I would be remiss to suggest the anxiety I’m currently entrenched in stems solely from a broken heart, but that’s what I know the most about. Sadly it’s become my comfort zone. Aside from adventures on my bike it’s practically the only thing I write about.
Since I started blogging I’ve adhered to a strict guideline of never even attempting to approach politics. I do not possess a single drop of eloquence when it comes to things I feel so strongly about. It would seem as if my political tolerance lies very much in the realm of “You’re wrong, I’m right, and you should shut up because your opinion doesn’t matter.” Except that it doesn’t lie there. Cheetoh Prez aside, I do have a genuine interest in where people are coming from. I just don’t project that stance in the slightest.
After I came back from the Women’s March, a.k.a. the most pleasant and uplifting day I have ever spent in NYC, I was filled to the brim with love and hope for an immediate future where the resistance peacefully rises up and makes everything right in the world. That quickly faded due to a mostly innocuous post on Facebook by a friend of my parents who just couldn’t get past the pink hats and the word “pussy”. Meow!
I knew I shouldn’t have engaged her. I pride myself on never engaging in these things! But I couldn’t help it. Something came over me when I saw reports bashing the march. It was maddening to learn there are a lot of people who believe our peaceful protest was in the wrong, that we were filthy and vile because of a cartoon fallopian tube giving the finger to the current administration. A cartoon fallopian tube!
I almost lost it with this family friend saying ‘Call me old fashioned, but I just think these women should be polite in their demand for respect.’ It’s as though she actually believes the suffragettes won us the right to vote by maintaining their primness!
The situation absolutely added to the stress that sent the muscles of my back into havoc. But if I look at the experience as a whole I have to admit that I got through it just fine. Sure I had a few days of being offended and riled up by prudeness and overwhelming amounts of ignorance, but can’t I handle that, especially considering the level of injustice other people are currently enduring?
I’m embarrassed to admit that for over two weeks now the answer has been No, I can’t. When things don’t go my way I freeze.
Ultimately it was a conversation between two sane people being firm in their convictions but also fair. I’ve re-read my comments many times and come to the conclusion that I wasn’t dismissive, nor was I vile. She asked for Maya Angelou, I gave her Maya Angelou. And I proactively made the point that this time it’s just too important. Furthermore, she wasn’t mean either.
The only glitch was I wasn’t able to convince her of my “right-ness”, so I felt like an absolute failure and I stalled out.
One of Seth Godin’s nuggets of wisdom is “Do what you should. Your mood will follow.” In other words, Grow up, shit needs to get done no matter what kind of mood you’re in. Taken farther, how about we all learn to become the fixers of our own bad moods?
Godin goes on to suggest we’re only capable of creating work that matters if we’re willing to be uncomfortable while we do it. It’s a point well taken yet difficult to push past. Since the march and the fallout and the day that sent me back over the edge with Peter, I’ve been waiting for my mood to be magically fixed so I can move on.
I can’t train for my triathlon because my back is out and my back will only feel better when my mood enhances. I can’t engage politically until I can fix all the world’s problems and convince the bad people that I’m right. I can’t… I can’t… I can’t because I feel stressed out and sad… wah 😦
Meanwhile what am I doing to voluntarily and actively enhance my own mood?
Buried emotions bite back. I’ve said it before and I’ll repeat it ‘til the day I die. It’s not healthy to suppress them. Emotions lodge in our bodies like any of the other crap we constantly stuff ourselves with. You don’t have to believe me, but I know this be true: in the grand scheme of health there is very little difference between fast food and emotional baggage.
It’s time to step up and really get on track. My course of action is three-fold. First and foremost I’m taking a negativity retreat. I’ve never been able to handle the news. Now I can’t even handle the Yahoo homepage. Or Google. Or my close friends Facebook walls. Or anything! I’m choosing to improve my sanity by limiting my access to all of the above because I can’t be hooked on the drama that brings me down. Frayed nerves = a useless version of myself writhing in pain. Writhing! I literally writhe. I’m not even exaggerating on that. It’s ridiculous!
Second: acupuncture. Because duh.
Third: You know it, you love it or you hate it. If you’re one of the people who loves me it probably stresses you out to think about, I’m sorry, but I’m fasting again. (Relax Ohio, I’m not going 40 days this time.) I’m currently 6 safe days into a month long cleanse. I say safe because I’m past the point of giving up. Repeated false starts are common for me until I reach the point where I really want to do it. And I am definitely at that point!
The month of February is 28 days long. I’m doing 8 days of clean eating surrounding 20 days of fasting. The last thing I ate was a small salad at a catered lunch on the 1st. I can feel my clarity getting closer. It’s only a few blocks away now.
I want to run screaming from the world, and from Peter for that matter, stuffing my face with Cheez-Its and chocolate milk as I hightail it outta here. But these situations are unlike any I’ve experienced before, so instead I will stay positive. I will walk my talk.
I won’t give up on my fast because this time it’s too important.
I won’t give up on trying to rationally engage in political discourse while educating myself on the way my country and government actually work. Because this time it’s too important.
And if I may dare to be so audacious… I won’t give up on Peter either. Because my gut keeps telling me over and over again, this time it’s too important. If I’m wrong in the end, I’ll survive. But what if I’m right?