DEALING WITH PTSD – PRESIDENT TRUMP STRESS DISORDER
There are two kinds of people walking around America these days, those who are happy and feel like they have won some big prize and then there are the ones suffering from anxiety, fear, anger and stress. You can tell the latter easily, there is a look in the eye, a slump in the shoulder, a blank stare that translates into WTF happened and what does the future hold.
I am not making fun of PTSD, it can come from many different experiences, battle is only one, but many traumas will ignite it.
I can only do my howl at the moon blogs so many days in a row. I have moments of calm when I think what am I going to do? How am I going to cope? And how am I going to help others?
I got many emails from people at Gratitude and Trust today asking that I say something. I’ve kind of let them down.
They are looking for the advice giving side of me and not the pissed off, say whatever the hell I want side of me.
So if you are one of the happy Trumper campers then you can trash this blog now. You can even sign off from all my sites. I really don’t care. But if you are feeling let down, lost, nervous, anxious and depressed then you might want to keep on reading.
Many people say you should just shut off the news and not pay any attention. Don’t read anything that might upset you, but I am not a believer in the stick your head in the sand lifestyle. This is real. Donald J. Trump is the president elect of our country and we have to deal with it. Now more than ever we need to know what is going on in our world.
- Watch news, but not all the time. I think before bed is distressing. Maybe limit it to a few specific times a day. Discuss it, then drop it. Don’t obsess. I do, but I’m telling you not to.
- Do things that totally erase your brain and relax you. I work out and try and meditate. A friend I was with last night rakes leaves in her garden. Another bakes. Anything that takes you to a place of happy purpose and calm.
- Seek out like minded friends and talk to them. The last two nights we spent with friends we knew felt like we do. The temperature will cool down, but for the moment if you are really an open nerve then don’t expose yourself to people you know you will fight with or have conflict with. It does not mean you won’t see those people again. It means for now if you are upset and you know they had a hand in what is upsetting you, stay away from them. And you know there may be people you never speak to again. If Donald Trump does some of the things he promises and you feel like he as totally trashed your country, then you won’t want to be around people you know helped him get this power. I know that sounds dramatic. But this is a big deal. I have never lived through any political situation like this in the forty years I have been voting. It’s beyond polarizing. It’s not just ho hum another Bush. It’s huge and it will split up friendships – no doubt. There are people I have checked off my life list over this.
- Steer clear of Facebook pages where you know you might get into a fight with someone. Everyone wants to be heard and we are in a period where DT gave America the OK to speak in whatever way they want to whomever they want. So try and just stay out of those rooms. I know my FB friends who are Christian Fundamentalists, arch conservatives and people who will end up disagreeing with me and me with them, so I just stay away. I have only gotten into one internet skirmish. And I tried to take the high road the first time the person came after me. The second time, pow- I gave it back, then unfriended them. I can be outspoken but I don’t wander onto others sites and attack their positions. I just avoid.
- Family time. I have been spending a lot of time with my kids and my dogs. It’s soothing and comforting.
- If you and some members of your family are not on the same page. If your votes cancelled each other out, agree to disagree for the time being and come back to it again when things have cooled down. If you legitimately hate your spouse or partner, then maybe this is the straw that breaks the camel’s back. But only you know that.
- If there are people you disagree with but want to stay close to, remember the part of them you like. I had someone say the most insane thing to me. “Come on Tracey, lighten up, have fun, Melania is glam.” I was like WTF, she’s a Russian hooker. Sorry it doesn’t work for me. We had it back and forth for awhile. But afterwards I remembered how far back we went, that she was always GOP and that it was not worth losing the friendship. Someone else who needled me, I remembered that they were nice to me when I needed a friend, again, hall pass. So the good memory thing does work. If someone is a friend they are likely a friend for a reason. Try and remember why and put that before politics if you can. Again, you might not able to. Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t.
- This is my answer for any anxiety I feel. I clean drawers, closets, the fridge. I have made four trips to the container store since Tuesday. When I put my physical world in order it makes me feel like I have some control over my life.
- Work helps a lot. Just throw yourself into a project.
- Surround yourself with physical and audio beauty. Light candles, buy some fresh flowers. Read an uplifting book. Listen to music. It sounds corny but it puts you in a good mood. Endless pundits as wise noise often exacerbates the situation.
- Eat something you normally don’t. Don’t overdo it, but indulge. My friend Arthur and I compared notes on how much carb loading we did the days following the election. I gave myself till Sunday, then pulled back.
- Find a new TV show. There are so many great ones. Watch the news, then around 8 turn on something that totally takes your mind off it.
- Talk to your kids, (if you have them) if they are really young explain that this is not the way our leaders have customarily behaved. That any types of bullying, bigotry, hate slogans and slurs are not alright under any circumstances and it’s really not alright for your leaders to do it. Then figure out your own way to tell them how this happened. That depends on the age of the child. My older daughter has just needed a shoulder and to hang with me. My younger one is more resilient about it all.
- Find a cause you stand behind, something that means something to you and donate your time or money if you can afford it to that. If it’s LGBT, then join a support group or lead one. If you are concerned about those who are worried about deportation find a way to help. Read to kids, be a big brother or sister. If you like me care about women’s rights, go join Planned Parenthood. That’s what I did. I’m meeting with the president of the NY chapter this week and donating my time and talents in whatever way I can. I am very pro choice and very worried about Trump’s positon on this. So I’m doing whatever I can.
- Be kind. Just because there seems to be a let your mean flag fly vibe in our country at the moment – go out of your way to be kind to people. All people. Many are suffering in different ways and even if they’re not being kind, kind always wins the day.
- As Michele Obama said, damn I’m going to miss her. “When they go low, you go high”
- For many of us this is scary as shit, but we will get through it. At least I keep telling myself that.
- I don’t know how to do this, but something inside me does.