In the first year Composition courses I teach, I often include a unit (or two) on logical fallacies. While there are many fallacies I truly enjoy exploring with the students, I have to say one really appeals to me, especially these days.
The Straw Man Argument (Very fitting for the Presidential election in full swing over here in the States.)
Grammar Girl provides a succinct yet accurate discussion on the Straw Man Argument. And like Grammar Girl, this logical fallacy reminds me of the Scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz (both the movie and the book). If I only had a brain, a heart, the nerve.
I mentioned to my husband the other day that I felt like a scarecrow. Like an empty shell. I’m supposed to serve a purpose, and I’m not doing a very good job at it (wife, mother, educator, bread-winner, writer).
But after a recent counseling session with Dr. Jasmine today, I can fully see that
a.) the medication hasn’t kicked in yet (not even full 3 weeks, so it wouldn’t be expected)
b.) my Depressed Brain is putting up a pretty good fight
c.) Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) techniques are HARD (but so worth it!).
At our first session, Dr. Jasmine asked me if I was ready to commit to CBT, and I emphatically said yes. And I still am. But kicking 30+ years of unhealthy thinking patterns is NOT easy as pie (as my 7 year old son likes to say).
But I am realizing, it is possible to grow, thrive. I am learning that God is coming to me disguised as my life (Paula D’Arcy).
I am embracing the luminous darkness John of the Cross wrote about so long ago.
I am reminded of Richard Rohr’s observation in Falling Upward:
To hold the full mystery of life is always to endure its other half, which is the equal mystery of death and doubt. To know anything fully is always to hold that part of it which is still mysterious and unknowable.
— Rohr, Falling Upward
I am accepting that this is my life — scarecrow moments and all. And I suppose this is all that matters. Acceptance of this life — my life — as it is (including the Lynch Syndrome).
Some days are better than ever. Today turned out to be one of the better ones, but not until later in the day.
My weekly mental to-do list from Dr. Jasmine:
[I can do this. Breathe. Breathe.]
*Richard Rohr, Falling Upward