¯\_(ツ)_/¯

8 Oct

CN: Kavanaugh; political & climate despair; the inevitability of death & suffering

*PLEASE TAKE CARE OF YOURSELVES*, I don’t want to drag others down in this hole with me unnecessarily. This is a personal post about my deep feelings of resignation and numbness. If this sounds too painful or unhelpful for you to read, please don’t read it!
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When I was a Christian, I was really afraid of death. The idea of spending ~eternity in Heaven~ always induced anxiety in me, but what I really feared was the act of dying, the process of it. I lived in denial of death by latching onto the recently tacked-on doctrine of the Rapture, which could come at any time and which promised to sweep all current living believers away to Heaven. I hoped it would happen in my lifetime, so I wouldn’t have to experience death. Deconverting forced me to face my own mortality for the first time, and I believed I made peace with it.

In December of 2016, I became seriously ill. If I hadn’t been treated, it’s possible that I could have died. This was of course a traumatic experience for me, and I continued to experience a great deal of panic and anxiety around my health for some time. It still creeps up on me sometimes. This was my second reckoning with the inevitability of my own death, and the possibility that it could be very painful. I still feel like my body is a potential traitor and cannot be trusted.

And now I’m having to face the inevitability of painful death on a global scale.

When I say I have no hope, I don’t mean that I feel emotionally despondent (although that’s sometimes accurate). I mean that my rational mind is looking at the future and seeing only destruction and suffering for the entire population of Earth, and I do not see a way we can realistically delay this happening.

We have just over a decade to make radical, sweeping changes globally before our future of catastrophic climate change is irreparably locked in. We are the biggest carbon polluter in history. And we have a White House administration arguing that since we’re behind schedule to temper the devastating effects of climate change, we might as well go out with a bang. We are not going to change course. We are going to run headfirst in the wrong direction.

I believe I am watching the fall of the United States and the end of Earth’s habitability co-occur. These two events are deeply entwined. There isn’t going to be enough time to resolve either crisis, because the emergent nature of the other prevents it. If we were “only” dealing with one or the other of these crises, I would have at least some hope in our ability to creatively problem-solve and to rebound. But given that our Supreme Court has now entered a new regressive era, the destruction of our planet’s ability to support life, sooner not later, appears to me to be unchangeable. I do not see how we will be able to effectively fight back against the takeover of our government. I do not know how much longer people who dissent will be able to participate in politics at all.

I am hesitant to share what’s going on with me right now because I realize that in some ways this is a very privileged problem to be having. Lots of people have never had the luxury of assuming they would be able to live a reasonably long, mostly happy life. But the truth is, this is a traumatic loss for me and I’m sure for many others. I do not know how to carry the weight of knowing what we are all going to suffer (some of us more than others), and knowing that it could have been avoided. And if you had asked me prior to this presidency how strongly I felt about my nationality, my answer would have been “not very.” But if nothing else, the US obviously symbolized some kind of security to me, and that security has been revealed to be an illusion. The same kind of denial that I wrapped myself in while I waited for the Rapture.

The longer I live, the more the world around me will become an increasingly uninhabitable dystopian wasteland, and I am struggling to accept this.

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