No, it does not.
I understand why I dislike inspirational memes. They annoy me and make me roll my eyes hard enough to give my mother a headache. I’m a sort of crabby person. I’m definitely cynical and too much perkiness makes me want to set my hair on fire. But it’s more than that. Not all the time, but a lot of the time, they make me feel bad.
I remember back in the ’80’s, I worked in an office that had framed inspirational posters scattered about. I despised them. They made me feel uncomfortable. I would see them and feel inadequate.
The first thing I saw on the internet that made me feel like I was looking into Marcellus Wallace’s briefcase was a de-motivational poster site. They spoke to me, made me laugh, and gave me a shiny new outlook on life in general. I was not alone. A fuck ton of people hated the motivational posters. It is so good to not feel alone when feeling inadequate.
The inspirational memes are worse.
Okay, okay, OKAY! Calm your tits. I am not saying there aren’t words of wisdom floating about that aren’t uplifting, hopeful, informative, or even helpful. Of course, there are. But not all of them. Nope. Not even close.
There are the ones that jump out of the annoying bounds and into harmful, like the one saying forests are anti-depressants and pills are shit. That’s some bullshit, right there. So many of our brothers and sisters rely on medication to get through their day. Posting shit like that is detrimental to everyone who needs medication to manage their mental illness.
What is the goddamn point of saying shit like that?
We are not close to removing the stigma of mental illness. We may have made progress, but we’re still like cavemen. People who have mental illness issues have to deal with their brain turning on them and deal with people judging them. So, hey! How about we post perky little pictures meant to shame them as well?
I’m talking more about the ones that are less controversial. You know, the “Love Conquers All” type memes.Fuck no. No, it does not.
If love conquered all, we would have wiped out racism and bigotry by now.
There are enough of us, you know. I have to believe there are more people who do not harbor black seething hatred in their hearts for people who are not like them. If love conquered all, then that shit would be conquered. And it’s not.
I’m not suggesting life is hopeless. What would be the point if life were hopeless? I’m saying since social media has been a thing, we get bombarded with ideas and images that tell us how we should be feeling and how love is a powerful force that can change our lives for the better. Open yourself to love and your anxiety will dissipate, your insomnia will go away, and your bills will be paid on time.
Apparently, I am doing love wrong, because my love hasn’t cured my anxiety. I don’t love easily, but I do love deep. Not deep enough to give up my xanax prescription.
It’s not just love memes, it’s all of them. If you do (insert action) then (insert benefit) will happen and life will be puppies and rainbows.
Except that is bullshit. We are all complex, unique, differently functioning entities. Not one of us gets to go through life without dealing with shit. Sometimes that shit is pretty fucking deep. Sometimes we are in pain and we are alone and we look for comfort and instead we find Smug McJudgerson’s post telling us what we should be doing to feel better. Reading life lessons condensed to a few short sentences plastered over a picture of daisies sometimes makes me want to throw a hatchet at something.
Of course, we should be on the side of love and light.
Of course, we should. Hatred is a powerful force, but that doesn’t mean we should give in to it.
I am all for building each other up. I think spreading messages of hope and light is a good thing. Sometimes, it is all we have. We really need to be careful of allowing us to be swayed or shamed by a few words that someone no different than you or I wrote down over a picture of a waterfall.
It’s okay if you still feel anxious, even though you lit a candle rather than curse the darkness. It’s okay to be depressed even if you made a smile your umbrella.
We’re all doing the best we can. If you sometimes read something inspirational and you feel bad that you’re not doing better, then I am here to tell you that you are not alone. Pull up a chair. Tell me your problems. I might not fix them, but I will listen. And I won’t offer judgement in the form of platitudes. Cross my heart and always remember: Today is the first day of the rest of your life.
It’s getting to where Randy wants to take the stuffed dog wherever we go for photo ops. Pretty sure my extended family already thought we were odd. Now, there is no doubt. It’s kind of freeing, actually. Haha. Dude Does Big Bone Lick, Pt. 2