Political & Religious Views & Mental Health

I now try to avoid talking about politics and religion on my book Facebook page or blog and in my book, since they divide people so much. I talked a lot about them in my old book and formerly on my site. They have changed some since then, so you would think I would want to discuss them even more, but I want people with all religious and political beliefs to benefit from my message, because people with all different beliefs get depressed, anxious or have obsessive compulsive disorder, other mental illnesses or postpartum mental illnesses. I do talk about them some, but only how they relate to my depression, anxiety and OCD. I don’t even talk about them much on my personal Facebook page, and when I do I often regret and delete it.

The truth is I am still trying to become braver every day and trying to become truer to myself constantly. I have always hated conflict, wanted to keep the peace and have let people silence me for that reason in the past. I have silenced myself for friends and family while never expecting friends and family to do the same. It is not even always political or religious disagreements, just anything you disagree with someone on. My husband has always been more outspoken than me. He once had two family members come onto his Facebook page and start an argument with him, and they were rude and ugly about it. When I chimed in to try and defend him, they basically asked us why we think anyone cares about either of our opinions. They then tried to act like they only use Facebook for pictures and not stuff like this, basically shaming him for posting his opinion on his own page, even though they were the ones going onto someone else’s page to start something. The most painful part was most family actually blamed my husband and I for this for this somehow instead of the others, while our friends saw us under attack and defended us, and were shocked at us being treated that way by family.

My husband has since deleted Facebook, and he quickly deleted that post due to me advising him to, because the world did not need to see that family argument. I have since unfriended those two family members. We still see each other at family functions, we still are nice and civil for the kids and family, but that is it. For years before this, I tried to have a close relationship with this people with no luck. I tried so hard to connect with them personally, to understand them, to help them understand me, to get our kids together often because they love to play together. This was usually very one sided and after this Facebook encounter, I quit trying altogether – not only with them, but with others I did that with as well, in my own family and in my husband’s family, and even with some friends. The closer relationship I wished for that we will probably never have still saddens me, but I still love them and care about them.

We all get upset at Congress for not being civil with each other, being so divided and not at least compromising, especially when it comes to the things we all actually agree on, when we cannot even do it ourselves. Turns out Congress is representing exactly who we have become. People block or unfriend others for having different opinions or tell them to leave the state or country and shame them. Actually, the truth is sadly I think we agree on most things, just not on how to handle those things. No one thinks abortion is a great thing. No one wants people to get mass abortions. However, some think the solution is making them illegal, while others have seen this happen in the past only to have rich women continue to get abortions, poor women die still trying to get them, and all woman who miscarry or stillbirth becoming suspects and at risks of losing their lives when they lose the baby. They instead think abortions will always happen whether legal or not, and that the answer is instead is to make sex education and birth control more widespread, and to assist those who need it financially when they do choose not to abort, and to make adoption easier. Some also think the focus should be on birth control for men, since they can make a lot more than one baby in a 9 month period, and can more easily flee responsibility from it. I know people who feel both ways and every way in between, and I do not think badly for any of them for it, because I have felt many different ways throughout my life. My views have changed and may again.

I even feel guilty when I block or unfriend people on Facebook, because it hurts when people do it to me. I only do so when I feel it is for my own mental health, and that was probably the case when they did it to me too – especially when I was not in good mental health myself, but I did at least try to later apologize and make amends with no luck.  However, I have had others apologize to me for the same and made amends with them.   I love having friends with different political and religious beliefs.  Don’t get me wrong, I hate that every day I have to see and ignore posts and even comments in person at times, from friends and family that are personally insulting to me, and anyone who believes different than they do, but I do. Meanwhile, if I post or say something they disagree with that does not personally insult anyone who disagrees, they feel the need to comment, argue, block, unfriend, etc.

If you feel that way, fine unfriend or block me now. I would say I no longer care, but honestly I do, it still hurts my feelings and makes me sad, but I refuse to not be myself anymore because you are not okay with it. I allow you to be yourself, I don’t shame you for it, I do try to have friendly debates and discussions with those willing, because that is how I have personally grown as a person over the years and feel we all grow. I appreciate those willing because it brings me a lot of joy. I enjoy seeing your pictures, hearing about your family, joking with each other, sharing our passions and beliefs, and accomplishments and struggles and everything in between. I also enjoy hearing your political beliefs, even when I disagree with them, as long as you are not ugly about it. I especially love the political jokes we can all laugh at together. I even get bothered by people who agree with me politically, posting things that insult friends and family of mine who don’t agree with me politically. The worst part is the ones who are ugly about it are often Christian. You are turning so many away from Christianity. Most Atheists and Agnostics I know are more friendly and compassionate. While I was raised a Conservative Christian, I was often shamed for even having friends that were Atheist or Agnostic or other religions. I did not understand how I was going to save anyone if everyone I knew was already saved, yet my Sunday School teacher’s  reaction anytime I used the words, “an atheist friend of mine” said it all.

We cannot expect Congress or politicians to change until we change ourselves. They are sadly a reflection of us and what our society has become. That being said, I personally can think of things in a lot of politicians I admire – even in politicians I don’t completely agree with. Of course, I don’t choose to believe everything bad I hear about them without evidence. I don’t truly hate any of them or think most are horrible people, I think they are all flawed people with some good in them, some a lot more good than others sure, but still. How many of us would run for office and face the same scrutiny willingly? A friend of mine thinks I should run for office. I can hardly get most people I know to support me writing a book and sharing personal thoughts, but sure I will run- and run under a party most I know personally despise while I am at it. I will become the person they post hateful things about on Facebook daily-sounds like a lot of fun. That being said, I love that this friend feels this way and has so much confidence in me that I still don’t have in myself yet. I am working on it though.

We have got to stop seeing things so black and white. That is why I could never connect with those family members by the way. One especially is the kind of person who sees things black and white. Nothing is black and white, the whole world is gray to me. There are not good and bad people. All people choose everyday to do good or bad things at any given time. They can change at any given time. They are not their parents or family, they do not even have to be the person they were yesterday if they do not want. If you cannot love everyone based on your political or religious beliefs, than there is something wrong with your beliefs. If the political or religious beliefs you were raised with cause you depression, or cause you to feel not yourself or out of place, than maybe they are not your beliefs. Maybe you only had them because your parents did and their parents did. Maybe it is time to figure out what you believe and what brings you peace.  Maybe it is time for you to only surround yourself with people who bring you peace, and I say that as I am still working on it myself daily. Rejection is so painful to me that I try so hard not to reject others, sometimes even sacrificing my own mental health in the process.

Bio: Amanda Dodson Gremillion published her first book in 2012. She began revising it in 2019 and republished it as Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine. The story chronicles her experience with severe postpartum OCD, anxiety and depression. Amanda is a graduate of Auburn University, and now lives in Calera, Alabama, with her husband, Jay, their daughter, Aubrie, and their two dogs, Honey Girl and Cooper. She hopes to write more books in the future. Follow Amanda’s journey on Facebook,  or twitter at https://twitter.com/AmandaGremilli2 and order her book here.  Also, follow her on the Mighty here Amanda Dodson Gremillion | The Mighty Contributor

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