Pure ragin’

I wrote in my last post about avoiding certain interactions because of a reluctance to engage emotionally with people. To some extent that is still the case, but I’ve come to realise that as well as being emotionally guarded, I’ve also been existing in a state that can best be described as pure ragin’ (Scottish term not necessarily denoting actual rage, but more like anger, frustration and annoyance)

I would like to think of myself as a calm, collected person, but in reality I have very little patience and a wee bit of a temper. Saying that, I’m generally inclined to seeing the positive side of things. Lately in my life and in the world in general there is very little to be positive about.

The trigger for this latest self-realisation was a segment on BBC Breakfast one day last week. The did a piece on the current “Cost of Living Crisis” and included the now usual tips from experts and the public about how to save money – things like batch cooking and turning down the thermostat. There was reference to a BBC website where info could be found, I missed the actual link but it could be this or this. It was the latest in a long series of similar pieces all over the media, who seem to miss the novelty and buzz of the pandemic and death of the queen and are revelling in having another crisis to cover. There was an almost gleeful “we’re all in this together” attitude, the presenters marvelling at ideas like meal planning and utilising leftovers or keeping blankets on the couch rather than turning the heating up as revelatory, not something that many of us have been doing for years out of necessity. The evocation of early covid-times which in turn were heavily “blitz spirit” influenced just made me pure ragin’. Making out that this is just the latest event passively and unfortunately happening to us, that will ultimately bring out the best in everyone and bind us closer together is bullshit. I don’t want to hear about how communities are rallying together to create “warm banks”. I want to see the government held to account for their part in if not creating this crisis, then at least perpetuating it and not doing enough to mitigate or alleviate it. (See also their covid response) I want to see the BBC asking the hard questions and demanding answers. I want to see a government minister, most of whom are literal millionaires it seems, stand up and say that it is a scandal that in their country in 2023 people are hungry and cold in their own homes and that they are going to dedicate all their efforts to ending it.

I’m ragin’ at the Tories.

I’m ragin’ that I was referred to a specialist in January last year, didn’t get an appointment until 9 months later, got an MRI scan 2 months after that but won’t get the results until my follow up appointment in March. A full 15 months from referral to possible results. 15 months of not knowing what the hell might be wrong with me. I’m ragin’ at the state of the NHS, the years of neglect and lack of investment.

I’m ragin’ at the Tories

I’m ragin’ that my daughter has been waiting 3 years for an assessment and if any diagnosis is forthcoming it’s unlikely there will be any actual follow-up or ongoing support. I’m ragin’ that child mental health and disability services are so underfunded that 3 years is a perfectly normal waiting time for an assessment. 3 years in a child’s life – in our case from the age of 10 to 13 – is a massive proportion and at a critical time in their development. I’m ragin’ that this is not seen as a priority.

I’m ragin’ at the Tories

I’m ragin’ that I have to be careful when out walking my dog, planning routes with good light and people around. I’m ragin’ that I have to be cautious of every man I meet. I’m ragin’ that every few days the news reports a woman / woman and her children killed by a man. Every. Few. Days.

I’m ragin’ that this Twitter user is speaking the truth:

I’m ragin’ that I’m fearful of starting to date again because there is an unacceptably high possibility that anyone I meet is not interested in romance, love or companionship but rape and murder.

I’m ragin’ at the little things – that the council didn’t sweep away the autumn leaves, so they froze, thawed and refroze over again resulting in a perma-mulch over all the pavements. (I’m blaming this on Council cut-backs so ultimately it’s the Tories fault again) I’m ragin’ that people don’t pick up their dog poo. (Give me a minute and I’ll link this to the Tories too…)

I’m ragin’ at myself, for letting friendships slip. For avoiding things rather than facing up to them. For letting fear hold me back.

All this ragin’ isn’t healthy. In a way it was a relief to think of myself not as depressed, just mightily pissed off and hiding from the shitshow that is the world just now. I’m not the kind of person to start a gratitude journal – if I had the time for that I’d have less need for it – but I need to start channelling these feelings into something more positive. I need to reconnect with my friends and have long chats about everything that’s wrong and what we’d do if we were in charge. I need to figure out how to get more actively involved in politics with no time, money or mental bandwidth available. I need to stop fearing the worst and hit some drums, even if my left foot and hand aren’t quite as strong as they used to be. I need to look for new opportunities, positive interactions and people who make my rage disappear.

And we all need to vote the Tories out / Scottish independence in.

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