Before the separation anxiety created by losing my children, I had never really known anxiety before. Sure, I’d gotten nervous in certain situations, but I’d never experienced the unexplained waves of fear that appeared out of nowhere and made me edgy. For the first year after the boys were gone, excluding the times when they were back with me, I lived in a constant state of panic, worried about whether or not they were safe and healthy and happy. My stomach constantly burned from this fear, and I often awoke in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, trembling. As I adjusted to my new reality, the anxiety waned, and ever so slowly, I began to feel “normal” again.
Recently, the anxiety has returned. This time, however, it’s not about my children, even though the sensation is much the same. I can’t say exactly why I feel this way, but for a few weeks now, I’ve not been able to shake it. There’s no one specific thing I’m worried about, more like a thousand little uncertainties that gnaw at me. From the erratic weather to the political sideshow to the sluggish economy, I feel like we’re heading for something bad in the next few months. While I can’t point to any quantifiable thing and say, “Here’s definitive proof,” I just have an overwhelming intuition that the proverbial dung is about to hit the fan.
I don’t believe in the Mayan calendar and don’t expect the world is about to fly apart, but I do feel like our nation, because of the internal strife and chasms we’ve created through our sensationalist parodies of debate and deliberation, is on the verge of a deep, fundamental shift. I can’t say for certain what that shift will be, perhaps martial law, perhaps financial collapse, perhaps civil war. I don’t know. I just know we cannot continue unraveling at the seams the way we have for the last few years. And again, I can’t point to any one thing, just a feeling I get from people I encounter who either give off vibes of being frazzled and panicked or seem like mindless drones on auto-pilot.
I hope I’m wrong. I want to feel positive and optimistic about the world and the future. I much prefer feeling positive energy, but right now, there simply isn’t much to feel good about. Everywhere I look, things are just out of balance and eroding into an uncivilized frenzy of self-interest. People are either mad as hell at those who disagree with them politically, distracted by TV, or apathetic to everything. Few people seem even content with their lives, and I don’t know anyone who feels positive about the direction we’re headed as a society. I wish I could look at the future and feel hopeful about it, but right now, tomorrow just looms bleak and ominous as we trudge onward.
I’m sorry for writing such a negative piece, but this is how I feel about our country right now. I can’t pretend like everything is okay when in my gut I have this feeling that something awful is about to happen.