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Highest Anxiety

Thanks for emailing, asking why I’m writing articles less frequently or for inquiring about my health.

I could respond with, “I’m insane.” Or, “I’m losing my sanity.”

Instead, I tell you I reached a point, a tipping. What I haven’t added is that this tipping has tipped even further to full-blown, over-the-edge politician derangement syndrome.

In order to compose a submission to CounterPunch, I need to scrutinize “the news” and read opinions of those I trust. Really, I’d prefer to be an ostrich, burying my senses in the sand, but truth is I’m addicted. Addicted to that which I’d prefer to avoid—”the news.” Like anyone with an addiction who reaches that state of being “tired of waking up sick and tired,” I often vow to escape the trap. Yet back I am within 24 hours, consuming, reading every available detail. You know, he said/she said, Pelosi vs The Squad, Trump vs The Squad. Trump’s tweets, the Biden/Trump push-up challenge, the 24-hour cycle of inanities along with what is authentically devastating—war, war carnage, pesticides detected in mother’s milk and in the urine of infants, the threat of ICE raids and arrests, detained immigrants and caged children, climate catastrophe, the small amount of time we have to eliminate our dependence on fossil fuels, heatwaves, unprecedented temperatures, thawing permafrost, melting glaciers, rising sea levels, the likelihood of mass migrations, extinctions, omnicide.

This week I was shocked to read that the House of Representatives ordered the Pentagon to investigate the possibility that ticks may have been used as biological weapons. Then I was shocked that I was shocked. Because nothing should shock us about the lengths to which US Empire will go to prey upon not only the Other but on our planet. I don’t just see dead people, I also see weaponized bedbugs, weaponized roaches, weaponized mosquitoes. Anything that can be weaponized will be weaponized. Or has been weaponized. Or will be weaponized.

Onward Christian soldiers.

It’s trite to accuse Trump of yelling fire in a crowded theater but that’s the reality. Appearing at a North Carolina rally, he demonized Ilhan Omar, placing a bullseye on her body. The crowd roared, tearing into his raw-meat incitement with, “Traitor,” “Treason,” “Send her home.” Earlier in the day, he’d said Omar is married to her brother.

I’ve told you I take the pulse by scanning reader comments. Sorry I can’t provide a link to The New York Times piece germinating this one:

…Trump supporters were interviewed about why they support him. One woman said, ‘Because I love the way he hates!’ I’m having a lot of trouble getting past that because I don’t think she is the only Trump voter who feels that way. What is happening to our country?!

“Because I love the way he hates!” This is a Rorschach of Trump supporters’ pathology.

Donald Trump is framing the narrative. With each tweet and speech, he throws lighter fluid on already-smoldering coals. Establishment “news” bigmouths salivate, either to defend or condemn, dropping the previous focus. Jeffrey Epstein who?

Our planet isn’t receiving even palliative care.

Meanwhile, migrant children are dying in US detention centers.

I’m stressed. Anxiety disorder is the most common form of mental illness. If I didn’t have a sense of humor, I’d need to be committed.

Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in BaltimoreEmail: missybeat@gmail.com

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