So here I am. Happy, you jerks?
They're 100% correct, of course. I've only written one post in the last year and while that is completely unacceptable, there's also a reason for it.
I'm really, really terrified of what's going on in my head.
And until I write about it, nothing else seems worth writing so I better just face my fear and write it. Which is going to be difficult because now my palms are sweating, dammit. Gross.
So why am I scared? Because nobody is going to like what I have to say.
I've been living my life like a lot of other people: recycling dutifully, making better choices about packaging and locally sourced goods, I've called senators and voted for policy change and signed petitions and donated money, I've argued with relatives about the reality of climate change..... but at the end of the day, my thoughts go like this: "I can rest easy because I know I did my part. I have no control over others and all I can do is what I can do. It's just too bad that none of what I did today matters since we're obviously too flawed to sustain our species and none of us are going to be here soon, anyway.......Oops! Forgot to brush my teeth."
This is a fear unlike one I've ever faced because it's not a phobia and it's not irrational and yet the basis of my fear is so catastrophic that I can't even imagine it. Armageddon-type movies make it seem like a story so far-fetched it couldn't possibly happen without CGI. And yet it's happening in reality as much as it's happening in my head.
But here's the thing: while it's happening to all of us, I feel like it's only happening to me.
Not because of a sense of self-centeredness (which is something I have to call myself out on CONSTANTLY) but because no one else seems to be scared. Well, except maybe Al Gore, but even he doesn't spend his first hour of the day mute and stiff with fear like me before he can coax himself to start the coffee.
I recently read an article about a fabulous resort that's being built. Everyone is SO excited for this resort. I broke one of my rules and read the comments on the article to see what people's reactions were, and they were full of yay: "When will it open??" "It looks BEAUTIFUL!" "Can't wait to take my family there!"
They were just SO excited that a frozen tundra and its "road" had thawed for the first time, so now they can build FINALLY on it. Hurray!!
Am I the only one who reads this article as though we're playing the fiddle while Rome burns?
My therapy sessions are insanely frustrating right now. Not for me, but for my therapist. Our talks go like this:
Her: "But why do you feel like this is happening?"
Me: "Irrefutable scientific evidence."
Her: "What if you gave your time to an environmental protection charity?"
Me: "I'm open to that.....I'd have to learn how to find purpose fighting for something I really don't think we can win. Hmmm."
Her: "What do you fear will happen?"
Me: "I don't know exactly what will happen...... I mean, this is the first time we've ever melted the ice caps. But I'm sure the results will be something to fear."
Her: "Do you talk about this with your friends?"
Me: "You mean my friends who all have small children? Do I talk to them about how I think we're going to leave their precious children with a dead planet when they just want to talk to me about how their kid can memorize a song on a piano in under an hour? Um, no, I don't."
Me: "I think of today's efforts to curb climate change like an ambulance. [Warning, extended metaphor upcoming, but stay with me] If you're having a heart attack, you call an ambulance. Since the ambulance doesn't have the appropriate equipment or personnel to administer, say, a triple bypass surgery, their job is to keep your heart beating as long as possible until you get to the hospital. The hospital is the real solution to your problem. The ambulance is the vehicle needed to get you to the solution. I feel like all our current and past efforts to curb climate change aren't the solution, but rather the ambulance ride. I feel like all we're doing is slowing it down slightly while we try to get this motherfucker to the hospital."
Her: "So what happens when we get to the hospital?"
Me: "There isn't a hospital. I think we're all standing around looking at each other hoping someone will build one for us."
Her: "What do you think it would feel like if you could find joy within all of this?"
Me: "I think it would feel like celebrating a new resort being built on a newly thawed tundra."
Her: "Do you have any sense of hope?"
Me: "I really, really, really hope that we don't destroy the planet to the point where life can't continue to thrive and grow in one form or another after we've made it uninhabitable for ourselves. But I sense that isn't the hope you were talking about."
All joy feels like denial.
The article about the resort on the thawed tundra was more disheartening to me than any of the "climate experts warn we only have until 2020 to turn this around" type articles because we are at such a precipice. We don't have thirty years to get everyone on board with this. We may not even have a day. Everyone needs to be on the same page to save us now. Right now. But instead of being concerned, people are happy about the new resort and the fact that the tundra is thawing.... and well, we just elected an administration that will gleefully sell our future to the highest bidder, so......
I don't know what to do. I really don't. My husband says, "We've had to face disaster before. Look at the Cold War; everyone thought they were going to die in a nuclear war." And I reply, "But in that scenario, the bombs lay dormant in wait. I feel like the bomb has been launched. But it's dropping very slowly and everyone refuses to look up. And who can blame them? It's far too terrifying."
A part of me really resents the people who can talk about, say, what the music business will look like in a hundred years without giving a second's thought about whether there will be people here to enjoy music at all. And if there are, will they have time to enjoy music or will they be desperately trying to survive on the broken planet we left them? Oh my God, what I would give to have my biggest worry to be whether or not the Beatles will still be relevant in 2150.
I'm doing what I can to stifle the fear: I'm still sober. I've taken up drums. I talk to my husband. We adopted a kitten. I'm planning a great vacation next year. We've increased my meds. Meditation. These things help intermittently. But man, am I struggling. You should see my palms right now, GROOOOSS.