American Fatigue Syndrome

Spiritual Smart Aleck


We are having a rough time after all these months of the “new normal.” The pandemic, economic and housing struggles, and our racist chickens once more coming home to roost.
I am calling it American Fatigue Syndrome at this point.

There has been a lot of buzz on the internet and elsewhere about suicide prevention lately, and for good reason. The psychological and emotional stresses of not being able to pay the rent, support the family, or simply go to work and do a job, losing your home and independence, or sitting at home on your lonesome for months – and on top of that for people of color the knowledge that every time they leave the house they might not come back, and that they don’t even need to leave the house because some righteous uniform might break in and shoot them in their homes – it all adds up.

By the way, if you are thinking of hurting yourself in any way, or killing yourself, call the Suicide Hotline: 800-273-8255. Persist: listen to the recording, press the numbers indicated until you get to where you need to be.

They have a special division for veterans.

If you want to speak to someone local, call Vashon Youth and Family Services, 206-463-5511, and the good people there will do their best to get you where you need to go.

Always remember that you are important, you matter, to your family and friends and yourself. Never forget that! We need you here, alive and miserable, hanging in with the rest of us poor benighted human beings. It is a hard time, no question, and some of us are prone to having hard times, anyway. Depression is always lurking for some.

I am familiar with the feeling of putting up with so much pain and so much exhaustion for so long that a quick exit can seem like a good idea, but it is not. It is a lousy idea, and it is a lie. If you find yourself in that dark place, ask for help, immediately. I encourage you to keep asking until you find someone to listen to you who will encourage you to put your own well-being first. You matter.

The economic situation is part of what is grinding people down, but worse economic crashes have happened before, like the Boeing Bust in Seattle around 1970.

“Will the last person leaving Seattle – Turn out the lights.” — billboard, Seattle, April 1971.
That happened before the current 18 to 49-year-old cohort which is now struggling financially and other ways, was born. It happened before Bill Gates & company kicked off the technology revolution here. It happened before the internet and social media and the gig economy came into being. How did people survive?

They did what they had to do.  Some left Seattle, some got other jobs here if they could find them, and many of the fired Boeing employees went on to start their own businesses.
Of course, those people had it hard, but were not dealing with multiple pressures to the extent we are now.

Big sigh. I was hoping to write a nice humorous essay this time to give everyone some sorely needed comic relief and not mention the Manchurian Cantaloupe (tip o’ the hat to whoever thought that up), but how do I ignore the mastodon in the room?

In the last debate, he looked unusually controlled. He must have been schooled severely by his advisors. Yet he still claimed he was the “least racist person in the room,” and that as president he had “done more for black people than anyone since Abraham Lincoln.”

If his nose grew every time he lied, it would be the size of a redwood by now.

Tip for you people who adore him: if he offers you Kool-Aid, do not accept it.

I miss writing humor. I miss a world where I could ignore politics and leave it to others, as long as my family and I were able to Tuel along (ho ho) minding our own business and living our lives in peace.

Over the years I have heard many people express a longing to be left alone to live their lives in peace. That is what a lot of us want. Turns out we should want more: a government not run by criminals, for example.

No matter who is declared the winner of the election, almost half the country’s population will be angry, grief-stricken, and unwilling to accept the outcome.

So hold onto your hats, buckle up and love one another, and yourself. We are going to come through this the same way we have come through everything else: together.

Blessings, love, peace, and grace to you all, and don’t forget to laugh sometimes.