Back when I was a delusional college student, I used to dream about becoming a professional partygoer, like Tila Tequila, minus the tequila and the whining. I was enthralled by the idea of getting paid to attend parties and make the parties cooler.
Here’s the thing. Even in college, I hated parties. I don’t like crowds. I don’t like strangers particularly all that much. I don’t like loud noises. I don’t like flashing lights. I don’t care for alcohol. I don’t like small talk.
I would’ve made the worst professional partygoer since, like… Tila Tequila. Except worse for different reasons. I’d get paid to go to a party of some sort, show up in sweatpants and a t-shirt, and spend the entire time looking for a dog to play with or sitting in the corner narrating the party like a Steve Irwin special.
So I didn’t have high hopes for my mental health during the Women’s March. My mom and I came up with a phrase (“Rocky and Bullwinkle,” because apparently I’m apparently a child in the very early 1960s) for me to say if I needed to leave. We went with four other women, complete with our kitty hats and I wore my “P**sy Grabs Back” shirt and I had prepared myself to protect any POC from violence and stand up to counter-marchers, if there were any.
Of course, the day went swimmingly, as much as a disorganized march with 300,000 more people than expected can be described as going “swimmingly.”
It was crowded. It was cold in DC but hot in the throng of marchers. I couldn’t see more than ten feet in any direction for all the signs and people and pink hats. There were SO MANY STRANGERS. Thinking about it now makes me want to vomit, but I loved the whole day.
And then I flew home, stepped into my house, and collapsed.
I couldn’t leave my house on Monday. I was too scared of the outside world. Too scared of the executive actions Drumpf had already taken. Too scared to see familiar faces. I huddled on my couch and read twitter and tried (and failed, miserably) not to cry.
So here’s the thing: Yes, it’s important to resist this regime (because it’s clearly devolving into authoritarianism. The national parks can’t even tweet without permission anymore), and support your neighbors and people who need support, but we’re playing the long game here. Drumpf knows that people like me collapse under the pressure of so many different assaults on rights (Partially because I hate phone calls and also partially because denial is a powerful thing).
I have the courage to stand up to Drumpf and protect people that need protecting, but I don’t have the stamina to do it every single day. So some days I’ll call and write my congressmen and some days I’ll hide under a blanket and watch Fixer Upper until all I see when I close my eyes is shiplap.
And that’s the most important part of this resistance. Do what you have to do when you have to do it, and recognize that giving yourself time to have panic attacks and cry and wish Obama had become a benevolent dictator as opposed to leaving the country to a fascist, racist, misogynistic rotten clementine is a perfectly acceptable thing to do.
Also, so is eating all the chocolate. Keep up the good work.