Hi all. This is probably the most personal disclosure I’ve ever shared on this blog, which isn’t exactly read by millions, so perhaps this is really just a chance for me to share some of my daily struggle with a small semi-random cohort of people.
So, my day to day life is governed by several relentless fears. They mostly have to do with politics. I mean, it’s quite possible that my brain has learned to displace fears I may have about things that are much more immediately part of my life, like fear of losing loved ones, or fear of becoming horribly ill, and that these fears I have centering around politics are all some kind of cover for something deeper. I can’t say. What I can say is I don’t experience myself going into debilitating funks of fear worrying that something bad might happen to someone that I love or to myself. I worry about those things – sure – but to a pretty normal degree. What I do experience for many of my waking hours is a terrible fear – a dread really – about certain possible things happening in politics. For me, currently, that fear is that Trump will return to the White House, or that someone with a similar neo-fascist agenda will do it instead of him.
I realize that millions of Americans were traumatized by Trump’s election in 2016, were further traumatized by many of the terrible things he did while in office, and continue to be traumatized by his anti-democratic, demagogic, toxic, and narcissistic behaviors. I’m not trying to compare my suffering to anyone else’s.
But what I experience – on an almost daily basis – is a form of suffering. I can’t seem to stop my thoughts from telling me that the possibility of Trump returning to power may be increasing, that I should check various websites online to find out if in fact that seems to be the case, and that if it is true I literally will not be able to live. That’s the constantly repeating thought cascade pulsing through parts of my consciousness. A few things interrupt it (deep focus in my work; animated conversations with others; studying; sometimes writing). A few things help tamp down the intensity of the fear for a few hours (yoga when I manage to do it, a vigorous walk or mowing the lawn). But my brain’s steady state is one of anticipatory fear of possible futures.
I can’t explain it rationally. I just feel inside like if Trump gets elected again I will die. That’s the fear, and it feels immediate, like as if I was staring down the barrel of a gun about to blow me away. There’s a variation of this thought process, which is that if he becomes president again, I won’t die, but I will live in a state of intense fright and agony every day that will be so horrible that I’ll wish I was dead.Continue reading “My daily grind”