I Saw a Friend On TV The Other Day

I saw an old friend on TV the other day, and all I could do was cry.

I wish I could say they were tears of joy and nostalgia, but all I felt was pain and sadness. She was speaking some horribly painful truth about my alma mater, Michigan State University. I’d long known about the culture of silencing survivors of sexual assault there. After all, it’s pervasive in the culture at large, but it still hurt to hear about how people I’ve long admired contributed to it.

I keep hesitating to write out these names because it all hurts so much. My friend’s name is Lauren Allswede, and I’ve been struggling to tell her how proud I am of her.

Recently I reread the Henrik Ibsen play, “Enemy of the People”. The play ends with the protagonist learning a great truth “… that the strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone”. Dr. Thomas Stockmann had spoken uncomfortable truth and was made a pariah.

Some people in my hometown are mad at Lauren for the comments she’s made. I understand their pain, but I wish they could redirect their anger at the the truth behind it all. We can’t get better until we all take ownership of what we’ve created and fostered. We must all hold ourselves accountable for our failings, and that is especially important for the people who have held the greatest power.

Lauren Allswede is an enemy but not of the people. She is an enemy to silencing and enabling. I’m proud to call her my friend. I hope the next time I get to see her face it’s for a happier reason.


The 10-Step Depression Workbook and Other Random Thoughts

I’ve been wanting to record a podcast, but the furballs are making it impossible for me to do anything except sit quietly on the couch. Have I mentioned that I can’t wait for my fiance to come home (now just days away)? Anyway, on to the important stuff including a couple of podcast recommendations.

I received an advance copy of “The 10-Step Depression Workbook” by Dr. Simon Rego and Sarah Fader, and I have to say I love it. I’ve done some Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in the past, and I recently started working in a CBT-based program. So I came into this experience as a believer, but this will make believers out of many more people. This book is fun and interesting. I’d recommend it to anyone who wants to feel better about their lives, whether they have a depressive disorder or not.

The book will be published on January 9. If you pre-order before then with coupon code 2RELIEF, you save $2.50. As an added bonus, if you pre-order a paper copy, you can buy the Kindle edition for $.99 and start reading it that way right away.

Sarah Fader has a podcast that never ceases to entertain me. I strongly encourage you to check that out as well.

Speaking of podcasts, Rebecca Lemke had an especially interesting episode of her Scarlet Virgins podcast, “Interview With A Sexual Assault Prevention Educator”. Even though I’m not a Christian myself, I find Rebecca endlessly fascinating. This particular episode is especially informative for anybody and everybody regardless of their own religious values.

Back to my own life for a bit. As I mentioned, I am working in a CBT-based program. Perhaps I’ll write more about the details of this job in the future. The important thing right now is that I love what I’m doing and being actively involved in CBT techniques has had many positive effects on my mental health. I’ve also been experiencing some positive changes with my physical health, some of which is certainly attributable to my massage therapist, but I believe my mental health gains have contributed.