Jonathan Brown and Roses on a Good Day – Collapse | Video

About the Video:

“A lot of times when people are depressed, they’re too ashamed to say anything about it. And oftentimes, the people with the biggest smiles have the most to hide.
The pop-psychology-easy-fix to depression, which seems to pop up in our social media feeds, goes something like this: “You’re not depressed. You’re feeling depressed.” AHHHH. See? See the semantic difference? One is an indictment of self that’s nearly impossible to climb out from underneath, and the other is a passing phase you’re merely going through. Easy diagnoses like this seem to say, “Don’t worry about it. It’ll go away soon.”

And yeah…while that sure is a convenient way to explain away the feeling of not being able to get out of bed for days, it’s not even close to realistic. And while personal responsibility is extra real in all forms, this mansplainy-strategy places all the blame on the victim, which as a culture, we LOVE to do.
The easy-fix-explanation-for-depression sounds something like this… I heard of a book called The Secret and it says you attract everything that happens to you. So whatever you are going through MUST be entirely your fault. You brought it on yourself. So stop it. Simply change your thoughts to positive instead of negative and you will swim in infinity pools like the rest of us… and Oprah will be sad she missed your phone call… Yesterday I imagined a hundred dollar bill, and today it showed up in my mailbox. See. It works.

I have a big-fat-no-thank-you for that ideology. Sometimes people just need to say how they feel without being subjected to endless advice. If you want to help a friend, sometimes the best thing to do is to listen to them. Listen without judgment and without the impulse to chuck solutions at them and their problems. A lot of times the problem is that the person who’s feeling depressed is also feeling as if absolutely no one is willing to listen to them. Circular, I know.

So thanks for listening. If you get a chance, share this video with someone who you think might need to be heard. It’s my hope that Collapse will give them the courage to put words to how they’re feeling.”

▪ Jonathan Brown

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About Jonathan Brown

Jonathan Brown holds a BA in Communication from the College of Charleston and an MA in Writing and Consciousness from then New College of California. He’s nearly finished with his MFA at The University of New Orleans. Just gotta turn in that pesky thesis. In 2013, he earned the John Woods Scholarship to study in Prague. His poems have been published in the Worcester Review, Wordplaysound,The Nashville Review, and Indiefeed: Performance Poetry. He won the 2010 and 2012 Tennessee Williams Literary Festival Poetry Slam in New Orleans. He’s a nine-time finalist at the LEAF Poetry Slam and the 2006 Bay Area Slam Champion. He has been a member of five National Poetry Slam Teams.
He’s shared the stage with Milo, Sage Francis, Saul Williams, Sole, Sadistik, Weerd Science, Bluebird, and Blueprint. On the stage, Jonathan is a rhinoceros, trouncing around; on the page, he’s an alchemist, transmuting vulnerability into a source of peace. He’s a prism splitting light in all directions. Jonathan was a high school English teacher for eight years. Last May, he quit his real job in order chase his big dream of making a living as an artist.

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