Presidential elections, racial injustice, killer virus, and on and on and on. Everywhere you turn, it’s there.
It’s a flyer hanging on your door with someone smiling. Usually a man. Usually white. Many times surrounded by a beautiful wife and two or three darling children in well coordinated clothing. Maybe even matching. Maybe even a dog snuggled into the man’s arms looking excitedly at a toy bouncing around behind the camera. “Vote for me!,” it says. “I will make a difference!,” the slogan reads in a fancy convincing way.
It’s people on social media acting like they have a PhD, an MBA, an JD, etc. arguing until the cows come home about some matter or another. We all know it all because we read it online, now, don’t we? I am not immune.
It’s a face to face comment intended for you to read between the lines about a strong opinion, like they’re testing the waters to see if you agree, disagree, interested in talking about it. You don’t just ask the question, you dance around it like a cat toy on a string to see if you’re interested in playtime.
A black man got killed and
The cop got a
Slap on the wrist
The president said this thing
About the cop
About the black man
Can you believe it?
Masks must be
Masks must be
And do what?
It’s my constitutional right to
own assault rifles
Guns are misused and
Assault rifles are for
Is that so?
Keep the Mexicans out!
They deserve to be
Love and accept the
Are running from the
Evil of their home
Not my country
Not my problem
None of the above.
Rage stirs up like hot wind on a humid summer afternoon before that thirty minute rain jokingly drops buckets onto my front eave which does absolutely nothing to keep water away from my front door and drowns the plants under the adjacent window.
My psychiatrist adjusts my meds.
“No Lithium! Please no Lithium!” I plead. Horrible side effects which prevented me from living my life.
“But it’s the best mood stabilizer…Ok. We can try this other drug. It plays nice with the ones you are on,” she concedes.
“And remove current events from your life. News. Social Media. Everything. You need to focus on caring for you and your family. You don’t need anything else to add stress to your life.”
So I began fasting from current events. I asked people to stop sending me links to articles, videos, etc. I unfollowed people on Facebook who are prone to post a lot about current events…especially if they included strong views. I stopped looking up news. I kindly tell people that I’m not in the mood for discussing this, that, or the other thing.
Not in the mood.
I can go from happy and light and laughing to frustrated and impatient and angry within five minutes. As a pendulum swings up and down, up and down, up and down, so do my moods. That’s what happens when you have a mood disorder and you can’t control it. Out of control. Not a friendly place to be as Wife, Mother, Daughter, Friend.
So I’m fasting from news, current events, social media.
It feels so irresponsible. Shouldn’t I be an educated, informed citizen of a country that needs me to understand the issues and needs my vote for the perfect person who will remove the monstrosity that our country has become. Deep breath. Deep breath. One more…deep breath.
Ok. I can breathe. The reality is that I will vote when the time comes. I will research the issues, the candidates, the statistical reality that I will have to concede to a candidate I don’t actually support in order to elect a candidate that will do just a little less damage…maybe. It feels futile, hopeless, insignificant. However, I have had a weight removed from my chest. My mind has slowly untangled. Medications are starting to work. My stress level has reduced and my eyes have seen less pain, so I have experienced less pain.
This clarity has allowed me to be free to heal and love and connect positively with people I care about despite the vast difference in views. It has allowed me to see them for who God made them and not their social and political views. It has given me the chance to see the neighbors who represent a rainbow of color and ethnicity as people and not an oppressed ethnic group.
You may be in a strong place where you can engage in level headed conversations about this stuff. I am not. You may need to search for answers, theories, strategies, solutions for the depravity, injustice, crises facing our nation. I can not. You may have a valuable platform for rallying people together to make positive change in our community, country, world. I do not. If you do, do. If you don’t, don’t.
If we, as citizens of a national in turmoil, do not have healthy, sound minds, then we will be unable to make the positive changes necessary to provide a better world for our grandparents’ last days, our current reality, and our children’s future. I have chosen to take the time to make sure my mind is able to contribute to the greater good…whatever that may be.
God for President.