What To Do With Such Times

Today I went downtown to the huge – 70,000 strong, early reports say – protest against Trump’s concentration camps for kids. It was my second protest this month related to this topic; I went to a small but energetic emergency march the day after those initial reports came through.

I return from the protest energized and hopeful. I have been cynical of late, thinking that Twitter and the internet give people the dopamine rush of being activists without actually engaging in any activism (love David Simon, but yelling curse words at trolls isn’t making any real difference in the world, except as entertainment. Which, hey, we also need). I have seen so many people tweeting variations on “Why aren’t people in the streets?” and I always think: “Aren’t you people? Get in the streets.”

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Struggling In The Swamp Of Sadness

Note: this is not a cry for help (I am actively getting help). It’s a statement of solidarity with other people who are suffering right now.

This is going to start pretty dark. It will get more hopeful as we go. Content warning: this is all about suicidal ideation.

I spent a lot of time this weekend reading up on famous suicides. I ended up on a site called Lost All Hope dot com, which bills itself as one of the most comprehensive suicide resources online. I was there looking at painless ways to commit suicide. (Spoiler alert: it turns out that a lot of the ways you think might be painless in fact are not, and that the ones that are more painless are messier, and that the best way to kill yourself actually requires the help of another person, which makes it more of a murder.) I was not in what we usually consider a good place.

Right now I’m dealing with a lot of depression and anxiety. Some of it is situational – I’m unemployed, running out of money and don’t see a clear path towards being a position where I can get a real job that will allow me to move out of my current living situation, where I’m accepting the charity of friends. But there’s something I’ve learned in my 18 months of sobriety and spirituality – it isn’t my situation that’s making me want to die, it’s how I’m relating to it.

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