The Revolution Within
For the last few weeks I have fallen into periodic and almost consistent waves of anxiety, depression and bleak feelings of loneliness. I have always viewed mental health issues in the same way I was raised, with stigma, ignorance and disregard and as a result have found myself unable to deal with the ones that have weighted down on me. I have isolated myself, refused to see people and lost all interest in the things that I draw love from. I have become angry, conceited and incredibly short fused with people who do not deserve it. All of this stems from my log term refusal to confront, deal and move on from the long standing emotional and mental issues that plague me. Like many men, I have essentially refused to realize the existence of the issues that have made me live in day to day distress. When I went to the emergency department on the advice of close friends, I was told that in order to be recommended for counselling I would require to have made an attempt on my life first. Like everything else in Ireland, the health system is being shattered and designed to just about look after people. What if I did attempt and were no longer present? What would happen then? The reality is that nothing would happen and thousands of young people would continue to be driven into the darkest crevices of their minds, struggling to cope and unable to find the professional help they require and need and we will keep losing brilliant young people.
Our health service in Ireland is failing to help and subsequently save young people from the socio-economic conditions which in turn create and alienate huge numbers of people from a desire to continue to live. Alienation from the wealth we produce as workers in different spheres of society contributes heavily to the destruction of our mental health. We are essentially the shovels and pieces of equipment for the ruling class, once we stagnate or fall ill we are of no further use. I suspect that many of us subconsciously know and feel that our role in society is as marginalized individuals.
The material reality for me and millions of other working class young people is that if we do not engage in a struggle that advance the cause of our class and take away the political mastery of the ruling class we will permanently be indentured in a cycle that we perceive as self-destructive. In part, it is but on a whole, it is not. I and others struggling to find themselves cannot wait half a year or longer to be addressed by the health service and a capitalist society cannot deliver a health service capable of fulfilling that. Only a publicly managed and publicly owned health service can alleviate the suffering many young people are facing, yet that is only part of the solution. The other part and the one that we as young Communists must always keep in consideration is our relationship to the means of production and state power. As soon as we begin to undo the rule of the capitalist class, we will feel it and consequentially benefit from the material gains involved in undoing the conquest of Ireland by the forces of capital. A revolution in society will lead to a revolution within and a new Socialist consciousness will usher us out of the darkness.