As a mental health peer with bipolar and CPTSD, I’ve learned as soon as the word “JUST” is used, whatever dialogue existed turns dismissive and myopic. “JUST” insinuates following the obvious and easy path to a simple truth that makes life better, and this is the ONLY logical choice.

JUST calm down.
JUST stop being depressed.
JUST get out of the house.
JUST do something for yourself.
JUST stop hiding all the time.

Now in our COVID-19 world, here’s where clumsy contradiction and convenient hypocrisy sneaks in…

JUST shelter at home.
JUST wear your damned mask!
JUST comply.


I despise the word “just.” I loathe how lazy is the word “just” is. And I cringe at the absence of nuance and insight every time the word “just” is used to control others.

You know, most of this narrative on “just” sounds like lyrics a Christmas carol the Borg Collective would sing in the soft-serve intonations of shiftless conformity.

Dedicated to Amanda Jenson who eventually convinced me I’m a writer.