Arn't I A Woman?: Career going well? Great!! Your daughter is about to get cancer.



Jun 15, 2013

Career going well? Great!! Your daughter is about to get cancer.

aka is young jeezy a nihilist? 

"today i'm gonna get over you" 

A while back a friend sent me this really moving video link. The video was a 20-minute talk a comedian was giving about his life and the beginnings of his success in the industry. At one point he was offered a reoccurring role delivering the nightly comedy spot on a late night talk show. Superficially that was everything he had wanted- he couldn’t believe his luck at truly seeing some of his boy hood dreams come to fruition- and best of all it was predicated on his own hard work and talent.
During this period of budding professional success, though, his personal life started to embody the antithesis of triumph. He and his wife learned that his young daughter- I think maybe 2 or 3 years old at the time- had terminal cancer. 
He detailed how his shows got darker and darker with each doctor’s visit. His daughter died when he was at the peak of his career.

On paper, the past few months have been great for me. I’ve really pushed myself to dig deep to get to the dirty, disgusting parts of myself- to examine them from all sides and look at them objectively in an effort to promote change. In an effort to be happy.
This led to me doing things I never thought I would- believing in myself enough to go for jobs I really want- I created a zine for the first time. This led to more hours of me creating something to consume rather than consuming so much from others.  That was important to me.

I started to believe I had the right to stand up for myself.

I just did some public speaking -which was preceded by a two-week long depressive episode because of the amount of anxiety I had internalized in fear of the upcoming event. But I told myself “once you do all these things you’re gonna feel so great.”

So I did them. I didn’t feel great.

The daughter’s cancer is my depression and anxiety. For some reason it’s getting worse- even though I carefully monitor the medications I take, go to therapy once a week, exercise regularly, and have cut down significantly on drinking- I feel perhaps the worst I ever have.

I am growing more and more angry with my therapist-accusing her of not understanding my suffering. I want her to fix me. She cannot.

I think about people like Stephen Fry and David Foster Wallace and I think about the fleeting nature of depression. Stephen Fry was 54 at the time of his most recent suicide attempt and David Foster Wallace was 46 when he committed suicide. Fry recently did an interview about it: “There is no 'why', it's not the right question. There's no reason. If there were a reason for it, you could reason someone out of it, and you could tell them why they shouldn't take their own life."

Wallace similarly spoke openly about his own struggles with depression and though his words may appear dark and piercing at first glance he is often someone I turn to in my darkest times as a means of relief. His intellectualization of mental illness was so sharp it helps me minimize the crummy feelings for a brief moment and shine a light of reason on the pain. But his anti depressants stopped working and depression can spread quickly or slowly- it’s the cancer of the mind. So even though he was 46 and had all this knowledge his mind succumbed to depression very quickly.

I write this only because I’m trying to understand it myself. I’m trying to understand my pain because it doesn’t make sense to me anymore. It doesn’t feel right. But I can’t pretend it’s not there. This is why I relate to movements like nihilism and existentialism and it’s why I love certain rap and hip hop artists- I know young jeezy has sort of been co-opted by the young hipster culture or whatever- but if you really look at the shit young jeezy is saying that dude is a nihilist. Not in an “I’m going to use this hip hop artist to extrapolate about all black culture”- no I’m saying jeezy specifically is a nihilist. I wanna talk to him about depression. That's all for now. 

(pretty picture added for levity) 

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Sojourner Truth

Well, children, where there is so much racket there must be something out of kilter. I think that 'twixt the negroes of the South and the women at the North, all talking about rights, the white men will be in a fix pretty soon. But what's all this here talking about?

That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain't I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain't I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man - when I could get it - and bear the lash as well! And ain't I a woman? I have borne thirteen children, and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother's grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain't I a woman?

Then they talk about this thing in the head; what's this they call it? [member of audience whispers, "intellect"] That's it, honey. What's that got to do with women's rights or negroes' rights? If my cup won't hold but a pint, and yours holds a quart, wouldn't you be mean not to let me have my little half measure full?

Then that little man in black there, he says women can't have as much rights as men, 'cause Christ wasn't a woman! Where did your Christ come from? Where did your Christ come from? From God and a woman! Man had nothing to do with Him.

If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back , and get it right side up again! And now they is asking to do it, the men better let them.

Obliged to you for hearing me, and now old Sojourner ain't got nothing more to say.

Sojourner Truth

Delivered 1851 at the Women's Convention

Akron, Ohio