It’s been more than two weeks since I have written a blog post, which is a new record for me. Not a record I planned on setting, but nonetheless, a record.
Sixteen days ago I wrote this post explaining what I was going through. A little bout of the blues.
Then things were on the upswing.
Then life got crazy, I had an all weekend swim meet, the blues returned, and I spent about eight days having a bunch of garbage swirling around in my head and feeling so overwhelmed by it I wasn’t even able to collect my thoughts.
Then the shootings in Florida kind of pushed me over the edge into serious limbo.
I cannot stop thinking about it.
The swirling in my head has turned into more of a tornado.
As I was sitting here in my office this morning without any focus or direction, I looked at this piece of paper I have hanging on the bulletin board:
My therapist gave it to me because sometimes I have difficulty pinpointing how I’m feeling.
I studied all the different emojis.
And I got some clarity.
How am I feeling?
I’m sad. Sad about another mass shooting.
I’m exhausted by the worry and the anxiety and the obsessive cycle I find myself in of constant examination and reexamination of every aspect of society.
I’m frustrated. Frustrated because while I do believe this is largely a gun issue, I do not believe that is the only issue. And I’m frustrated by all the partisan bullshit and our inability to simply act like adults, have civil conversations, and just start finding some goddamn solutions to a really big problem.
And I’m angry.
I AM SO ANGRY.
I am angry this country can’t get its shit together.
I’m angry that kids keep getting unnecessarily murdered. I’m angry that I have to have conversations with my children about what to do should they find themselves locked in a classroom while a madman with a gun is walking the hallways of their school, trying to kill them and their friends.
I am angry at how easy it is to buy guns specifically designed to kill large numbers of human beings in seconds. I’m angry at the people who think the solution to this problem we are facing is to add more guns into the mix. I’m angry that anyone would even suggest that teachers should carry guns in school. I’m angry that we have let our fellow human beings get to a point where they feel their only option is to massacre people. I am angry that we have let people fall through cracks. I am angry that we aren’t able to help all the people who so desperately need help. I’m angry with our healthcare system. I’m angry at parents who, either purposely or accidentally, give their children access to guns. I’m angry at parents who point fingers at other people rather than taking a good hard look at their own children. I’m angry at the parents who are unwilling to accept the responsibility that goes along with having children. I am angry at people who see something but don’t say something. I am angry at the schools that are afraid to do the right thing for fear of a lawsuit from a parent who refuses to accept reality. I’m angry at parents who threaten lawsuits for anything and everything and have consequently contributed to putting that fear and reluctance to do the right thing (and the difficult thing) into the school systems. And I am angry that our schools place so much focus on test scores and so little focus on teaching kindness, compassion and effective and respectful methods of communicating with each other.
Huh. I guess I’ve been really fucking angry for a few days now.
I didn’t want to write about this. I didn’t even want to think about it. I wanted to be a bright spot for people right now. I wanted to offer levity.
But I’m not there yet.
Because I’m still really, really angry.
Actually, now that it’s all out of my head, I feel a little bit better. It’s been released.
Thanks for listening.
Now I’m gonna step away from the screens and give my kids some mindful, quality attention.
And then tomorrow I’ll do some thinking.
I’m tired of being angry. There are more productive ways for me to expend my energy.
It’s time to transition over and direct that energy toward taking action.