Staying Informed Vs. Staying (Relatively) Sane

I need to keep this post short, so I can go journal or knit or meditate or do whatever will make me feel less pissed. If you have found yourself feeling this way recently, you might be suffering from “Political-Knowledge-Osis”, a painful condition that can develop when one consumes a large quantity of information regarding current politics.

I love politics; on some level, I always have. But my interest has grown in the last 2 and a half years especially. Unfortunately, I also suffer from various mental illnesses, and thus am more susceptible than most to hating the fucking shit out of everybody while crying intermittently.

That is not an exaggeration for comedic effect. Today, I cried multiple times watching CBC coverage of the Quebec mosque shooting, then gave myself a headache from my sheer level of hatred towards proponents of Trump’s Muslim ban.

I honestly don’t know what to do. I avoided watching the news for most of last week, and I hated it. I take pride in my knowledge about politics and current events. I felt like shit seeing headlines on Facebook referencing events I hadn’t heard of. I felt anxious about the dozens of videos piling up in my YouTube subscription box. I felt bored watching episode after episode of Friends while I got ready and did chores, instead of CBC, MSNBC, and the Young Turks.

So what am I supposed to do? Following the news leaves me deeply unhappy, but so does ignoring it. I feel deep sadness and passionate rage when I stay informed, but I feel hollow and purposeless when I don’t. Maybe there isn’t a good solution. Maybe I’ll just have to be unhappy. Ugh.

Bernie would have fucking won.

Sarah

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4 thoughts on “Staying Informed Vs. Staying (Relatively) Sane

  1. Suggestion for your depression, Sarah: get over Bernie. At least until 2020. I like Bernie, but if more Bernie Backers and moderates had voted for Hillary in the General Election – as imperfect as she is – we wouldn’t be enduring this nightmare of Trump. I had to deal with the same thing in 2000 with all those “I vote my conscious” folks who voted for Nader instead of Gore, and in so doing helped give America 8 years of Bush-Cheney. Idealism is nice, but in politics, you HAVE to mix in some pragmatism. Otherwise, you’re screwed.

    Second suggestion: avoid the news. It gets easier with time. You can still be active in the causes you support without reading, listening, or watching the news. The news media helped elect Trump, anyway… he was BIG MONEY for them, so the gullible public was swamped on a daily basis with his outrages until we were barely outraged anymore.

    I’m as pissed as you, but life goes on. Enjoy your friends, family, hobbies, and the causes you support. This clown will cause damage, certainly, but history has a way of dealing with petty tyrants.

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    • Hey, thanks for your comment! I want to clarify that I’m not walking around bitter about Bernie losing the primaries; when I mention it, I’m usually just trying to be snarky. I disagree with the assumption that Bernie supporters lost Hilary the election. But that’s an entirely separate argument. I’m continuing to follow Bernie because he’s still leading a movement, and it gives me hope.
      I know reading the news isn’t great for my depression, but I can’t start completely ignoring it. Ultimately, I’d rather be knowledgeable than happy. But I do need to strike a better balance.

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      • Cool, and I understand. I read a couple of your earlier posts just now. I didn’t know you’re Canadian. Wow. Hey, at least you don’t have to deal with a Trump regime as directly as we Yanks do! Also, I admire your honesty about your illnesses. I just posted an essay about my grandmother, who was schizophrenic. She had to be institutionalized, back before they had meds. My cousin inherited her disease but was able to stay “on the outside” most of the time. My own issue is social anxiety. And my daughter had an eating disorder (but is doing fine, now, thankfully…she’s actually expecting!). I guess what I’m trying to say is: you’re not alone, and it’ll get better! Hang in there, and keep the faith. (Not sure if you can find them, but my wife and I watch a lot of reruns of The Lawrence Welk Show. You’d be amazed what a great pick-me-up that silly show is!).

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      • Thank you for your kind words! And I’ll look into that show. My current unwinding show is Friends, but I’ll be finished the series again soon.

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