Even with Mania, I can’t keep up.

I’ve been experiencing hypomania for the past few weeks (what probably got me onto this site in the first place) but even the vast amounts of excess energy can’t let me keep up with the news.

Between notifications that have made me slightly fearful of my iPhone to teenagers getting their hands on weapons to gas attacks on civilians; there is no shortage of things to be afraid of right now. I’m afraid that our president will fire the special counsel. I’m afraid that our election systems won’t hold up against external interference in November. I’m afraid of constitutional crises and I’m also afraid for all the women in this country without the power to speak up.

What a time to be alive, am I right? (I warned you I was a little manic)

In some seriousness, despite the darkness that seems ever-spreading and over-reaching, there is some good news and some things to truly feel energetic about. More and more women feel empowered to come forward and say “me, too”. A group of teenagers from Florida are changing the political landscape. The Courts are still overwhelmingly upholding the rule of law. Near my hometown, a Church literally became a sanctuary and would not let local law enforcement in to protect an immigrant who has been in this country since the late 1990s.

But what happens when the mania settles? When the energy fades?

I hope that more people come forward to carry torches.

Introductions

I was thirteen when I lost my mind and somewhere in my mid-twenties when I found it again.  You can imagine my dismay when I managed to rouse myself from manic ideas and helpless romanticism to find myself in some sick cartoon of a political landscape. I felt like I had left “The Looking Glass” and stumbled my way into “1984”, completely skipping any semblance of normality along the way. Well, that’s not quite true. I remember the elation at voting for Barack Obama in 2008 and proudly pinning the sticker to my jacket while my mom had handed me a list of federal judges, all ABA approved, to vote down the ticket for. In 2012, I could hear Obama’s final speech on the campaign trail from my apartment window in Des Moines, Iowa, where Hope was desperately blaring through the speakers.

 

In the election of 2016, which feels so long ago and at the same time, just yesterday unfortunately; I lacked the enthusiasm I had for Obama. I felt neither hope nor elation as I left the ballot box. I was, and still am in a lot of ways, a “liberal elitist”; someone who browses political commentary on a daily basis and donates from the confines of my couch. In hindsight, I wonder how much of my lack of passion can be attributed to the media and the firestorm of propaganda that shot across my Facebook feed faster than I could hide from it. I was never one to believe in conspiracy theories or that Area 51 actually houses UFO’s (I stand by the belief that it’s an Air Force testing ground, make of that what you will), but I believe now that our democracy was corrupted. I don’t believe that Russia corrupted it, though not for lack of effort, but by our own people. Voltaire wrote, “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities” and images of the modern G.O.P., Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, Newt Gingrich, and Chris Christie come to mind.

 

I have a mental illness, or what our mental health system would deem as a mental illness, yet when I look around me, I see something far more insidious than any type of illness; I see ignorance. I see people willingly looking the other way or believing news headlines when there are a hundred facts pointing to the contrary. I see people wanting to believe these things out of spite, out of anger, out of jealousy, and out of desperation. Naturally, this is all rooted in our country’s institutional racism, sexism, classism, and all of the other ism’s that exist (hey, I warned you that I was a liberal elite).

 

I hope that by writing, I can merge the two worlds of true mental illness and trauma and a culture created to inflict suffering. I make no promises that I can blend these, but I’m excited for what I might uncover both in myself and in others along the way.