…and I don’t just mean physically. Like: I’m not sick (or at least, not sicker: I still have a tumor, it’s still screwing with my hormones; I still wear out far faster than I should. That’s a forever thing). But I’m tired. I’m sore and I’m stiff. I’ve been going to marches and rallies, at least one a week. I’ve been writing my senators and representatives. I’ve been trying to keep up with the news, and cross-referencing pretty much every article I read to see if it’s being reported in more than one place as a test for legitimacy.
I’m tired. I’m depressed. I ache, and one night of bad sleep will screw me up for an entire day. I take sleeping pills now. Over the past year my anxiety medication has doubled. On good days, I can actively engage for a couple of hours. Maybe four if I really push myself, but then I’m wiped out for the next one. On bad days I don’t manage to do anything except read and maybe cry. On really bad days I just sort of shut down until and unless I’m required to interact with someone.
Today, I really want to shut down. I want to sleep for another four hours. I’ve extended my work day so that I can actually have two hours of un-paid time within the day for sleeping, because otherwise I can’t make it through. I still have trouble, because these days instead of sleeping I get swept up with checking news feeds.
I have a proclivity toward adictive behaviours — particularly, in the past, escapist ones. Now that obsessive need is being turned on pulling in all of the news from all of the sources to try and suss out what is real and what is fake and what is under reported and what is going to happen next. It has gone from keeping informed to being immersed, and it takes a toll I can’t really afford to be constantly paying.
I’ve written a little. I have about 1/2 of the next MNML chapter written. Most of that is from days when I left my tablet at home and couldn’t obsessively check the news.
I’m terrified of what is going on in my country’s government. Terrified. And with that major stuff going on, there’s so much littler stuff that’s slipping through at the edges; not getting attention. In my state there are already two bills present — one in the house and one in the senate — designed to keep transgender people out of public restrooms. One goes further, specifying that schools cannot acknowledge a student as transgender at all, even to permit ‘alternative’ restrooms and changing facilities, without a parent’s statement. There are cases where coming out at home isn’t safe. I never would have been able to get that statement from my parents: I couldn’t even bring myself to risk talking to them about it until I’d moved out — changed states — and they no longer had the ability to exert control over me.
But what does that matter next to the Muslim Ban? The Bowling Green (fictional) Massacre and everything it shows so clearly about the Trump administration’s willingness to lie? “Alternative Facts?” Steve Bannon, a white supremecist who admires the power weilded by individuals such as Darth Vader and Satan and has admitted that he is a Lennonist with the goal of destroying the government, being given a seat at the National Security Council? Every government agency in existance making an alternate twitter account, just in case they too get formal instructions to shut down their official communication channels to the American people? The pipeline being approved to go through at Standing Rock? The Election Assistance Commission, which is the only agency that certifies voting machines and systems are reliable, being voted out of existance? Incompetents like Betsy DeVos buying their way into cabinet positions?
And it’s not like police brutality has stopped being a thing. The cops are still militarizing — there are two meassures on my next city ordinance agenda that pertain to the police chief’s requests to aquire additional surplus military equiptment. But it’s being overshadowed by all the other shit that’s going on, too. And on top of that, there are people trying to create legislation banning protests.
There’s a measure in our house that would make it a felony for anyone to pass a police controled intersection in the event of a “riot” among other emergencies. Sounds reasonable, until you realize that it gives the cops the ability to decide what constitutes one of those emergencies and any protest with predominantely minority organizers has been and will be labeled a “riot” by them. We’ve already had protestors who weren’t even in the streets — protestors resting at their place of organizing — be tear gassed without reason. That bill is an excuse to put a mandatory minimum felony conviction on anyone who’s protests go past where the cops are willing to let them go. The system was fucked up from the inside out, and now the legislative branch is trying to give new tools to increase that shit’s influence.
And I can go on, and on, and on — except it’s exhausting.
I’m so tired.
A long, long time ago I realized that my ability to manage depression is closely tied to how tired I am. Most of the times I’ve had breakdowns in the past few years, I’ve been exhausted. The two times I’ve gotten into a screaming arguement, it wasn’t because I didn’t see a way to go forward politley — it was because I was so exhausted all I wanted was for the fighting to stop right now so I could sleep.
I sleep a lot these days. It’s a sign of depression, I know, but it’s also related to the whole tumor and screwed up hormones and all the different medications I take to deal with that, and my anxiety-induced insomnia and the pills I take so I can sleep through a night — and the fact that I have a sleep defecit that lasts for days if I ever stay up too late to take those pills and still make it in to work.
I just… I feel so overwhelmed. And even though I realize that as an individual the only difference I’m likely to make is through adding my voice to a group’s pushing for the same change, and even though I do that — it’s disheartening. I still feel helpless and ineffective. And it takes everythiing I’ve got out of me, so when I look at my writing, or work, or any of the things I would normaly spend my time on, I feel incompetent, too. Because I’m simply not performing like I used to. I’m not even doing as much as I was through all the different meds we tried with the tumor, because now I’m dealing with politics on top of that. A lot of the time, I’m not doing anything.
I feel really shitty, a lot of the time.
I’m trying to focus on positive things when I can, but I’m struggling just to keep track of everything I need to do for my personal life and everything I need to do because of civic responcibility, and everything I need to do to support and provide for my family.
I’ve broken down at least once in the past two weeks over each of those things.
I’m sorry. I don’t know when I’ll get the next chapter of MNML up. i don’t know when I’ll be able to let writing fiction be a significant part of my life. i just. i feel like im letting go of my calling. but i wont survive if i spend time on that instead of trying to fix everything else thats wrong
so im really, really sorry.