Yesterday was the day after the US Election. Many of us, even in Canada, were shocked by the results. My social media timelines were filled with people feeling sad, afraid, angry, and stunned. I was gobsmacked, and the weight of it fell heavily on me.
I’m normally almost annoyingly upbeat, even in dire circumstances, but yesterday the humour and cheerfulness and optimism fled me. I was not okay:
Many of my American friends reside under the LGBTQ rainbow or have loved ones who do, and it broke my heart into a billion shards to read that the Trans Suicide Hotline was backed up over the news. (Apparently their team did a stellar job, last I heard). Other American friends were outraged beyond words and couldn’t help but rant all day. Some of my Canadian friends who were survivors of sexual assault were triggered by the results. I was triggered in several ways, too, and changed my profile pic to black with a bold white slogan that read: I just can’t even.
One thing struck me, though, and it quite frankly pissed me off almost as much as the election results. Some people were trying to talk other people out of their emotions. “Now’s the time to fight,” or, “Don’t waste your holiday in the US. Enjoy yourself,” or “Let’s unite and work together!”
Um, can’t you just let people be not okay when they’re not okay? Yeah, thanks.
This not only applies to the US election but to every freaking thing, like ever. When someone is not okay, let them not be okay! It’s okay not to be okay. OKAY?
Sometimes we need to process through and unpack tons of feelings, memories, and regain our strength before we can move onto the next step. And for people of faith, this applies to you, too! Don’t let other people in your places of worship or in your religious circles condemn you for not bouncing back. You are also entitled time to heal. Never let anyone steal that from you.
As you know, I write comedic content in my books, comic strip, and even in this blog. I like being funny and witty. Yesterday I couldn’t be those things. Today, I felt inspired to draw this:
In Life in the ‘Cosm, Virj (middle) tends to be broody, Splot (right) is apathetic and sarcastic, and Sonny (left) is relentlessly cheery. I felt it was important to show them all in the same boat today, being together, being quiet, feeling the different feels, and seeking comfort in their company and furry blankies. Because sometimes that’s all you can do as a support system. I’ve already seen this concept resonate with people this morning.
If you find yourself unable to lift your spirit after something painful or shocking happens in your life, even after you’ve tried friends and fuzzy blankies, please seek further help. Many of us, myself included, have benefited by a professional ear that has our interests at heart. There’s so shame in it, and frankly, we want a world with you in it.
Here are a few hotline links that might help, but please also contact medical professionals (I’m no expert):
- Canadian suicide hotlines
- Ontario Mental Health Helpline
- Trans Lifeline (Can and US)
- National suicide lifeline (US)
- MentalHealth.gov (US)
Your feelings are yours. Have them. Have all the feelings. And when you’re ready, then you can deal.
Sending you all very squishy hugs from under my furry blankie.
An Irish-Canadian warrior princess and author of Life in the ’Cosm, a comedy sci-fi with an unusual amount of dessert. She's also the editor of the Spoonie Authors Network blog.
Quirky, bakey, eaty, faithy, drummy, wifey sorta gal who really likes writing words.