My Therapist Asked Me A Question Today...
Which is literally their job! So this is no surprise. But it's one that I was told to expect to be asked at every session and to answer from my gut. And to be very aware of any feelings that change around this question. Because right now, for me, this is my Most Important Question.
In the past, it would have been "Do you feel like you are a risk of harm to yourself?" or "Do you feel safe where you are at?".
Depression and Childhood Trauma Based PTSD really fucking suck, ya'll. It's taken a LONG time and a lot of therapy to work past those questions as my Most Important Questions down to slots 2-5ish depending on the day.
Now...my Most Important Question is "Is It Still Worth It To You, With How Much It's Costing You Personally?"
Is It Still Worth It To You....
Today, I answered without hesitation.
Will that Change in the future?
I don't know.
For those who don't know, last year with the attacks on Roe v. Wade, I moved beyond digital activism to in person activism. I was hired by Red Wine & Blue as a Regional Organizer for the 2022 Midterm Election. After that, I've continued to remain active buy connecting with multiple non-profits and really digging into my local politics and county Democratic Party chapter.
I've been to rallies when before my health had kept me at home, just sharing information about the rallies. And I'm grateful that my physical health has *improved to a point that I'm now in a place that I can join in person at these events.
At this rally, we broke into groups to go speak to the Representatives and if we couldn't speak to them, at least drop off info about Reproductive Rights.
Since then, a Bill has been filled that will ban Abortions at fertilization with no exceptions except mother's life.
*Improved - My health hasn't improved on paper...I have more diagnoses than I had and average a new diagnosis a year. However, my access to insurance has improved and because of that, I've been able to get better specialists care and medications and surgeries. There has been a lot of change in the past 5 years due to these circumstances that means I have more health issues but I'm able to "appear" better.
There was a rush call to go to the NC Legislature when SB41 was being voted on. They are rushing Bills through the floor and we have much less time to organize now. We had 48 hours to put together this silent protest for the Pistol Permit Bill but I was in a place that I was able to rush down there (but I did do my makeup during my virtual therapy appointment to be able to get it done in time)
The Bill Passed. Pistols can now be purchased without a permit in NC.
And with Senator Tricia Cotham flipping from Dem to Rep mid-cycle, there is now a Supermajority in North Carolina. The Governor's veto can be overturned.
It can feel very much like feeling we went from treading water to being sucked down into a whirlpool.
Is It Still Worth It To You?
With How Much It's Costing You Personally?
The panic attacks have been increasing. Between the increasing external stress with the news, and my insistence to put myself into places and positions that are consistently triggering my Autism, ADHD, and PTSD...it's just been increasing.
We discussed today how to manage it today. Because they have to be managed before it becomes debilitating again. And it's a multiple method plan.
We are increasing my medications, in dosage and amount. We know if I'm in more stressful situations, that it should be a better tool to just have ready for.
We discussed mindfulness exercises and how I've done with them in the past. Which mostly has not done well. Mediation ends up being stressful between my ADHD and PTSD. We discussed other options that I can work with.
And we came back to the Question...
"Is It Still Worth It To You, With How Much It's Costing You Personally?"
This work is important. It's hard. It's going to get harder. It's going to come at a personal cost of my physical pain, energy, and mental health. I will be triggered. The Autistic masking to get through political events will take more effort than it takes for others. The more I do this, and the more I put myself out there, the more and more harder this work will get.
It has to remain worth it, for what it's costing me.
People are being harmed by what is happening by the politics that is happening on a local, state, and federal level. Many of them are not able to do anything about it, just like I was not able to do anything just a few years ago. Right now, I'm in a place where I can do something. I don't know for how long but I'll do it for as long as I can.
It's worth the personal cost for me. As long as I can.