Frozen and Overwhelmed

Standard

There are a lot of things happening with the current administration in Washington that I disagree with. It seems that every day there’s something new that I find to be outrageous at best, reprehensible at worst. And I want to get involved. I want to be one of those people that makes phone calls and writes letters and gets active when things are objectionable in our government. But there are so very many issues that require action and attention that I don’t know where to start, and the concept of needing to express my opinion on all of them is filling me with a crippling fear that I can’t shake.

Before we deal with my brain telling me I need to sound off on all issues all the time in order to be an involved citizen during this administration, let’s look at my problems with tackling even one of them.

I’m absolutely terrible on a phone call. I don’t know whether it’s social anxiety or what, but it’s almost like I’ve lost the skill of talking to another human on the phone. I talk to my wife during her lunch almost every day that she doesn’t come home, and a lot of our conversation is tied up with us silently doing something else besides actually conversing back and forth with one another. My brain is telling me that it’s a good thing that the phone lines to our representatives are overwhelmed because I don’t know how to articulate what I want to say to them about the issues besides “issue bad, no do issue.”

I’m not much better with letter writing either because, again, I don’t know the issues well enough to articulate what I find wrong with them. I just know I have an opinion, and writing “issue bad, no do issue” is no better than saying it in a phone call. Researching the issues takes a lot of time carefully dodging biased information sources to get to the facts about what’s transpiring – it’s not that I’m not willing to put in the time, I just don’t know where to start.

Going to visit my representative’s office is right out, for the same reasons I list above, plus the crippling anxiety that I deal with most every day.

Add to that the overwhelming feeling that I’m drowning in things that need to be done for our country and I just don’t know where to start, or even how.

Every day that passes by that I don’t act in some way, I feel like I’m failing my fellow Americans who are in danger of losing the ground they’ve fought to gain and continue fighting to hold every single day. So on top of being overwhelmed, on top of the anxiety that’s preventing me from lifting a finger, I’m also dealing with the guilt that I’m not doing anything.

I hate no-win situations and I can’t help but find myself in one almost constantly. This is the one I’m dealing with right now.

And the sad part is this kind of reaction is exactly what the current administration is counting on, that people like me won’t get involved and won’t speak their mind, so they can run roughshod over the American people and America itself under the guise of “America First.” That very phrase chills me to the bone given how it’s been historically used in this country. The intolerance that’s so subtly hidden in those two words is, to use the catchphrase of the moment, deplorable.

I can’t bring myself to act. But it’s important that I do, and so I need to find a way to shake my issues around it and get the job done. The country is depending on people like me to make their voices heard and their opinions known.


NB: I figure that if I’m going to be a little more political in my posts, I’m going to have to create a category for them all to go in. In keeping with the Beatles theme with my categories, this new one that I’m starting with this post is called “Revolution.”

Advertisements

Thoughts from a Worried Mind

Standard

As promised yesterday, I’m going to be a little more political, because I feel strongly about a lot of issues that are relevant to today’s world.

Now, keep in mind that because of my mental illnesses and my low threshold for stress these days, I’m not as up on the issues as I should be. I know they exist, and I know my position on them. I can’t engage in meaningful debate about the nuances of the different sides, I can only tell you in plain English why I believe what I believe.

Right now I have two main concerns. The first is healthcare. I’m currently on Medicare because of my disability, which means that if anything happens to Medicare I’m SOL. If pre-existing conditions become a disqualifying state, I’m SOL, my wife is SOL, and a LOT of my friends are SOL as well. I can’t tell you how important it is that healthcare remain affordable and accessible to me, without a lapse in coverage. (I’m on six blood pressure medications. If I’m out of even one of them my blood pressure becomes worryingly elevated. Being unable to afford my medications would be an immediately life-threatening situation for me, thanks to my high blood pressure and diabetes, not to mention the effect that it would have on me being mentally ill and unmedicated.)

The second concern is Social Security. As I mentioned before, I’m currently on disability because of my PTSD and bipolar disorder. We are completely dependent on my Social Security payment, and because I’ve been out of work for nearly five years, if that payment goes away, getting quickly hired on anywhere doing anything would be a significant challenge. We’d last perhaps four to six weeks before both of us were homeless.

These are the pressing concerns that I have for myself, but I have a lot of other concerns too. I worry about people being treated unequally because of their gender, sexual orientation or gender identity, race, religion, nationality, income level, education, age, or any other category that can be used for discrimination, and I have little tolerance for those who feel that any of these reasons are acceptable to discriminate against anyone. I think that critical thinking is a vital quality to have and I don’t understand people that deny scientific evidence or other known factual information. I also don’t believe that critical thinking is something that should be limited to those with higher education; I have a GED and I thrive on learning, especially if what I knew before was incorrect.

And lastly, I think that we are in very deep trouble given our current political climate. I think that policies are going to be enacted that will literally cost people their lives. Our government should be protecting us, not trying to kill us off. For the first time in my life, I can genuinely say that I don’t trust the government. I’ve been able to say that I don’t trust things the government has been telling me before, but this is the first time that I can say I don’t trust the government, full stop. I don’t like that feeling. It’s alien and uncomfortable and chilling, and I see things happening every day in our government right now that I seriously question. I’m not convinced I’m going to survive this administration, and that’s a devastating thought to have.

So there’s part details, part nutshell what I believe. I want to be more active in resisting the changes in our government, but I’m unsure where to start. I want to be the change that I want to see in the world, and I’m finally to the point that I feel like it’s imperative that I act on that rather than just dwelling on the idea of it.

Change of Plans

Standard

I met with my therapist today.

We talked about a lot of things, including politics and my frustrations that have arisen because of same, and then I mentioned that I’ve been purposely going out of my way to avoid being political on my page for various reasons.

She wants me to be more authentic with myself (I mentioned that this is just one more step on my path to becoming a hipster) and my political viewpoints and to take the time to write about things that I’m passionate about.

In other words, she wants me to get political.

So in future posts, both here and on Facebook, I’ll be attempting to do just that. It’s not going to come easy, but I’m going to do my best. (I’m eloquent with the written word a lot of the time, but I’m complete pants at writing about anything political.)

Thought you might like to know.