Who knew my reaction to the election is not unusual …

I read a fascinating article in last Sunday’s New York Times. It’s about how the election is sending America to the couch,  shrinka whopping 52% of Americans, to be precise. Both Republicans and Democrats, by the way.

Before we go any further, though, let me clarify. In my case, there is no therapy involved. I have nothing against therapy, far from it, but for me, a Canadian, to get so carried away over this presidential race that I’d need to talk to a professional about it would be quite troubling. And a sure sign I would benefit from some therapy.

But I have gotten stressed over it which, now that I see it written here, in black and white, does give me pause.

Be that as it may, while I haven’t suffered with the anxiety that has sent so many Americans to therapy, the past 16 months have had an effect on me. I found myself getting more and more tense with each passing debate, post-debate analysis, and poll results. I found myself clenching my fists and gnashing my teeth every time Donald Trump, or his surrogates, were interviewed. I alternated between holding my breath and screaming at my TV during the Republican National Convention.

After the Democratic Convention I was elated. Really it couldn’t have gone any better and it showed in the polls. Then more of Hillary’s emails were leaked, she came down with pneumonia and her double-digit lead started to slip away.

It had become unbearable and I knew I had to have a break. I didn’t watch any television until the presidential debates. I mean, no television at all; and I cannot tell you what a welcome relief that was. It was interesting to read, in the aforementioned article, that mental health professionals in the U.S. are telling their patients to do more or less the same thing, to “read just enough to stay informed, to take breaks from social media, to spend time with friends or do other things.”

To be honest, I so enjoyed my “vacation” from politics I wasn’t sure I would watch the three presidential debates. But that’s not me. I am a political junkie and, as a good friend said to me, “we cannot hide our heads in the sand, we must keep ourselves informed even if this isn’t our election.” Not to mention the fact that they’re a great source of material for both my WordPress and Huff Post Canada blogs.

Honest to God, as crazy as this sounds, I tensed up before each one of those debates. Before the first one my heart was racing. But I guess because of the break I’d taken, my resistance was stronger and I got through them without getting all bent out of shape.

What I avoided, however, was all the post-debate “stuff.” I was not up for all the opinions, all the analyzing and questioning and disagreeing. No way!

Now that the debates are over I am definitely pacing myself. I will read some articles, but not all. And I don’t plan on watching any election coverage on TV because unless something really dramatic happens, it’s all just speculation anyway.

Besides, I have to prepare myself for election night. Oy vey!



8 thoughts on “Who knew my reaction to the election is not unusual …

  1. I have found the Presidential debates and the things that Trump and his surrogates have said to be alternatively jaw-dropping shocking and belly aching hilarious but then after that I get nightmares. Just glad that the whole circus is very far from where I am but then we have our own comedy circus over here with the catchy names of 1MDB and MO1. We might just die laughing.

  2. Oh Veh is right ! Fransi , I am one of those(American) people who is stressed, Who is completely stressed out by this election, who wants to throw anything available at monitor when Trump is on. I have never in all my years been as obsessed by an election…reading and watching everything available! How is it possible that we have come to this!? Yes, it is easy to say do not watch, read,listen! but as a women despite the non perfection of my candidate,the grotesque other candidate is like reading an evil fairy tale. I never could put down a book! as an American who has lived abroad for most of my younger adult life, I observed how wonderful the feeling was to be able to vote freely and how important my vote was. Now I have an egomaniac jokester who has ruined all that! When I watched the frontline report onPBS ( comparing Trump’s background with Hillary’s , that was the culmination of all my fears.) .to learn that his guidance counselor was Roy Cohn, the evil lawyer to Joe..I almost cried. I was a child but I can still remember my family watching and discussing how lives were being ruined by Joe’s innuendos including some writers the family knew…Trump,was taught and guided by Roy and now I see Trump is not A Hitler but a McCarthy follower…repeat a lie long enough and it becomes the truth…just sue and keep suing..etc and I get that sick feeling….he will not go away…

    It is not the polls nor the reporters that have set me into nightmareville but the actual man himself!

    Xoxo Barb

    to Joe McCarthy

    Sent from http://www.facebook.com/awsmanimals/posts/771806446292577 my iPad


    • I get it. He is SO evil, SO dangerous it should keep everyone up at night. I watched that PBS show too. Chilling. And no, he will not go away. And he will continue to have a receptive audience — which scares me more than anything.

  3. All that on the other side of the pond Fransi, while Brexit is the burning topic for our near neighbours we have to contend with the fall out there, no knowing how we are going to be affected, in the words of the late Merle Haggard and the alive and kicking Willie Nelson ‘It’s all gone to pot’

    • Yes, it’ll take a while for sure to understand the Brexit impact. I never thought that would happen. Shows how naive I am. Willie’s right — “It has all gone to pot!”

    • My thoughts and prayers are with you, but good luck with that. With luck Donald Trump will be the loser and I think the odds of George Clooney divorcing his wife to marry me are better than Donald Trump accepting defeat gracefully.

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