I’m Not Afraid

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My anxiety has skyrocketed since last Tuesday. The only time I’ve ever been able to work on controlling my fearful thoughts was with a wonderful therapist on Long Island. I can’t afford a therapist right now. I’m trying to remember things that he told me six years ago. When I start imagining bad things that might happen–and I’m very adept at seeing every possible negative outcome–my thoughts start with “I’m afraid.” I’m making myself stop those thoughts immediately and telling myself “I’m NOT afraid.” And then I try to think of anything that makes me happy.

Like many other people, I was flooded with memories of abuse during Trump’s campaign. I finally had to tell someone close about things that have happened to me over the last 25 years that they didn’t know about. I didn’t want to. I didn’t want that person to be upset by those things, but now they know why I’m so dramatically emotionally different than I was a week ago. I feel drained and numb now, but it’s better than the emotional roller coaster.

I know that some people are spending much less time online or going offline to avoid the negativity. I respect that, although I will miss them. Right now I find that staying in touch with my friends as much as possible is helpful. I also keep up with spirituality-related sites and accounts and fun sites makes things somewhat bearable. As does writing out my thoughts here.

I work from home. I’ve only been out once since last Tuesday. I don’t want to see any of the ugliness I read about online. But I can’t stay inside forever, or I’ll let the bad change me. I’m pessimistic in the best of times. But I feel like I need to start getting out again . . . I need to see my neighbors. I need to talk about homey things.

I need to not be afraid.

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