Election Anxiety

election-anxiety

I’m pretty numb today. After months of slowly building anxiety–chest-tightening, tears to your eyes, can’t breathe kind of anxiety–I held this hope that it would finally be okay to breath out again. I even had a vlog planned for next Tuesday tentatively titled “Thank Goodness That’s Over,” but there was always the nagging fear in the back of my mind: But what if he wins? But it was better not to think that way because the anxiety was already nearly crushing.

But this morning, I had to wake up and deal with that reality. And it’s left me numb with few words to really say. I’ve read a lot of reactions today. I’ve connected with the rage and the sorrow and the despair. I’ve been incredulous at the tone-deafness of others. I’ve cried at the ones offering hope and support. I don’t feel the need to shout and scream and curse and demean those who feel this was 100% the right decision. I’ve very much understood the moral greyness of this entire election.  No candidate really seemed “the best” for America.  But the things that Donald Trump has said and promises to do, create in me a level of fear and anxiety to which Hillary’s potential didn’t come close.

What I really hope is that Donald Trump is every bit as much of a liar as he’s shown himself to be so far, and he does not enact or accomplish the many damaging things he’s promised.  But even if his presidency turns out to be far less sensational than his presidential campaign (which seems unlikely coming from a reality TV star), I mourn what his campaign has stirred up in the belly of America. The rage, racism, hatred, sexism, and prejudiced attitudes have now been validated. Even if that’s not why you voted for/supported Trump, those voices are the ones that were the loudest and continue to be now. It wouldn’t have been much better if Hillary won because the atmosphere has already been charged with these hateful feelings, but at least the person who inspired that energy wouldn’t then hold the highest office in the United States of America.

And what makes me most sad of all, is that many of you won’t understand why I’ve been plagued by anxiety during this whole election season. Why can’t I let it go? What’s wrong with me? Based on Donald Trump’s track record, he would call me “weak.” But mental illness is not a weakness even if it feels like it at a time like this in our nation.

For now though, I’ll leave you with a little bit of music that helped me calm the nerves today. I hope if you’re feeling anxious or despairing, this brings you a little relief. And if you’re celebrating that it gives you some insight into what your fellow citizens are feeling now.

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