For the first time in a very long time, I want to drink today. Let me clarify, I am not drinking, but I have thought about it. I have wished that I could. I wish that I could quiet my anxiety, my fears, and my grief with mind-numbing ease. It used to be so simple. Let me give you a fair warning that this post will include many of my political views so if you do not agree, you don't have to read the rest of this post. Oh I am angry. I am hurting. I woke up with chest pains because I knew. When I went to bed last night the unspeakable was happening. Somehow Donald Trump was on the path to securing 270 electoral votes to secure the presidency of the United States. Yes, you read that correctly, this is not a joke. This is not The Walking Dead. This is not Back to the Future. This is not a drill. Somehow he ended up beating the most qualified candidate for the presidency in history to win. Hillary Clinton should be our next president, but for some unfathomable reason half of the USA voted for a racist demagogue who has no political experience. With her loss, a lot of hopes and dreams came crashing down. My heart is broken and sobriety is unspeakably hard today.
I will even say that I believe this is the hardest thing I've had to cope with since getting sober. Going to sleep last night felt like it used to after a long night of partying. My heart was racing like it did when I used to take cocaine all night, I was so exhausted I couldn't see straight, and sleep was the only thing I could think of that would take me to another place. I forced my fiancé to turn off CNN and put on The Wonder Years. I only slept four hours. 7am brought the news I already knew: Trump won. It was like waking up from a drunk dream, except it was real. This is our reality now. Today I feel hungover from crying and mad because I can't use alcohol to take off the edge. It's not fair, everyone can drink when they want to escape, but not me.
I could list here all the reasons Donald Trump is not fit to be president and all the people and countries he has offended along the way, or how 12 women have accused him of sexual assault and how he goes on trial for fraud this month, but I won't. Because the damage has been done. I've said from the very beginning this election was different because it was about our deepest morals, not politics. Trump embodies bigotry, racism, misogyny, and is a sexual predator and that's exactly what the US voted into office last night. These qualities in an unfit white man were preferable to an overqualified woman. It's as simple and as complicated as that.
As soon as Trump became the Republican nominee I went to work. I signed up and volunteered for Hillary's campaign, I made calls, I canvassed, I did what I could within the confines of my job and my life and now I'm left feeling like it wasn't enough. And now the sting of this guilt runs deep. Part of what makes me so fucking mad about this is that Hillary really deserved to win. She has worked so hard for this. She has dedicated her life to being a public servant, to being a champion for us, to shattering glass ceilings and she was set to make history. I've heard news anchors referring to the trump presidency as a "historic win." But there's nothing historic about a privileged white male billionaire becoming president. It's just more of the same. The same history we've been fighting to progress from. We went from our first black president to our first president endorsed by the KKK - what a world. This country founded was founded on white supremacy and there it stays. But that's not the America I know and it's not the one I want to live. It's surely not the one that represents me or the one I want to represent. Today I am embarrassed to be an American.
Today I weep and I am tired and I am defeated. We should have known fighting the patriarchy wouldn't be this easy. I have to pick up the pieces because I have no other choice. I have a partner who through tears and a clenched jaw told me he doesn't feel welcome in this country. That he doesn't think he can have his Mexico flag magnet on his car. That he's not even sure he wants to live here anymore and I don't blame him. How can I? My heart aches for him and for every person who is marginalized by this presidency. How can I explain to him and justify the continued racism and bigotry put forth by this nation against his culture? He feels alienated, unsafe, and unwanted. So do I. I am scared. The message that this election has sent to women about self-worth and sexual assault is unfounded.
So where do we go from here? I have felt this doom and gloom before. I have felt like I wouldn't make it and that it would be easier to just not deal. Today I'm going to stay sober hour to hour because Trump has robbed enough from me and he won't take my sobriety too. I'm going to mourn this loss and attempt to emotionally prepare for what's to come. I'm going to take care of my loved ones who need consoling and let them know that hatred and racism won't always win, even though they have this time. I will practice self-care and I will honor my feelings of anger and disappointment until I am capable of beginning to heal.
We will not give up, not on sobriety, not on life and not on equality and what is right. I know eventually the pain will fade.
I want to say to all of my LGBTQ, Muslim, Mexican, undocumented, immigrant, black, brown, and survivors of sexual assault friends - I see you, I hear you and I love you. To me your lives matter. I will never give up the fight for your human rights. We have much work to do.
The only quote from the bible you'll ever read on one of my posts came from Hillary's concession speech today: "Let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season, we shall reap, if we do not lose heart.”
The journey does not stop here, it only begins.