Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Radio Interview turned out to be a prank


Radioguest.com is a web site to assist radio hosts in finding guests to speak on their shows. I frequently use this site and apply to whatever queries my two books or story of chronic anger might fit in well with.  I was scheduled an interview at 5 p.m. EST Monday, April 15. I sent my phone number and 10 questions to the host the previous day. Upon answering the phone ring on this date, I hear “This is Jason from the radio station, is this Robyn?” I say yes and agree to be put on hold for a few minutes. The music being played during my hold time was, the only way I know how to describe it, heavy metal yelling and screaming. I’m not sure there were any words, if there were any, I couldn’t make them out. I’ve done a few radio interviews since 2010, and was already suspicious as no host has ever called me, I’ve always called in to the station, and I’ve never heard such angry, violent music while on hold. Also, Jason never gave the title or call letters to the station. So Jason comes on, does not introduce his female “co-host” and begins by saying the station is located in Boston and the Boston Marathon bombings are just outside their window. No news briefs or updates/introduction for listeners, but just started asking me if I was mad over the bombings. I said “No, I have no control over something like that, so I no longer allow myself to get angry over events that are out of my control.” (My prayers go out to the victims and their families; I wasn’t in any way diminishing the horror of the event itself.) After that, they began asking me about my dysthymic disorder and how often I get mad now that I am treating my dysthymic disorder. I said I remembered being mad only once in the past year. After that Jason began asking questions about how to control his anger over “being in a room that was too hot” and “not having any friends.” During this 30 minute interview, Jason and his friend proceeded to:

·         Fake a heavy speech impediment, forcing me to ask him to repeat himself several times, and then telling me I couldn’t ask for him to repeat himself because that was making fun of him. I couldn’t make out a word, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he was just speaking “mumbo-jumbo” and not saying any real words at all.

·         Pronouncing my name “Wobyn” and asking me if my name was “Wobyn” (I said “Yes, my name is Robyn”)

·         Ask me if I received an extra piece of cake during family meals as a reward. I replied I didn’t conquer my anger to receive a reward, I did it to better the quality of my life, I did for my sanity and peace and happiness.

·         Called me a liar (I ignored the comment and talked about something else)

·         Created a story about Jason not having any friends, or hobbies, being 37, single, never married no kids, with deceased parents and no one, even his “co-host” liked him (I replied “I like you Jason”). The co-host said she would not help him in any way because she couldn’t stand him. But that statement speaks volumes about her inner-self, not Jason’s.

·          and then refused and rejected every suggestion I put worth about going to the gym, making friends, reading etc. He said everyone at the gym made fun of him, he couldn’t read very well, couldn’t afford to buy a portable fan for the “hot room” and when I told him he should be willing to do whatever it takes to improve his situation, he immediately interrupted and changed the topic.

I was already suspicious before the interview started however by this time, I’m laughing at their questions and statements because the interview has gotten so ridiculous, out-of-hand and off-topic that it was apparent to me these two people, whoever they are, were hoping to irritate me to the point I would get mad and “lose it” on-air. By this time, I’m just playing along for the sheer fun of it and just going with the flow to see where all of this would lead. I thought maybe I’d find out more about this “radio station” so I turned the tables on them and began asking how many listeners they had (they said millions) and if listeners were allowed to call in to ask the guests questions (that was a predictable “no”).  After that, Jason said “What is this, an interrogation?” I replied “Well, it is obvious you are not interested in asking me questions about my books or disorder, so I thought I’d ask about your station and the goals of this interview.” Jason all of sudden realizes the interview time is up and said it was time to say goodbye. So I said that was fine. Jason said “Peace.” I said “Peace Out.” And then there was silence. About 30 seconds of silence. Then Jason hung up on me.

My caller ID showed Jason’s phone number had a 661 area code. Upon looking up 661 on the internet, the code comes back to a central and southern California region, not anywhere in Boston. I logged in to radioguestlist.com and found no evidence of the query Jason had posted or a copy of my inquest about the interview.

I recalled the interview for my family and friends and their responses included “how horrible, devastating, awful.” I see the incident completely different. One, this interview was the most fun I’ve had on the radio. I don’t care if it was bogus; it was entertaining as all get out. If fact, if for some reason, they really did tape the “interview” and were to post it on the internet, I have no doubt it will go viral in a matter of days. Two, in my B.A.D. days (before anti-depressants) I would have been furious within minutes over this incident, staying mad for days if not weeks. If I ever wanted proof that my attitudes, believes and treatments are still working, this event was definitely a confirmation of those things. And three, I feel sorry for anyone who thinks someone’s story of mental illness, chronic anger, and thoughts of suicide, is in any way funny, entertaining or the basis of a “good” prank. Jason and his friend showed themselves to be immature, petty, and incapable of understanding just how serious anger and mental illness is to those who suffer from it and the deleterious effects it can cause. Ironic, don’t you think, all this happened on the day of the Boston bombings. Do Jason and his friend realize that because of anger, the inability to forgive and lack of compassion is the cause for the Boston Bombings and other mass tragedies? Jason and his co-host were hoping to bring MORE anger into the world, not less. This makes me sad. I wish Jason and his “co-host” peace, compassion and happiness. Wishing anything else for them would be promoting hate and anger.      
.....Robyn Wheeler is the author of Born Mad (2010), an in-depth view of her struggle with chronic anger, frustration and thoughts of suicide and her eventual diagnosis of Dysthymia. Her second book, 104 Ways to Starve Your Anger and Feed Your Soul is filled with small but powerful nuggest to help people of all ages change their attitude and live an anger-free live.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

What will it take?


What will it take for the killing to stop? What will it take for us to realize we are causing needless deaths, pain and suffering? What will it take for us to realize we need to invest in people and not electronics, entertainment and sports? It seems that every few weeks the news is besieged with reports of mass shootings, suicides or both. Year after year, we lose innocent people who contribute to communities and societies all over the world because they were unfortunate enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Is gun control the answer or is there something more we should be looking at? This isn’t about who’s to blame as blame is futile, useless and never improves upon any situation.  So the question is, when will we as humans be ready to sacrifice our wants and needs, and greed’s and grudges, for the good will of all? When will we start investing in our children and assisting those in need instead of turning a blind eye to those less fortunate? When will we realize we are not American’s, European’s or Asian’s but rather human beings instead? We’re all in same boat, on the same planet, struggling for the same thing and end up in the same place (and came from the same place). Yet we all choose to believe we are different from one another because of something that can be seen externally (or other ridiculous factors).

We are being our own worst enemy. Until each and every one us commit to taking a look at how we live our life and what or who we value as important, we will continue to be our own worst enemies. Instead of teaching algebra and other courses providing little benefit to young adults in their current situation, why aren’t we teaching self-esteem, psychology and life skills? Why are we forcing students to focus on memorizing answers to standardized tests when we could be teaching them how to be kind to others and use their skills and talents to benefit communities and to not give up when life gets tough? Why are we not focusing on the spiritual and emotional skills kids need to learn when they are young so they can be successful, determined and confident adults? Why are we spending billions of dollars to build overpriced housing and upgrade electronics that already work just fine the way they are (my phone has more features than I will ever use or know how to use) and not putting it toward new and innovative projects that will demand answers instead of just temporary solutions.

Drugs, abortion, divorce and murders are not the causes, nor are the people. They are merely symptoms of the causes we are choosing to ignore. So why are we not focusing on what causes people to kill themselves or others?

I am not a fan of politics or debating what is right or what is wrong, and that is not the purpose of this blog.  I am writing this blog because back in 2009 I became outraged and suicidal. I wanted to kill someone, anyone. I felt my anger could be cured, improved or would disappear if I could just kill one person or destroy someone else’s life because I was miserable beyond anything I had ever felt.  That was another me and another time. Now, I know I’ve suffered from a low-grade, chronic depression since childhood, which was the cause of my chronic anger.

Today, with treatment for my depression, I live anger-free, strive to bring peace to my life and others’ and know we are all in this together. Guns don’t’ kill people and people don’t kill people either.  Anger, resentment and depression kill people. The questions we should be asking are not how killers acquire guns, ammunition and bullet-proof vests. The questions we should be asking are what make killers so angry in the first place? Why do they feel killing is the answer and how do we help these people before they get to that point? Anger is the killer. The inability to deal with angry thoughts and emotions is the killer. Anger destroys everything.  If killers did not exist, needless victims would not exist either. So, maybe, instead of focusing on the guns, we should focus on how to prevent angry people from becoming angry killers.

If you agree, send this on to others. If you don’t agree, that’s totally cool. Ignore it, go on about your daily life and avoiding getting angry with me because I don’t see things exactly like you do.

May we all live a peaceful, happy and anger-free life.

.....Robyn Wheeler is the author of Born Mad, an in-depth view of her struggle with chronic anger, frustration and thoughts of suicide and her eventual diagnosis of Dysthymia.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Do you feel lucky?


When you think about your life, family and accomplishments, do you feel lucky? I don’t. I feel fortunate. The difference between luck and being fortunate, in my opinion, is believing in a higher power, something larger than yourself. Luck, is feeling you don’t deserve something good or bad. Have you ever asked yourself why something happened to you, said to yourself that you haven’t done anything to deserve such tragedy or tell yourself there was no reason for a particular event to transpire? Luck, is an assumption that whatever happened wasn’t supposed to happen; it just happened because you were in the right place at the right time OR in the wrong place at the wrong time. I lived many years of my life feeling unlucky all the time. My motto was:  If something bad can happen, it will happen to me.

Feeling fortunate, on the other hand, is an attitude that everything happens for a reason and a purpose. Today, I believe there is no such thing as luck, good or bad. Everything in your life happens for a reason: a flat tire when you are late and in a hurry, your child’s teen pregnancy, falling and breaking bones. Name something, anything, you’ve gone through and know there was a reason and purpose for that event. Even the things you perceive as “bad luck.”

Sometimes we humans have difficultly realizing when something we perceive something as bad or wrong, or unfair, happens to us that it is happening for a reason and something good will come of it in the end. First, we suffer, then we will find the pearl in the oyster (and there is a pearl in the oyster.)

You choose how you see life. You choose to perceive events in a particular way and feelings and emotions will follow according to your perception. You choose to feel sorry for yourself and ask “why did this happen to me.” You can also choose to take a negative and turn it into a positive. You choose to turn to plan B when plan A didn’t work well. When I didn’t get what I expected, I used to get mad because I didn’t get my way. Now, when something turns out differently than I expected or wanted, I say to myself that I wasn’t supposed to get what I wanted in the first place, I was supposed to get what I got. Then I ask myself “what can I do with what I was given?” “Why was I given this particular thing?” When I went through a major depression in 2008-09, I wondered why me. I didn’t want to be depressed so therefore I shouldn’t have to have it. Today, after being diagnosed with dysthymic disorder and put on daily medication, I know why me. It happened to me because a higher power knew I would write a book about my experiences in order to help others and create awareness about a seldom-talked about mental illness. The universe knew I would speak up, experience how much better life could be and encourage others to seek out solutions. God knew my attitude would change; I would see things completely different than before and would turn my life around in ways I could have never imagined otherwise. It wasn’t my plan, but it was His.

Whatever happens to you, whether you perceive it as good or bad, happens for a reason. It happens according to Gods plan, the divine plan, the way the universe sees fit. You, me, us, we as individuals, plan our lives according to what we want and tend to lose sight that we are here for reasons that may be unknown to us.

Nothing is lucky, accidental or coincidence. Everything is unfolding exactly the way it is supposed to. It is all according to the big picture; the picture, you and I, in the flesh may be unable to see or comprehend.

Next time you win the lottery (or don’t win the lottery) or you have what you would call a bad day, think about what you were supposed to learn from it. For example, I used to get angry sitting in traffic, even light traffic. It would ruin my entire day. Now, I know that when I get stuck in traffic, it is my opportunity to hear something on the radio I needed to hear and I would have missed had I made my appointment on time. Or, maybe it prevented me from being in a car accident had I crossed a certain intersection two minutes earlier than I did.

Maybe, my work called a few minutes later to tell me to take the day off so I didn’t need to worry about arriving late anyway.

There could be a dozen reasons why something didn’t happen the way you wanted it to. You may discover the reason a day, a week or a month later. Or a maybe you’ll never know discover the reason. But you have to trust that everything in life, from big to small, happens for a reason. You must trust a higher power is at work in your life and that higher power knows best.
 
.....Robyn Wheeler is the author of Born Mad, an in-depth view of her struggle with chronic anger, frustration and thoughts of suicide and her eventual diagnosis of Dysthymia.