The United States of Stress

If 2020 was a drink, it would be colonoscopy prep.

I’m not kidding. This year has been such a clusterf### that I don’t think there’s a person alive who isn’t feeling the stress. Covid-19, bad weather, civil unrest in the streets, and another nasty political season have us tied up in knots. There isn’t much going right this year, and once it’s over I hope no one ever mentions it again.

The hell of it is, the stress feeds on itself. I’ve been leaning on Klonopin more than I’d like, just because I hate waking up anxious over stuff I can’t do anything about. I got T-boned in a rental car a couple of weeks ago, in an accident that was not my fault. Just my luck, the other driver was uninsured. I’m fine, it just shook me up a little, but I hate the Walmart parking lot even more now. Then a week later an SUV blew through a red light and turned in front of me, and if I didn’t have good reflexes (I’m still as quick as ever) I’d have been hit again. I wonder which gods of the universe I’ve managed to piss off. I’m already a conservative driver—in fact, Ben says I drive like somebody’s grandma (well, I AM somebody’s grandma!). But now I’m even more nervous, and my driving habits display it for all the motoring world to see.

I’m tired of watching the never-ending protests and riots every night on the news. Portland is now solidly on the map as a city rife with unrest, which has even gotten the attention of the President. I understand what the protesting is about, and in younger days I would have been marching right alongside them, but this stopped being about George Floyd a long time ago. It makes me sick to see the fires and the tagging and the destruction of hard-working peoples’ livelihoods. And the police don’t seem to be able to get it right no matter what they do–they can’t do their jobs without tools, but some of them abuse those tools, which is what got us here in the first damn place.

The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic ramps up stress too. Oddly enough, I’m not particularly concerned about catching it; I haven’t been physically sick in years and don’t feel I’m at high risk despite being over 60 and having underlying health conditions. But I wear my mask faithfully and my hands are bone-dry from frequent washing, because I want to protect not only my health but that of folks who may get sick much more easily than me. Some complain that mask mandates are unconstitutional, but as the saying goes, your “freedom” to breathe out nasty germs ends where my lungs begin. Or I think that’s how it goes.

The other area of life where stress really brings out the worst in me (and a helluva lot of other people) is politics. Once again, we have two Presidential candidates, neither of whom is fit for office. As a Republican, I have often leaned in favor of President Trump, but his denial in the face of Covid-19 deaths and millions of active cases is just bizarre, as are more and more of his general statements. I wish he’d STFU before he hangs himself with his own words. Then you’ve got Joe Biden, who is a decent man and thus appealing to many who are tired of the drama and downright meanness in Washington, but he almost certainly has developed some dementia and doesn’t hide it well. Besides, I personally could never vote for someone who supports abortion and illegal immigration, so I may end up writing in a non-candidate like I did the last time we went through this.

That’s just a few of the stressors that are making me grumpy and cross and anxious. What are yours?

Published by bpnurse

I'm a retired registered nurse and writer who also happens to be street-rat crazy, if the DSM-IV.....oops, 5---is to be believed. I was diagnosed with bipolar I disorder at the age of 55, and am still sorting through the ashes of the flaming garbage pile that my life had become. Here, I'll share the lumps and bumps of a late-life journey toward sanity.... along with some rants, gripes, sour grapes and good old-fashioned whining from time to time. It's not easy being bipolar in a unipolar world; let's figure it out together.

3 thoughts on “The United States of Stress

  1. I agree with every thing you said. What the hell can we do about any of it?earily this year we lost jeffs mom and I had to put down jeffs favorite cat due to cancer it was terrible. 2020 can just go **** itself as far as I am concerned. This has been a terrible year thus far.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think you’ve pret-ty well got it covered. I had an accident of my own the end of June, been doing PT, thankfully his insurance is paying everyrthing but I can think of better ways to spend my time (like, worrying, for pete’s sake…can’t I just be worried?) Actually I’ve come to realize I need a PT job on top of my Pampered Chef but bec. of the accident I had to wait to be released from PT mumble mumble, not that there’s much I can actually DO anyway … sigh. Anyway luff you and carry on xoxo and I’m glad you’re ok!!! and yes driving is no fun anymore!

    Liked by 1 person

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