father who is drinking himself to bed at night because the bills are too high, the income too low, and the kids need more just to interact in school could google or call the local Depression, Suicide department and find the nearest local meeting where they can go be honest around people who have practical ideas, answers and advice to lend an ear and give a hand? What about Bipolars? Schizophrenics? PTSD Victims? Autistic Adults? And all of those people, like I once was, that know something is wrong and desperately want to change and start fresh but don’t know how, where to start, could walk down the street or make a simple call and find a place where they will be given a roadmap to wellness from those who have found it?

All of that said, my truth is my truth, and I believe if such a list was compiled, that I should be designated as someone who can not legally own a gun. This is my personal truth, and I am okay with it. I am very honest about my truth now, and my truth is that I have been episode free and living a highly productive, positive, and successful life since I finally understood and accepted my illnesses and got the help I needed. During my times of rabid out of control mania I did so many risky things, impulsive moves that made absolutely no sense, quit jobs with no plan unconscionably screwing the person who gave me a shot, stabbing friends in the back or letting them down beyond repair, ditching good men for addicts or people sicker then me, spending with abandon, living with no concept of tomorrow or consequence, and usually being so close to the edge of death too many times to believe I am still alive. I am not saying if I had a gun during a manic episode I would have killed people or myself, but I wouldn’t want to find out. I know that I was not in any way thinking straight, sanely, and eventually the low, aka bipolar depression, would come to absorb the damage done and the wreckage left of a typical 3 week manic tornado of mass self destruction. Now enter the real danger. The isolation, the shame, fear, regret, rejection and sometimes hatred my behavior had evoked. The chaos and toxic world I created in mania, made the depression that much worse, and I would get so close to suicide that I would purposely overdose on ambian or think about walking into the ocean until I drowned, and not just thinking sometimes but literally sitting in my car on the ocean front daring my self to just get it overwith. Had I had a gun at my self imposed hell within the low of lows I can honestly say I may have killed myself, it does go therefor those who have Bipolar or PTSD or Schizophrenia often, and for me it did, but with no access to the easiest of all tools to impulsively achieve the end of life I probably saved my own. The self understanding and honesty to say such a thing comes from 17 years investing in recovery, therapy and self exploration no matter where it lead me. I still struggle and still bounce in and out of my recovery behavior and my self destructive behaviors, but I know enough to know I have no business having access to a gun for others and even more for myself.

The problem as I see it is about stigma and denial that as human beings we suffer from many disorders, none of our own choosing, and until we organize an effort to make mental illness something to not be embarrassed about, end the shame and rejection that keeps so many sufferers isolated and silent, come up with a program that has solid steps in place and solutions to encourage and support change, easily accessible and open treatment communities in every community, in every city, every town, and every state, as well as financial and private support to outreach programs like Bring Change to Mind, NAMI, Rethink Mental Illness and the like nothing will change on the scale of which is desperately needed. Like AA and ALANON, I see Planned Parenthood offices here there and everywhere in the cities I live in, and I believe there should and will be a day when getting mental health treatment is as easy as walking in to Planned Parenthood or an ALANON meeting.

Oh, and next time you think of the mentally ill as “problems”, consider these “problems”:
Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Victor Van Gogh, Edgar Allen Poe, Virginia Wolfe, Ernest Hemmingway, Wolfgang Mozart, Charles Darwin, John Nash, Issac Newton, Kurt Cobain, Robin Williams, Brian Wilson, Dorothy Parker, Leo Tolstoy, Ludwig Von Beethoven, Pablo Picasso, Carrie Fisher, Howard Hughes, James Joyce, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Jack Kerouac, Georgia Okeefe, Jackson Pollock, Irving Berlin, Mary Shelley, Kay Jamison, Axl Rose, Sting, Norman Mailer, Eugene Oneill James Taylor, Anne Sexton, Napoleon Bonapart, Charles Dickens, Jim Carrey, Catherine Zeta Jones, Brittney Spears, Kurt Vonnegut, Elizabeth Wurtzel, Mary Cheney, Betty Ford, Ned Beatty, Maurice Bernard, Mark Twain, Patty Duke, Lindsay Crosby, Abbie Hoffman, Graham Greene, Ted Turner, Linda Hamilton, Mariette Hartley, Margo Kidder, Connie Francis, Robert Downey Jr, Shecky Greene, Vivien Leigh, Burgess Meredith, Ben Stiller, David Strickland, Jim Daly, Lili Taylor, Tracy Ullman, Jonathon Winters, Alvin Alley, Tim Burton, Francis Ford Coppola, Joshua Logan, Francesco Scavullo, Robert Schumann, Don Simpson, Buzz Aldrin, Larry Flynt, Kit Gingrich, Phil Graham, Rosemary Clooney,DMX Earl Simmons, Ray Davies, Peter Gabriel, Phil Ochs, Axl Rose, Tom Waits, John Barrymore, Robert Lowell, Frances Farmer, Sylvia Plath, L. Brent Bozell, Kitty Dukasis, Muffin Spencer-Devlin, Ilie Nastase, Jimmy Piersail, Barret Robbins, Wyatt Sexton, Alonzo Spellman, Darryl Strawberry, Dimitrius Underwood, Luther Wright, Dick Cavett, Jane Pauley, Art Buchwald, Patricia Cornwell, Kaye Gibbons, Johann Goethe, Kate Millet, Robert Munsch, and the homeless genius on the corner who just needs a shower, meds, therapy and hope…


35 thoughts on “Hey America!? Hey NRA Guy!? Yoohoo Joe Biden Commission!?…Some Notes From the Asylum…

  1. Pingback: Hey Joe Biden? Hey NRA Guy? Yoohoo Hollywood Mogul?…Some Notes From the Asylum… | melodykrell

  2. Reblogged this on Follow Me Films and commented:

    Another Mentally Ill who belongs in treatment going on a rampage this morning?!? I don’t mean to shove this post down your throats, but we need to push Mental Illness above gun control in the public discourse. IT HAS BEEN THE MENTALLY ILL MEN NOT THE GUNS KILLING PEOPLE! Please do what you can to push for Mental Health Reform, Access to Care, and Community Outreach in every corner of the Country! That will save way more lives then banning guns on any level. Thanks for reading and caring for those you do not understand!

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