The Antidote

I’ve written in my Reviews forum two book reviews of The Antidote about healing America from the poison of hate blame and victimhood.

The Reverend author is talking specifically about how leaders like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson encourage their constituents to hate and blame white people and scream that they’re victims of oppression. Just writing this last sentence I want to chuckle and that’s not good because the author is serious in his expose.

I want to chuckle because I think it’s a mistake that people buy hook line and sinker what so-called leaders are telling them. I chuckle because I can’t imagine that anyone is so gullible to believe that hating another person is the way to live. Yet apparently this is a widespread phenomenon according to the Reverend.

Here now I write about the Reverend’s book because in it I see a clear link to demagoguery of all kinds–specifically to mental health advocates who press consumers to believe that stigma is harming them. I see a clear link to how the no-medication-at-any-time contingent influences consumers to turn away from treatment.

I’ve kept various incarnations of this blog for nine years now. I’ve always been skeptical of the role stigma plays in a person’s life. I have 20 followers of my Reviews forum and I doubt they care about me as long as I sass them with another uproariously funny and penetrating look at hot topics in terms of books, culture, politics and other things I flambe.

It’s possible that I should be concerned that African Americans buy into victimhood as a way of life. It’s possible that I should be concerned about the so-called stigma against people diagnosed with mental illnesses.

Yet I simply don’t think it’s worth my time to fear stigma. I don’t think any human being should live in fear of what another human being thinks about them.

This might come from the reality that I could take out anybody who messes with me because I can dead lift 205 pounds at the gym.

I would tell anyone: train at the gym. Perform stand-up comedy. Do something positive with your energy instead of spending even just one minute getting spooked about stigma.

Seriously: it’s going on nine years that I’ve mocked the existence of stigma.  This might not be a good thing to admit. Yet the alternative–living my life in fear–is not a lifestyle I want to entertain.

The Reverend author of The Antidote also mocks how African Americans live in fear of hearing racial epithets bandied about. He thinks it’s ironic because they use that epithet in talking about themselves.

Years ago in the blog I also took to task people who call themselves “schizophrenics”–because if you internalize the view that you’re a schizophrenic that’s how others will tend to view you.

I’ll end here by making the case that each of us has the choice about how we want to live our lives and how we want to think about our potential.

No other person holds us back. We hold ourselves back with internal roadblocks of our own making. Now is the time to give stigma the boot if you haven’t already.

Now is the time to shoot this down: hating and blaming others and crying victim is no way to live–regardless of who or what you’re blaming or hating. At HealthCentral I wrote YEARS AGO that no one is a victim here–and I was talking about people diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Stigma: it’s something to make mincemeat of by daring to think for yourself and choosing not to live in fear.

Won’t you join me in deciding to spend your “wild and precious” life focused on the things that really matter–like lifting weights or baking the best darn chocolate cake or being a loving aunt to your niece and nephew?

Let’s focus on what’s really important.

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Author: Chris Bruni

Christina Bruni is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Left of the Dial. She owns a resume writing and career help business. She contributed a chapter "Recovery is Within Reach" to Benessere Psicologico: Contemporary Thought on Italian American Mental Health. As well as an author and activist, Bruni is an artist and a fitness buff.

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