Honestly? I’ve been a mess as of late.
These really, truly, awful, no-good, not-great, violent times have caused my own, personal infrastructures of identity to crumble. I’m fairly grossed out by my Americanness, confused by my white-passing hispanicness, hoping to lash out via my queerness, but mostly gazing at wine glasses thinking about drinking (but not).
It’s just getting really hard to cope as it often feels like we’re on the precipice of some sort of war or breakdown or something: I’m over it. I really, really, really, really want to write through my frustrations, pouring my heart out into a piece on why I’m so mad and sad, but I feel like that would open up a diarrheal stream of consciousness that would pull my insides out or – You know. – suck a gun to me as if I were Magneto, my hands curling around the metallic body as I blow my fucking brains out in the search for an answer.
Most of this comes from literally not having shed a tear for over ten months, a baby’s weight worth of sadness and despair and – Frankly. – continued shock that this is our reality. Moreover, working in a field where I am constantly reporting and discussing and fighting against these problems is maybe finally, actually, really getting to me. Despite days off, despite days away, despite it all, this is the real monster that the film It Follows failed to capture: the all consuming dread that comes with America in 2017. This is something so beyond the toll of a bad breakup or a firing. It’s a voodoo torture of cross cultural persons.
Alas. Self-care. As my friend Lindsay posted yesterday, we all need to take care of ourselves when hopelessness is trending in our brains. One cannot just wish it away or sputter angrily at the self or ignore: you gotta take care of yourself as you navigate this storm.
In the hopes of taking my own advice (Which I am notorious for not doing.), here are some coping mechanisms and self-care tips that I’m prescribing myself in the hopes of helping me and you and everyone we know because we could all use a little help these days.
• Take a bath. But turn off your phone while you bath. Lay in the water and just stare at a wall. Don’t even think. Breathe or whatever. Maybe even listen to that 0PN song that used to always make you tear up in the hopes that you will finally cry.
• Think about calling people and giving them ultimatums, that they should join you or are dead to them. Should you do that to your grandmother? Maybe.
• Save money. Make a plan.
• Look at photos of Reba McEntire. She’s just so dang goofy! Maybe even look at that one .gif and that one Tweet of hers you like.
• Talk to old queer people. They’re mad, yes, but they’re thriving because they’ve dealt with this before – and often dealt with worse.
• Listen to Alice Coltrane.
• Think about upending the progress you’ve been making in therapy by making politics your top priority.
• Masturbate. Then masturbate again.
• Try something trendy that everyone else is doing because you want to go into auto-pilot and not think about something fucking stupid like “being cool.” Perhaps get that Halo Ice Cream or whatever.
• Follow Chelsea Manning on Twitter.
• Talk to an expert in any field, preferably on something that is fact based where there are very clear rights and wrongs.
• Turn off your phone during the work day.
• Turn off a few push notifications.
• Sign a petition.
• Use some fancy face soap. Wash your face.
• Shave. Even if your face or legs or wherever you preferred to shave is shaved, shave something else.
• Speaking of, get a haircut.
• Listen to some Madonna, preferably her debut album.
• Write about self-care tips without any expertise or practicing of the subject.
• Buy something for your dog. Something nice too! You may not find joy in buying yourself something but your dog is always overjoyed when you buy them something. Even if they hate it, there is that snapping moment where they are filled with glee and dance for you. That’s a great moment.
• Read that inspiring Gwendolyn Brooks poem.
• Eat an ice cream sandwich.
• Go for a walk without listening to music.
• Watch someone trip but not fall and feel relieved and giddy.
• Enjoy Vines of pets.
• Take the bus somewhere and be productive on it. Think about how means of transportation as such are truly the future and are saving the world by removing cars from streets and therefore carcinogens from the atmosphere.
• Take a very satisfying shit.
• Put on a luxurious fragrance.
• Don’t turn on your television.
• Eat non-dairy yogurt.
• Drink non-dairy chocolate milk.
• Read about self-care but only gloss over the story because you think you know everything.
• Look at Princess Hank Hill.