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Story Time: Handling Depression, A Personal Note

Some of the first movies I remember watching as a child were Lord of the Flies, The Power of One, Sarafina… and my least favorite of all, Roots. Add to that the Women of Brewster place and The Color Purple, and you might think you have an idea about the direction I’m going with this, but I assure you, you’re probably way off. I’ve been programmed, and for the most part, the programming has worked. I believe in fighting for the greater good and doing for others for the sole purpose of doing the right thing. Unfortunately, my programming has come at a great price; all I can ever see are battles that need fighting, suffering, pain, strife, and all the unpleasantness that this world has to offer. My programming set the framework for depression. In spite of my beliefs and unimaginable capacity for caring, hope, and faith that things can get better, I just don’t actually see it. For me, the world is a sad, scary, painful place to be. In short: I have an uncharacteristically negative outlook for someone who believes so much in the greater good.

Wanna know something you probably won’t believe? When I lived alone, I only watched the evening news on Mondays so I could see the 5-day forecast. Otherwise, it was either entertainment or studying… whichever project would fill my time, build my skills, and lift my spirits. The thought was: There’s only ever bad news.

The day I started writing this–November 21st, 2014–I snapped at my mother. I knew I hurt her, but I just couldn’t let her say anything else. I was just so far from being in a frame of mind where I could parse or compartmentalize information. See, she was about to tell me about yet another serial killer; one more piece of bad news to take root in my mind and add to the already fertile breeding ground for more sadness. I was beyond tired of it, and I really couldn’t take much more. My depression had me in a choke hold. It was as if my mental garden had been overrun with negativity plants choking out the positive ones. All of the nutrients and fuel that could have been used to fertilize whichever remaining positive fruit-bearing plants was going to the negative ones. I’m stuck in a battle with myself; between my true nature, and the nature of my mind.

The worst part of this is that I’m not the only one who has these kinds of thoughts and feelings. While some people might think “at least you aren’t alone.” I wish I was. I wish I was the only one on the planet feeling this way because it would at least mean that other people were happy… or at least not the kind of unhappy that I am. It would mean that there would be one less battle that needed fighting, one fewer group of people that needed defending… one less thing for me to watch other people suffer through. I think that last part is the had part for everyone to deal with.

In the last year and change, I’ve acknowledged my depression publicly and taken steps toward mental health. This process has required discussions with people who have been supportive and understanding, and many more who in fairness might have thought they were being helpful, but in fact were really not.  They did the silver lining thing…

The Power of Empathy! Everyone should watch this and take note 🙂 It’s not so much about sympathizing with people and making them feel better with things or with stories to please their ego. It’s about getting to the core of things with people. Connecting with them, feeling what they are feeling, relating to them and bringing no judgement into the situation at all. Next time you are the ear that listens, provide words that don’t fulfill an ego/mind story and see how much of a difference it makes for the other person. 🙂

Posted by Collective Evolution on Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Something I found to be particularly difficult on my worst days: I couldn’t think of my having survived another day as a good thing. So when she said “Everyone doesn’t have it easy… At least you aren’t homeless or sick” I couldn’t help but wish for sickness to suddenly take over my body and take me off this plane, hopefully in such a way that my family could profit from my demise. In the middle of a conversation I was fantasizing about my own death. The possibility of dying gave me hope. I highly doubt this was anyone who was there for that conversation’s intent, but it became the reason I wouldn’t give up… because giving up would mean not being put in any situations to get a gainful kind of sick or have any unfortunate accidents that would allow my death to accomplish what I couldn’t in life. Because: silver lining.

So what’s this really all about? Its about understanding that depression is a lot of things with a lot of causes and can’t necessarily be Anxiety Realitysolved with a positive thought and a hug. If you’re in a position to help someone who is depressed, the best thing you can do is listen and acknowledge their struggle. Especially if you have experience with depression in your own life, your success story might help, but it might also not. Your frustration with not being able to “fix” your friend pales in comparison to how the  depression is making them feel. If a depressed person trusts you with their struggle, their feelings, their anxiety, their fears, their willingness to end it all, then you have been trusted with that person’s life and how you treat them and everything they have trusted you with is a responsibility that shouldn’t be taken lightly. You’ve been given a great power, and thus a great responsibility. If you aren’t up to the task, then be honest: say that you don’t know what to say, that you wish there was something you could do to help…. say nothing at all and just be there.  You never really know how deep in the darkness a person is, or what that person would be willing to do to solve the problem for themselves. Acknowledge and validate their feelings. Even if it doesn’t make sense to you, the feelings are real to them. They don’t need another voice echoing the insecurities already ricocheting off the walls of their mind. I know I’ve never forgotten the hurtful things that were said to me, and I’ve struggled to let go of the hurtful things I imagined. Depression makes reality hard to deal with.

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Do More. Require Better.

Story Time: Reign meets WDDIJ

Bloody JusticeIt feels like a life time has passed, but it’s only been 2 years. Geek Illuminati was barely 2 months old and I was just discovering my social media voice. I had just participated in my first pod cast, and I have to admit I was feeling pretty damned pumped about it… but I wasn’t ready to take a full step out of my shell. Not long after, there it was: the post that would invariably change my life forever. The Ruthless Wonder posted an open invitation to join him here at WDDIJ. It took e about a week to muster up the courage. “Is it too late to join? I mean, are you still looking for writers?” I don’t remember what he said, but he sent me to check out the site and read up on some of the content before giving me any information. I clicked through the side links, the Glossary, the Justice League… and then I read Ruthless Grab Bag: Open Letters and Women. Part one and just knew that I needed to add my perspective to what seemed like a gathering of sad bitter men… Little did I know that I needed them much more. WDDIJ, our readers, the writers, our pod cast guests and regulars have all contributed to making Reign the real me, and who I used to think I was the alter ego.

the R Revolution's ReignThank you WDDIJ for letting my Words Do some Justice. To The Ruthless Wonder, The Boss, The Partner, The Man who stared it all; thanks for giving me, well, Us, a place to vent. And of course I have to thank you, our readers for sticking with us for all these years. If not for you, we’d basically just be talking to ourselves, and as engaging a that might be, its better when you come around. You got us to 90,000 visitors and 300,000 views, and then you told some friends and took us over that milestone, and we look forward to meeting you in The Justice League where we always
Do More & Require Better.

Peace & Blessings.
Namaste.

And now… at the end of the hour

cropped-wordsdontdoit2-1.jpg

This week we debuted a brand new podcast with a livestream. We said goodbye to one of the founders. We tackled coons, and hoteps. As well as assault, and the HIV & AIDS treatment drug Truvada.

 

 

I skipped a couple lines to let that sink in.

When this started I literally just wanted to take my usual facebook ranting to a website. I figured it would be like the old days of my Xanga page. Now, now I deal with potential sponsors, have production meetings, worry about our average listening and reading time, and look for brand expansion.

I remind you, I was so bored in the last semester of law school I decided to make a blog to archive the things I would normally rant about on Facebook.

 

So you can understand that having gone from that place to now is rather…amazing if I’m honest. I had no idea. We’ve added and lost people over that time. But more than their contributions or mine, we’ve gotten to know a lot of you. As of this writing, 92,000 of you have come to get to know us over these 3 years of Words Don’t Do It Justice. And you must like it here, because you’ve dropped in 302,000 times.

300000

That is astounding. That is epic. And to think that it has all come before we put up a single ad, before we shilled a single product, without a marketing team, and mostly from the effort of our authors, and their friends and family who have additionally believed in us and shared us with other people.  I can’t tell you enough thank you for all you’ve done and continue to do. It really has made the difference.

What that means is even what I’ve done in the past year isn’t enough. I have to do more. And I am. While we lost a podcast co-host today, I’m proud to say we gained 2 new ones for our show Give No Quarter. While we have Reason on break for a while, I’m happy to say we will be launching Weekends Don’t Do It Justice as its own site (www.wkndlife.com www.weekendsdontdoitjustice.net www.weekendsdontdoitjustice.com). Look for a review of a hilariously bad movie coming over there soon from me.

Heck, go buy a shirt, phone case, hoodie or tank. https://www.teepublic.com/user/314publishing

Check out our current Shirt and cases designs. Buy one now while you wait for more. Click the photo to go straight to the store!

Check out our current Shirt and cases designs. Buy one now while you wait for more.
Click the photo to go straight to the store!

 

I’m also happy to say that I’m teaming with Mr. 9 to 5 gamer himself Bami O to open a new gaming site and channel called “Save State Society” (www.savestatesociety.com www.savestatesociety.net) here soon as well. And we’re open with some great games and reviews. But that is going to take a lot to talk about, and I’ve got work to do there.

You’re here reading because this is about Words Don’t Do it Justice. The granddaddy of them all. Okay, the origin of them all. Three years in, and even though health wise I’ve dealt with issues. Professional life wise, I’ve had great forward steps but also set backs. Heck life in general being strange. After all that I’m proud of where we are. Where you’ve brought us. And so for the third time we come to the end of the hour. Where I say thank you without any reservations. Where for the third time ever, I get to step out of my role as Head Blogger, Editor, Podcast host, Lucremo, THE Ruthless Wonder, and everything that comes with it, and instead just talk to you as Matt Williams. We have a few reflection pieces and some alumni coming back to give us a piece. And we are going to celebrate all the way to my personal birthday on March 14th. But right now I’m just going to end by saying thank you all for bringing me and us from where we were to where we are and pushing us forward to where we are going next. As always Words Don’t Do YOU Justice.

“THE Ruthless Wonder” Matthew Elisha Williams

The WRATH of Ruthless: Saying Goodbye to Ronin

For Ronin’s last episode on the show, the cast of The Wrath of Ruthless says goodbye their way. With a hardcore topic, some good information, and of course plenty of jokes and references.

Joining THE Ruthless Wonder as always is joined by Producer Princess Devy, and one more time by Ronin.

The Letter Series: Dear Coons, Hoteps, Self Hating Negroes, & So-Called ‘Woke’ Folks

ConneryFirst, the disclaimer segment. I actually don’t like the term “coon,” don’t generally use the term “hotep,” disassociate myself from “self hating negroes” as soon as I possibly can, and I used to consider myself among the “conscious” aka “woke” folks back in the day when it wasn’t synonymous with being a pretentious, self-important dick. However, in this case I’m going to make an exception. Its funny how writing to one set of people seems to always require a message to their counterparts. Last week, I had to address the miseducated masses. This week, I’m addressing … well, actually… I guess the coons and them are probably still miseducated, but it’s more like a different side of the same coin. Let me splain…

Apparently, in addressing the miseducated, I somehow triggered reactions from people who should know these things, but prefer the bliss of ignorance. I refuse to believe that these people legitimately belong to the miseducated masses because they–the miseducated masses–drank the misinformation flavored kool aid while these fools are guzzling down the mystery flavor and calling it water. Even now I’m sitting here trying to explain and for the life of me I can’t fathom a logical parallel, a plausible simile, an appropriate metaphor that captures them because they are a mystery to me. I guess the people of The Jim Crow Museum explained it best:

The coon […] was not happy with his status. He was, simply, too lazy or too cynical to attempt to change his lowly position…” and “[…] were increasingly identified with young, urban blacks who disrespected whites.

The modern day coon is barely different. They’re still lazy and cynical, but they also justify their coonery with the actions of the self hating negroes that support a white supremacist agenda with the fervor and zeal of Uncle Ruckus at an Obama rally. Then come the hoteps and so-called conscious folk spouting their half truths and well formulated lies for the coons to drink up with the rest of the mystery kool aid like dietary supplements. I just can’t. I seriously fucking can’t.

Story time:

This dude called me out for posting all this “race stuff” because it adds to his already heavy load.Negro Protection Really dude?!? Will not seeing “race stuff” magically diminish the weight of your load as a Black man? Does ignoring reality make racism go away for you? Or are you just trying to get comfortable with the load you have? He went on to say “My issue is that hearing about police brutallity, discriminatory behavior, and similar human rights violations isn’t new nor special to me. I wake up to this alot. and in my mind it’s like “I can’t tell if people want to be informed or be pissed off and untrusting of white america? […] it feels like the race card is constantly being played because of something going wrong among black and white people.” Misspelling aside, I was reading what I knew were English words, but there was something about it that my brain just could not compute. I was sitting there looking at the screen like… “Wait, did he just… wait… what?”

It seemed like he was saying that people are posting about injustices just to have something to be upset about… because I guess the injustices are only upsetting because they get posted. It was as if the riots after the Rodney King beating or the riots in NYC after the murder of Jose Garcia. There was no social media back then, but I guess back then people were just looking for something to be upset about then too? I guess we have no reason to be “untrusting of white America.” I guess history and current events are no indication of a need for protest. See I don’t know which category this young man falls into, but I know whichever one he ascribes to is one that I needed to disassociate myself from with urgent haste. But before I did, I said the same thing I’m about to say to the rest of you:

OppressionDear Coons, Hoteps, Self Hating Negroes, & So-Called ‘Woke’ Folks;

I’m not reopening the conversation, I’m finishing it. This one picture in a series of pictures [floating around Facebook] explains why we can’t be friends… But I’ll be a bit more specific.

It is our job as Black people to remind everyone that racism is still a thing. It’s a heavy load we don’t get to put down. Ignoring it doesn’t make the load lighter, it just becomes a load we get accustomed to bearing. No, I don’t enjoy struggling. I don’t want to get used to carrying this load. I don’t want my load slightly diminished. I want it gone. And I don’t just want my load gone I want every oppressed person’s load gone. You on the other hand seem to want to just get comfortable with your load. You’re not going to get that being my friend. If you were a smoker, I’d point out the benefits of quitting and how little I think of smokers every opportunity I got. I’m the same way about racism, sexism, homophobia and other oppressive prejudices. And knowing how you feel, I’d likely go out of my way to add a new feather to your load every chance I got… Kinda like now… Because I guess I’m the kind of ass hole who doesn’t care about the discomfort of people who have gotten comfortable with their load.

Furthermore, if you and your ilk think that anything good will come of continuing to play the “I’m not that kind of Black” role; if you think that being a “good ol’ darkie” will make you seem The Answerlike less of a threat to the miseducated massed of white people you’d like to count among your friends and allies, remember that they will turn on you just as quickly as they have turned on ever other Black person who stepped out of their neat little box. Beyoncé wasn’t the first and she most certainly will not be the last.

We don’t deserve to be harassed ad brutalized just because we might “fit the description.” We don’t deserve to get beaten by cops for being belligerent. We don’t consider that an acceptable way to treat animals, why the hell is it okay to treat a human being that way? It isn’t. You shouldn’t be so willing to roll over and take it, if for no other reason than because when someone like me Requires Better of them, they shouldn’t be surprised.o we are not all the same, but they haven’t all earned that yet. Whitewashing yourself, isn’t going to make you any less Black. Standing up for the equal rights of ALL–yes, that includes the LGBT+ community, women, and all other people of color– will not diminish your Blackness. You are only less of a man if you can’t see that any oppression is an oppression worth standing against. WE ALL have to Do More and Require Better. All of us. No exceptions. And while you jack asses are busy posturing… puffing yourselves up like so many stuffed birds… claiming to be fed up with all this “race stuff” and wondering why people are still talking about it, I’ll be that ass hole plucking your proud feathers… helping to build the comfortable bed that your children will one day lay in, thankful that I insisted on Doing More and Requiring Better way back when.

With a Side-eye of Epic Proportions,Reign

The WRATH of Ruthless: A Double Dose of this Podcast

Double Dose of Ruthless Radio

Sometimes an episode gets lost in the shuffle of schedules and audio issues. Last week it happened again, so we shortened this week’s podcast in order to make sure we could bring you TWO count them TWO full episodes of The Wrath Of Ruthless. Below you’ll find our newest episode on Alimony Equality, and then below it our episode that should have aired last week on who should be telling the stories of a culture in the aftermath of FOX Searchlight’s purchase of Nate Parker’s Birth Of A Nation.

Don’t forget to check out our Storefront on Tee Public and support the podcasts and this website by buying a shirt, tank, hoodie, kids shirt, baseball tee, or phone case.

https://www.teepublic.com/user/314publishing

 

 

Decorum Deficiency Disorder: Surviving Blackness

I remember when I was doing this recording, my original intent was to just talk about black as a color. I6837880-night-sky-wallpaper was going to discuss the greatness of black as a color, and how human perception turned blackness into an indication of evil and negativity. I started out the way I intended, but in true Reign fashion, I got distracted by my thoughts, my experiences, my reality. Now, I have to interject a disclaimer of sorts. I said some things about rape potentially suggesting that a victim’s life is less worthy of living. In context, I made that statement explaining another perspective (avoiding further spoilers). In no way do I believe that being a victim diminishes the value of a person’s life. However, I do believe that having been victimized might cause A victim to feel like death would have been a better end than having to live; to survive and try to figure out how to move forward after being victimized. End disclaimer.

On a separate note, it is no coincidence that I held this piece for this week. Its February: Black history month. What better time is there to talk about my history as a Black woman, my stories, my life. I should note that Black History is American history, and should be discussed all year round… but I will be discussing Blackness for the rest of this month. That said…

Surviving BlacknessThere’s something about being Black that I think I’ve always been conscious of, whether I was willing to call myself “black” notwithstanding, I still knew I was a not-white, or dark person. I don’t remember any specific experience or happenstance that said “Yes Reign, you’re Black.” There were several occasions that told me that there was something about me that was undesirable, unworthy, unattractive, unwanted, but not necessarily that my being black was a problem. That realization came much later.When people claim to not “see color,” while I understand that it might be an attempt at suggesting that they only see my humanity, it is also an assertion that they don’t acknowledge how the color of my skin affects my experience as a human.

 

Which brings us to the actual primary subject of this piece: how being black affects my puppy–of now 4 months–Shadow.

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So yeah, the narrative is still there, the reality is still harsh, I still don’t like it… and we still have to Do More and Require Better.