One of my least favorite phrases to hear is: “Take a Chill Pill, man.” A close second is any comment about me looking tired. Both tell me things I do not need to hear. If I look tired, I probably am, and therefore I am either: A) grumpy or, B) not wearing eyeliner, and well, screw you either way. If I am angry or anxious, maybe I have my reasons, and a chill pill isn’t what I need.
So please, friend, understand that I am not telling you to take a Chill Pill. If you’re anxious, I get it, because I am too. And if the past week was any indication of how this year will go, we’ve got a lot of anxiety in store for us. And it worries me because if you’re anything like me, every ping of your phone sends you into a spiral of thought, doubt, and panic.
Something like this:
*New York Times, Reuters, or NPR app buzzes.
*Reads: President Forty-five does what he said he would.
*Thinks “What the f*#%,” sometimes aloud.
*Wonders if this can be real.
*Googles particular executive order or firing or other bullshit and what/if anything can be done to reverse it.
*Googles whom to call to express concern (senators, my little brother, etc.).
*Visits petitions.whitehouse.gov to sign anything and everything that makes sense in hopes that the White House will do as they say and pay attention after 100,000 signatures.
*Reads for any updates on news article.
*Waits 10 minutes, reads opinion pieces on the newest news.
*Visits Instagram, and finds latest action hashtag.
*Cries for a sec (sometimes)…okay, most of the time.
*Visits Twitter, tries to find humor in this.
*Turns phone on airplane mode to try to get something else done.
*Starts drawing reaction piece to post on Instagram instead of work that will result in money to pay bills.
*Needs Google so turns phone on again.
**Repeats Cycle of Despair.
I will not pretend that my anxiety is worse than the millions of people affected by this man first-hand.
If you are one of those millions, I want you to know that even though I do not know what the full heat of this fire feels like, I’ll stand with you. I’ll sweat with you. You are my brothers and sisters and abuelas and granddads and lovers and not-so-serious girlfriends and friends’ parents. And this is some real bullshit, but we will fight it. Because we are a team, and together, we are loud and we are strong.
And because we must stay strong (for four more years), it is important to realize that often times, both you and I need to take a Chill Pill. A body is only as strong as the sleep it gets, the food it eats, and the exercise it uses to push out the lack of sleep and excess eating (and drinking, let’s be real).
So, please, take this Chill Pill, (as many and as often as you need), and once you’ve cooled off enough, take a No Chill Pill, and get movin’ again.
Good luck, my friend, and be well.