Protecting My Health

Did you know that if your heart rates gets too high while sitting still, an Apple Watch will warn you about it? I’ve been reminded of this a few times in the last week. Twice yesterday alone.

This week has been … not good.

The news that Justice Kennedy is retiring has set my anxiety levels into overdrive. I’ve had a series of flashbacks all week that have just been crippling.

I have to deal with pretty severe anxiety at times. I don’t take anything for it (or even gone to see a doctor about it). I know what triggers it, and I do my best to avoid it. As long as I stay away from the trigger, I do pretty good as a fully functional person. I’m able to avoid it pretty well, so most of the time, I’m just fine.

The Supreme Court has been just about the only check-and-balance we’ve had left against the Evangelicals that run Congress, and the State governments. (45 isn’t an Evangelical, but he plays them like a fiddle and does whatever they want… and there’s Pence.) News that the last check-and-balance we’ve had left is about to fall has been overwhelming.

This (Justice Kennedy retiring) is the end game that Evangelics have been hoping for decades. Just knowing that the people I used to hang out with are ecstatic right now is… overwhelmingly awful. I spent decades having to listen to how amazing this moment would be. I can’t even count the number of times I had to sit in church and listen to someone pray for this moment. It’s gotta be hundreds, if not thousands of times.

My social media feeds have been stuffed full of people that are scared. Post after post. We all knew that 45’s reign was going to be bad, but no one predicted it would be this bad. It feels like we’re about to enter a theocracy unlike any in my lifetime in this country. Sessions quoting bible verses as justification for what they were doing is ultra scary.

The constant reminder on social media of what’s likely in the next 24 months (marriage equality being taken away or made much weaker, state laws being passed that’ll prevent me from using the bathroom outside of my own house, etc) keeps being thrown into my face.

I keep getting flashbacks to awful events in my life. Having to sit in a church for hours while I was forced to listen to someone preach about how gays caused 9/11. Having to listen to an old white man demonize women on “sanctity of life” Sunday. (You know, the Sunday when you pull up into church only to see a graveyard in the front?) Being forced as a child to memorize things I didn’t want to memorize. Having to listen to how people like me are worthless, and should be punished so harshly that not even death will allow us to escape.

This is the trigger that sets off my anxiety. My heart starts to race, I get really hot, I start to sweat, and I feel really terrible about myself. There’s not a lot I can do. I just have to wait and let it pass.

You can’t logic your way out of an anxiety attack. Believe me, I’ve tried. People telling me “oh, it’s not that bad” or “you’re crazy” or “you’re wrong” doesn’t help. It just makes it worse because it adds guilt on top of everything else.

It’s been happening so much that I’m starting to worry about my health.

I need to get away from the thing that triggers it. I’m going to cut way back on social media for a while. I’ve already taken my personal Twitter account off my phone. I can’t really do the same for Facebook, since East Bay Rabbit Rescue uses it to coordinate a lot of things, but I’m not going to be light with the mute button. My health is at stake. 😢