Today I was at an appointment with my psychiatrist, just the usual check in. We talked about the fact that I felt like these times are leaving me no margin, no cushion of calm. By the time I get to work I’m already emotionally fried. We discussed practical strategies and some med adjustments. We scheduled my next appointment and I was moving to leave.
“I’ve had two people tell me earlier today that they’re overwhelmed with the state of the things,” my doc says to me, “and another patient left a message on the phone saying they are in crisis after listening to the news.” I nod, thinking she’s telling me this to make me feel less alone. “Is there something specific that happened today?” she asks me.
I tell her that Kennedy has announced his retirement. I tell her we’re looking down the barrel of perhaps the most regressive Supreme Court in history. She exhaled sharply and shook her head.
I say to her “I just have to keep telling myself I can only do what I can do. I can only change what I can change.”
She says to me “We’ve had such a long period of being basically crisis free. My whole life really, we’ve been in a period of relative calm.” I know what she means. Not that nothing crappy has happened in 50 years, or we haven’t been arguing with each other or mistreating each other, but, yes, calm. An almost thoughtless confidence in the framework of our lives. “So, it looks like that’s over now,” she said.
I nod and find myself saying “And people have survived that, living through crisis. Humans keep on.” My doc nods, “That’s right.” It was a nothing, a little interaction, but I felt calm afterwards. Things aren’t great. They could easily get worse. But human beans will keep on keeping on regardless, and I can only do what I can do.