Optimism in trying times (On pandemics, climate change, and other crises)

Optimism in trying times (On pandemics, climate change, and other crises)

While I don’t remember all the details of getting the news of the announcement of COVID-19 in Guyana, I do remember the panic and fear. Cleaning agents (and for some reason toilet paper) all disappeared off the shelves, and Georgetown, already quiet and tense due to an ongoing elections standoff amidst a growing obvious zero-sum game to the backdrop of the competing interests of oil development and climate change haunted Guyana like a boogeyman. Over 2 years later, it doesn’t feel like that much has changed.

If you feel a sense of worry, fear, and arguably existential anxiety, then worry not: you may be experiencing climate anxiety.

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[Work In Progress] Life at the meeting point of physical and mental wellness, disability, and advocacy: myself at almost-30

[Work In Progress] Life at the meeting point of physical and mental wellness, disability, and advocacy: myself at almost-30

Truth

My truth
is my truth

And your truth
is yours

When my truth
and your truth

disagree

Whose truth
do we share

M. A. Pierre
20220728

Next year, in far off 2023, I turn 30. My 20’s have been a ride, to say the least. I’d say, though, from casual conversation and paying attention to people who have already experienced their 20’s, 30’s, and further on, that life being a “ride” and having “ups and downs” is nothing new for anyone. Why others ask others to experience and react to infinitely complex lives, as complex as their own, in the same way as theirs, appears to be an issue that certainly affects our ability to find common ground in an increasingly loud space.

Continue reading “[Work In Progress] Life at the meeting point of physical and mental wellness, disability, and advocacy: myself at almost-30”

Winds of Change [or “Balance, Nuance, & Context” or “Why I Study People Now”]

Winds of Change [or “Balance, Nuance, & Context” or “Why I Study People Now”]

A man motions to a bush island on the edge of the savanna. It is one of those days like any other in the Rupununi, a vast region of savanna in Southern Guyana. Every day here feels like Sunday. People work at their own pace. It may seem lazy from the outside, but it makes sense in such a hot savanna that at the height of the day, many people choose to relax.

He has returned after many years, since leaving on the eve of our country’s independence from the United Kingdom many years ago. “I used to hear howler monkeys over there, but not any longer,” he says. He’s an old American, a foreigner, and the shift in time has made the change quite noticeable. Even still, it doesn’t escape those who live here. Conversations at night time, in a place where people still have conversations at night time without the need for phone screens, often lead to lines like “I remember when you used to these big herds of bush hogs all about.”

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[Writing about writing] Guianensis in 2022

[Writing about writing] Guianensis in 2022

Hi.

This blog is really important to me. It is what it’s always been – a space where I post anything I feel like writing about. I’m stepping away from mental health advocacy for a little as I take some time for myself. I will continue to write at times, when I feel like, but I’m taking time for me, so, that means, who knows what I’ll write about. It’s fun to think about.

I might write more about science, conservation, and my experiences with my work, or art, photography, and just general life. I’ll write when I feel like, as I’ve always done.

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On Labels: Being defined and not being defined by them

On Labels: Being defined and not being defined by them

Cover image: Meshach Pierre (Public Domain)

Acronyms:

GAD: Generalized Anxiety Disorder
MDD: Major Depressive Disorder
ADHD-C: Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder – Combined Presentation

Content warning: Suicide (briefly)

After I received the results of my comprehensive psychological evaluation done by the University of Florida’s Counselling and Wellness Center, I posted everywhere about it. I was insufferable. For a solid weekend, it was the only thing I wanted to talk about. After 6+ hours of testing, it was quantitatively (computerized and physical tests) and qualitatively (interviews and self-reported surveys) demonstrated that I had ADHD-C! This wasn’t really news – I had been diagnosed in early 2020 – but this time there was no room for doubt. I had ADHD-C whether I wanted to accept that or not. So naturally, in keeping with my commitment to be open about my mental health, I posted just about everywhere: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram… the usual suspects.

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On Mental Health: Off days (or “Today”; short)

On Mental Health: Off days (or “Today”; short)

MDD: Major Depressive Disorder
ADHD-C: Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder – Combined Presentation

Sometimes I’m not the best at taking care of myself. Taking care of your mental health can be a lot of work. Sometimes I don’t exercise when I know I should. Sometimes I don’t remember to employ the coping skills I need when I need them. Sometimes I forget to take my medication. ADHD and MDD can be counterproductive for care and wellbeing because motivation can be hard to come by, focus and working memory can be in short supply.

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