Last week I told my therapist that since the election I’ve felt helpless, powerless, and hopeless. When Hillary lost, I felt so sad, it really was like someone had died, and our hopes and dreams died with them. I felt like I hadn’t done enough to fight the tyranny of Donal Trump. I told my therapist that every morning I woke up thinking about my problems. Her advice to me was to think about the good things about me or the things I like about myself, and to think about the things I’m grateful for.
Well, today I’m grateful for my friends who answer my text messages and phone calls, chat with me on Facebook, and return my emails, and my generous friend who took me out last Saturday and bought me a glass of wine, who made me feel normal, who took me out of the house, out of a place that too often feels unsafe and oppressive. I’m grateful for the people who see me as a good writer and the one or two who look up to me as someone they can learn from, who can help them be better writers, and those who value my feedback. I’m grateful to those who actually listen to me and care about what I have to say.
What are the good things about me? That I keep trying, even though it’s hard, even though most of the time I don’t want to get out of bed, I don’t want to live in a world where Donald Trump is president, where my parents are prejudiced against Mexicans, an America that hates women, people of color, LGBT people, Muslims, immigrants, and people with disabilities, an American where my vote doesn’t count because I live in a diverse, populous state on the West Coast and education and intellectualism, the power of free-thinking, questioning, and curiosity, are looked down on as being elitist and out of touch with the real America, an America where the majority of white people representing a minority of America voted for Trump because they felt that their social status was threatened by our nation’s growing racial diversity, where my friend’s cousin was harassed by a Trump supporter, called a “chink” and was told to get out of the country.
Today, what’s good about me, what I like about myself is that I finally got around to blogging! I finally finished an urgent goal that’s been in the back of my mind for weeks. I like my values. I don’t believe in false prophets. I reject bigotry. I strive to be nonjudgmental and objective, to be a better person, and stand up for what I believe in. I like that I’m still here, even though at times it’s so painful and it hurts and it’s so depressing, that this isn’t the life I wanted for myself, but I do it anyway because I have something to say.
My therapist told me I’m resilient but most of the time I feel weak, unable to will myself to do the things that will help improve my mental health. I am tired most of the time, and I am generally pessimistic and depressed, anxious and afraid. Love didn’t win this time, this election, and the voters who are now realizing that Trump lied to them, that Trump may very well destroy and betray our nation’s values, democracy and equality, need to hold themselves accountable for their failures, their betrayal, as well.