Cameron Walsh / culture / November 2016

Depressed Kid’s Guide To Post-Election Depression

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So your candidate lost. You may have had high hopes. You may have been desperately biting your nails on November 8th. You may have even thought she was going to win. Perhaps you didn’t want to support her, but felt she was better than the other guy.

But now the other guy has the White House. And you’re feeling fucked.

There are a lot of people right now who are very justifiably scared. I’m one of them. But this won’t be about why you should be scared. This is about how to not be scared and keep yourself alive.

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The first step is to keep yourself safe. How good is your impulse control? If not, hide all your sharp objects under two to three layers of obstruction, for instance, a Buick and a couple of dump trucks.

This may seem tongue-in-cheek, but it’s saved my life more than once. Take your scissors, your letter openers, anything like that, and put them in a drawer, underneath something. Maybe wrap them in paper towels or tissue paper or something. It’s a little thing that keeps you a step or two more out of harm’s way.

But it’s not enough to just distance yourself from harm; you’ve got to distract yourself as well. The solution?

 

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Find videos of small mammals.

What animal do you love? Search for youtube videos of the baby version. I’ve given you a head start.

Here’s a baby otter sleeping on it’s mom.

A kitten chorus.

A laundry basket FULL of puppies.

And baby bats looking like burritos.

 

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Once you’ve distracted yourself and created a safe space, you’ve got to unload some of that anger. Find a good, isolated spot, and scream your fucking heart out. Scream like you’re Atlas and the raw force of your voice is the only thing holding up the earth. Scream like you can save the world that way.

It may not help anything, but screaming is a very good method of dealing with present anxieties.

But let’s be real—it can’t be all about wellness and positivity. Sometimes, you’ve got to embrace the uglier emotions—like the Dark Side of the Force, they can be powerful.

 

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I cannot emphasize the advantages of spite enough.

I have been living on nothing but spite for years now. I reached a point where I’m still alive just to spite my own depression. Once you get to that point, you’re practically unstoppable.

Find something you hate. Something immaterial, or something big that you can’t change by yourself. Now imagine that that thing wants you personally dead. Your mission, should you chose to accept it, is to live your live and succeed just to spite that thing. Kiss your partner. Get a job. Graduate. Make your life a good story, just to piss someone off.

 

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Now, share the love (or spite, hatred, rage— what have you). You’re not the only one who’s pissed, even if it seems like everyone within fifty miles voted for the other person. Look online. Find connections on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr. Those are people you can vent to, or ask for advice of, or seek connections with. Even better, you may even be able to find a kindred spirit near you online that you never would have found in real life.

This election looks really fucking bleak, but there are ways to make it through it. See you on the other side.  

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