Why Is This My Problem?

Everyone I know is in a funk. A deep, angry, scared, sad super funk. Anxiety and depression symptoms are sploding all over us. It’s winter, it’s gray, our TV shows are depressing and weird, we’re all watching anxiously as major changes roll down from Washington and wash over our country and the world like hot poo…

Two things I have to say about that. Wait, three. Wait, nine. Hang on. Let me collect myself.

OK.

1. Keep your head up, your eyes open and your brain as clear and focused as you can.

2. Heal others in the ways you are capable. If you’re good at cooking, cook. If you’re good at hugging, hug. If you’re good at making solid jokes about ‘hot poo,’ do that. If you’re good at protesting and fighting for change within the system, do that. If you’re good at making art, for the love of God, ART.

Make yourself hope for others and get hopeful yourself. No one is served when we wallow. It’s tempting. It’s really hard to find a path out of it, but do. One step at a time, make your way up. Others will help you and you will help them.

3. If you’re wondering, “why am I feeling so upset by the potential injustices that are coming for others when it doesn’t affect me that much personally? I don’t have a child with special needs. My family immigrated here generations ago, there’s no dispute over our papers. I am heterosexual. I am wealthy. I look like the people in charge, they seem to be supporting my interests.”

Congratulations! If you’re still worked up about all this, it means you’re not a sociopath. You live in a way that identifies the needs and problems of more than just the person living in your head or the people living in your house. You have empathy. It sucks! It’s terrible feeling the pain of others, but deal with it. This DOES affect you, because you are a member of the people. Sorry about that. It’s a pretty nasty club, but don’t hide from feeling, don’t stop yourself from going there and feeling the burden of others. But do make sure you’re able to still do #1 while your heart is breaking. Balance. We need you.

That’s all I got for now. If you have advice or corrections or encouragement, I’ll take it. I’m going to try to keep writing and keep telling jokes. Those are ways I think I can offer some healing.

Knock knock.
(Who’s there?)
Interrupting cow.
(Interrupt-)
MOOOOOOOO.

Try that one on a child and they will LOVE it but you will regret ever doing it because children don’t understand jokes and they will try to replace the cow with a talking hat or sandwich and you’ll get a headache as it spirals away from reason. But at least you made them laugh.

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