Here I go again talking about politics, but it seems to be impossible not to today. People with every political and religious belief experience mental illness. People of every income level do as well, so I was saddened to see a far right Black GOP member and veteran shaming Michelle Obama for having depression. He basically implied since she was so rich she should not be depressed, and called her privileged. If I were her and I read his tweet and the cruel comments on it, I personally might become depressed from that alone. This woman is constantly called horrible things and people think it is okay because they do not agree with her politically. They also think it is okay because she is famous. People sign up to be treated like this, right? So it is okay? Most of these people call themselves Christians.
Not that you need environmental reasons to be mentally ill. I remember when everything was going great in my life, but I still experienced major anxiety and had to get back on medication. My doctor said I need it like a diabetic needs insulin. This GOP tweet guy and everyone who supported his tweet apparently think Robin Williams’s money should have saved him. It upsets me as someone who thought praying hard enough, or having enough faith, or trying to be positive would get me out of depression. Money does not cure it either. We all know how many rich people are depressed or deal with mental illness.
Even if you are not a fan of Michelle Obama, if you want to shame her because you think she talks about inequality while getting rich off politics, that is one thing, but to say she is privileged because she shared she feels depressed? Also, she is sharing it with others, which I think is important, so that they know they are not alone. Famous people are often shamed for this, because of course they do not know the struggles of every day life or of the poor or middle class, etc. but despite that they are telling us they also struggle with mental illness, and are trying to break the stigma and yet you have people like this openly criticizing her for it and being supported, because politics.
Politics makes everything okay. It makes it okay to personally insult and offend your own family and friends or to end relationships with them even in some cases. Apparently you can judge people’s character and their destination in the afterlife by it, even though I personally know some great Republicans and Democrats, and I also know some horrible Republicans and Democrats, and I thought that kind of judging actually went against their beliefs too? I grew up in the deep south so abortion is the main argument against Democrats used to treat them as pure evil. As I grew older though, I realized abortions happen whether they are illegal or not, but when criminalized, rich women still get them while poor and middle class women die trying. Women who have stillbirths and miscarriages become suspects and their lives are sometimes put in danger. It seems to me that other things Republicans often fight against, like better sex education and birth control access, and supporting those who choose not to abort seem to work a whole lot better in reducing abortions, as well as making adoption easier.
I am not trying to sway anyone’s political beliefs here, just trying to explain that we do not all know the specific reasons we all feel the way that we do, and that does matter. I also still vote Republican or Independent or otherwise sometimes, especially in local races, but I vote Democrat as well a lot now too. Being blindly loyal to any person or party actually scares me. I have been shamed for it, I have been unfriended and blocked for it-not for being ugly, just for simply agreeing with Democrats on a lot of things, that is it, although I never return the favor. I remember being scared to tell my family and some friends. I remember being scared to go up and say which party in the primaries, in a small Alabama church with mainly elderly people running the polls.
I remember when there was a runoff election and my stepdad asked if I had voted in it. I told him I couldn’t. He then realized it was because I had voted Democrat. I did not get the reaction I feared, I got the reaction I dreamed of. He told me he voted Democrat when he was younger too. He was just glad I voted and that I had to vote my conscience. I know he still was not happy about it and hopes I change my mind one day like he did. I know he tells my mom that is not the daughter he raised, like he does not realize I was born with a bleeding heart, or like he does not remember me constantly not accepting him saying “life is not fair” as a little girl, and saying it should be, but I was honestly just happy to not be disowned.
He also once got upset when I was a child, because I was throwing some food away I did not eat. He said there were starving kids elsewhere. He did not always have a lot to eat as a child, but I argued with him that unless I was mailing this leftover food to a starving child then what good did it do them for me to eat it when I did not need to? If anything it felt kind of greedy? My mom and stepdad will usually tell you I was the easy child that always minded, but that is not completely true, as you can tell from those childhood memories, but I did always at least try to be respectful when I disagreed and I think that can sometimes make all the difference.
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