it’s kinda hypnotic. the longer i spend following the spiral down, down, down as i search for the end. end, buried deep beneath these caverns of gold.
and so i’ll follow, follow, follow. i’ll do as i was told. cheap plastic, shattering beneath the slightest pressure. don’t i want to get old? sit atop my rocker, telling tales from a bygone world…
of a time, when the periwinkle sky granted me a single drop of mercy, and you told it to leave me the fucking hell alone. when endless hallways screamed my name, and i drowned in the maze of bone.
but right now, maybe i just want to stop. maybe all i want to do is prick my finger, on another goddamn spindle. fall asleep on my cardboard throne.
let the pulsing fear begin to dwindle. and hope that someday, i’ll be able to atone.
It’s a lot, sometimes. Everything happening on the news.
I want to disclaim this post with that–well, although to be honest it is exhausting to see, I am in no way the victim in any of the situations going on right now, or the most affected party. I don’t want this to come off entitled, or self-centred. But at the same time, I think discussing how all the news affects us, and taking care of our mental health as best as we can is very important. That’s my intent in writing this.
I’ve been trying to keep up to date with the news throughout the pandemic. I guess it was a habit I picked up around March, when quarantine started, and never really dropped. So after I wake up, the first thing I do is check my phone–usually log onto Tumblr, Instagram or Twitter, intending to post something, or check out what some of my mutuals are up to. (Or that’s the excuse I make to myself anyway.)
But inevitably, I end up finding out about some bad thing that happened while I was asleep. Then, I’ll usually google it, and read a basic news article informing me on the situation. Read another one. Have a complete breakdown, gradually feeling more and more disgusting and/or making myself increasingly late for work. But I just lie there, paralyzed on the floor. The background anxiety of that will often stick with me for the rest of the day
I come from a family of activists. My mom–who grew up during the Cold War–went to protests from a very young age, and often tells me about how formative that experience was to her. My great-grandparents were huge activists for nuclear disarmament, sticking to that cause literally until their deaths. Every summer, my mom and her sister would fly to Ireland to stay with them. I was actually named after my great-grandmother.
Anyway. One time, when my mom was staying with them, she had gotten all her clothes too dirty to wear. So she was sitting outside of the washing machine wrapped up in a towel, waiting for the laundry to finish. My great-grandfather came up to her, and asked her out of nowhere: “What are you going to do to save the world?”
All my mom wanted to was something clean to wear. She was ten years old.
As much as we’ve laughed at that story–I think it really illustrates the culture of obsessive responsibility my mom–and then I–have grown up in. (Many times, my parents have asked me the same question.)
I grew up with the mindset that the needs of the public far outweighed your own; that if you could learn more about something, it was your responsibility to find out all the horrific details, no matter how hard it might be to handle. And then, it was your responsibility to fix it at all costs.
But as I’ve grown older, I’ve started to realize… that kind of mindset isn’t sustainable. If I’m going to do the best I can to make the world a better place, I can’t consistently do that at the cost of my own wellbeing. That only leads to the place I’m in now–of constant paranoia and paralysis to do anything about an issue.
Anyhow–I’m still grappling with this, and trying to figure out how to set healthy boundaries without turning a blind eye, if that makes sense. If you’ve struggled with something similar and have any tips–or just want to share your experience, feel free to let me know. 🙂
Lots of love,