Lately whenever there’s breaking political news, this meme comes to mind.
I won’t make this a political rant. There’s enough of that out there right now. We all know what’s wrong with the Doom Cheeto and all that he and his appointed staff (who collectively look like every perp & pedo ever featured on Law & Order, let’s be honest) stand for.
I knew I would be affected by the orange shitstorm. I just didn’t know how much or how quickly. In less than two weeks, I’ve become absolutely disgusted and ashamed to call myself an American. I’ve seen friends and colleagues become fearful for themselves and their loved ones because of a fanatical religious ban that has no root in logic or reason. I’ve seen good people become terrified over deportation (themselves, their parents, their spouses), even though they’ve been taking the right steps on the path to citizenship so far. I’m seeing my rights to my own body & reproductive health being put up for debate by old sleazy privileged white men (who, without a doubt in my mind, have probably impregnated women and demanded that they have abortions at some point). I’m seeing my sexual orientation called into question on my ability to raise a family (good thing electroshock therapy can cure the half-gay outta me….wheeeeee!
I’m participating in rallies and protests, but it feels like they are all for nothing. I’m emotionally, psychologically, and physically drained, and my immune system took a deep plunge during the last month. I managed to catch just about every bug out there…the flu for two weeks, a stomach virus that I’m recovering from at the moment, My mental health took a hit…I’ve had more nightmares than usual, insomnia, and my BDD symptoms have essentially locked me in the boot of the car & been steering the wheel (anxiety attacks over having photos taken, seeing myself in photos, anxiety over having to eat, restriction, involuntarily becoming physically ill after eating).
It might feel selfish at first, but now more than ever it is extremely important to check in with yourself and take extra care if you are feeling unwell. How? Ive no fucking idea! But this is what I’ve been doing, and it seems to be helping me a bit. If it helps you as well or gives you some ideas, then have at them!
Allow yourself to feel your feelings.
This sounds stupid, I know. But I’m the Chief in Command when it comes to burying everything deep down and fighting back tears! How am I? I’m fine. Even though I’m doing my best to put on this fake smile and hope that you don’t hear the screaming going on inside my own head…I’m fine!
It’s okay to feel your feelings. Cry it out. If you need to talk, open up to someone you trust. They might actually be thankful that you initiated the conversation! I’ve had that very response, when I was afraid that I’d be inconveniencing them with my feelings/mere existence…they felt the same way. Or, try writing in a journal if you’re not feeling people. Writing in a journal after waking from some pretty horrific nightmares has done me a world of good in trying to figure out the workings of my fucked up mind!
Find the humour.
Whatever it is…a situation, yourself, try to find what’s funny there. This has actually been helpful in making me feel like I still have some control, perhaps via a displaced sense of having taken some of the power back that was taken from me from the thing (if that makes sense)? Like when I can’t seem to remember anyone’s name (even though you’ve told me five or so times), or recall the conversation we literally just had (that I actively participated in)! Another late notice from the electric company? I probably got distracted by something shiny while I was logging onto the website to pay it last month…whoops! Or like taking back the fear I feel every time the Doom Cheeto announces that he appointed so-and-so to whatever…
Okay, I don’t want a picture of the Doom Cheeto Brigade on my blog, but trust me…they really do all look like every bad guy ever featured on Law & Order!
This is a given, but also only if you’re up for it. I like going to the gym, but don’t always feel the energy for it. If you’re not a gym fan, try going for walks or biking or indoor rock climbing (or outdoor, if you don’t live in a concrete jungle like I do!)
The worst thing you can do when you’re feeling down is sleep all day and hide away from humanity (which I’ve been guilty of on numerous occasions, so no judgments here).
Looking at sh!te on the interwebz.
Okay, so you’ve ignored said previous step and ventured off to Club Bed, featuring DJ Pillow and MC Duvet. I respect it! While you’re regrouping, try easing your mind with enjoyable music (save the death metal for working out, maybe), or look at some uplifting/funny stuff on the web. Avoid the news for now! I’ve needed to take days off from reading anything news-related, which is really hard and requires much effort lately. It’s not ignorance, it’s not being selfish. You’re taking a personal breather.
(Sad Ghost Club art 🙂
Cut toxicity from your life.
This one sucked, but I had to just cut out the people who were making the loudest noise when I asked for silence. All were very toxic, very pushy and forceful in their disagreement with my opinions on political matters (after all, who am I to believe we’re all entitled to basic human rights in a place known as “The Land of the Free”?), very racist, and very not what I stand for or wish to associate myself with. The suckage happened after the fact, after the unfriendings and requests that they no longer contact me. That I could not foster positive relationships with people who held that sort of hatred in their hearts (this is not the same as having different political views, mind you…politics does not = hatred!)
I have not regretted losing one of the toxic connections that I’ve cut, and have had improved peace of mind.
Seek out others who are experiencing the same struggles as you are. The internet can be a wonderful resource for this! Plenty of meet up groups out there. If you cannot find community (and this is NOT easy, and where I’m at in the present moment), then seek to create it. Look into organising meet up groups and dates. Again, the internet is an amazing resource for this! And remember…the chances of others feeling the same way that you do are greater than you walking around being the only one feeling that way (even though you might hope that you are the only one, because it really does suck, and you don’t wish this on anyone else).
Mental healthcare is, unfortunately, treated like a bit of a luxury item here in the US. “It’s okay to not be okay…so long as you can afford to not be okay.” Insurance copayments and deductibles can be ridiculous. Meet up groups can be a godsend when therapy is not an option!
I make a point of giving three random strangers a compliment on a daily basis. I’ve been doing this for the past 15+ years, in an attempt to combat my BDD. By helping others feel good about themselves, by pointing things out that they perhaps do not perceive as attractive about themselves (or maybe they do, and good on them if so!). They feel good. I feel good. WIN!
If I can help someone to not feel as grotesque and forgettable as I feel daily, either via a compliment or a laugh, then I’ve done my part.
(Hat = birthday gift from friends who put up with my emo nonsense & love me anyway! Get your own from TheSadGhostClub dot com )
I hope this babbling comes in useful to someone out there in internet land!