Outrunning the Apocalypse
Let me be clear: I'm fine...this post is for those of us suffering in silence...i tell my story to assure you there are things you can do...in the last 3 and half weeks, i've been on two different continents, 5 major cities, 2 different countries, 4 different states trying to stabilize myself in a world gone mad.
no one, i mean. no one should be going through Hurricane, Fire, Flash Floods, Self-Isolation, Pandemic, daily new deaths, Black-Lives-Don't-Hardly-Matter to Amurikah Apocalypse without a therapist...
it is the only way through...when u wake up with utter uncertainty every single day and your thread is full of horror stories and all your heroes are dying...that constant upheaval weighs your soul down...and ur playing urself if u think u can white knuckle it through the unprecedented disasters our country and the world is facing...travelling across the world to deal with this has really given me perspective...when u see the entire world litterally dropped to their knees trying to manage what's going on...when ur in a 3rd world nation where you spent 4 months in confinement in a house by yourself and hungry people on the street ask you:
Habibi, are you sure u want to go back to America...here we can keep you safe...there, they only want to kill you in the street. Here, you have a doctor, hospital if you get sick where you will be cared for, there is food and a home for you here...there will be no burning in the streets and white people hitting you in the stores...please consider staying... From the grocery store to the post office to delivery guys to the corner store, everyone was really trying to get me to stay....they kept saying...Corona, Corona, George Floyd, this is terrible and Trump is a very bad man. People on the other side of the world who don't even speak a lot of English, knew enuf abt where i was returning to make an effort to communicate with me...what could i say: ur right, but my family is there...and if i stay here and something happens to me, then i will be a burden to you.
I got on the plane with the memory of hijabed women standing on the other side of the airport doors weeping for me afraid for me coming back to the country of my birth...it was so hard...I left them all the money i had in my pockets and a credit card...i needed to know they would be safe until I could get to them again...it really bothered me leaving people who took me in like family, who stayed to protect my home there and my kitties.
I kid you not, people said this to me leaving Morocco and what could i say...its true...
but i came back to keep my word...to fight...to use the tools i have in my arsenal to help those who i love rise up after we've been on knees...and america did not disappoint...in less than 3 weeks i've gotten a lovely taste of the new america...i've met lovely people, but in 3 weeks i've also run into bonafide nazi skinheads at a rest stop, a karen asking me to step off the sidewalk, several men asking me to take off my mask in florida...like WTAF and meaning it...in 3 weeks, i've experienced an America I've not seen since the 1980 Miami race riots. It's extraordinary...
the only way, i have not committed suicide during this time is my therapists and my friends who have been on the 24 hour hotline checking in on me. I even have a locator on my phone so someone always knows where I am bec sadly sex trafficking at rest stops in America is some real shit....shady mofoes hanging around talking to little girls ...seriously...the worst thing i had to worry abt at a rest stop in Morocco was camel poop or a marriage proposal (one guy asked for my father's whatspp so he could call him to ask if he could marry me and would 300 camels be enuf...i mean even desert Berbers got manners)
I've never lived like this before...but if I want to live...I better...take time to attend to your emotional health...do it...take time to sleep like a cat or call people u haven't connected with and make time to talk to someone about your mental health...
ask somebody to help you find a therapist if you can't...go to any insurance website or psychology today and research therapists focusing on your specialty and read reviews or google them to see what patients have said...ask friends who work in academia if they know good therapists in the PhD programs....ask...ask...it's important...and ain't no shame to ask for help in the middle of an apocalypse...
the shame would be going through it alone when u don't have to....shit i even saw my shrink when i landed here just to check if i was depressed...he said, good news...ur not, ur just angry about what's going on and that's a good place for you...fight to get it better and sleep alot...
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is a Tony-winning producer/writer/actor & CEO of TheDreamUnLocked: Boutique Coaching for Actors, Writers & Dreamers