Go ahead and post that suicide hotline number. I've used it and I'll continue to use it. But even better, recognize that this darkness is a monster that -- even with all the help and resources and puppy cuddles -- is lonely and demoralizing and confusing and exhausting to fight. And please recognize all of the work we do to stay alive.
Shannon has written on the web since 1998 when you could make a grilled cheese sandwich before your page loaded. At truthfully.ca she writes about vulnerability, courage and mental health. At datawithasoul.com she has the entire web on a spreadsheet. Before content strategy, Shannon spent nine years teaching small humans. Follow her on twitter: @shannonfisher
Friendship exists for us to live out our need for belonging and connectedness by sharing our stories. Our wonderful, brutal, happy, gut-punching stories.
08/02/2014 06:21 EDT
I'm embarrassed to admit that I'd never considered my privilege as a white person until about two years ago. Sure, I was aware of racism, but I didn't stop to connect it to me and the colour of my skin. White people walk through the world differently. We carry a privilege we have not earned and cannot unhave. I really hope one day that's not true. But, in the meantime, it's our job to use our privilege to educate and make right. This all starts with admitting that privilege is an actual thing and that it's problematic.
09/24/2013 08:49 EDT
I grew up being catcalled. I was groomed to believe it was a compliment I should enjoy. Though it vibrated uncomfortable, I looked for it on days I felt especially unpretty. Women are told, not just by men, but by other women to lighten up. "Oh please! Someone whistles at you, roll with it; it's a compliment. Someone thinks you're hot!" Powerlessness is key here. Especially when our culture generally continues to see street harassment as a non-issue.
09/18/2013 02:54 EDT
It took me a long time to learn that my self-consciousness is a signal of the judgment inside of me; I think you're judging me because I've judged for the same reasons. Through social norms or because of my very own judgy gene, I deemed xyz as unacceptable. I can't escape it. We're all judgmental and will be for all the evers. Maybe it's baked into our DNA? Well, I demand a restrand!
08/21/2013 11:55 EDT
Years ago I found out that someone I love is gay. I was instructed to love the sinner and hate his sin. My fidgeting became loud and urgent. How could I be part of a community that knowingly marginalized? I watched his faith circle adjust to the news of his homosexuality. Christianity framed our world in a way that created this need for a period of mourning over something sacred. Personal. None of our goddamn business.
08/10/2013 09:01 EDT
Four years ago I made a contemptuous comment on Twitter about a dude in a speedo. It was hi-lar-ious. I envisioned thousands of favourites and retweets and "OMG YES!" replies. And all the speedo-wearing die-hards would obviously read my tweet and be converted to the side of something more sensible and loose-fitting. I was a Twitter hero. And then a friend of mine replied, "Body shame sucks." Seventeen characters to wake me up. I felt small. I had acted small.
07/22/2013 01:25 EDT
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