Post-Traumatic Trump Inauguration Disorder. PTTID. It’s a mouthful but that’s what I’m calling what’s currently afflicting me. Perhaps you have experienced some of the symptoms of PTTID?
· Inability to focus
· Increased anxiety
· Feelings of hopelessness
· Manic mood swings between hope and despair
· Desire to flee
· Feelings of a lack of control over daily life and the future
The list goes on but these are some of the primary symptoms. Each day’s news feed increases the craziness as some new impeachment-worthy crime is revealed and Republicans continue to defend Trump. Or perhaps they are simply defending themselves. We have no idea how deep the corruption goes but based on the way these Republicans are clinging to the sinking ship, we must assume that it goes deep.
How can we heal ourselves of PTTID? Impeachment would be a great start but since that is beyond the ability for many of us to initiate, here are some things that you can do personally that may help:
· Focus on the moment: Get comfortable, close your eyes, and count ten breaths. In is one, out is two. Repeat. If you still feel like your blood pressure is through the roof, count ten more.
· Google “jokes about Trump.” Click on any of the dozens of options that come up. Laugh until things seem a little better.
· Take a time-out from news. No TV, newspapers, or Facebook. The world isn’t going to shift that much if you don’t watch for a little while.
· Talk with a friend about how all of this is making you feel. They can commiserate. You’ll feel less alone in your PTTID, realizing that others are experiencing the same symptoms.
I know it feels like this is a uniquely crazy time—like nothing as wild as this has ever happened before but that’s just not true. Imagine how people leading up to the American Civil War felt, or those watching as Hitler invaded one land after the next, or the men who were going to be drafted to serve in Vietnam and opposed the war? They couldn’t control what the government was doing—in a large sense, they longer had control over their lives. Sometimes national events take over and set the course for millions of people’s lives. This is one of those moments in history.
The PTTID symptoms are a direct result of feeling like we have no control over our lives. But control is always an illusory beast. It simply doesn’t exist—only the “feeling” of control exists. And even in chaotic times, we can control the moment that we are in. We can decide moment to moment how we are going to feel and react and to what we will pay attention. Take a deep breath. Pet the dog. Take a walk. You control the moment, not Trump and his craziness.