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Weekly Roundup Episode 54: Mental Health Awareness

Welcome to another edition of Weekly Roundup! T’was debating on whether or not to talk about this personal subject on here or on my show I do on YouTube “Da Unfiltered Virgin”... But I feel it’s best I write it out, not feeling obligated to let out my emotional side or be truly careful with the words I say.

Around this time a year ago as I think many of us can relate: I was in a very dark place in mind. Still unemployed due to the pain in the ass, states governments restricting human beings to be human beings and live life the way they want to live it, a tragedy enduring in which people respond by burning down businesses, which cost people their jobs, livelihood, and possibly their life long dreams. The uproar in social media, where human beings really have lost their damn minds, as they encourage hatred, negativity, and violence. On top of all that: Losing a Grandmother, losing a family friend, and losing my dear friend Austin in this entire process.

When you’re encouraged to stay home 24/7, not freeing your mind towards an escape such as a job, a sporting event, a movie, socializing with human beings, as with all the chaos and corruption going on... What do you think is going to happen?! You’re going to immensely struggle with comprehending with the world around you, thinking to yourself... What is the point? I don’t need to be alive at all because I’m living in a world, in which is strongly against in living itself.

At that point in time I had to delete my Twitter, because all it was doing is not only influencing others to become monsters than healers, it was also influencing me and many others to have suicide tendencies. When it comes to reaching out for help: It’s an immense struggle. Sometimes when I reach out for help people will be extremely upset with me, as it feels like I’m being verbally attacked by them, making me break down even more. They’ll be those who just tell me to go to therapy or drown myself in medications, rather than just talking to me for twenty minutes. I’ve been to a few therapists, I find the whole “You have to pay me, for me to care to listen to your troubles” extremely disgraceful. It shouldn’t cost a single dime to do Gods Work, every experience I’ve made me feel like if I dropped dead tomorrow, they wouldn’t care less. I find it extremely offensive when people tell me to take meds. I’ve seen what it has done, I’ve seen people growing to be more insecure about themselves in the process, to the point where they tend to overdose because they just can’t be well. Though troubled: I love my mind, I love how it appears completely different from the rest of society, I love how it tends to be true to their own self, I love how strong willed it is through all the battles... We’re not going to shut it down or change a single thing about it, I rather grow within myself naturally to become a much stronger person.

Sometimes I feel guilty about reaching out for help. Like the people I would more than happy reach out to in these matters, I realize they’re not doing so well themselves or they’re too busy. Which makes me extremely guilty, like how can I be so selfish?! I maybe struggling, but they got a life of their own, they got problems of their own, I should let them be. I would just normally work it out myself, as I trust myself deeply and have a great connection with myself as I know myself better than anyone would. Sometimes people make me feel like a SuperHero, like they’ve seen how I’ve handled myself through the bad times, and think I got this in bag. Which I heavily appreciate that: More than often I do feel unstoppable. However as I see myself slowly declining and fear we may not see another day... It was time for me to reach out for help and think about myself for a change.

I’ve known this person basically my whole life even. This woman appeared to be extremely passionate about helping others, as she finished 6 years of psychology school. I figure given the fact she cares about people in this matter and me personally... I could trust her, so I reached out for help. I emailed her, giving her instructions in just how I would want to communicate and such. I think my request given from what I remembered maybe a bit much to take in, as detailed oriented as I am, one may tell me to slow down and take it one step at a time, which was perfectly fine. I was truly excited about myself reaching out for help, wanting to get better, as I figured I found someone that I can trust.

Lately I tend to stay far away from pre celebrations, because pre celebrations lead to major disappointment. As I was given a reply... That this woman said she couldn’t help me. She said she wasn’t qualified to help me, as she brought up a link to go there instead. I immediately deleted that email in disgust and just was... Disappointed. Given the notion where someone reaches out to help, where you know that person well enough that they don’t reach out to help due to trust issues and such, as you would think “I gotta do something, this feels like I’m their last resort.”.... You don’t think getting a reply, that reads “I’m not qualified to help you.” These are rare times in which I’m fortunate to go through depression and many suicide attempts as a teenager, because if I didn’t go through those times... Chances are I’m going to die. This scenario feels like a broken record: I’ve heard so many stories like this, where people reach out to those as their last resort, but often fail and then realize after the damage is done... Why didn’t I help? I should’ve done something, we need to do more for Mental Health... I hear this too many times, as one that could’ve fall in line with the same ole broken record story... I’m alive to tell you: Stop waiting for people to die to realize you should’ve helped them, help them NOW, don’t wait until it’s too late, do it NOW.

I’ve been thinking of words to say about this woman. Meaning in terms: How can I make her feel guilty in giving me a straight up disappointing reply, to one that has reached out for help? How can I inspire her to do better? There are so many words and sentences to think of, that at times can feel motivating or at times feel harsh. I’m very passionate about Mental Health in general, as one like her that works in this field... It feels personal to me. I thought about it long enough and you know what I’m going to say?! Not a single word other than: I’m leaving it up to God. I can go on a rant that can feel insulting, I can go on a rant that feels empowering, inspiring, and spark a great amount of influence. But at the end of the day: There’s no point in exhausting myself in doing so. She’s in control of her own life, God is in control. So I’m simply going to just... Let It Be and Move Forward. I’m not sure if our relationship will ever be repaired, but all I wish for her is nothing but the best, I do love her dearly as I can hope for success and progression. I understand my pain, but we don’t value our lives by what people do to us, we value our lives by what we can do for others.

I didn’t reach out for help moving on, as how can I after going through that? So here I am feeling terrible, wondering how in the world am I going to overcome this battle ahead. I’ve come to consult to one that knows me best... Myself. I’m known to be a very positive human being, who can find a positive in every situation, so I did what I did best... Let’s look at something to be positive about. I realize: How special I am as a person.

Here’s someone whom had 6 years of schooling in psychology, that made an excuse that she was unqualified to help me. Meanwhile as I can recall from my own past... I had no schooling in psychology, I claimed to not be “qualified” to help people in this matter, I was struggling with depression myself, it’s extremely late at night, and yet... I didn’t make any excuses to help someone who is struggling themselves. I didn’t let anything came in the way, of making sure they get through another night, even when myself was unsure that I couldn’t do so as well. This is a moment in which you don’t feel down that someone couldn’t help you, this is a moment in which you should be extremely proud of yourself... You are a SuperHero and should always feel like you are one, everyone can count on me anytime even when I’m not doing so good yourself.

Truth be Told: Everyone is Qualified in doing God’s Work. You don’t need schooling, you don’t need a degree, you don’t need experience, you don’t need anything that requires an excuse... All you have to do is be there. Everyone has ears, everyone has a mouth, and everyone has a beating heart... You know how to listen, you know how to communicate, to care about somebody, and to love somebody. One doesn’t need rewards or a piece of paper to feel empowered by helping others, you feel empowered by witnessing progress, happiness, and of course enduring many more precious days of life. Sometimes giving help does a lot more good for the soul, than receiving help.

I don’t feel the need to reach out for help anymore. I’m going to endure many battles throughout the course of time... But I’m just at best when I’m doing it myself and with trust in God. Within Weekly Roundup along with discussing films in the process and Da Unfiltered Virgin: Those feel extremely therapeutic to me. Sometimes it’s best to keep the mind occupied and letting your mind flow within yourself, than it is to talk with someone that doesn’t really know you... That’s my thing. Happy to cap off Mental Health Awareness talking about a personal matter that relates on this subject. I’m very passionate about this matter, as we all should genuinely care about this matter, rather than just posting about it because it can receive recognition on social media... Do it because you care, not because you want something in return. Thank you to everyone who has provided value in my life, I love you all so much, and... LET’S TALK ABOUT MOVIES!

Crack: Cocaine, Corruption, and Conspiracy Grade: B

This new Netflix documentary about the rise and fall to the Crack era, had me impressed.

I will say from a style perspective it’s still basic like the others, however the substance was extremely striking. I’ve always said that peer pressure doesn’t exist, as you can be whomever you want to be and anything less than that is an excuse. However when it came to the Crack era and especially in these less fortunate communities... Sometimes it almost felt as if people from these communities had no choice. Either you become the consumer or you become the seller, as this lead to an never ending cycle of imprisonment. Not only did this documentary taught me a great amount of information from this era, but I also learned a great deal as to how people get hooked or sell drugs in the first place, as it’s not all about being a greedy being, it was more of survival and getting out of these bad communities.

Overall, Crack: Cocaine, Corruption, and Conspiracy is a solid documentary film. I recommend checking this one out, one of the better documentary films on Netflix for sure.

Moxie Grade: C+

”You Don’t Matter, Give Up” placed on Mr. Davies (Ike Barinholtz) whiteboard, as it’s a clear representation of how the school board and teachers view their students... I’m joking those posted words on Mr. Davies white board are separated as “You Matter” and “Don’t Give Up.”

Amy Poehler makes her directorial debut, a comedy about a teenage girl handing out zines in girls bathrooms, calling out the sexism in her school. How did it work out?! Honestly... Not half bad.

Surprisingly enough Amy Poehler’s direction has done a pretty good job, capturing teenagers of today as they felt relatable to teens of today. I don’t recall rolling my eyes or just annoyed by how they got teenagers all wrong, with stupid social media jokes that no one likes. These all felt like real teenagers with real problems and to Amy Poehler, I gotta tip my cap at least getting this right.

Though I am a male, however I can totally relate to these teenage girls, being in an unhealthy environment as when crying out for help, we get ignored by your school administration. Believe it or not: School Administration’s especially in a Public School setting, make it literally impossible to protect the safety of the kids whom constantly get harassed, bullied, and even abused. So when I was experiencing this one character getting constantly harassed by a superior jock, it does reminiscent the times where others constantly harassed me every single week in school. But I also related to the child coming forward to the principal about being harassed by the jock, as the principal excuses the behavior of the jock.... This is honestly the worst feeling in the world. I’m glad Amy Poehler was brutally honest with how school’s are run today, she actually put in effort to make sure she got an honest look regarding these types of situations.

Regarding the feminist theme of this film, it was actually pretty consistent. The dialogue was fairly matured for a teenage comedy film, as it also sparked some engaging conversations of how we as men can do a better job as to not only treat women better and understand them better, but can also give them a fair opportunity to compete against men. Especially regarding how the captain of the football team who led his team to nowhere being nominated for some kind of athlete scholarship honor, meanwhile it took a last minute nomination for a female soccer player who led her team to winning records and playoff runs, to compete for that same scholarship... That’s the type of fair competition I’m referring to, like how wasn’t she an unanimous decision to be up for that scholarship in the first place?!

Even when the lead character gets rather annoying with her agenda, by lashing out on others, I still felt it was rather consistent as the film isn’t agreeing with her in these moments. It just shows how sometimes we get caught in the heat of the moment and lost track on what’s actually important, as well as you lose credibility when you act in anger... It’s done well.

There is a major Achilles heel with this film and it is partaking in the theme of Race. See the thing is when Race does become the subject of this film, it felt very inconsistent, random, and sometimes loses touch on the actual focus of this film. I appreciate Poehler’s attempt, however anytime it’s brought up you question every single time as it even loses the momentum of this film. I felt they should’ve been primarily focused on the sexism/feminist theme and ditch the race portion, maybe consider using the race theme in the sequel where all eyes can be on that alone. I didn’t care for the finale, kind of felt meh for my taste. Also the Cinematography was kind of bad as well, the way it was shot reminded me of a sitcom. There is room for improvement, however Poehler’s debut was honestly not half bad and made a fair impression on me.

Overall, Moxie was a perfectly average film. I recommend checking this one out on Netflix.

The Killing of Two Lovers Grade: B

Letting The Killing of Two Lovers settle within a couple days, has made me admire this unique drama a little more.

Perhaps the main issue mostly people will say about this film is it’s too slow, which I will agree in some moments it feels slow. However this drama was truly effective, going inside the mind of one whom is dealing with separation from his wife and kids. When it comes to not being around your children a great amount of time, as well as another man taking your place regarding your past significant other... It truly can be a saddening, but even so a haunting feeling. Haunting due to the fact you feel a great amount of guilt, of not being there for your children 24/7 or making your children feel disappointed that you weren’t good enough to stick around. But more so haunting, one like David (Clayne Crawford) enduring in troubling thoughts that lead to a great amount of anger or worst harming the one whom is taking your place.

I really enjoyed the whole atmosphere of it all, especially the well crafted composed score, as it feels dark and unsettling during the entire run time. Visually stunning film, followed by great performances by the entire cast. What I really enjoyed about The Killing of Two Lovers is you really have no idea where it’s going at all. I was hit with a fair amount of surprises in this film, including the finale which I really didn’t see that coming at all, especially how the scene was shaping out to be. This is a rock solid drama in which if you open your mind towards, you can admire just how well written and even well crafted it is as well.

Overall, The Killing of Two Lovers was dope. I recommend checking this one out, definitely worth the time.

Some Kind of Heaven Grade: B+

I gotta tell ya: The Villages does kind of felt similar to the likes of where I’m living in Florida. Majority of the population is elderly (Although a fair amount are Snowbirds), has an old school feel in terms of how it’s structured with rarely much commercial businesses and mainly small businesses, everyone is extremely friendly, and especially everyone feels like they’re in paradise.

However just because you live in paradise, doesn’t mean you’re in paradise within yourself, meaning your problems don’t suddenly become cured instantly. The substance within this documentary felt extremely relaxing, however when it came to the conflict of each person presented in this film, it was fairly engaging and spoke volumes within the meaning of this documentary. I would say a minor complaint is I didn’t care for the end, in which the woman basically blurts out what the meaning of this documentary is about, like we didn’t know that already. However at least it’s followed, by a hard hitting message that I wasn’t expecting to receive, so that was pretty touching.

Visually speaking... This is an insanely gorgeous looking documentary, that doesn’t feel like a documentary at all, up to par in terms of Cinematography amongst the likes of Boys State. It captures the beauty and essence of the Villages perfectly, making it looked like paradise for those whom are clawing their way into retirement. I love watching documentaries that truly highlight a more authentic look, on how businesses and restaurants were designed and even operated like they were done in the old days. I don’t know there is a great amount of charm on how they used to look and be run, that you don’t get that with commercial like businesses of today... Living in a Mom and Pop oriented city, you’ll understand just how much better it is and how it stands tall in terms of quality compared to major brands and such.

Overall, Some Kind of Heaven was pretty damn good. I recommend checking this one out, extremely surprised this didn’t get nominated for Best Documentary Feature film.

The Boy From Medellin Grade: B

A personal look behind famous Reggaeton singer J Balvin, as he suits up for a sold out show in his return to his hometown in Columbia. Unfortunately for J Balvin, Columbia is going through some troubling times, in which kids are protesting the Colombian government, as they partake in marches in the streets. Which puts J Balvin in a difficult situation, as he just wants peace and love, while not trying to get involved in political matters an area in which he’s not well educated on.

When I watched the first couple minutes, I was afraid this be another concert film and nothing more, as one who doesn’t really care for this style of music... I assumed this was going to be a rather tough watch. Fortunately I got the complete opposite of that, as though there are a few concert moments, this documentary wants me to get a closer look behind this artist. I mean we discover that J Balvin has a history dealing with anxiety and depression, so in these difficult situations it brings back some rather not so bright memories.

It’s hard for him to comprehend what is going on, as he’s much rather confused as why can’t we all just get along and live in love and peace?! Here’s a musician who just wants to be a musician and nothing more than that, while also giving back to his fans as he does almost every single photo opportunity that awaits him. However as J Balvin partakes in social media: Many people call him out to be a coward, traitor, or say terrible remarks, as he has not spoken on the matters going on in his own country. This is honestly an inciting look on how celebrities get involved in political matters: Sometimes like in J Balvin’s case, they’re simply forced to do so. I believe majority of them just want to be whatever profession they are and nothing more, but because they have a platform like social media... It’s extremely hard to be silent, as your mind is constantly enduring many voices behind a screen, in which unfortunately celebrities take these opinions personally or worth of value, when really they shouldn’t but J Balvin as the man he is believes there is value in everyone.

It also points out that if you get involved in any personal matter, that it all comes with a great amount of responsibility in which you have to speak out on almost every personal matter that comes ahead. As J Balvin gave in to recognizing the tragedy of ones teenagers death, now he brought himself to having to actually speak on the political matters of what is going on in Columbia due to the fact it does correlate in which he spoke on now. We understand J Balvin just wants to be a musician and nothing more, but since he gave into speaking on a matter, now he has to be committed in speaking out on other important matters. If you’re going to go in... You have to be all in.

This film does a fairly good job in going through the motions, in which J Balvin goes through many obstacles in order to perform in this sell out stadium show. It also made me learn about J Balvin as a person, but also learn about how he worked his way through where he’s at today. I respect J Balvin as a human being, as I appreciate him speaking on matters reflecting on mental health and such.

I do believe the concert was rather underwhelming, it didn’t inspire me to listen to his music at all, which you really need to influence the audience who is not familiar with this kind of music or not much of a fan, to become a fan. I just found majority of the music moments to be rather dull or not developed much at all, as I rather come back to watching J Balvin himself talking and going on about in life instead.

Overall, The Boy From Medellin t’was a solid documentary. I recommend checking this one out, can be found on Amazon Prime. -Mitch Smietana

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