Tidal Wave

I occasionally touch on the topics of depression and anxiety, they are not strangers to me (or to most people I suspect) but I tend to have a pretty good grip on my battle with them.

Except when I don’t.

After the US presidential election I tried to calm myself down and rationalize. I tried to focus on other things. I tried to remain positive and hopeful. The key word is tried. I tried and I failed harder than I ever have on the battlegrounds before.

I felt like I was in a boss fight (video game references will be used in this analogy) and I’d not only run out of teammates who could restore HP but I’d run out of potions to cure my failing health and the attacks just kept coming with no time to heal. KO, game over, cue the end music of defeat.

I’ve lost the majority of my favorite (most loved) people and all my safety nets, my house reminds me daily of my loss, changes at work were stressing me out, my immediate family is struggling, the values I hold dear are under attack and the future of the planet’s ability to sustain human life continues to grow more vulnerable. I no longer have a partner to face the world with and it’s unlikely I will ever have children. I simply couldn’t convince myself there was anything worth sticking around for. I would go to sleep and think “please don’t let me wake up” and each morning when I did wake up I just wanted to cry even more.

Logically I knew/know I have a lot of amazing things going for me. I have the best support network a person could ask for, I have a team that I love and loves me at work (the stress wasn’t related to my team), I have a house worth vastly more than the mortgage, I have an enviable skillset and generally good health. None of that mattered when I was in the harshest vice grip depression ever got on me. I gave zero fucks about any of it. I was as numb as one could get, sociopathic levels of lack of feeling.  I couldn’t get out and even the anxiety that triggered was a shadow of itself, paling in darkness of that pit.

I’m not even entirely sure how I broke free. I am still operating under extreme caution. Still mostly numb but more functional. Little snippets of feeling seeping back in, the smile doesn’t seem as forced. My resignation was not accepted, the show must go on…apparently.

I don’t know what the future holds, I do know that I am far more concerned and invested in the outcome than I had let on.

Did the election have this kind of effect on anyone else?


18 thoughts on “Tidal Wave

  1. The election did not freak me out. I have seen quite a few presidents take office that I did not have confidence in, and in the end, our country survives and so do I. I know that I cannot control outcomes, people, places, situations, or things. I try to live in the present, which helps prevent me from worrying and obsessing about the future. I’m glad to hear you are resurfacing. Most things are temporary and nothing is usually as bad as it seems. That is my experience.

  2. I went on a little tangent after my husband’s response that there were probably a lot of people feeling the same. Sure, there are people who are disappointed but moved on rather quickly. Me? Not so much. In fact, after the election I lost the rest of that week and most of the next. It was one of my challenges of challenges to get out of bed each morning. I kept grasping for any sort of good that can come from the situation. I’m still grasping, and things seem to be getting more complicated. Do any of his supporters see what he is doing or has done? I would like to know how they overlook the way he has behaved his entire adult life. If I knew how to forgive him, or to overlook his behavior, then maybe I could move on. I don’t carry grudges but I don’t forget. There is no excuse…..words and actions are so powerful and he has used a lot of horrid words and has behaved in ways that are appalling. Maybe I really don’t want to know how to overlook the ugliness he spreads. I don’t think I would like the person I would become.

    • Yes…yes to all that. I already knew things were broken and the most I could do was to set an example and try to be/lead the change I want to see happen, but I can’t help feeling horrified with each new appointment, tweet, and action taking place by the elect and his transition team. I have never felt this kind of dread from an election before, although the 2000 election pissed me off. There are so many red flags and being told to calm down and wait n see doesn’t make them go away.

    • The whole world is in turmoil. Stability (which was probably all an illusion anyway) is crumbling and what happens when there isn’t anyone left to pick up the pieces? I know worrying doesn’t solve anything, doesn’t change the reality that I have been watching the global society fall apart for years now. Not enough people are taking it seriously, or think it isn’t their problem because it might not be directly affecting them at the time. If too many people continue to ignore the state of the world it won’t improve but will continue to decline.

  3. That’s so well described. “Little snippets of feeling seeping in.” I felt desperately sad when I heard the election results. It led to a lot of self searching on my part. I kept asking myself, how could I have been so convinced he wouldn’t win. Was I so naive. It really shook my confidence in my own judgement and wisdom. How could I have not noticed how many people were thinking the same way as him? And I didn’t feel as if the world was going in the direction I wanted it to. I want us to be more compassionate and sharing. Less hateful. But now I just feel that Trump doesn’t control me. What he says and does are not my views. But no one is stopping me from being who I am. I shall just keep on being me. I’m a very quiet voice,but actually you don’t always need to shout the loudest to be heard. That’s my view.
    As far as friends and family are concerned- you can make your own family. I’m certainly available for adoption. I never had a sister and I always wanted one. I know so many people who would love to swop their relatives and are dreading the Christmas holidays. Perhaps making your own family might be the answer. You can choose. Sending smiles, a hug and some love your way. xxx

  4. My job prohibits me from speaking publicly about anything political, so I’m going to set the “why” aside and just speak personally . . . I’m glad you are on the upswing again and that it wasn’t time for your character to exit this crazy game we call life!! I would have missed your posts and songs and pictures! I pray Shabbat brings you a little more Shalom, which is not just a “lack of war”, but rather the overwhelming calm that comes from knowing you are an integral part of a Unity much grander and more beautiful than any of us can begin to imagine… jen

  5. Yes, I was so sad and furious about the results, still am. I have problems with depression myself. Have not had to deal with any bad episodes lately, but have had some now and then. I also am so blessed to have so much going for me, hubby, children and grandchildren. Just have to keep going.

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