I Need to Prioritize my Mental Health to Fight the Alt-Right

flag

It’s been hard to remember to take my medication for my mental health issues, especially with President-Elect Donald Trump and the alt-right on my mind. I had been hoping to never hear Trump’s name again after the election. But, it seems that the chaotic news cycle will continue for the next four years.

I forgot to take my medication this morning. I’ve been stuck in a daze since last week and it’s difficult to imagine becoming unstuck. I’ve read articles and listened to podcasts about how to move forward and take action, but I feel trapped in a pattern of going to work, scrolling through social media, eating, sleeping, and then waking up to do it all over again.

I want to contribute to society in a meaningful way, but sometimes I feel like I can’t even complete simple tasks on a daily basis, such as cleaning or paying a bill online. I’ve stopped exercising because I can’t motivate myself to go to the gym after work. It seems too overwhelming to add another activity to my routine.

There was an argument made on The Baffler and Twitter that people shouldn’t compare the outcome of the election to fiction, such as Harry Potter and The Hunger Games. I understand why people would turn to fantasy during these trying times though. Pop culture offers an escape from the terrifying reality of a Trump presidency and an indifferent society.

I also understand the desire to return to life before the barrage of Facebook posts about the election. But we are living in a troubling present and we should all be concerned. It is important to continue to care for yourself and take breaks from the news, but it is also necessary to be aware of potential changes that will impact vulnerable Americans, such as a Muslim registry.

I don’t want to tell anyone how to think about this new normal, but it worries me that some people are not as concerned about the consequences of the election. I have an anxiety disorder, so I have a tendency to fixate on topics that cause me distress. However, it has been strangely comforting to listen to and read about other people’s concerns because it reminds me that I’m not alone.

I accept that Donald Trump was elected President of the United States, but I can’t stop thinking about what the future holds for people of color, LGBT people, Muslim Americans, women, and so many others. I can’t change the outcome of the election, but I can be more proactive going forward.

I don’t feel optimistic about what’s to come, but I am hopeful that people will organize and protest. I may have a mental illness and not much money, but I’ll do what I can to join people in their efforts to fight hate.

I have to take better care of myself, which includes taking my medication and exercising. I can’t participate in the fight if I’m unwell, so I must prioritize my mental health and practice self-care.

Leave a comment