In a recent visit to my doctor,
I thought about telling her how extremely sad I am
and that I think that is the cause
of the tiredness I’m experiencing.

Then I thought that would only lead
to her referring me for mental health counseling.
But that would imply that my sadness
is something that needs to be cured
with therapy or medication.

But if my sadness is based
on the very real horrible situation
in which we are all living,
then trying to “cure” this sadness
would be equivalent to denying reality,
which is clearly a mental illness.
So it becomes a circular firing squad.

So I didn’t mention my sadness.
Instead she suspected the problem
could be with my heart
and she sent me for a chemical stress test
-saying I couldn’t get an accurate diagnosis
from a treadmill test
because of my ankle problems.
It was the most horrible experience of my life
and they had to stop the test
because I was yelling, “You’re killing me!”.

So yet another circular firing squad
because the cause of my exhaustion
and heaviness in my chest
is despair
that is grounded in reality
of seeing my country turning into a dictatorship,
our planet facing climate catastrophe,
and humans suffering on my streets.
I don’t need a stress test
– waking up every morning and paying attention to what is going on
is stressful enough.
we spent the afternoon
with friends out in the garden.
We shared good food,
including a salad from stuff growing around us.
We enjoyed a 75 degree day in mid-winter.

We talked a lot about what is happening
without forcing ourselves to be happy.
And when we hugged goodbye,
I realized I felt better than I had in awhile.
Not good, but better.

I wish for everyone friendship
and precious moments like this
to get us through what is coming next.

My doctor is correct.
My problem is with my heart.
It breaks for my country, for my earth,
for my fellow humans
and all sentient creatures.

I don’t think we can fix this.
Not with elections,
or therapy or medicine.
But I’m still going to support anyone willing to try.
I’m tired.
I’m sad.
It’s OK.
It’s completely appropriate to feel this way.

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