According to most sources, the world is out of control. We’re under the threat of imminent disaster of one variety or another. Bad things are happening, in all caps, right now. For the past decade, nobody’s even had the chance to bend over to kiss their ass goodbye.
It feels like an emergency for a reason.
I only know this because my anxiety has made me susceptible to the triggers of attention-grabbing news while consciously being aware I’m getting lied to. For normal people, once the lie gets outed the danger is over. Anxiety lets me keep feeling the burn long after the flame’s gone out.
Sometimes I get angry about it. Even though I’m not technically falling for the latest silly opinion piece by someone claiming to be a journalist, I have the increased heart rate and jitters claiming otherwise. Why can’t I just physically let go when I mentally let go?
I’m going to have to swear off news.
There’s a big problem when opinions and absurd beliefs get equal weight to facts and tangible evidence. Imagine a local news station having to give the microphone to the one jackass who believes in unicorns. That’s what we do when we have to pretend that the Alex Joneses and Ed Schultzes of the world have legitimate points of view. Absurdity becomes the new normal.
Perhaps the biggest reason why I had to abandon religion was because it encouraged me to believe some bad things about myself. News reporting is becoming a secular church. I can find my personal echo bubble denomination and get into verbal fisticuffs with strangers over absolutely nothing that will change. Even Sisyphus got to have the accomplishment of getting his rock halfway up the hill in Hades.
Giving up news is going to be hard, because it gets thrown at me in many ways. Some of this is my own choosing, but a lot of it involves coercion. Commercials will have those inflammatory soundbites, and some websites force me to go past the news to get to content I want. It would be like putting uncensored porn in front of the grocery store.
Unfortunately, I can’t get a grasp of what’s going on around me if it gets imbued with alarmist rhetoric. Worse, I can’t get a grasp of my mind when such alarmist rhetoric wears me out. I get physically tired these days from dealing with repeated panic attacks.
My hope is to cut myself out of this negative feedback loop.
Despite warnings to the contrary, the world is still here. People might not get along on a universal level, but there are some good examples of individuals getting along just fine. The wars currently going on around the world might be scary, but they’re also becoming fewer. Human tragedy will happen either intentionally or unintentionally; it’s my job to make sure I don’t add to it. I don’t want to add to it.
That has to be good enough for now.