Sasha Scarr Graham
Champion for the undesirables.

By: Sasha Scarr Graham | September 25, 2018

Originally, I started writing this on facebook, but fuck facebook.

Here, no one can tell me what's "against community standards", how many characters are allowed, or what words must be censored in order for me to post.

I’m writing this to be honest, so that it can be translated into other languages, and so I can add more to it as it comes to me.

All over the world, this generation of adults, specifically those aged 19-35 are feeling the pressures of adulthood prematurely. There was no “easing in” for us. We were miseducated, left untrained, and thrown to the wolves. Still, we are expected to shoulder the burden of autodidacticism, while maintaining conventional mental stability (with little to no resources available to our disposal).

Millennials are not suffering from a lack of accountability, we are suffering from a lack of respect, and a lack of autonomy from previous generations as well as those who sit above us within the political and economic hierarchies.

We are at our wit’s end, trying to figure out why we feel so alone, and so unloved, in a society that values productivity and profit over rumination, community and humanity. Human beings are social creatures, and no false message of “independence” and self-sufficiency can change that. Interpersonal mutual aid is a requirement of all species of life. We live, breathe, eat, and sleep labor and “productivity”. We are overworked, underpaid, and have little to no time for ourselves, to recover from constant physical and psychological strain. 

This is a recipe for disaster. We turn to things like drugs, cults, suicide (suicide pacts) and other self-destructive behaviours to fill the void, that all the generations before us got to enjoy: comradery. We are stressed because we are underpaid, and anxious because we are overworked.

There is no resting place. Most of us, take our work home with us, as to maintain employment that barely—and usually doesn't sustain us.

With wage stagnation, and inflated cost of living, and the lack of respect for workers as people (as opposed to tools) creates the demand for escape. This economic climate breeds sickness, hunger, and desperation.

There can be no bringing about "mental health awareness" or "suicide prevention", if we can't even acknowledge the devil behind the curtain, pulling all the strings—the capitalist class. The wealthy. The CEOs and CFOs that steal from laborers, forcing them to live off of pennies of their  own labor. Writhing in filth an poverty. We become so obsessed, of one day becoming clean, that more hours, more days, more months, and more years are filled with work that we hardly see profit from.

The issue is not that "more people are feeling bad". More people are feeling bad, because the don't have control over their own lives. They're too busy having to fret over the next check. And when the next check arrives, the few pennies left over after being consumed by the outrageous cost of living, are either spent on "get rich quick" schemes, or the escape this environment has created the necessity for.

Trauma feeds mental illness, mental illness creates and almost certain necessity for drug use. Guess what happens when that doesn't work?

People don't just start using, they don't just kill themselves. It starts with a little bit of coffee, and then adderall, and then cocaine. You've GOT to tackle those hours! But then, you still can't do it. Lethargy creeps in, and so you give up. You start to hate yourself, and your agonizing human weakness. You can't sleep at night, so you've got to take something for that. When that stops working, you've got to go for something stronger, and stronger, until you're out of an apartment, hopping from motel, to bus stop, to motel again. Doing this (and whatever it takes to survive), until you inevitably die.

It's not everyone's story, but it was almost mine.

We will never truly address suicide, drug abuse, and mental illness until we can dismantle the systems, institutions (and the ideas that found them).

As a young girl, I was berated with the idea that I had “authority issues”. All because of one, persistent question. Something I asked relentlessly; “why?” If someone I didn’t appoint had power over me, I wanted to know why, and what for. I wanted to know why I didn’t have a choice.

This is how we treat children. We treat them like shit. We don’t talk to them like people, we don’t engage their ideas, we don't encourage them to explore their interests or to TRULY be themselves.

It's just: "sit down, shut up and do what you're told". Break their bodies and spirits, so that they can be "valuable" worker bees (read; "contributors to society").

What is this notion, that we owe the world our bodies and undying obedience, loyalty, and productivity, simply because we were born? Simply because we exist?  I can expect that the incoming generation (who may have it significantly worse) is in for a violent shift. Our generation has reached sadness, so much so, that despair and anguish are what defines our lives. The only place to go from there, is anger.

But anger is dangerous when it comes from despair.


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