It's okay if you don't want to read about Paris

It's okay if you don't want to read about Paris

It's okay if you don't want to read about Paris.

It's okay if you want to read about Paris but decide not to.

It doesn't mean you don't care, or that you've become desensitized to violence. To terrorism. To the plight of the ever-growing stream of refugees fleeing the very same evil that attacked France last night.

Can you imagine a Syrian re-experiencing what they lived through at home after a perilous journey?

I can. Far too vividly. Just typing this, my chest feels tight, and my heart is doing a fast pitter-patter. Several times already my brain has inserted Baby Girl into the images of dead children who have washed ashore, finding their final refuge, and every time I had to fight back against these intrusions because she is right here, napping in my lap. We are safe, but my body is on edge, coiled in this chair, ready to hold her tight and run.

It doesn't do the refugees or the victims of terrorist attacks any good, for me to mirror their emotions. It doesn't do me any good, either. Nor does it help me be a mother to Baby Girl.

Take a step back. Take a break from media and Facebook and the proliferating French flags for profile photos (or  if you have world-conscious friends, a Lebanese flag). Take a bath. Read Furiously Happy to remember you are not alone. Find support from other mothers who have heightened feelings of anxiety. Create something, to counter the destruction.

The news will still be there when you are ready to read about it. There will be more facts and fewer rumors by then, too, which helps keep the thoughts and anxieties at normal levels.

It's okay if you can't read about Paris right now. Or Beirut. Or Syria. Or dead children, whether there or here.

It's okay to give yourself a break from the news...

...because you are battling anxiety. Or depression. Or PPD.

...because you feel as if you could start crying uncontrollably and lose all hope in the world.

...because you feel too much, too easily.

You are not the only one.



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