Living at home with mental disorders

I spontaneously decided to write this because the topic this is about (it’s obviously named in the title) represents a huge daily struggle for me.
My family has known about the severity of my disorders since my first suicide attempt got me into a psychiatric hospital in 2012, but despite all the family therapy sessions, long conversations and complicated explanations, they have always failed to understand them.
While my father always pretends it’s not nearly as bad as I might think and my sister simply ignores the entire issue, my mom is the only one I have been trying to actually talk to about it on a regular basis, but it always leaves me feeling like I just held a speech for a stone wall. She either doesn’t get it or doesn’t want to. Which one of them it is I can’t tell because I don’t remember what it was like without the sicknesses, but it definitely makes living together very difficult this or the other way.
Whenever I try to express that certain things trigger me, it makes her first confused, then angry and then she tells me that she’s not a therapist (which I know and I never expected her to act like one), and what’s even worse is that she somehow is always immediately offended.
All I ever do is mention what behaviors of hers are a problem for me, and I always emphasize that I certainly don’t mean to blame her for anything when saying that, but she immediately thinks that.
Like, literally every time, and I’ve been trying that every few weeks or months for several years now. What happened a couple days ago was another perfect example: I told her that it badly triggers me when she always puts things before food and makes eating something not important enough to spend her time doing without saying that it means she is to blame for any of my disordered behaviors, and she was super mad at me and refused to talk to me any further.
And during the next few meals, she gave me bitchy comments about how she was eating now and that she could obviously not have an eating disorder or support one because of that which I clearly never indicated either, and that made everything worse all over again. I keep telling her that all I want is try to make her understand what’s going on with me so we can live together peacefully, but it just doesn’t work out.
I love both my mom and sister to bits, but living here is hell. Firstly, the way they both eat is a daily trigger because my mom often simply doesn’t eat half the day because there are more important things in her opinion, and my sister is too lazy to eat or not hungry enough for the same amounts of time, and that makes learning to eat normally hella difficult.
Stating that, I am NOT stating that this means they are to blame for my relapses or that they have eating disorders. I know that both of these things aren’t AND have never been the case. But it makes things hard for me and I tell them about it because it would help me if they respected that. But nope.
So many things here are reasons to relapse: The basement that’s always filled with huge amounts of supplies that always include my favorite foods for my bulimic sessions, their eating habits, how perfect my sister, her body and her life is and that I never had that, how she is appreciated and gets everything so much easier and faster than I ever did, how my worries are always ridiculed or invalidated because I’m supposedly exaggerating, how I ‘don’t have the time to be sick’ or how I’m always expected to function.
And yes, there’s more.
Whenever I dare to say that I’m better, it’s just natural to expect that I’ve suddenly fully recovered, whenever I’m with my son, it’s just absolutely impossible to be depressed (I love my baby more than anything, but that DOES NOT make serious illnesses magically disappear), that talking or writing about things being hard for me (like I do it right now) means that I’m somehow obsessing over them or getting all worked up… There is just so much.
And no, I don’t blame my family. I love them and none of this is their fault. I just wish they’d at least try to understand me so they can actually listen to me and try to respect my wishes and concerns. I wish they’d realize that my bitchy attitude is an expression of my extreme mood swings, and that being better doesn’t mean being healthy.
I am more than a teenage girl with a child, and I wish they saw more than that too. But I guess they won’t and that’s one of many reasons why I need to leave.
I definitely want to keep seeing them at least a few times a week, but I need to get out of this house. Of course, wanting to finally have my own place and be all grown up, independent and self-determining is an extremely important factor, but to be honest, the most important reason is that I will never be able to recover here.
It’s not my family’s fault, but it’s true even though I could never tell them about them because they wouldn’t get it.
The food stocks, the misunderstandings, fights, lies and my perfect sister who has all of her wishes granted every single day makes it absolutely impossible for me to truly end a life with diseases.
I am certainly making progress here, but I know that I’ll never get further than that. But because my mom just lost her job and I financially depend on her because I haven’t finished school yet and can’t work additionally because of my son, I’m really, really scared that moving out won’t be possible this summer like we actually planned and I’m stuck here. Ah hell. I feel so alone, but there is nobody I want to be with.
Rant over. Thank you for your attention.

HULU tv fox sigh sleepy hollow

Dear eating disorder

I’m writing this to let you know how I feel and why I am no longer able and willing to trust you.
Your one and only goal has always been to destroy me, and I unfortunately didn’t realize that until you had almost succeeded. I wish I could say that it will be easy to let go of you after everything you’ve done to me, but it won’t because as much as I hate to admit it, a part of me still loves you despite the awful things you put me through.
But the problem is that, while ruining me, you also give me something nobody else can provide me. The safety and security I feel when I’m with you cannot be compared to the feelings I have when I’m with other people. You make me feel like I am not a lost case and that there’s still hope left, that following your advice will give me what I’ve always wanted. But this is the point where things don’t work out anymore: Listening to you has never solved any of my problems and just added new ones.
You recognized all of my doubts and insecurities the second you laid eyes on me and knew exactly how to make them your weapons, especially in terms of my perfectionism and body.
Being the best liar I’ve ever witnessed, you lured me into your trap, promising me everything I’ve ever wanted if I’d be willing to make some sacrifices. What you didn’t tell me was that the sacrifices wouldn’t just be some discipline, guilt and willpower, but my entire life. Saying this, I’m sure you’ll defend yourself and state I must be confused and therefore simply exaggerating, but deep down we both know which one of us is speaking the truth this time. I’ve told many lies over the last few years with you in my life, so many that I went through times when I started to believe them myself, but this time, I can see through your games and tell things as they are.
To make you a part of my life and get what you tempted me with, I had to push away everyone I had once cared about, give up on my health, let go of my sanity and devote my entire existence to letting you tear me down.
And guess what?
You never even kept your part of the deal.
Instead of giving me the perfect skinny body my insecure inner self with its twisted mind had always dreamed of to finally be appreciated, you turned mine into a wreck.
Instead of making me someone strong, disciplined and determined, you made me obsessed with thoughts so repulsive I’d rather not even name them.
Instead of giving me perfection (both inside and outside), you attempted to kill me.
And nothing you say can ever make up for that.
Our relationship was never real.
You never gave a damn about me.
I gave you way too many second chances because I put my faith in you and was loyal, sick and naive enough to believe you’d actually help me, but every time I let you guide me, I came one step closer to my own death.
This letter could continue for many hours and I could tell you so many things I have on my mind when thinking about you (especially negative, but actually even a few positive ones because no matter how sick, you always made me feel safe), but where would that get us? How would my rant help either of us?
It wouldn’t. This is all that matters, all I need to say.
I don’t care what you think about it. You’ll think that it’s not over yet and I’m just having another one of my doubtful phases when I try to distance myself from you but end up crawling to you again, desperate for your self-proclaimed ‘support’, but this time, it’s different. Say whatever you want. I know I’m not rid of you just yet and it’ll take a lot more time to let go after all these years we spent together in our own world, but I’m starting to leave right here and right now.
We’re not done yet, but we certainly will be, becauase this year is the year I’m actually starting to fight you and don’t just pretend to make others happy and keep myself delusional.
Say whatever you want; I know you think you’re smarter than me anyways. But I’ve seen every single one of your tricks and know them good enough to be able to recognize them before I fall for them.
You’re disgusting and the only one worthless here, and I guarantee you’ll miss me once you realize I won’t come back for you.
This is my the beginning of the end of the two of us and there is no turning back. It’s far too late for that and you know who’s to blame for what happened.
Keep my smile in mind because you’ll never get to see it again.

Why do we degrade ourselves?

Lately, all those ads that show up at the beginning of every new season (the current phase called the beginning of the new year is the most extreme one, but spring and the beginning of summer sadly aren’t much better) at all kinds of places so it’s basically impossible to escape them have been badly triggering me again, and because they make me feel this way, they also make me wonder.
Why is it such a huge deal for our society to pressure ourselves to slim our waist when something supposedly new shows up in our lives? Why, instead of focusing on what’s coming for us and trying to make the best out of it, do we reduce important matters to the shape of our tummies and put ourselves down so long that we start to feel like we aren’t enough anymore?
And why do we make something like the number the scale shows a more important matter than our happiness and health? Or maybe I should ask a different question: Why have we convinced ourselves that we need a certain dress size to be able to be both genuinely happy and healthy?
Whether it’s Instagram, YouTube, Google, the extra pages in the overpriced magazines, the billboards at the local subway station or the ad breaks on TV: Weight loss seems to be more important than anything else when starting into the new year. The variety of options, methods and advice are endless, but one thing is for sure: If you want this to be a good year, you need to get thinner.
And we believe it.
Trying on some shirts at H&M the other day, I overheard girls as young as maybe fourteen years talking about having to lose that holiday belly they’d gained, wishing my neighbor a happy new year, I got to hear about her being in desperate need to ‘finally’ get rid of her baby fat since her child is now already several months old, and going to the restaurant, my companion chose the ‘low carb’ options because that’s the only way to ‘get back on track’.
And yes, these things left me triggered and very self-conscious, but also puzzled.
Why do we make something as trivial as the amount of our body fat the center of your lives and the seemingly ultimate key to success in life?
It’s funny how we all tell each other how beautiful we naturally are and that we should love ourselves the way we are, but talk about weight loss strategies on the next page.
Is that really our life’s purpose? Isn’t that quite tragic when you think about it? That an image in the mirror defines how the world thinks about you, and even worse, how you think about yourself and whether you’re worthy or disgusting?
We’re constantly degrading ourselves to a level that it shocks and amazes me at the same time.
Yes, I do it too, but I wish I didn’t. This is not the way you should live your life. Desperately trying to change your shape to fit into a social construct of purely fictional perfection only gets you to one place: desperation.
I’ll never ever be good enough if I continue to let others determine whether I am.
It’s an unfortunate fact, but it is one.
This is a new year, and I won’t live it in self-hatred because I can’t acknowledge my own beauty and prefer to listen to sick voices telling me how to destroy myself for good. This society, these thoughts and these disorders are trying to take me down to make themselves feel better, and that doesn’t make them any better than another playground bully in middle school pushing around first graders to feel like a big man.
I need to end this before it ends me; I realize that now, and everyone else should too.
We. Are. Enough.
Downgrading ourselves just to belong at a sick place is not a mindset we should continue to raise our children with.

To quote one of my favorite online newspaper articles of all time I today finally printed out to finally give it its well-earned spot on my wall:
“Losing weight is not your life’s work, and counting calories is not the call of your soul. You surely are destined for something much greater, much bigger, than shedding 20 pounds or tallying calories. What would happen if, instead of worrying about what you had for breakfast, you focused instead on becoming exquisitely comfortable with who you are as a person? Instead of scrutinizing yourself in the mirror, looking for every bump and bulge, you turned your gaze inward?” – Lisa Turner

And now that I’ve finished my little thinking session, I need to get back to Netflix and my new KISS playlist on Spotify. Think about it, though. Ask yourself these questions. I sure will.

And before I leave… Read this (it’s not that long and you won’t regret it): http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lisa-turner/body-image_b_1431566.html

Complains I’d never speak out loud.

We complain all the time. All of us, me included. About bad weather, about not having the food we want in the fridge, about people who are late and appointments we don’t want to attend, about missing out on something or needing to do things you don’t want to do. But the things that should really bother us, those are the ones we don’t say anything against. When saying that, I’m aiming at a variety of topics, including politics, social issues and economic problems, but because this is a blog about mental disorders, I will solemnly focus on my own problems with this topic and not the ones we generally struggle with in our society.
So… Let’s start by stating that I usually don’t let people notice when I’m depressed because I know that they’ll either worry or ask inconvenient questions (or both) and I prefer avoiding these things, so whenever I feel bad in any way and know that I can’t mask it with a faked smile, I just focus on anger and only let that feeling show because it’s easy for me to make rage the strongest emotion. That way, I prevent breaking down, crying or opening up to people and manage to make it through the day, but it’s needless to say that this way of alleviating a problem also implicates that unpleasant consequence that I behave like a total bitch.
And because I don’t explain the real reasons to anyone and therefore don’t seem to have any reasons to be like this, the people around me think of me as this bad person. I manage to stay cool in public, but I often can’t pretend at home and now my family thinks I’m a moody dumb teenager. Which I’m not. But I can’t explain what’s really behind my attitude, so whenever my mom or sister tell me how much it bothers them that I behave so horribly, I don’t really know how to react and mostly don’t react at all.
It really sucks, though. I don’t want them to think of me like this. This isn’t who I am. But my mood keeps going up and down and I don’t know a better way to deal with it at the moment without falling apart.
I wish I could just tell them what’s really going on. What really bothers me.
That the real problem aren’t hormones, but relapses.
That the huge amounts of candy and junk food in our basement don’t keep me from starving myself, but make me binge and purge because I’m fucking weak and can’t stand that temptation.
That I’m not trying to live healthier because of how much I care about myself, but because I hope that it will make the eating disorder’s voice at least a little quieter and help me not to feel so terribly guilty after every bite.
That I don’t work out to be more balanced, but to be able to stand my own reflection.
I wish I could just talk about everything, but I know that I can’t. I’m far too scared and ashamed of my thoughts. Despite knowing these are disorders and not my fault, I can’t help but feeling like I brought this all on myself with my sick obsession with perfection that will never, ever get me anywhere but six feet under.
One side of me wants to finally live healthy and normal, but the other one is terrified of letting go of these doubts and people tend to let fear take over themselves when they don’t feel confident.
I’m not a moody bitch.
I’m a bitch who doesn’t even remember what it’s like to accept, let alone love herself.
And that scares me too, because it wakes this horrifying thought in me that, no matter how many A’s I score, no matter how many pounds I lose, how many times I succeed or how many smiles I see on my son’s face that prove that I’m a great mother, I’ll always, always keep hating myself secretly for reasons that would never make any sense in a sane person’s mind.

What if I was good enough?

My counselor wanted me to answer this question, so I decided to write about it because it’s probably one of the hardest questions I ever had to answer.
To be honest, I never even thought about it.
Being good enough was never even an option for me. Insecurities have been following me for as long as I can remember and while I’ve focused on how to get and be better to feel good enough for many years now, I never let the thought about what would be if it happened sink in. It was too far away, too unrealistic, too pretty to ever become a part of my world.

Why don’t I just accept myself the way I am? Why don’t I just stop destroying myself by thinking that there is something wrong with me when there really isn’t?
The answer is as easy as it is complicated- I’m scared. I’m scared of what might happen. They say “even hell can get comfy once you’ve settled in” and I never realized how true that is until a very short time ago.
I could live my life in heaven, but I’ve decided to create my own hell and even though I’m harming myself and making everything much more complicated than it should be, there’s something in my head that won’t let me change anything about it because I’ve gotten so used to it that I’m terrified of change.

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Do I want to get better? Do I want to recover? Of course I do! But what normal people don’t understand is that distancing yourself from your mental illness can also be scary. It’s not just living with it what’s hard. Abandoning it is too. As much as it hurts, this voice in my head gives me a certain kind of sick comfort because I know it’s always there and I can always rely on it. Does that make sense? In a twisted way, yes. We’re all creatures of habit and although it’s certainly possible to teach an old dog new tricks, it’s exhausting and in need of so much effort and time that nobody wants to do it.
I do want to get out of this endless circle of destruction that consists of making myself feel like crap for stupid reasons, punishing myself for it and feeling like crap again, but I also don’t want to leave my comfort zone and I know that I can’t have both things at the same time. I know how to choose between health and sickness today, but I (sometimes even intentionally) still choose wrong on a regular basis because it gives me a piece in mind that I know won’t last, but creates the illusion that I’m okay for a little while.

I mean, let’s face it: We all live by certain rules. Most of us might not even recognize them, but they’re down there, buried deep in our subconscious, controlling our every move in our lives. Healthy people live by healthy rules, and sick people… Well, we live by rather fucked up rules. We form them throughout our lives due to experiences, surroundings, success, disappointment and emotions. I don’t have a clue why the human mind believes it needs them, but somehow it does. These are mine:

1. Don’t let people get close

That’s probably my most essential rule and perfectly pictures the two-sided sword called my mind:
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Why? When you let people get close, you give them the chance to hurt you. You make yourself vulnerable. And yeah, I know that’s a part of life, but whenever I gave people this opportunity, it ended terrible for me. Not letting anyone get to me means protecting myself from the pain they might inflict. That actually even makes sense, but the thing is: nobody wants to be alone forever. And if you don’t let anyone near you, you ultimately end up utterly alone. You’ll have relationships, but only shallow ones, and your friendships will never be more than simple acquaintances. You will never be able to experience a deep connection if you don’t trust anyone. And not letting someone get close means not trusting them. In the end, this rule only makes me hurt myself, and that’s not the goal I have in mind.

2. Don’t show weakness

And yet again there comes the vulnerability: if you show weakness, you make yourself vulnerable once more. When people see your weaknesses, they can use them to hurt you, and because I’ve experienced that before hundreds of times, my head has prohibited admitting it. Yet again, it makes sense at some point because it protects me, but weaknesses are human and every single one of us has them, whether we admit or deny them. They’re a part of us and even though they might hurt, they’re essential because they remind us that nobody is perfect, even if it looks like they are.
We need them. They make us feel alive because they make us realize what’s important. We need fears to conquer them and grow with them. But I have too many of them and I’m not telling anyone.

3. You’re never enough

This is where we come back to the topic. It’s probably my worst rule because it makes it impossible to love or even accept myself. This rule makes me feel like there’s always something missing. No matter what, I’ll never be good, smart, thin or beautiful enough. Never.

Could I change these rules? I think so. Somehow.
But I can’t.
I’m too scared.
I’ve gotten used to living this way and giving it up might be the healthiest thing to do, but it scares the shit out of me. The way I treat myself is horrible, but I’ve gotten used to it. At some point, you don’t even care that you’re destroying yourself anymore. You don’t know anything else. Giving up on habits is scary, no matter how unhealthy they are.

So, to respond the original question, what would happen?
Would I live the life I really want to live? Get the things I always wanted? Make my dreams come true? Love myself?
Everything would change, that’s for sure, and I don’t even think I’d still be the same person because my entire self centers around the problem with never being enough and not knowing who I am and want to be. A part of me wants to be that person, but another is way too scared to even think of it because there are way too many horror scenarios in my head that picture what might (very unlikely) happen if I stopped beating myself up for who I am: That I would lose control and not try anymore at all. That I wouldn’t fight for anything and turn into a lazy piece of shit. A fat, disgusting waste of space.
Yeah, I know it’s stupid, but I can’t help but feel like this. So many things terrify me.

Fear is only in our minds, but it’s taking over all the time

Obsessions

I’ve probably already been through this topic countless times, but it’s still important, so I’ll just post about it once more and dive right into it by stating that we live in a society that’s obsessed with perfection. Don’t believe me? Just think about it. Perfection is everything. All we want is happiness and it’s like we wrote specific rules in our minds we need to follow to achieve the ultimate happiness. We want to be as beautiful as possible, need to make as much money as much possible, and be well educated, smart, funny and either married with kids and a house, car and golden retriever in addition or be a super star in a band or on the runway. Either way, there is definitely a certain concept of happiness and it expects perfection to be reached.
But how can we be perfect when nothing is ever good enough?
We never have as much success as we want to, never have as many relationships as we need to be considered truly valued and beauty? What is beauty? How can you be the perfect looking person you want and are secretly expected to be when there is no definition for it? Is the skinny white girl in the magazine with the crop top, tanned legs and no food for three days the perfect girl? Does she know she is or is even she, the girl considered perfect, thriving for something more? Does she believe she has what she needs to be perfect? Is she happy this way?
Does it make us happy at all?
And if not, why do we want it regardless? Why are we so obsessed with this concept?
The girl in the magazine doesn’t even look like the magazine. It’s an illusion. Smoke and mirrors and nothing more. But we keep creating lies to deceive us into believing that perfection is achievable and that we just need to try a little harder to get there.

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There’s nothing wrong with us, but we keep finding something to criticize just to have a reason to doubt ourselves so long that our fears take over despite them being nothing but thoughts in our minds. When we’re young, nobody tells us how much power thoughts actually have, but they truly rule everything.
All it takes is one single thought, one sentence, one spark, to change everything.
And sometimes, ruin everything.
All it took me were four short words to change my life forever.
I am not enough.
I still remember the day I thought it for the first time and the thought has never left me since. The perfection I have in my mind is nothing but an illusion, but I keep trying desperately to reach it because if I don’t, what else is there? What am I supposed to do with all this self-hatred when there’s no way to convince myself into believing I’m actually trying to change something to please myself? Right now, the only thought that keeps me from falling apart completely when I’m alone is that I’m on my way to change. Deep down I know that changing my appearance won’t change my doubts, but I can’t do anything but keep trying.

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All we want is to feel like we’re good enough the way we are, but actively loving yourself is so much harder than talking about it and motivating people to do it on the Internet.
The poor way I treat myself is destroying me piece by piece, but I can’t stop if I want these voices to stop. I’m barely holding it together, obsessed with thinking that someday, maybe I’ll feel genuinely beautiful for once like the girls on Instagram pretend to be when they’re not standing in front of their mirrors pointing out their flaws and insecurities we all have, but won’t admit, because it would ruin the image of our endless happiness in a sick world.
Ah hell.

It’s not beautiful

I’m struggling with my weight again. Well, ‘again’ is actually wrong because I’ve never stopped struggling with it. My pregnancy got me some more pounds and now I’m clearly not obese or something, but I’m just not skinny anymore. My stomach isn’t flat anymore, regardless of my position, and my thighs always touch, no matter how I stand or sit. And there’s fat where it’s not supposed to be. I actually wanted to lose the weight, but turns out I don’t have any time for sports (finishing school as a single mom is much more stressful than I expected it to be- not that I’m overchallenged or something, I’m doing a great job- but I just don’t have any time left for anything) and I can’t change my diet. Restricting or controlling how or what I eat (I mean, I already do that by living vegan, but that’s because of ethical reasons and has got nothing to do with any weight loss strategies) would bring the eating disorder back immediately and I cannot let that happen.
But the thing is: the thoughts are there. I would never admit it by speaking it out loud, but it’s true. The voice is back and forces me to consider my options, tries to convince me my current weight makes me a fat, lazy and worthless failure, tells me how useless I am. I ignore it, but it can’t ignore the pictures the voice brings back into my mind: the pictures of all those skinny girls and women.
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They’re thin as fuck, have those thigh gaps and visible rib cages and collar bones and hip bones and all that crap. And I hate myself for deep down, secretly wanting to be like them all over again. I mean, what’s the freaking point? They’re not even pretty! Thank god the healthy part is nowadays much bigger than the sick part in my head and makes me realize that. Bones are not beautiful. Walking skeletons are not beautiful. Girls that look like they’re about to fall apart, break down or collapse are not beautiful. Women whose bodies don’t have anything ladylike and feminine are not beautiful.
And you know what’s not beautiful either? Dying.
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Because that’s what eating disorders cause: sickness and death. Been there, done that. Those bodies look sick and desperate and not pretty at all. Those girls need a good therapy and not a freaking catwalk. What the hell is wrong with this society that it glorifies disorders? Even though everyone says showing starving girls is inappropriate, Size Zero is everywhere and the media keeps telling us we need to look like that to be beautiful. catwalk, gif, and Gisele Bundchen image
That’s the trick: They tell you to be yourself and that everyone is beautiful in their own unique way and then they judge you and tell you how you have to be and act and look to be pretty, famous, rich and successful because those are the most important things in life.
Be yourself- as long as you like what everyone else likes. And you’re beautiful the way you are- as long as your belly is flat and your legs thin. Girls are not supposed to be too girly because that would make them basic bitches or something, but they’re not supposed to be too boyish either because that makes them tomboys and unattractive. They gotta be chill, but not too chill, and look natural, but not show any flaws, and eat burgers and fries, but keep their small sizes. Of course girls are not the only ones forced to fit with that type, but I am a girl, so I know pretty much about girls. Why do we advertise sicknesses instead of helping people recover from those sicknesses? How twisted is that?
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And don’t tell me people get the help because outside hospitals and therapies, they don’t. Ever seen the movie (or read the book) ‘It’s Kind Of A Funny Story’? Emma Roberts totally proved how cool mental disorders are in that one. And damn, how cool teenage suicide and nuthouses are! But don’t you dare let that kind of stuff happen to you in real life. It’s cool and funny- as long as it doesn’t happen to you. Because if it does, they’ll run away. Because they can’t handle it. But it’s cool, right? Cancer also seems to be such a popular topic in teenage books and movies (and I’m not just talking about ‘The Fault In Our Stars’- which is great though, but I don’t read a lot of teen stuff) and everyone feels so sorry for those poor people- as long as those poor people don’t cross their ways in real life. We all feel so sorry for all the lost souls, but we don’t do anything to help them anyway. We say we don’t know what to do, but we actually don’t even wanna know.