On my way to my first client of the day I listened to NPR report on the usual nefarious political bullshit. Once I began navigating my way round Lake Hollywood, my brain kinda wandered, as it often does, whenever I encounter nature’s majesty. Rays of sunlight shone through the towering pines casting a celestial aura. Beautiful. As always, I kept an eye out for deer because nothing makes me happier than catching a glimpse of my spirit animal.
As I descended into Beachwood Canyon, an NPR correspondent began reporting about the border wall construction taking place in extremely close proximity to the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in Arizona, where conservationists are digging up and relocating saguaro, organ pipe, and other types of cacti, in a desperate attempt to save these federally protected native plants– some of which are estimated to be a thousand years old– from being destroyed by government contracted bulldozers clearing the way for you-know-who’s stupid border wall.
By the time I arrived at my client’s I was utterly bereft. The sadness quickly gave way to a red hot burning rage so fierce it brought me to tears. It took every fiber of my being to choke back the primal scream welling inside my throat. I mean, of all the shit that’s currently happening– like how we’ve left our Kurdish allies for slaughter or how LGTBQ rights are, yet again, hanging in the balance– it was the story about the cacti that finally pushed me over the edge. Teetering on the edge of a nervous breakdown, I managed to keep my shit together and soldier on, albeit with an unmistakable undercurrent of outrage and despair.
I’m a generally even-keeled, go-with-the-flow kinda human, but these days, man, I feel like I’m living in a perpetual state of agitation infused with a healthy dollop of dread. There are fleeting moments when I experience feelings of abject hopelessness. My patience has waned considerably. I’m prone to sudden bouts of irritation and I’m just so fucking mentally exhausted all the time.
Then it hit me.
I’m suffering from a terrible case of D.T.S.D. a.k.a. Donald Trump Stress Disorder. For those of you who aren’t suffering from this affliction, D.T.S.D. is like that stomach-churning helplessness you feel when you have no control over the outcome. It’s like your house is completely engulfed in flames and all you can do is watch it burn to the ground.
Everyday, for the last three years, we’ve witnessed this morally bankrupt ego maniac with “unmatched wisdom” systematically dismantle our democracy, alienate us from the global community, make alliances with dictators and henchmen, obstruct, deny, lie, and basically shit on the Constitution. And what totally sucks is that no amount of protesting, boycotting, petition signing, and organizing seems to make a fucking bit of difference. November 2020 can’t come fast enough, but chances are, he’ll be reelected. I honest-to-God don’t know if I can handle another four years. I’m literally losing sleep over it. Worst of all, I can feel hatred for another human seeping into my heart and that’s not good, nor is it nice to pray that he drops dead of a massive brain aneurysm.
I went to the doctor recently. Turns out my cholesterol is much too high and I’m flirting with Type 2 diabetes. Fun. My doctor informed me I’d have to start taking statins if my cholesterol doesn’t improve by my next check-up. Fuck that shit. If I can avoid taking medication simply by making a couple of lifestyle changes in order to amend my physical health, well, I’m gonna do that. So, bye-bye red meat. Sayonara, ice cream. TTYL, bacon.
Perhaps I should try taking a similar approach to my aggravated case of Donald Trump Stress Disorder– emphasis on stress— which is taking a cumulative toll on my emotional and mental health and well-being. Maybe cut way back on the Twitter and drastically limit my consumption of news.
I may not be able to control the soul crushing political, diplomatic, environmental, and humanitarian atrocities occurring each and everyday at the behest of the tyrant-in-chief, but it’s entirely possible to strike a healthy balance between staying informed without falling down the news cycle/social media rabbit hole because, Lord knows, I can’t continue to function in this constant state of emergency.