At this point in my life, I'm pretty sure that Beautiful Wife and I both have undiagnosed (now adult) ADHD. And in reading about the various less-recognized versions and symptoms of ADHD, I'm noticing a particular theme: one way that people with ADHD hack their brains into getting things done is to stress themselves out enough to switch over from distraction to hyperfocus. And for a lot of people who use that trick, the generally high stress level of 2020 is making that harder, if not impossible.
I read that, and I just thought: Ooof.
I am here to tell you all that I am absolutely freaked out. Election day is in two days, the Republican Party has spent the entire election doing their best to suppress voting, throw out legitimate votes, and rig absolutely everything they can -- all the while screaming about how the Democrats are trying to steal the election. They're also busily trying rat-fuck the opposition; it's worth noting that the push that Giuliani and others are making about the Oh So Scandalous contents of Hunter Biden's laptop is actually in regards to the second of these supposed laptops to mysteriously turn up. (And at this point I feel compelled add: at least the second. I would not be surprised to learn that there were more.) The first one appeared right around the time that the impeachment hearings were starting, in the hands of a former Fox News contributor. Meanwhile the right wing is predicting all the horrible, terroristic things the Democrats are going to do if they win, while their own people are already doing them.
It also seems quite clear that Donald Trump has no intention of conceding the presidency, no matter what the voting results look like on election night. The entire Republican Party is, I expect, going to back his play; they have so far, and I can't imagine why they'd stop now. Plus, they've managed to stack the Supreme Court in such a way that if the question ever gets that far, the results are going to make Bush vs. Gore look like a well-reasoned legal decision.
Oh, and there's a pandemic. As of last night, we've over a million deaths globally and nearly 231,000 deaths here in the United States -- a set of numbers that I strongly suspect is being undercounted, at least here in the U.S. And looking at the death toll alone is understating the cost regardless, since we already have plenty of evidence of ongoing health effects in over a third of people infected by it.
The medical impact isn't all of it, either: there's also the economic impact. I don't think it's really showing up in the news, and I'm not sure that there's any sort of widespread understanding of the full effects of it, but: a lot of people are out of work. A lot of people are facing eviction. (A lot of people have been evicted.) A lot of people are facing medical bankruptcies. Hotels and restaurants are not going to be operating at full capacity any time in the forseeable future. (I saw an ad the other day for a hotel chain... it wasn't this one, but it gave off a similar feeling of "Please come stay with us, you can social distance just by being the only person in our hotel!") Tourism has pretty much bottomed out. I strongly suspect -- though I don't have a citation for this one, or really any good evidence -- that the only reason "The Economy" hasn't crashed is that "The Economy" is measured in ways that are being artificially propped up until after the election. (Stock Market, I'm looking at you.) I'm expecting (and Dark Gods, but I'd love to be wrong about this) that by January we'll be in freefall regardless of who wins. I'm also expecting that this will be the subject of much shock and surprise on the part of politicians, pundits, and reporters... while the Disaster Capitalists who set it all up rake in the money, and the folks who still haven't recovered from the last recession or two wind up even worse off.
I'm also expecting a rise in hate crimes following the election. If you're a member of a vulnerable group (or even you're not) please have a post-election safety plan. I hope you do already. It's going to get crazier out there.
So... yeah. What was I talking about? Oh, right, stress. Life is just a teeeeeeensy bit stressful right now. And if that's interfering with your ability to operate, you aren't alone. Everybody I know is freaked the fuck out right now. The only ones who aren't seem to be the ones who are looking forward to the violence, or even pushing for some kind of new civil war. Being utterly discombobulated by all this is perfectly natural (in fact, a lot of what's getting passed around as news and rumors right now seems purpose-built to create that effect). Needing way more sleep than usual is also nothing unusual. This is not normal, and there's nothing wrong with you for noticing and reacting to that.
Me? Well, I'm planning to stay off of social media until the election is past; maybe through the end of the week and into next weekend. I may or may not be putting things up here on the Blog o' Doom; if I do, they'll likely be pieces that have nothing to do with the real world. Aside from heavy drinking (which I really can't do right now, owing to some medications I'm taking) and writing all this out (which I've just done) I can't think of any other good way to cope. You can only take so many hot baths.
Take care of yourselves; take care of each other. If you know me and you need help with something, let me know; I'll do what I can.
If there's any hope to be found in all this, it'll be found in supporting each other.
And for fuck's sake, VOTE. If you already voted, awesome! But also be aware that it may take more than that to get us through this. Figure out what you can do, what you're willing to do, and be ready to do it. People are -- and have been -- organizing; if you're in a position where you can be part of that, your presence is needed.
And now that I've written all that out, maybe I can finally go to sleep.