Depression suckt (R.I.P. Chester Bennington) – #TMIishTuesday #72

Depression. Häufig wie keine andere psychische Erkrankung. Und doch so oft unterschätzt. Was man tun kann, wenn man sich schlecht fühlt. Welche Hilfe es gibt. Und wie man sich als Freund oder Familienmitglied gegenüber Depressiven verhalten sollte. Hier. Continue reading “Depression suckt (R.I.P. Chester Bennington) – #TMIishTuesday #72”

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#TMIishTuesday – #58 – Re: A Poem to Society

Hey,

Thanks
for stopping by. Not much of an intro today. Hope you had a great Easter (if
you celebrated). The following is a more in-depth discussion of the issues
addressed in last week’s #TMIishTuesday aka. A Poem to Society.

Hey
there mighty people of the internet!

And welcome to issue #58 of #TMIishTuesday – my weekly Tumblr post about what goes
through my weird mind and on what you guys want to know more about. It can be
something very personal, it can be something political, it can be completely
pointless – but in 99.9 % of the cases, it involves opinions. And mine as well.

// Last week I wrote my first ever poem in
English: Society. It’s about how
society treats people and expects people to treat it. I’m rather proud of it,
so if you haven’t yet, please click the link above and check it out! //

In the
poem I addressed some of the topics that – according to me – need to be fixed
with today’s society. But I just touched on them, instead of really discussing
them. That’s what this post is for.

Let’s do this in a chronological order. Starting with the first verse.

Norms, standards, rules. It’s kinda what this whole poem is about. Because
these are such important concepts. And
whether you like it or not: They are set up by society and basically everyone
is following them. That is quite powerful. If society were a single person, the
Western world would probably take Kim Jong-un as an example. A dictator leading
what us Westerns see as one big people who are not allowed to think for
themselves. Someone who makes you believe that you – and only you – know what
is good for you. Someone who you can’t touch. Someone who is basically assuming
a godlike position.

But it doesn’t stop there. Society enforces the norms, standards, rules set by
itself. And it also does so in other societies. It expects them to adapt to its
own norms. Disclaimer: There are probably exceptions from the following (which
is awesome!), but from what I experience in my age group and older, it is like
this: Germany has quite some population. More than 80 million. And then there
are Austria and parts of Switzerland, Belgium and Luxembourg that also speak
German. If I may cite Wikipedia for once,
there are roughly 95 million native speakers of German and 10 to 35 million more
studying it abroad. Fair enough. 
But: Us Germans like to play god from time to time. We just go abroad and
expect everyone else to be fluent in German. Doesn’t sound like a clever idea?
You’re German yourself and it sounds very absurd and rude to you? Thank you! We
need more people like you!
But trust me: I’ve experienced it SO many times when I
lived in the Netherlands just around the German border. Germans who take the weekend
(or even more so: German bank holidays like Ascension Day) to go shopping in the Netherlands and ask for
directions. No problem so far. But the problem starts exactly there: They don’t
know any Dutch. And they just approach people in German. And guess what? They
don’t even apologise! They just start talking German. And most of the time they
are lucky. They find a person who speaks enough German to tell them the
directions they need. Actually most of the people are probably quite fluent in
German. The Netherlands being a rather small country, they KNOW they probably
will need more than just Dutch and English, if they want to be set for their
career. That’s why they learn French and/or German from early on at school. And
– in contrast to German schools – Dutch schools know how to teach languages.
Dutch people are fluent in the language they took for 6 years. Why can’t we do
the same in Germany?
Anyway, my initial point was that society thinks that they can push their
expectations onto everyone and everything. Point proven by Germans approaching people in
German when they are abroad.

Fun fact: The German constitution dates back to 1949 (roughly 70 years
ago). And even if it is quite outdated in parts, keep in mind that it
is one of the newer constitutions. Take the British one. Its basic concept is
still in place – after being established in 1688. Or the American one – set up
101 years later. Don’t get me wrong: All of the mentioned constitutions hold
great principles. But there is no doubt that they also hold some that are just
outdated. Like I said in the poem: The spirit has changed. We know
globalisation, we have lots of people travelling far distances. And human
rights have drastically progressed towards a more open and tolerant society.
Thank God they have! But there’s still a lot of work to do regarding the constitutions!

Even though there might not be many “riots” in the Western countries,
there certainly is a feeling of inequality. Over the last few years minorities
have started to notice that they are not treated equally and fought for it.
Most of the time in peaceful protests, sometimes police had to take action. And
these protests have achieved a lot! Yet there is still so much inequality in
place. Equal pay has been a goal for centuries – and we are still not there.
Each and every year we have the “equal pay day” which marks the date
it took women to earn the same money it took men to earn the same in the previous year.
In Germany it was 18 March this year. We need to fix this! Everyone should earn
the same for doing the same job – regardless their gender, ethnicity or
whatever else people discriminate based on.

“Riots” are also there because government doesn’t treat people
equally. Take a look to the U.S. where people of color are afraid of getting
beaten up by police. Simply for being black. Look at Turkey where Turkish and
foreign journalists have to fear imprisonment. Simply for reporting on what
is actually happening in Turkey. But Erdogan wants to hide that from the world.
We can’t tolerate that!

YouTubers and other people posting on the internet are – with a few exceptions
– part of the younger generation. Teens playing video games or filming their
make-up routines, people in their twenties filming their adventures or talking
about topics like society’s misbehaviour. To them equality tends to matter more
than to the older generations. Overall we see a frightening tendency of a “generation
gap” in voting behaviour: The younger generation didn’t want to Brexit.
The younger generation didn’t vote for Trump. The younger generation voted hayır (no) in the Turkish referendum. But the
older generation is still in the majority. They decide on the fate of the
younger ones. To quote a tweet on the Brexit decision by @glenrules (again): “Ever been fucked by a pensioner before? You have
now.”
That is a problem! It happens over and over again. If we can’t get
our shit – also known as our society – together, we have a serious problem! I
can already see the results of the German elections for parliament in
September: The “Catholic Dowdy Union” (CDU) wins the elections (for the third
time in a row) and the “Alternative fucks Da World” (AfD) becomes the
third-strongest party.
Demographics for voters of CDU: older than average
Demographics for voters of AfD: male.

What does that tell us? If you’re male: Use your brain.
If you’re old…
well… don’t vote! 😀
Oh and most importantly: You reading this, Generation Internet: Use your power! If you are allowed to vote on 24 September,
do so! To quote Green Day singer Billie Joe Armstrong: “Don’t let those
bastards dictate your life!”

If you
don’t stand out, you’ll just be a small drop of water in the ocean. But if you
decide to fight for equality, if you speak up when inequality happens, or
simply “break the norms” by dying your hair, you can be that
splattering wave that makes for a beautiful photo. And people will see this
photo and will admire you for standing out. Voice your concerns! Step up and
tell people who are doing wrong! And most importantly: Don’t forget to check yourself,
too!

When the older generations (and the media, thanks guys…) blame video games
for shootings. When they tell us that “the internet is evil” (or
virgin soil, like German chancellor Angela Merkel once did: “Das Internet
ist für uns alle Neuland”). When they tell us that we would be hunted down, if we put too much TMI on the internet, well… have you ever been hunted down cause you posted a
tweet from your toilet? Have you been dragged because you researched on the internet about a
cool band you liked? Have you been the persecutor in a
shooting because you played a game of Call of Duty?
No? Congrats! You are part
of the 99.99 % of the younger population! The older generations still need to
figure that out. Give them time. Eventually they will. Maybe.

Who knows?

Screw society! 

Immigrants.
Can I just copy-paste what I wrote about the younger generation? If you are an
immigrant, you probably were not involved in the rape at New Year’s Eve 2015. And
you probably are more scared to have your home set on fire than setting
something on fire yourself. And you probably are looking for a job, trying to adapt
yourself to the German culture and society, rather than wishing you could go
back to Syria, Turkey or Mali.
Most of the Germans still need to figure that
out. Give them time. Eventually they will. Maybe.

Who knows?

Screw society! 

If you
are part of the LGBTQ+ community, don’t hide, if you don’t feel like hiding. Be
confident of who you are! No matter if your sexuality or your gender is not
conforming the norm. No matter who does or doesn’t accept you. Be proud of who
you are! After all it’s not a choice. Be
proud and be loud!
You are you – just the way you are. And no one can change
that!

There are some bastards in this world. Let’s not let them have a say in who we
are. In how we feel about ourselves. In how we behave. 

If you are treated disrespectfully, be loud about it! Tell those who are disrespectful (they might not even be aware of it). And, if necessary, turn to others for help. Don’t be ashamed for that. It’s not a bad thing to look for help. I had to learn that myself. But it really does help!

You do you. We do us. 

Before I
go, tell me your thoughts on the poem and this post. Should I try to post more
poems? And of course, I wanna know what you think are some things that need to
change with regard to society! Place a comment, tweet me, dm me, or do anything else
you can think of to get to me.

Queer Shoutout you say? German gay forum dbna wrote a post about The Travelin Bum. It might sound weird at first – an ass that travels?
But it’s just that. Pictures of naked male butts who pose around the world. Well the guys, not just the bums. It’s definitely a little weird. But it has its own charm. Check out the page on
Instagram
.

As
always: Next #TMIishTuesday next Tuesday. If you have any
questions in the meantime, just ask away.
Whatever you’re curious about – I don’t bite. 🙂

Until then: Stay mighty!

Linkage:
– Wikipedia: World language: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_language#Living_world_languages
– @glenrules on Brexit: https://twitter.com/glenrules/status/746228140792381444
– Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung: Wahlergebnisse und Wählerschaft der CDU: http://www.bpb.de/politik/grundfragen/parteien-in-deutschland/42068/wahlergebnisse-und-waehlerschaft
– Alternative für Deutschland: http://www.bpb.de/politik/grundfragen/parteien-in-deutschland/211108/afd


– dbna: Darum zeigen schwule Jungs gerade ihren Hintern bei Instagram: http://www.dbna.de/leben/meldungen/2017/03/nackte-hintern-schwule-jungs-bei-instagram-41526.php
– The Travelin Bum: https://www.instagram.com/thetravelinbum


Oh, and here’s some self-promo:
– Last #TMIishTuesday:http://mightbedamian.tumblr.com/post/159459231432/tmiishtuesday-57-a-poem-to-society
– All #TMIishTuesdays: mightbedamian.tumblr.com/tagged/tmi
– More #TMIishTuesdays on society topics: http://mightbedamian.tumblr.com/tagged/language
http://mightbedamian.tumblr.com/tagged/me
– More very cool stuff: www.twitter.com/mightbedamian
– Even more very cool stuff: mightbedamian.tumblr.com 

#TMIishTuesday #57 – A Poem to Society

Society

You like
to tell us what to do.
You like to think that we only do
what we are supposed to do.
According
to your norms. Standards. Rules.

You like
to tell them what to do.
You like to think that they don’t do
what they are supposed to do.
According
to your norms. Standards. Rules.

You like
to think that you
are the
most advanced of them all.
You like to tell yourself that you
know how
stuff is done.
According
to your norms. Standards. Rules.

Politicians
set the norms. Standards. Rules.
Democracy
has become a crime!
A constitution written 70 years ago.
Updated, yet not representing
the
spirit of time.
Guess what: The spirit
it
changed.
From 70
years ago
To now. They are not the same:
Norms.
Standards. Rules.

But have you ever wondered:
Who tells you what to do?
Who likes to think that you only do
what you are supposed to do?
According to your norms. Standards.
Rules.

Who likes to tell you what to do?
Who likes to think that they
are the
most advanced of them all?
Who likes to tell themselves that they
know how
stuff is done?
According to their norms. Standards.
Rules.

The riots they are there.
Norms. Standards. Rules.
They
don’t care!
They fight for freedom. Justice. Equality.
They are in the streets. On the web. Everywhere.
They feel they’ve lost their power. Voice. Dignity.
Due to norms. Standards. Rules.

Let me tell you:
You might tell us what to do.
You might think that we only do
what we are supposed to do.
According
to your norms. Standards. Rules.

You might like to tell them what to
do.
You might like to think that they
don’t do
what they are supposed to do.
According
to your norms. Standards. Rules.

You might like to think that you
are the
most advanced of them all.
You might like to tell yourself that you
know how
stuff is done.
According
to your norms. Standards. Rules.

You are
a mere definition of society’s norms.
You have to face all these storms.
You are a mere definition of society’s standards.
You are
more than that!
You are
a mere definition of society’s rules.
You like rock, pop, the blues.

Rules. Standards. Norms.
We are teachers, nurses, nuns.
We would
die for bad puns.
We have blonde hair, brown,
black or
grey – do you frown?
How long
or short has it been?
It does
matter: We are so keen
to stick
to rules. Standards. Norms.

Rules.
Standards. Norms.
We dream
about being YouTubers,
shivering
from comments of hate users.
We play video games that “glorify
violence
”.
Thanks, society, we still don’t need
an ambulance.
We put “everything” on the
internet.
People hunting us down hasn’t happened, yet.

We are Syrian, Nigerian, Chinese, Dutch.
It doesn’t matter all that much.
We are homo,
pan, a or bi,
this is
what we go by.
We are
trans, non-binary, flux or grey,
but hey!
It’s
society who sets the rules. Standards. Norms.

Darling,
schatje, Liebling, bae,
this is gonna sound bizarre
tell
your hamster, dog or cat:
We don’t have to obey!
we are who we are
and no one can change that!

If you liked this poem, feel free to do one or more of the following:
– like the post
– share it around (on any social media you can think of – including RL)
– follow my blog
– check out my Letter to Society from October
– have a read of my other #TMIishTuesday’s

This post is inspired – among others – by:
– Dave Brown: Don’t Stay In School
– Ash Hardell: Stop Coming Out

#TMIishTuesday #46 – The Trumpet – But why?

Hey
there mighty people of the internet!

And welcome to issue #46 of #TMIishTuesday – my weekly Tumblr post about what goes
through my weird mind and what you guys want to know more about. It can be
something very personal, it can be something political, it can be completely
pointless – but in 99.9 % of the cases, it involves opinions. And mine as well.

// Last
week I talked about make-up. On girls, but more about it on guys: Society’s general perception of it, some male YouTubers who look ACE with
make-up, and my opinion on whether or not men should or should not wear
make-up. Not telling you to read it, but… YOU SHOULD! //

Disclaimer:
I can’t treat certain people the same as everyone else. People who just
disrespect of groups of people for one, and only one, reason: Belonging to this
group. And by saying this, I do exactly that, I know… And I’m still gonna do it.
You know, if they
were at least a little bit open-minded or didn’t treat people like they’re
sh*t, I’d respect that. I wouldn’t cheer for them, but everyone has
different opinions – and that’s awesome! But I won’t respect people who hate on
others for having one attribute that the haters don’t like: Gender, sexuality,
race, color of skin, this list goes on and on.

Okay, so
if you’re not living on the Moon (and even then), you’ll most definitely have
noticed that the U. S. have a new president. For the reasons stated above, I
will not call him by his name, but rather refer to this person as “the
Trumpet”. Not much of a difference anyway, right? And now you know who
I’m talking about, we can start this post. Did I mention that it’s about
reasons why this person could even become president? Oh, I didn’t? Well… Now
you know!

There are obviously lots of reasons why the Americans eligible to vote voted
like they did. I pick three that seem most important to me. 

1. The devil vs. the deep blue sea
With the elections coming up one thing that I read a lot in polls and
assessments of the candidates is: “I can’t possibly choose between two
inacceptable candidates.”
As expected, Democrats and Republicans had voted two extremely opposing
candidates to go for president
– Clinton: the impersonated establishment who
still lives on her father’s achievements as president and who is rather
conservative for a Democrats candidate. And
– the Trumpet: the impersonated American dream: business man, self-made millionaire, the exact opposite of the establishment, who bluntly told his opinions on basically everything, even when
not asked about it.
And I had the impression that people didn’t feel that ANY of the two would be a good president. But given
the American political situation, with only these two parties standing a real
chance to win the election, most people did choose to distribute their votes between the devil and
the deep blue sea – or simply didn’t turn up to the polling stations.

2. Jobs
vs. trade

There is
a common misconception that many Europeans might have fallen for: The Trumpet’s only focus
seemed to be on immigration politics. Constructing a wall at the U. S.-Mexican border and getting rid of TPP* and TTIP* trade agreements, before the
latter was even signed. These seemed to be the Trumpet’s only political goals.
At least if you believed European media.
Oh my, were we wrong!
The Trumpet
actually got lots of votes in the Mid West states promising people to get jobs.
Of course that’s part of the getting-rid-of-TPP-and-TTIP deal. But that’s not
what was the most important aspect of this issue. The U. S. still suffer
from the global economic crisis that was sparked by the failure of the banking
industry
in the late 2000s.
The most important promise of the Trumpet was jobs. Jobs, jobs, and more jobs.
And, please correct me, if I’m wrong, dear Americans, but to me it looks like most Americans don’t bother too much about what is going on in the
world, if the U. S. is not involved. Am I wrong in assuming that? And to be honest, it’s
looked to me like that over the last few years/decades. Rather, you guys are more
focussed on your own country. You know, I’m not a big fan of overly
demonstrated patriotism. But it makes sense that you voted the Trumpet then: He
promises to get you all into jobs again.
Sure, that will work. But there’ll also be massive inflation,
if he basically closes down foreign trade and goes back to producing
everything domestically. But people don’t seem to see that. Or they ignore it. Well, if you don’t see it, let me give you a quick tour, okay?
The
Trumpet wants to put import tariffs into place again against any country out
there. Sure, most still have import tariffs – the EU certainly isn’t the norm
– but over the last couple decades there has been worldwide understanding that
we should thrive for lower tariffs and less trade restrictions.
In 1947 32
nations signed the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) which wanted
to “reduce tariffs and other trade barriers” among the signing
countries. Over the years, with globalisation hitting in more and more, more
nations joined the agreement and tariffs and trade restrictions got less and
less. Based on the work that had been done under the GATT framework, the World
Trade Organisation (WTO)
was established by 123 nations in 1995. A huge part of this hard work is
at stake now that one of the biggest economies of the world threatens to leave the WTO. As I’m typing this, the Trumpet has just announced that the
U. S. will not ratify TPP. A small step for a Trumpet, but a huge one for humankind.
Anyway, I’m drifting off. And the effects of the U. S. leaving the WTO and
other international trade policies could fill another #TMIishTuesday. Let me
know, if you are interested in that!

* TPP – Trans-Pacific Partnership
* TTIP – Transatlatic Trade & Investment Partnership

3. Ego
vs. opinions
This
might even be the most important factor that got him the crucial votes in the
swing states* which ultimately led to the Trumpet winning the entire election.
All the
way during his candidacy – in the internal Rep duels as well – he has been very
straightforward about basically anything he represented. He made clear his
goals basically on day 1 of the Rep internal campaign and, from what I can
tell, he sticked to them.
All this “The U. S. don’t need any foreign
trade” thing, all this “I don’t give a f*ck about minorities”
hatred, all this “I’m the king of the world” behaviour – it was there
from the very beginning. And even if Clinton didn’t change her campaign too much, too – just by not letting anyone exert ANY influence on his campaign, the Trumpet
really presented the “I am me, I won’t change for others” attitude.

When most candidates try to take on some viewpoints of the other candidates of
their party to rule out competitors, he didn’t do that. Cause he didn’t need
to. The whole “I won’t change for others” thing was already bearing
fruit.
Many Americans are apparently still looking for a father figure to look up to.
And that’s EXACTLY what they got. …Although you might argue that someone, who is
as bold as the Trumpet, is not exactly a father figure… Granted, but he’s
definitely “the strong man” the people were looking for. And I guess the Americans just thought
Obama didn’t take measures drastic enough to cope with the (perceived as well as existing) problems the U. S. were faced with.

* swing
state
= “a state that could reasonably be won be either the Democratic or
Republican presidential candidate”

Finally: Judging from the younger history, it just made sense that a Republican
was elected president: The last three presidents all took two terms in office –
and after each 8 year period a president of the other “big” party –
Democrats and Republicans – was elected into office.

Right,
I’ll leave you with that. This post turned out way more subjective than I
planned to. But I never promised that. And remember how I started this post?
“Disclaimer: I can’t treat certain people the same as everyone else.”
I guess, that’s exactly what’s happened now. Sorry not sorry! 😛

Before I
go, please let me know what you thought of this post and what your thoughts on the
new president are. Do you hate him, do you respect him, do you like him? Place
a comment, tweet me, dm me, or do anything else you
can think of to get to me.

Oh and
today’s TMIish Queer Shoutout goes to: Anyway Köln TV, the queer YouTube channel
of youth centre Anyway in Cologne. I stumbled across the their YouTube channel
last week and really liked the videos in which the team took to the streets to
interview the people of Cologne on queer topics: Can they tell who identifies
as straight, lesbian, or bi just by appearance? Does it work better when the choices are straight,
gay, and pansexual? What do you imagine gay sex to look like? And the one that I
liked best: How do people react when they are asked to film two guys for a
minute and suddenly one proposes to the other right in front of the Cologne Dom cathedrale?
Their videos are well thought of
and, most of the times, involve strangers they meet on the street. If
understand German, check them out and drop a sub!

As
always: Next #TMIishTuesday next Tuesday. If you have any
questions in the meantime, just ask away.
Whatever you’re curious about – I don’t bite. 🙂

Until then: Stay mighty!

Linkage:
– Wikipedia on TPP: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trans-Pacific_Partnership
– Wikipedia on TTIP: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transatlantic_Trade_and_Investment_Partnership
– Wikipedia on swing states: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swing_state
– Anyway Köln TV channel on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/AnywayKoelnTV
– Anyway Köln website: http://www.anyway-koeln.de/

Oh, and
here’s some self-promo:
– Last #TMIishTuesday: http://mightbedamian.tumblr.com/post/156001271441/tmiishtuesday-45-guys-cant-wear-make-up
– More
#TMIishTuesdays: mightbedamian.tumblr.com/tagged/tmi
– Poll to decide next week’s topic and more very cool stuff: www.twitter.com/mightbedamian
– Even
more very cool stuff: mightbedamian.tumblr.com

#mightyadvent #6 – #TMIishTuesday #39 – De condicio tristitiae: Of being depressed

Depression.
Probably one of the most common diseases. And probably also one of the most
underestimated diseases. How do you notice you might be depressed? And how do
you get out of it? Also: Did I ever have one? Interested in my situation? Keep
reading!

Hey there
mighty people of the internet!

And
welcome to day 6 of #mightyadvent! – the series that I post daily on
Tumblr until Christmas discussing different themes that differ per day of the
week, so you (and I) don’t get too bored. Also: Welcome to #TMIishTuesday – my weekly Tumblr post about what goes
through my mind and what you guys want to know more about. It can be something
very personal, it can be something political, it can be completely pointless –
but in 99.9 % of the cases, it involves opinions. And mine as well.

// I
just redid the numbering because I realised there were two posts titled
“TMI-ish Tuesday 20”. That can’t be. So this one is no. 39. (I bet no
one ever cared about the numbering anyway, haha. //

// Last
week
I talked about the school – parents – child relationship. More
precisely about what kind of information teachers need to tell parents
proactively, which only when they ask for it, and which information might be
hidden from them. From a news article about the situation in Texas, I
researched the laws in Germany. Have a read, if you missed it! //

This
week’s topic – as decided by you mighty Twitter lot – is depression. I have to
say I’m surprised about that! I didn’t think you guys would be interested in it
so much. But: First time I mentioned it and two out of the three votes for
“De condicio tristitiae” as I put it. Note how I tried to battle
Cicero’s famous “De res publica” and Caesar’s “De bello Gallico”
here? I’m gonna beat them! Okay, for the sake of time and in an attempt to not
piss people off, I’m still keeping this post in English rather than Latin. 😛

Let’s
start off with a quick definition. What is a “depression” and what
are symptoms? We all know Wikipedia gives the best definitions. And since I’m
not writing a scientific paper here, I’m free to use it, right? Here’s what the
Wiki has to say about depression: “Major depressive disorder (MDD),
also known simply as depression, is a mental disorder characterized
by at least two weeks of low mood that is present across most
situations.”

Low
mood. Basically not feeling well, being in a bad/sad mood, I guess? So, there
we have it: You’re not feeling well and you can’t really get out of it again on
your own.

Symptoms? Let me cite those I learned at school. The two most
important ones are:

joylessness and
avolition.

Both are
present in almost any of the cases of depression. Further symptoms that might
occur, but don’t have to happen:

general dissatisfaction, self-doubt, a feeling of worthlessness

caginess, against society as well
– panic
and anxiety attacks that are sometimes interrupted by feeling all over the
place (manic-depressive); these attacks may come in waves
– mental symptoms, such as insomnia which typically leads to tiredness
– eating disorders
– weak immune
system
– long
lasting periods of pain.

If you
experience one or more of these symptoms, you MIGHT be going through a
depression. Note however, that these symptoms can arise for a wide variety of
reasons. You can have some of these symptoms and still not be depressive. If in
doubt, see your doc – preferably your general practitioner – or psychologist
about it. 🙂

We
covered depression in class last week and I realised: “Wow, that’s exactly
what I experienced a year ago!” – and no, it was not because of a certain
something I found out on 8 December and slowly started “publicising”
(that’s not an official word? Let’s pretend it is!) it the Sunday after: 12
December. More on that… in a very special #TMIishTuesday next week. On Monday.

No, my
depression came from what my life had become. It was just one big mess. After
failing lots and lots of exams in fall 2014, my self-confidence massively
dropped. I had failed other classes before, but not to this extent. Even my
first year at university had never been that bad. In fall 2014, I had just
started my third year at the university of applied sciences and I kind of broke? I
became very insecure about what I did. I started not attending classes. I still
went to most of them, but I skipped a few. It was not mandatory that you went after all. If you passed the exam, you were fine. I kind of curled up in
a spiny hedgehog. Didn’t leave the house too often and only, when REALLY necessary.
I even had a professional coach then. I saw her once a month and paid quite a
lot of money (for my budget at least) to learn how to study better. How to
organise myself better. And it kind of helped. For a bit. I passed a few exams, but failed another few.

Then I
did my minor. I don’t know whether that’s a thing only Dutch unis do or if they
have it elsewhere in the world as well. It’s basically where you attend the
courses of a different study for one semester. And, not gonna lie: I had a
blast during that time! Passed ALL courses first try and with smashing results
as well! But then it was back to normal.

During
summer break I was supposed to look for a job to do during the break. At least
that’s what my parents told me to do. But I had never worked before, plus I’m
socially anxious and don’t like calling people I don’t know. Especially, if I
ask them for a favor. So… Yeah, I did look for all the jobs. But I only wrote a
couple of applications. Got nothing positive back and I ended up becoming that spiny
ball again, blocking off everyone that I could block off, almost eating up myself.

Oh, and
I tried to study for the exam that was in the last week of the holidays. I felt
very well prepared – and it resulted in a worse mark than in my first try. Yepp.
Very reassuring just before the start of the new semester with only the
difficult exams that I didn’t pass the first (few) times. I tried to get myself
to study early on in the semester so I could get ahead of the game and actually
pass the exams this time. But I couldn’t. I physically couldn’t get myself to
study. I didn’t bother going to the lectures anymore and once I opened a study
book, I would just “read” through the pages – only to notice at the
bottom of the page that I had no idea what I had just read. Cool! That was also
the time when I got less and less motivated to go to table tennis practices.
Something I had lived for before! Somehow I knew that was a bad sign, but… I
didn’t want to accept that. I didn’t want to give in.

Long story
short: I passed exactly one of the four exams I did after the first 10-week
period. One. That would have meant I had to go through five exams the next
period and pass ALL of them to be able to start my internship – for which I
still had not applied (three months before I was to start).

That’s
when my parents sat me down for the second time to talk about my study. The
first time had been right after the result of the exam in summer. Back then,
they had asked me, if I was sure I was doing the right thing. And if I knew
for fact that I would make it. I said: Yes, of course! And they told me: Well,
show us it’s worth us paying your tuition fee, then!

Second
talk went a little like  this: Parents:
Well… That was not what you were expecting, was it? Me: No, not at all! P: You
know that we need to talk about whether or not you should go on now. M: Yeah, I
know and I think I already know the answer: No, I don’t.

We gave
it some time. With their explicit permission I didn’t attend the classes of the
first week of the next period and thought about it. And I never attended classes again. It became clear to me
that I wouldn’t continue my studies. And somehow, that already got my mood up a lot! I had
been stuck in such a deep hole for the last months that seeing just a little
bit of light at the top of that hole already cheered me up A LOT. Most of the work was still
to be done: Thinking about what I wanted to do then, if not studying. And that
was hard as well. Coming to terms with the fact that I was about to leave
behind everything I had been so proud of: Friends, table tennis (at least at
that students’ club), class mates and not to forget the very things that I had
defined myself as: The Netherlands, the Dutch language (for the most part; I obviously
still talk Dutch every now and then, but it’s become very rare) and – and
that’s what hit me the most – being a student.

But
there was hope: After a very good appointment with the job counselor, I knew what
kind of apprenticeship I wanted to do. And I could slowly, gradually say
goodbye to my “old” life. I had pretty much already given up uni by that time (December 2015),
then I gave up living there by moving out (end of February). And at the same time I stopped work
for my table tennis committee and attending practices. But February this year
was still kind of very successful: I finished telling the people closest to me about
my sexuality, I got a job to work as a cashier to do until I’d start my
apprenticeship, and I had an interview for an apprenticeship and was invited to
do a one-week internship there so I could see what to expect and so they could
see what I had to offer.

In March
I did that internship – and in the end that’s where I ended up doing the apprenticeship – and I started my job until summer. Knowing what I did for a living
and having an occupation all day was such a relief! And it meant I got along
with my parents better. After all I was living with them again from March
onwards. And that scared away my depression. I’m very happy to say that I am
over it now!

If you
are experiencing some of the symptoms I mentioned at the beginning of this post,
look for someone to talk this through! Nothing might seem more scary, but it’s
really the only thing that will get you out of that! If you have a close friend
you feel comfortable opening up to, or some family, talk to them. If not – or
after talking to them – seek professional help. If you already are seeing a
psychologist, they are the perfect person to talk to. If not, tell your GP and
they will tell you where you can find help.

Depression sucks! But it’s nothing
to be ashamed of!
And you can treat it. But the only thing that works for that
is talk. Talk. And talk. Take me as an example. 🙂 And as a little heads-up,
here’s a great tweet on the topic of depression by @mydrunkkitchen that she posted earlier today: https://twitter.com/harto/status/806192948001935360.

If you
are doubting or not ready to tell anyone in person, my inbox is always open for
you. I’ll do my best to help. And obviously you can hit me up on any other
social media as well. Comment, tweet me, dm me, or what else you can think
of – you know the means to get to me. Tell me something fun you did today!

And remember
that there’ll be no poll this Sunday since Monday, 12 December is a very
special day to me. That’s why #TMIishTuesday will be up on Monday instead of
Tuesday next week (and #MightyMonday will move to Tuesday).

As usual:
I’ll see you tomorrow for a #WeirdWednesday post as part of #mightyadvent. Next
#TMIishTuesday next Monday. Or earlier, if you would like to know anything
specific. Just ask away. Whatever you’re curious about – I don’t bite.
🙂

Until then: Stay mighty!

Oh, and here’s some
self-promo:

Yesterday’s post for #mightyadvent: http://mightbedamian.tumblr.com/post/154089192457/mightyadvent-5-mightymonday-mr-pences
– All #mightyadvent posts: mightbedamian.tumblr.com/tagged/mightyadvent
– Last week’s #TMIishTuesday: http://mightbedamian.tumblr.com/post/153831189422/tmi-ish-tuesday-37-you-need-to-know-this

– More #TMIishTuesday’s: mightbedamian.tumblr.com/tagged/tmi
– Blog: mightbedamian.tumblr.com
– Twitter: www.twitter.com/mightbedamian

And here are the Wiki articles I used:
– Major depressive order: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Major_depressive_disorder
– Avolition: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avolition

TMI-ishTuesday 33: A Letter To Society

Dear
society,

Over the last year or so, I have questioned a lot. Most of all I have
questioned myself, thereby discovering a very new part of me which now forms
large part of my identity – and also of this blog. And that makes me very
proud. But I also realised how much I dislike this society. You might be
wondering: Damian, how can you make such generalisations?“ – and you are
100 % right in doing so! Not everyone thinks the same way – and luckily I am
surrounded by lots of accepting people. And
especially social media – Twitter and most of all Tumblr – has become an outlet
for me where I haven’t had any bad experiences. This letter is to the non-accepting,
ignorant rest. So… Let’s address the stuff that gets me mad about society.

This will be a two-part story:
1. Prejudice
2.
Equality and acceptance

1. Prejudice
Dear
society,

There are a lot of prejudices around. And that is normal. I get that. Everyone
has prejudices against SOMEone. People might not show it directly, but they are
immanent to everyone. We might not even be aware of it. Imagine two people:
– a male,
quite the steel-kind of body type and
– a
woman, quite the chubby kind.
If I made you guess who has a meal at a famous fast food restaurant chain with
the golden M and who works out in the gym, your mind would probably be 100 %
clear where to put which of the two. Prejudice.

And this
works exactly the same way when only one person is involved. You, dear society, set standards.
You tell us that a certain trait is "manly” or “feminine”.
Or that if your body is scattered with tattoos, you like “hard
rock” music. Or that dyeing your hair bright red makes you "punk”.
And while males are more likely to play football and females are more likely to
do their fingernails, that does not mean the other way around does not exist.
And even more important, even IF you perceive playing football as a very
“manly” thing, that does NOT make women and girls playing football
any less “female”. And males wearing nail polish don’t turn female
just because of that. Prejudice.

– P. S.: No one ever just “changes their gender”. But that might be a
topic for another #TMIishTuesday. –

Another
thing I read a lot – way more often than football being a “male” thing or
nail polish being “female”: If you dye your hair a different colour
than blonde as a male, that makes you “gay”. Again: Yes, the
percentage of males dyeing their hair might be higher among gays, but that does
NOT mean that you are “gay”, if you dye your hair! And you are the
last person to tell me my sexuality. Prejudice.

What about clothing then? Well… Same: It is completely fine to
dress however you want! Skinny jeans don’t mean you are “gay”. And baggy
clothes don’t improve your rapping skills – even if some might wish that was
true. Wearing boxer shorts as a girl? No change to your gender. Just like a boy
wearing a skirt doesn’t turn him into a girl. Prejudice.

It is completely fine to dye your hair crazy colours. It is completely fine to
cover your entire body in tattoos and piercings. It is completely fine to wear
high heels as a boy. Does that make you “gay”, “feminine”
or “liking rock music”? Nope. Prejudice.

2. Acceptance
and equality
Dear
society,

If you
are an active follower of my Tumblr or Twitter, there’s a “small” chance that you
already know that I HATE, HATE, HATE all the inequality that you, dear society,
bring to us. You judge everyone for what they might be. Anything that you don’t
know scares you. And I don’t mean that you will be insecure for a second and
then move on. Anything that you don’t know scares the s*** out of you! And you
get SO insecure that you feel you have to hate whatever this anything might be.
That’s scary! And: Not fair.

Let’s
start with the thing that is probably most common and has been this way for
centuries: Women. Yepp, females are still not treated the same as males. Don’t
believe me? Just look at wage rates. There are still large differences. For no
obvious reasons. Yes, they CAN get pregnant and will take time off for a few
months then. But: 
1) It is CRUCIAL that they DO get pregnant. Otherwise we won’t reproduce. So is
it bad that they are getting pregnant? Nope. Then why are lower wage rates
their reward??
2) Some DON’T WANT to get pregnant. They just don’t want to have kids. Does
that make them evil? Nope. Then why are they still getting less pay just
because of their gender??
3) Some
DO want kids. But they are unfortunate and CAN’T. Are they happy that
way? Nope. Then why are they paid less simply for being female??
Not fair.

Talking
about lower wage: Another demographic group that earns substantially less than
others are foreigners and people of a different ethnicity. Why? Because they
are different. Why? Because they were born this way. Can they do anything about
it? Nope. Still, society feels they don’t know them. Why? Because they are
different. Oh, this is where we started, isn’t it? Erm… Let’s move on to the
other reasons why they earn less then. Here’s a full, extensive list of valid
reasons why foreigners and people of a different ethnicity or those, who have a
foreign name (like myself), should be treated differently from others:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.

What do
you mean there’s nothing on this list? Of course there isn’t! You asked for a list of valid reasons to
treat someone differently. And that’s exactly what you got! And I get that you
are sad. Now you don’t have any valid reasons anymore to degrade people. I’M SO
SORRY! But maybe this made you realise something? People being treated differently for no valid
reason is not valid. Not fair.

Same-sex marriage. I talked about the situation in Germany and the Netherlands
briefly in last week’s post for #TMIishTuesday. And I might write an entire
post about this, if you guys are interested in that. For now: I’m gay. And I am
not allowed to marry in this country. I mean, they tell you it’s
“marriage”, but it’s called differently. Why? Because – quite frankly
– there are some ignorant, religious a**holes dictating our lives! Calling
politicians this way might sound very rude and I’m trying not to be the next
Trump(et) – God bless! I hate this piece of s*** even more than most of the rude
people in our society! But what politicians – even in Germany – do is just
ridiculous. The whole Christian party people of CDU
and – even more so – CSU are ABSOLUTELY opposing same-sex marriage. Yes, there
is a minority in these parties who are in favor of same-sex marriage, but the vast majority is opposing same
rights. And there are LGBTQ+ people in those parties as well. Even in the
ultra-right AfD party. I mean… Do you cut the electricity cable leading up to
your house and then complain about having to sit in the dark for two days because
those stupid electricians can’t fix the cable early? Exactly! Then why would
you vote any of these parties, if you are part of the LGBTQ+ community? Let
alone become a member! Aaanyway, what I’m trying to say is: Same-sex marriage
is accepted by most of society. Just not by those elected in office. Sooo… we
are stuck with horrible “equal rights” laws. Saddening, maddening,
devastating! Not fair.

Last thing on my agenda: Binary concepts. This is very simple: You, dear society, make us think that there are only two genders. And only two sexes. But you are very, very wrong with this. There’s more than “male” and “female”. There’s more than “heterosexual” and “homosexual”. Genders include genderfluid, agender, and queer people, just to name three more. Obviously there are lots more. Sexuality knows even more. Bisexual, asexual, pansexual, demisexual, etc. Including only two genders or two sexes? Not fair.

See what treating people differently is? Not fair.
And see what judging people by appearance is? Prejudice.

Dear
society,

Stop
judging a person by minor, appearance-related aspects! Stop telling people who
they are! They know very well themselves.

Stop
cutting the electricity cables providing your house with power! Make equal
rights a thing – finally! Let’s start by electing accepting people into office! 

And never forget:
Do more of what makes you happy! Wear make-up and nail polish, pierce your ear,
get a tattoo! And most of all:

BE YOU!

Don’t
give a f*** about what society thinks about you! You are you – and no one can
ever change that!!

Yours,

Damian

P. S.: Technically this is a #TMIishTuesday. No. 32 to be precise. So for the
sake of consistency and completeness, here’s the poll on the topic (first
comment after the ending of the poll determined the topic – thanks again Felix)
and here’s what I told you about the topics beforehand.

Thanks for taking the time to read all of this! If you enjoyed this letter to
society, like it, reblog it, tweet it, print it, and send it to those in power
– oh and to those, who could change things when combining forces (Hint: This is us. We are the
people! Show them!). Seriously: It’s a very important topic and you can always do
SOMEthing! Even spreading awareness helps.

Also: Follow my blog and my Twitter.
Okay, this one post might not change anything, but please still do all of the
rest. 😀

Next post next Tuesday at 10.00 pm CET. In case of any questions before Tuesday,
just ask away (or hit me up on Twitter). Whatever you’re curious about
– I don’t bite. 🙂

Until then: Stay mighty!

Oh, and here’s some self-promo:
– More TMI-ish Tuesdays: mightbedamian.tumblr.com/tagged/tmi
– Blog: mightbedamian.tumblr.com
– Twitter: www.twitter.com/mightbedamian

TMI-ish Tuesday 27: Church

Hey
there mighty people of Tumblr!

And
welcome to another whateverthisis of #TMI-ish Tuesday!

But
before we get to this week’s topic, I’d like to add to last week’s post: One day after I posted this,
YouTuber Ricky Dillon posted a video on the exact topic: Labels. He talked
about that he doesn’t like the idea of labels and that he doesn’t think he fits
one. If he had to pick – read: if society made him pick – he’d label himself
“agender”. So, if you’re interested in that topic, here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KFA4hsSDbhc.

But this
past week I didn’t only think about labels and genders (and also how I fit that
whole labels thing – more on that in a later post – maybe), I thought about
another topic way more. And I did research. That is not quite typical for me. I
love just being given the information I need from people I like (YouTubers,
friends, etc.). But this week was different. And I also thought about that
topic a lot. That’s why I didn’t take to Twitter for a topic to write about
this week, but just decided what it will be: Church. Or more precisely: To stay
or not to stay a member of the church.

// Quick
disclaimer: This is very personal and I’m aware that there are very varying
views on this topic. If you think completely different than I do, I’m absolutely
fine with that, I’m just stating my own situation and opinion. //

Some
background information on my life so far and what role the church has played in
it: I was baptised quite exactly 25 years ago – well, in September at least –
at the age of roughly 5 months. That made me a Catholic. My parents not being
the most religious people, I didn’t attend church much during my childhood,
though. I think, we went for Christmas once a year and that’s about it. At
primary school we had “religion” lessons that left me with no
particular feelings. It was just school. Not too bad but not “the best
thing ever” as well. The first time I actually went to church more often
was in preparation of my Communion which was at age 10, I believe? However, going
to church more didn’t really change my attitude towards it. It was just
something that existed and every now and then my parents would make me go to
church service.

My
secondary school was an episcopal one. That meant not only did we have lesson
for “religion”, but there were also services held by the school’s
pastor at special occasions every year (start of school year, advent,
Christmas, Easter, end of the year, maybe more? idk). They were pretty fun. But
not because of the religious parts, but because the pastor was a really cool
guy – in his mid-30s maybe – (also 2,02 m) and made the services about current
topics. In the meantime, my parents started to only attend church, if they
really had to (aka. for weddings and funerals). And so did their son. I just
didn’t care. It didn’t matter to me. I turned 14 which in Germany is the legal
age for someone to decide freely about their own religion: If they want to be
part of a religious community, and if so, which one. To me, it didn’t matter.
It made absolutely no difference for me at the time. So I did what was easiest:
Leave things like they were and stay in the Catholic church.

When I
grew older, I started to dislike the lessons – I was interested in some topics,
but EVERY time they would talk about the Bible or God, I would just sit there
and roll my eyes. To me, religion was (and still is) much more about belief rather
than about what is written in some stupid book that is said be written hundreds
of years ago, but turns out to be written much later. Still a few hundred years
– I give you that. But 1. It’s still a lie. And 2. It also means that the stuff
written in it, also dates back to that time. And that means it’s very, VERY,
VEEEERY narrow-minded and parts of it are even aggressive and discriminating.

Before I
left school there was one more thing worth mentioning regarding church: When it
came to confirmation, I was like…: “Okay… I mean… everyone else is going,
so… I guess… I’ll go as well?!” My parents didn’t care at all. And I went
for the preparation courses. Well… to one of the three I had to do. Then somehow
I got the time of the second one wrong and couldn’t attend. That meant I would
have had to take another course instead (and – let’s face it: 100 % of them did
not catch my interest in the slightest! Not even the three I had chosen). And I
was like: “Nope. Let’s not do that.” And I let my confirmation pass.
Like I said: My parents didn’t care at all. So they were fine with it. And so
was everyone else I talked to about it. My parents said that it would mean I
would not be able to have a church marriage, but if I wanted to, I could still
do the confirmation when I was actually marrying. (do you realise that this is
waaaaay before I knew I was gay, hence they hinted at possible consequences? :D)
Easily 90 % of my friends went to confirmation and I have to admit that I felt
a little bit left out. But it also felt right.

Fast-forward
8 years: School was done – I had dropped “religion” as soon as I
could (after year 12, leaving me with one year left to finish school) – and had
studied my bachelors for Business Administration for the last 4.5 years. It was about dinner time in Holland on 8 December 2015 and Connor Franta posted a video that would change my life:
Coming Out: One Year
Later
”. By February I was out to the most important people in my
life (here’s how that
happened
) and I still thought, being gay would not have any implications
for my religious beliefs. I was a member of the church and I couldn’t care less
about whether or not I was.

In March
I started working and made my first official money, paying for taxes, for
insurances, and what-not of this adult stuff. Then I realised, I was also
paying the federal church tax. This is automatically kept from your wage, if
you are a member of either the Catholic or Protestant church in Germany
(correct me, if I’m wrong). It really isn’t much – so far I’ve paid some 8
euros. But that’s not what matters to me. What matters is THAT I pay and
thereby support the church. I have also figured out that me leaving the
Catholic church will NOT leave me with more money – I’ll just pay more of other
taxes then. BUT – and that’s what counts: I don’t support the Catholic church
anymore – an organisation that has done pretty much EVERYTHING possible to make
me distance myself from it. And considering over the last 6 years I’ve only attended
church twice – once for my granny’s funeral and once for my best friends’
granddad’s – there’s only one more step I could take: Leave it.

Leaving
church. And I guess, if it wasn’t for my future career chances I would be gone
now already. However, I work in health care administration and in Germany many
health care institutions are run by the churches. And they are not really keen
on employing people, who are “atheists”. That means that by leaving
church, I would probably reduce my chances to get a job later on. For now I
work at a rehab clinic run by the government, so I probably have nothing to
fear. But who knows, whether I’ll get a job there once I finished studying?
Then it might come in handy, if I could apply for jobs at institutions run by
the church. I’m in a dilemma right now. Will talk this through with my parents
in the weekend and some friends as well, just to get their ideas, especially on
job perspectives. If you have anything to contribute, I’m happy to hear as
well! My DMs here and on Twitter are always open. 🙂

You are
probably wondering what makes me so upset about the church. Well, I don’t want
to waste your time here, so I’ll put this in five words: Their opinion on
LGBTQ+ issues. And them being so unbelievably old-fashioned and discriminating
towards us, but also against women and minorities other than LGBTQ+. It is just
ridiculous! What caught my interest the most this past week was Óscar Rodriguez
Maradiaga. Well not he himself caught my interest (he’s a pretty unattractive old guy). But what he said did. He’s part of the council of cardinals – basically
the nine cardinals that are closest to the Pope and the ones he consults for
advice. This guy Maradiaga visited my home town last week and talked to high school
students, answering their questions. Obviously LGBTQ+ issues came up and he
just said: “No one is born homosexual.”, and went on about how you “become”
homosexual: “abuse, negligence, or porn can cause a different sexual
orientation”. Yepp. I already tweeted about it: Obviously that has to
mean I was abused and neglected when I was young. No other options here!

// The
article mentioned above and the ones that I will mention in the next paragraphs
are all in German, but I’m sure you can find some on these topics in English by
just some googling. //

Earlier statements
made by the Pope himself on the topic include that same-sex marriage “destroyed
families
”, how LGBTQ+ issues were just “gender ideology”, and
that society would be better off with “better orphanages instead of
same-sex adoption
”. Just to name a few. (Shoutout to Jonas aka.
JonasAnsichten on Twitter for linking me those when we talked about the leaving
the church.)

I think
this makes it pretty clear that the Catholic church thinks of the LGBTQ+
community exactly the same way they did 1000 years ago: BURN IT WITH FIRE!
Luckily the times of witch-hunting are long gone. But this remains a relic from
that time. Sadly.

Personally,
I’m pretty sure that I’ll leave this piece of bulls*it called
“church” as soon as possible. Even, if it puts me at risk of not
finding a job later. Bye, bye, church! Hope to never see you again!

If you
enjoyed reading this post, like it, reblog it, tweet it, print it and send it
to Pope Francis and all of his cardinals, bishops and pastors. Seriously: What
kind of world are we living in!? Also: Follow my blog and my Twitter.
Okay, sending it to ALL bishops and pastors is probably unrealistic, but we
should give it a try. And please still do all of the rest.

Next
fact next Tuesday. Or earlier, if you would like to know anything specific.
Just ask away. Whatever you’re curious about – I don’t bite.
🙂 Until then: Stay mighty!