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I don’t believe in God.

I don’t believe in God.

I can’t.

Do you believe your God is the right one? That you’ve chosen the right religion? That every other person in the world who has made the decision, conscious or otherwise, to have a different set of beliefs, is wrong, and you’re right?

I can’t believe in God.

Do you think there’s an actual entity out there who tells you what to think, who’s decided what’s going to happen in your life, who cares if you call out his or her name in times of pain or in exultation of happiness?

The intensity of Adam Avitable

 

“Mysterious ways” is nothing more than a catch-all excuse for the unanswerable, inexplicable evil that happens to humanity on a daily basis.

Oh, he’s not an old white guy with a big beard to you? YOUR religion is more advanced than that? He’s a presence that flows through you? He’s an invisible hand that guides you through making the right choices in life? But if he’s creeping  through your veins, what’s flowing through those other people over there with a different group of beliefs who think they’re also acting in the name of Someone?

Why are you right? Why are they wrong? Faith? Arrogance? Or is faith just another way to paint the sin of arrogance?

Maybe your conscience is just your conscience. Maybe it’s a construct made from social awareness and developed with morality taught to you by your family and peers and television and social media. Maybe your instinct is about survival and reproduction and nothing more. Maybe the invisible person you talk to at night doesn’t exist or isn’t yours to talk to because there’s another sect of believers who are more right than you. Or maybe it’s just your subconscious guiding you to make good choices.

I’ve studied religions in depth. The patterns and repetition from one to another are obvious. But each one claims ownership over your soul. THE ONE TRUE whatever.

Each religion (except for YOURS of course, god forbid) can’t be right. They can’t all be wrong.

Let’s take a huge leap.

Let’s imagine that there is something out there who gave each of us the spark that makes us different from the monkeys and the rocks and the stars and the dolphins. We’ll call it God.

Does God care about you?

Does God care about YOU?

Does God care about each decision you make and what makes you a good person based on the moral guidelines of your society during the extremely finite time period during which you’re alive?

Does God decide where your spark goes after you become nothing more than a rotting body?

Or.

OR.

Do you think – can you possibly imagine – that maybe whatever it is that created us (if we continue with this theory) is so vast and powerful and eternal and all-encompassing that NOT ONLY can you not even come close to comprehending a fraction of a piece of a minuscule portion of what it is, BUT neither can any of these self-appointed leaders who use human-created (extremely flawed human-created) documents and stories to anthropomorphize something that they should never even have had the fucking arrogance to try to put into words?

Believe in yourself. Reach in and pull out your heart and soul and look deep inside and realize that you have the potential to do good within our world on your own. Be a good person because you enjoy the reward that comes from helping others. Treat your fellow humans how you hope others would treat you. Behave in a way that you would like to see others behave. Love others. Trust them. Be honest and open your hearts and homes to the world.

But don’t do it because of a god. Don’t you dare have that arrogance to think you know what the fuck you’re talking about. You don’t. None of us do.

I don’t believe in God. I don’t think your religion is right. I don’t think it’s wrong, either. I think we’re all right. We’re all wrong. Everybody gets a heaven of his or her own, based on his or her pocket religion. Your parents like McDonald’s and you like Burger King and your neighbor is a vegan and there are kids in Africa who will never eat fast food. Who’s wrong?

Because ultimately, we’re in charge of what we do for our lives, and after that?

It’s up to . . . .

It's not always about being funny.

Suicide

He killed himself in June.

I didn’t know him, but I’ve witnessed the impact of his choice.

His girlfriend’s Facebook posts demand, then beg, for answers.
Her son -not quite old enough to understand- knows life is different, forever.

Today was the right time to write about this, on what should have been the 64th birthday of Robin Williams.

Suicide is stupid.
It’s awful.
It’s selfish.
It’s heart-wrenching.
It’s final.
It’s terrifying.
It’s preventable.
It’s the result of a cry for help never being answered.

Depression and anxiety can come from anywhere – the triggers are endless and the consequences can be terminal. Unfortunately, the stigma from depression, anxiety, self-infliction of pain, and suicidal considerations is overwhelming – sometimes more overwhelming than the pain itself. These afflictions are all about a need to be listened to and to know that you’re not alone, but many people suffer silently rather than risk facing derision or the lack of consideration in the eyes of others.

I come from a family that doesn’t understand depression. To their eyes, it’s not real. It’s something to be shrugged off, a battle to be fought of mind over what matters. More exercise, healthy eating, mental distractions – those are the solutions. Little weight is given to chemical depression and medicated treatment.

“If only I could just be happier, I wouldn’t be depressed.” It’s cyclical reasoning at its worst, and it’s why so many of us never get the lifeline we need.

It’s second nature to expect medical treatment when someone breaks an arm. There’s no “Just shake it off and get out of the slump” or “It’s all in your head – just push through and you’ll be fine.” Yet, in our modern society, mental illnesses still scare so many people that we’d rather just pretend they don’t exist. By belittling the issues and downplaying the severity of depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses, we are essentially burning victims at the stake, terrified of getting infected by this mental witchcraft.

Suicidal thoughts can happen to anyone, even you. They probably already have, at least once. Maybe not a fantasy or a command compelling you, but in some fashion or another, even if just a gentle tug on your sleeve or a subtle whisper in your ear. Driving home late one night, stressed with no end in sight, and you think, “One twist of this wheel, and it could all be over.”

It’s at this point I should make it clear that I’m not entertaining suicide as one of my long list of paths for my life. I suffer from depression, and it can be severe at times, but in the end, I am a narcissist who fears not leaving a legacy more than I fear the crushing pressures of life itself. Don’t worry about me.

If you deny that depression is real, educate yourself.
If you suffer from depression, you’re not alone.

Never be afraid to reach out for help. There is someone (and likely an entire community of someones) who has been through it before and understands. There are online communities full of empathy and support and the love you need to get the help you deserve. Because you do deserve it. Everyone does.

Here’s a small buffet of resources – there’s something for everyone, and I’ll try to add more to this list as I come across additional sources of help, information, and support:

Campaign Posters for Senior Vice President

Why Adam Heath Avitable Will Never Be President #ElectionFail

“They took my posters down at school,” I looked at my parents across the dinner table, “All of them.”

“Why? Should we call someone?” My mother, as always, was ready to come to the rescue.

“The Principal said that he was afraid it would reflect badly on the school if anyone who didn’t have my ‘unique sense of humor’ visited Spruce Creek.”

“What? I’ll get in the cah raight now and drive ovah theah and tell him he’s wicked retahded!” Dad said in his somewhat intelligible Boston accent.

“Nah. I tried to convince him, but he wasn’t budging. I’m still on the ballot, so maybe that will be enough.” Getting my parents involved would be the worst idea possible. In International Baccalaureate, we already had the reputation of being the nerdy smart kids and the kiss-asses at Spruce Creek High School, so things would only get worse with Mom and Dad around.

I didn’t win, and that was probably the last time I was in a position to ever run for office of any type. Now, with so much information about me out there, most of it put into the world of my own volition, I couldn’t even be President of the Altamonte Springs Ke$ha Fan Club, and I’m the only member!

What’s that, you say? You want to see the posters that might have gotten me elected to office in high school? The posters that were SO clever that the principal couldn’t even wrap his brain around them? The campaign posters that are so awful that I’m almost embarrassed to show them to you (keyword: almost)?

Okay. Don’t say I didn’t warn you:

Adam Heath Avitable ran for Senior Vice President in high school

 

Let’s start with this one. First of all, I wasn’t running for Senior Class President? I was just going for Vice President? Was I just hoping for less responsibility? Was the President a foregone conclusion or a hot girl? Or both?

And secondly, RED SHARPIE? Oh yeah, teenage me, great idea. Let’s just use a red marker on plain white poster and put absolutely ZERO effort into writing something professional looking. Chicken scratch always wins elections.

Adam Heath Avitable in his failed bid for Senior Vice President in high schoolI’m pretty sure my grandfather drew this one, because I would have put a question mark at the “Why Don’t You!!” part. I like the concept, though, because clearly every high school student is going to do whatever they’re told to do by an old white guy with spiky blond hair and a bowtie.

Terrible campaign posters when Adam Heath Avitable ran for Senior VP in high schoolHopefully there wasn’t another Adam running for Senior VP, or I just helped him. I mean, adorable, available and marriageable? I can’t believe I misspelled marriageable either. Why would I choose “demanding” as an adjective? Is that a selling point? I should have gone with A Dumb Ass Motherfucker.

Adam Heath Avitable used Calvin and Hobbes to run for Senior VPDo you know who high school students love to listen to more than an old guy with a bowtie? Fictional characters from a comic strip!

Another campaign poster from Adam Heath Avitable's failed Senior VP campaignThis one is somewhat clever, though by declaring myself cool I was immediately making it very clear that I was as far from cool as anyone could be. Maybe with a little production value, not looking like it was made in thirty seconds, it would have been a little acceptable.

A puntastic campaign poster for Senior VP by Adam Heath AvitableWhy doesn’t anyone realize that those are velociraptor eggs and when they hatch, there will be blood and bad puns everywhere?!

Adam Heath Avitable ran unsuccessfully for office in high schoolWhat, me infringe copyright? It was shortly thereafter that I had my letter published in MAD Magazine, so maybe all was forgiven.

Adam Heath Avitable ran for Senior VP in high school and failed. These are the posters.Other than the color and handwriting, I can find no fault with this poster. I am, in fact, amilliantly brazing.

Adam Heath Avitable ran for Senior VP for Spruce Creek High School in 1993This was the poster that started it all. The one that the principal was worried would reflect badly on Spruce Creek High School if visitors came in who didn’t understand the humor. I underlined “Intelligent” in a way to show that it was clearly a sarcastic poster, but the subtle humor was beyond him.

Avitable and America the Beautifully Naked

Reading This Before Independence Day May Save Your Life!

Recently, I have become aware of an imminent plan to cause trouble and chaos throughout the United States that will take place tomorrow, our Independence Day, on the Fourth of July.

In every state and in almost every city in our great nation, there are insurgents who will be planning on seeding our air, water and soil with poisonous chemicals. These chemicals, including heavy metals, dioxins, and perchlorates, can cause severe health effects to all who are exposed. Some of the chemicals like barium nitrate will affect our lungs, and others like potassium perchlorate can affect our thyroids and even create birth defects.

If that’s not bad enough, this process of poisoning the best country in the world was developed in pre-Communist China and further enhanced in an Italy prior to rule by Axis Power dictator Benito Mussolini. To compound the destruction of the health of our citizens and the land we rely on to survive, these poisons will be set aflame, burning throughout the countryside, with an extremely high risk of setting homes on fire, trees ablaze, and even immolating American citizens.

To further confuse the situation and frighten our nation simultaneously, organic salts, aluminum and iron flakes, titanium powders, and gunpowder – all extremely poisonous to be consumed, by the way – will be laced throughout the vehicles for delivery, causing large bangs, high pitched whistles, and hissing and sizzling sounds scientifically engineered in a laboratory to terrify animals, small children and distract the population of America. Additional chemicals are added to cause bright colors that will obstruct our vision and prevent us from seeing the truth.

Don’t be complacent, America! Be vigilant against these people determined to strip us of our rights, our liberties, and our dignity! Report any suspicious characters carrying large bags, rolling around giant crates, or anyone loading anything explosive onto barges or trucks. Report all incidents immediately to your local authority or be a true American and make a citizen’s arrest!

However, if you don’t have the spine nor the American blood coursing through your veins to stand up to these traitors to our American Way, just lay back and enjoy the fireworks instead.

Adam Avitable celebrates the Fourth of July with nudity

Dr. Adam Avitable knows all.

An Unofficial Study Of Alcoholism And Judginess

(via text message)

Me: Do you need a date to the wedding?
Rebekah: I don’t think it’s your kind of wedding.
Me: What does that mean? You know I actually can walk into churches without catching fire, right?
Rebekah: Right. Sure you can. Also, it’s a dry wedding.
Me: That’s what flasks are for.
Rebekah: No flasks!
Me: Okay, fine. I don’t need alcohol to have fun. I only drink 1-3 nights a week.
Rebekah: Only? Haha!
Me: That’s not bad!
Rebekah: Not bad compared to what? That’s a lot! Three times a month is not a lot.
Me: You know me. I can’t leave it at this. To the Internet!

Rebekah (r) holding a bottle of vodka she won at The Other Bar with her teammate, Mari (l).

Rebekah (r) holding a bottle of vodka she won at The Other Bar with her teammate, Mari (l).

 

So I went to Facebook, and posted a poll, asking people to tell me how frequently they consumed alcohol if they were to look at a three month average. The amount consumed each time wasn’t considered, because that’s another poll altogether. I got 178 responses, and here are the results:

As you can see, after we get rid of the people who don’t drink at all, we see that approximately 40% of the people polled consume alcohol two or less days a week on average. And approximately 48% consume alcohol three or more days a week on average.

What this demonstrates to me is that consuming alcohol three days a week is not a lot. In fact, it’s almost completely average! And that doesn’t take into account at all the sheer number of people who were too drunk to answer the poll.

What this pie chart doesn’t show is some other surprising statistics from my poll. I thought I’d share them here. Out of 178 people polled:

Two percent

prefer being self-satisfied judgmental douches over consuming alcohol

Four percent

feel bad about not drinking so we could probably peer pressure them into it

Six percent

would rather just tell me I drink too much rather than answer (read: dodge) the question

Seven percent

are allergic to alcohol, which is apparently a real thing. Probably more real than gluten allergies.

Nine percent

had to quickly explain that it’s only in moderation, as if they were going to get extra points for being the hall monitors of consuming alcohol

Ten percent

typed the answer to their poll with nicotine-stained fingers while explaining that drinking alcohol is unhealthy

Thirteen percent

have the reading comprehension of a four year old and are unable to simply choose a letter but needed to tell their life stories

Fifteen percent

felt compelled to justify their adult decision to consume alcohol because someone in their life must make them feel guilty about it

Sixteen percent

said they had only been drinking one day or less when the truth is that they’ve been drinking constantly for so long that it just seems like one really, really, really long day

Eighteen percent

had a drink in their hand as they answered the poll and lied blatantly about how infrequently they drink

Twenty-two percent

have no problem admitting that they enjoy drinking occasionally and understand that people who are judgmental are just kind of sad

Thirty-one percent

smoke weed so they were probably high and skewed my poll with the wrong answer

Forty percent

have consumed so much alcohol in one sitting at least once in their lives that it would forever change their average to at least twice a week

Fifty-three percent

are either strippers, comedians, bartenders, or otherwise work in an environment where they are constantly surrounded by alcohol, so their “normal” is different than someone who stays home all day and night and never leaves the house

Eighty-nine percent

were on the toilet when they answered the poll and then they went back to playing Angry Birds

Ninety-two percent

thought to themselves “Avitable is a weird fucking dude with a weird fucking life”

One hundred percent

will need a few stiff drinks after they see the next naked birthday card I’m coming up with for Facebook

 

What about you?

How many nights a week do you consume alcohol, on average?

View Results

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Where Avitable lives.