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    Been There, Done That: Eight Decades And Counting By Alice Herb: Anxiety – A Perpetual State of Mind Now?

    Anxiety – A Perpetual State of Mind Now? By Alice Herb


    This past year has been exceptionally anxiety-provoking for me. Two of my closest family members had serious medical issues that seemed to go on interminably. But now those worries have subsided- and yet I realize that I am still anxious all the time. Why? The “why” is sitting right in front of me – COVID 19, coupled with our malfunctioning, dis-functioning, or non-functioning government – take your pick. It’s kept me and I suspect many if not most of us unmoored. We never have to wait long for the next shoe to drop, and the stream of unimaginable negatives are seriously fraying our already troubled world. Protests! Lockdowns! Spikes in virus deaths! Upticks in new cases! Unemployment! Closed down businesses! Domestic violence! And no relief! No place to flee to somewhere safe! The rest of the world isn’t in such great shape either. Distraction?  None- No theaters, movies, concert halls, or public anything to entertain us. The latest news that the President has COVID barely more than a month before the election has brought us all up short. This year seems to have gone on forever. 


    I think the major factor in all this anxiety is uncertainty! We can’t count on anything! Here today, gone tomorrow seems to be an apt description of how it feels. Nobody wants to think of possibly getting sick and then dying in this pandemic. We don’t want to think of death and dying under the best of circumstances. The Constitution and our government previously seemed inviolable. The three equal prongs of government – executive, legislature, and courts – were to be the watchdogs that would keep each other in line, but that has steadily blurred as they fall in upon each other. The corruption and grab for power have become the most glaring sparks that ignite rage in our country. Citizens be damned as long as the lies are swallowed and our politicians are elected and reelected. It’s led me to recall what a psychiatrist/pharmacologist once said to me about the toxicity of cocaine: The honest mind no matter how brilliant is incapable of imagining what the criminal mind might conjure up. And so here we are, having won the Revolution, the Civil War, and endless other wars, and even overcome Nixon’s treacheries, and now at the brink of chaos and collapse. We don’t know what the rest of the year will look like and much as we hope to return to some sort of normalcy, it’s hard to predict.  


    Being an optimist, as I am, helps but only goes so far.  What I am hoping is that at least one prominent person will say “That’s enough.” Maybe that would re-start the engines of our beliefs and principles and stop the cowering under the threat of loss of jobs, power, reputation – whatever.  So I am searching in the dark, with my candle, for one honest person. Archibald Cox, where art thou? It doesn’t have to be a Saturday night, I’ll settle for a Monday Night Massacre!


    But my dear readers, I will remind you that in my long life, I have survived countless brinks and am still standing. My ability to withstand the brink is through humor – The absurdity of much of what has come to pass is truly laughable. And so, in my perhaps demented soul, I still believe we will pull through this too! Take heart, believe, and VOTE!


    Alice Herb is a retired attorney, journalist, and bioethics consultant. Having reached the age of 85+, she’s more than ready to share her experiences and opinions with agebuzz readers. Want to comment on something she’s said? She welcomes your feedback at [email protected]


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