Fighting Detachment

The first eleven days of October have been like a wild roller-coaster ride that I wasn’t sure I could even exit. The funny thing though, in the midst of all that, I started to detach myself from the ride even though it was still going at a furious speed. I stopped caring about anything or anyone in this world and considered how much better the next one would be.

Then, I thought of this word (detachment) and its meaning and looked it up to see if the meaning matched my true feelings. There are two meanings. First, detach means to “disengage (something or part of something) and remove it.” It also means, and this definition is more important for my purposes, to “leave or separate from (a group or place).” To an extent, I feel like I’ve already done this. When I speak of the things on my heart on what has happened to our world this year, the other person generally shrugs their shoulders in a “what can you do fashion.” Precautions against Covid are the do-all and be-all of this time. Nothing else matters.

So, I stopped caring. I detached myself from poverty, from abuse, from unemployment, from mental illness, and from financial difficulties. No one else wanted to talk about or care about these deep matters of the heart even if they were experiencing them, so why should I. Covid had separated me from my friends that much.

Calling anyone has become a herculean task when I wasn’t sure they wanted my phone call and when I wasn’t even sure the friendship mattered anymore. So, I retreated into myself and considered what I wanted to figure out. Do I keep trying with my friends, with my writing, or with my family? It seems like I try, try, and try again, and it’s always bad. Always hard. Nothing comes easy right now. I try, and it’s hard when people don’t want to try back. We’ve been programmed into only caring about ourselves and not caring about anyone else. Showing God’s love has fallen out of the equation.

But, then, I look at the news, and I get angry in my detachment. People in leadership have taken advantage of the situation. They are gaining power and money at our expense, and no one cares. This includes people from both political parties. I believe they are encouraging this detachment so they will be unencumbered as they do what they want. Disgusting, right?

What do I do with this anger now? Do I keep it in a box and remain detached? Is not caring a viable option?  Do I stay away from the voting booth next month? It takes effort to care, to be the person God wants me through this crisis, and I’m not sure I have the strength. I know some people, politicians included, wish I wouldn’t vote since my voice would be silenced, and they could do whatever the hell they wanted. (Sorry for the language, but I think it applies here.) I think about these questions, and my voice sounds loudly in my mind. No! I need to use my voice, auditory, and writing. I need to use my voice because I have that freedom in this country.

An example is when I talk about frustrations with my mental illness. Mental illness is not getting the attention it needs during this pandemic. Dr. Fauci’s comments struck me when he was commenting on that topic a few weeks ago. “Hang on. We need you.” What is hanging on? Does it mean things like poverty, food insecurity, financial difficulties, mental illness, unemployment, and just plain loss don’t exist? Does it mean “every man for himself?” It seems like the second is more true. And, don’t get me wrong here. It’s not just Republicans. It’s Democrats too. We’re at a crossroads, and frankly, this time I’m not sure where we’re going after the election.

So, though, I know there is little chance of this happening, I will end with this statement. President Trump, Senator McConnell, Representative Pelosi, and every Democrat and Republican in Congress, the American people need you to look after their interests and not your own. Candidate Biden and Candidate Harris, I include you in this statement because, while you haven’t been elected, I am sure you have a modicum of influence you could use if you so chose. They need you to care about them and not yourselves – to be the statesmen and women you purport yourselves to be. If you don’t, I guess we really do deserve what we’ve unleashed upon ourselves. Prove me wrong, please.