As a crisis worker, I spend a LOT of time in emergency departments. Up until about a year ago, I think I witnessed ONE overdose coming in, and thensomething happened. These days, I usually don’t get through a work shift without an overdose coming in. Sometimes they die. Narcan isn’t made of magic. Overhearing these people dying (because even if they live through that overdose…. they are still dying) day in and day out really takes a toll on me. So many people with so much life yet to live. Butsomething happened, and now their life belongs to drugs.
There have ALWAYS been drugs and there have ALWAYS been people addicted to them. Something happenedand now we have an epidemic. WHAT HAPPENED!????
I see people post the most disgusting and heartless memes recommending we just let all the drug addicts kill themselves, suggesting Narcam shouldn’t be readily available, saying ‘it’s their choice to do drugs—it’s their problem,’ etc. What if is ISN’T their choice? Do you really think ANY 5 year old out there is spinning around with their arms spread out daydreaming about the first time they get their hands on some smack? Coloring at the table imagining their first night as a homeless person? Getting ready for an 8th grade dance thinking about how excited they are to grow up and trade their first blow job for an 8-ball? No. ButSOMETHING HAPPENED, and the it’s starting to seem like drugs are just as likely a future as college for kids growing up right now.
It is SO. EASY. TO. JUDGE. But I PROMISE YOU that EVERY overdose I overhear was once just a ‘regular kid,’ with hopes, dreams, crayons, and swings. EVERY overdose I overhear is someone with family members JUST LIKE YOU about to hear the worst news of their life; That any hope they were holding is gone.
We need to figure out what happened and then work on fixing it. Judging, ignoring, alienating, demonizing and ‘not-my-probleming’ is just making things so much worse.
We all know social media is basically the devil, yet we all keep on comin.’ A year or so ago I attended a lecture discussing one of the dangers of social media being how we tailor our newsfeeds to match our beliefs. I struggle with this because I allow myself to get so worked up about some people’s posts because I genuinely cannot wrap my head around their statements! For example, someone recently posted that if I am ok with abortion, I also have to be ok with mass school shootings. WHAT EVEN IS THAT!!??? I ABSOLUTELY understand, and even respect, that some people have religious or moral beliefs against abortion. What I DON’T understand is the leap to drawing a parallel between the abortion and school shootings. In my head that is like saying, well if you eat peanut butter sandwiches, you obviously have sex with farm animals as well.
I have been listening to Oprah’s Supersoul Sunday podcast lately and there are a lot of discussions about cultivating happiness and peace within yourself. With these discussions in mind, I stopped listening to the news all the time. From there, I went on to delete the Facebook app from my phone and reduce my time spent on Facebook. I’ve had limited success with this because I have no self-control, but I HAVE stopped posting things other than Instagram and Blog post shares. And I went on a “hiding” spree.
But is that the right thing to do? Honestly, at this point I think I have more people “hidden” than not. If I am surrounded only by people who agree with me, sure, I don’t get all pissed off every day and that’s healthy for me as an individual, but at the same time…. Conversations can’t happen if we all stay in our own lanes! But… nobody is changing anyone’s mind about anything on a social media post. We aren’t there to have discussions and open minds. We are all there to grandstand and thump our chests in proclamation my “rightness” over your “wrongness.”
I don’t know. Stay on Facebook, see it all, and stay in-the-know about everything? Hide or unfriend all the people you don’t agree with and live like an ostrich with your head in a hole (Is that real? Do they really do that?) Quit social media completely (omg I can’t!)? All I know for a fact is that my husband, who also has strong feelings about topics and is glad to discuss them face-to-face, stays off Facebook for the most part and seems much more content. Of course, he is also an introvert…… but that is a WHOLE ‘NOTHER blog post!!
I am writing this blog because my bff just commented on my instagram post (the above pic), “What are you using for dishwashing detergent?” WHAT AM I USING FOR DISHWASHING DETERGENT!!?? I DIDN’T EVEN THINK OF THAT!!!! This isn’t as easy as I thought it would be. And we keep coming across things that I didn’t think of!
I have learned over the past several days what I am willing, and not willing, to do in the quest to be cruelty-free.
I WILL change the products I use to clean my house, wash my body, and put makeup on my face.
I will NOT be stinky and sweaty. And apparently, all mainstream anti-perspirant/deodorant companies test on animals.
I will NOT go broke in this quest. I am willing to spend a little more.
I am not sure yet about how I feel about changing a few things I am pretty attached to like my Crest Cinnamon toothpaste, and my aromatic array of laundry products that make our clothes and entire upstairs smell like happiness. All the major laundry brands test on animals, and that sucks.
Lonnie, aka Mr. Black & White, is all, “You shouldn’t have talked to me about this if you weren’t ready to make changes, it’s all or nothing.”
But IS it?? Does it HAVE to be? I have always touted myself as the Queen of Half-Assed. Why should this be any different? 😉
The cutest little monkey is laying on a table in four point restraints, staring into the eyes of the person in a lab coat painting makeup onto it’s stomach to see if it hurts. That’s it. I’m out! I didn’t watch any further. Those 25 seconds were more than enough to inspire me to make a change. Makeup is a silly, frivolous hobby and guilty pleasure. I see NO reason for my fun to be at the expense of a creature who was unfortunate enough to be born in a lab, rather than the jungle where he belongs.
FORTUNATELY, I started to do a little research and learned that most of the stuff I use already IS cruelty-free! This drives the point home for me that animal testing is not necessary. It’s all already been done, and testing can now be done with lab-grown human tissue, computer simulations, and human volunteers.
I also have quite a bit of stuff that is not cruelty-free, but I am not going to run upstairs like a psycho and start throwing shit out the window or anything, but moving forward, I will not buy cosmetics that test on animals. Pretty Bummed about Benefit Cosmetics though. I am… well was… a BIG fan of several of their products.
I also may have opened a giant can of worms when I talked with Lonnie about all this and he says, “I think it’s all or nothing. We need to start choosing all our products with this in mind and really take a stand. Maybe even write to companies, like Tide, that we aren’t going to use anymore until they get their shit together.” Oh boy……