The speck welcomes the cold

I feel well-rested for the first time in weeks. The stress level of all Americans who don’t practice or condone racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, ableism or Christian terrorism is pretty high right now, and growing as the incoming administration begins to take shape. The fear is real and quite palpable. My own anxiety, which  has been under control for years now, is rearing back up, and it’s taking every technique and coping mechanism I learned to keep it at a controllable level.

Then my back started to bother me, intermittently for week, culminating in major back and neck pain beginning Wednesday afternoon. You don’t realize how important your back is, how much it does, until suddenly it hurts to bend or turn your head. I wiped out early last night, slept for 12 hours, and woke up feeling better than I have in a while.

I have a small puppy who needs to go out early in the morning. I’m not a big fan of the cold, but the cold air in the late fall smells so clean. Something about the impending cold and snow feels purifying after the heaviness of the warmer months.

This year, the cold weather is going to usher in something quite terrible. Sometimes when I’m outside on a cold but sunny day, I feel like the world doesn’t quite match my mood. It’s quite overcast in my brain; a long, dark and windy afternoon. Sometimes I eat my fears. Sometimes I bury myself in books – if I’m lost in another world, I don’t need to think about this one, and what it may turn into.

What keeps me going is knowing how many people are also scared. That sounds funny, but if you’re an American and you’re scared, then you’re a decent person. And there are a lot of decent people here. The question is, will this be enough to rouse decent people from their complacency? I like to hide away from reality as much as anyone, but I can’t. And I won’t. I’ve joined a group here in Denver committed to fighting the injustices to come. I’m looking around for other things I can do as well.

Some days that makes me feel better. But some days, I just feel like a speck.


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