This Country Continues to Break My Heart...

A little less than a week ago I sat on a panel on "Self Care for Authors" at ArmadilloCon 41. The panel quickly turned into a very brutal and raw discussion about writers and mental health. It also largely focused on what we should be doing right now, in the face of the daily onslaught of negativity and horror in the headlines to keep ourselves from sinking into a deep dark depression from which we feel we might never return. I have suffered from severe anxiety and depression issues as a result of a combination of genetics and PTSD since childhood. I am also an empath. Which does NOT help the situation whatsoever. Thus, it is a minute-by-minute struggle not to succumb to the though that we are doomed in this country. It is also very difficult not to feel completely hopeless because we feel helpless. We panel of authors spoke mightily about the importance of limiting our daily consumption of the news. We also spoke about remembering that we should not feel responsible for solely fixing any broken aspect of our shattered democracy because we cannot singlehandedly fix it. This week I stupidly ignored both of those suggestions...

It didn't help that I was home with a sinus infection and feeling less than up to working on my projects. Thus, I spent a lot of time, a lot more time than usual, on Facebook, Twitter, and other news feeds. It also didn't help that this week began with four mass shootings, a stabbing, a man slamming a 13 year-old's head into the ground for not removing his baseball cap at a game, 3 countries putting out travel warnings because of our mass shootings, and then, today, the arrest of nearly 700 immigrants leaving hundreds of children stranded at school without parents with no one to take care of them and no where to go. Today my breaking point found its breaking point. On top of that 45 had decried the shootings as the fault of the individuals shot and once again could not help but make it all about him. What the ever loving fuck is wrong with that man?

I don't know what to do anymore. I, like millions of my fellow Americans, am feeling very helpless. Who do I help? Is it enough? Do I go to El Paso and bring supplies? Do I go to Dayton? Do I offer to take in a homeless child from Mississippi? All the while I'm terrified to go to a shopping mall, a Walmart, or any other crowded area because I have no idea, in the state of Texas where anyone could be packing a gun (the El Paso shooter was from Dallas, also in Texas), and decide they want to be the next Trump martyr. I was talking with my boyfriend the other night about this, that even though I live in Austin, a sanctuary city that has promised to protect anyone and everyone seeking refuge here, it doesn't stop some wingnut from walking into our town, full armed, and taking out our civilians. After all, thanks to our Governor, we have a big ole target on our back. And, let's face it, gunmen don't care who they shoot. They will take out anyone and everyone to get their pathetic tiny dick manifestos out to the world.

I'm scared. I don't know what to do about that. I'm heartbroken. I feel helpless. If anyone out there has any links to where I can donate or volunteer and where the best of my efforts are placed, please send me some direction. Also, if anyone has started a support group in Austin, or is interested in starting one with me, for people feeling the same way, please reach out to me. It's better that we all work together towards something positive than feeling lost at sea on our individual, slowly deflating life rafts...

#MississippiICERaid #ElPaso #Dayton #shootings #Trump #WhiteNationalists #HomegrownTerrorists #ICERaid #SanctuaryCity #Austin #Texas #depression #anxiety #mentalhealth #ptsd #selfcare #authors

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