In speaking to friends in the field of psychiatry, and reading from two respected scientific journals, it appears there is a noticeable uptick in people, Americans, mostly, seeking mental health assistance to deal with the trauma of current politics.
I’m not surprised, are you? Because regardless which side of the political aisle you inhabit, recent events have probably got you screaming, either with fear, righteous indignation, scorn, frustration, or good old anger. We, as a nation, are as stressed as I have ever seen, and good for those who can afford a weekly trip to the couch to lie down in despair and vent their woes to a professional.
Because I sure can’t. First of all, any spare dollars I might have goes into the “new fencing, new transmission, and critter feed” account, and if there happens to be any pocket change left over from that, it goes into “Pam’s dental account” before my teeth begin resembling Indian corn.
When you haven’t the time or financial resources to invest in your mental health, but recognize the warning signs (my own being the fact that I am now too terrified to read the breaking news alerts that flash across the screen of my phone), you have to become creative. This is why I’m glad I live on acreage that is quite private: I can run naked, screaming, across the fields whenever the mood strikes. Ask my mailman.
Don’t laugh (I know that’s difficult when you’re visualizing a blonde Pez dispenser with flailing limbs tearing through the fescue), it’s very effective. In fact, I highly recommend it. That’s not easy, I know, when you live on a cul-de-sac, because it’s hard to build up speed on a circle, not to mention it's pretty much a given you’re eventually going to get tasered, so perhaps it might be worth looking for a safer place where you could run screaming, comfortably.
Aunty Pam has done the research for you: The Carolina Foothills Resort, not far from me, just past Fingerville (stop it), in Chesnee, S.C., is a nudist resort. That’s right, and get this, if you can hold on to your emotional well being until June 10, they are hosting the ‘Buck Creek Streak.’ Yep, a 5k trail race. So there you go: you can run ‘nekkid’ with several other people, through the woods, to your heart’s content. You can scream either from political stress, having encountered a yellow jacket nest, or the fact that particular parts of your anatomy haven’t been strapped firmly in place, but the point is you can legally run naked while screaming. And when you finally stop (although parts of your body might not), I’m quite sure you will be relieved. You will be too exhausted to feel mortified that you’ve just recognized your priest (easy to spot wearing the clerical ‘dog’ collar), and you might even, after surveying those around you, feel slightly better about those 7 pounds you put on over the holidays.
And if we all still feel stressed, I believe I’m going to organize a march on our nation’s capital, because we need to be heard by those driving us crazy. And they’re all driving us crazy. That’s right, The Screaming Naked Through The Streets’ march. No signs, no pink hats, just a few million Americans, hands on either side of our faces as in the Edvard Munch painting, tearing down Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House. We might not make it on the televised news (that would take an awful lot of pixelating), but at least, we’d get our point (or points) across.
And hopefully, not get stuck in the fence.
Reach PAM STONE at firstname.lastname@example.org.