Warning: Politics Can Be Hazardous to Your Health

I said in one of my early posts I would not write about political topics. I made one exception to that for a June post email to Jeff Sessions. I make another exception now to write about how the current national political climate has affected me personally.

For the past two months I’ve had a problem summoning the motivation and energy to do practically anything, even things I normally enjoyed. My last blog post was September 6. I had lots of others waiting in my queue, but I just couldn’t call up the interest to post. I wasn’t feeling sad; on the contrary, my general attitude was cheerful. I just couldn’t find the motivation and energy to act.

This is a classic sign of depression. I was puzzled. Why would I be in depression if I was feeling cheerful and basically happy with my life? It took me a while to figure it out, but finally it came to me like a thunder clap. It was all about stress.

At some point long ago I came to the conclusion not to get stressed about things I couldn’t control. Traffic jams. Long grocery lines. Home power failures in storms. I followed Erma Bombeck’s advice: “If you can’t make it better, you can laugh at it.” I use humor a lot to get through things I can’t change.

I have been living with things I can’t change since the presidential election of 2016. Humor has been one of my coping tools, faithfully following political comedy on TV and allowing my raucous laughter to carry me through situations that would otherwise enrage or dishearten me.

I thought it was enough. But after almost two years of living in this toxic, dangerous national environment, I have to admit it: I can’t ignore what this stress has been doing to me any longer. I need more coping mechanisms.

I’ve always believed in being an informed citizen. I follow local and national politics. In normal times, that doesn’t mean being subjected to a daily onslaught of negativity. But these are not normal times.

I don’t subscibe to the ostrich theory.  I won’t hide from the bad news. I won’t agree to be uninformed.

Here’s what I will do:

My partner and I enjoy watching some national political commentators in the evening. I won’t stop doing that. But now when I watch I take it in more objectively as information I should have, rather than as the latest political outrage I should worry about. Often I do something else while I’m watching, which helps to soften the impact of what I’m seeing and hearing.

I stay away from politics on social media. I have Facebook and Twitter accounts, but I don’t use them a lot, and I don’t follow political figures.

When friends start talking politics in my presence, I ask them to stop. Although like many–maybe too many–people in this country, my friends and I mostly have similar political views. But I find discussing politics now even with people I agree with still leads to raised voices and shrill opinions, and it stresses me. When my friends and I talk  politics we’re preaching to the converted. So why do it at all?

To better manage my depression in general, I’ve starting using my SAD lamp for 30 minutes when I wake up each morning. I wear an Alpha-Stim cranial electronic stimulator every day for an hour. They are great mood-lifters and energizers.

These are some of the things I’m doing now to keep my depression and stress at bay about things I can’t change.

There is one thing I can do to change things for the better, and that’s VOTE! on November 6. I am a pretty regular voter, but I admit I sometimes have skipped midterm or local elections. No more. Every election counts, no matter how small and local. Every vote counts.

Please join me on November 6 to exercise this most fundamental right of your citizenship.

Thank you for reading my blog. If you like it, follow this post and you’ll receive notice of  my new ones.

Joy and Peace,

Marjorie Beck

 

 

 

 

Continue reading “Warning: Politics Can Be Hazardous to Your Health”

An Email to Jeff Sessions

I said in an earlier post I would stay away from politics. But there’s always an exception.

Here is the text of an email I sent today to AG Jeff Sessions on the DOJ website:

How dare you use Romans 13 to justify the racist, immoral, inhumane separating of families at the southern border. I would expect such from Trump, a sociopathic narcissist who cares only for himself.

You call yourself a Christian.

Well, here’s another Bible verse for you.

Matthew 19:14, But Jesus said, suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

Put that in your Christian pipe and smoke it, you scrofulous little racist.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Twitter, Hatefulness, and Karma

In this internet age of instant communication, it seems everyone from individuals to politicians to news organizations uses Twitter now.  I wish Twitter  had never been invented. Sometimes I wish the internet had never been invented.

No, not really. I think the internet is a marvelous addition to our lives with benefits too many to enumerate. I use it daily. Yet it is also an agent for great harm, such as identity theft and election tampering, to name just two.

My greatest beef with Twitter is that it too often brings out not the better angels of our nature, but the worst. It is easy to spew venom at the world while masking your identity behind an anonymous handle. It’s a safe way to say hateful things you don’t have the courage to say otherwise. I wish all social media sites required posters to use their real names. Maybe it would promote a little more civility in online discourse, which would be a very, very good thing.

Of course, some people do say hateful things on Twitter using their real names. I feel sorry for them. I think they must hate themselves a little bit to lash out so hatefully at others. I think they are building pretty bad karma for themselves.

In closing, I wish you good karma and civility in all your interactions. May you always remember what goes around, comes around.

Thank you for reading my blog.

Marjorie Beck