Yesterday morning, before the bottom dropped out at the USA Capitol Building in Washington, people in my Coping and Healing group discussed experiences of when the bottom drops out, including how that feels and how to cope. By sharing those experiences of when the bottom drops out and realizing they were not alone, the group members lifted each other up. I suggested that when the bottom drops out again they look down, feel their feet securely on the floor, and realize that the bottom is still there, even if it feels like it has dropped out.
According to an online definition, the bottom drops out “alludes to collapsing deeper than the very lowest point, or bottom.”
Yesterday afternoon, the current inhabitant of the White House collapsed deeper than his previous lowest point/bottom, inciting his followers to violently disrupt the transfer of power in the country I love.
As the whole world watched in horror, the bottom dropped out in the USA yesterday. Those of us who are familiar with malignant narcissists like Trump know that the bottom will drop out even LOWER if he remains in office.
When the bottom drops out, I’m too upset to take many photos, so here are all my recent images from top to bottom:
What do you do when the bottom drops out? When the bottom drops out for me, I reach out for people I love and trust, I anchor myself in the present moment, and I tell myself, “It’s safer than it feels.”
Therefore, I’m going to post, again, the video I shared on this blog yesterday, before the bottom dropped out, of audience members at the Stephen Colbert Show lifting up the late, great U.S. congressman from Georgia, John Lewis, as he crowd-surfed above them.
It makes me cry, here and now, to see how far the bottom has dropped out of my country.
Here is Senator Amy Klobuchar speaking to Stephen Colbert last night about her experience of when the bottom dropped out yesterday:
Here‘s Stephen Colbert showing a lot of feeling in his live monologue last night after the bottom dropped out and before his interview with Senator Klobuchar:
And here‘s his interview with Republican Representative Adam Kinzinger about his experience of when the bottom dropped out.
If you have any thoughts or feelings about when the bottom drops out, please drop a comment, below.
Now that you’ve reached the bottom here, thanks — from the bottom of my heart — to all who help me drop a blog post every day, including you.
I am addicted to understanding other people’s behaviors (that’s probably why I became a psychotherapist). The article about the addiction to grievances explains a lot about Trump’s increasingly concerning behaviors as well as the behaviors of many others.
The article, by James Kimmel, Jr., a lecturer in psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine, explains that focusing on grievances stimulates the brain like drugs do, resulting in the constant revisiting of grievances and a craving for revenge.
Here are two quotes from the article:
… it turns out that your brain on grievance looks a lot like your brain on drugs. In fact, brain imaging studies show that harboring a grievance (a perceived wrong or injustice, real or imagined) activates the same neural reward circuitry as narcotics.
Recent studies show that similarly, cues such as experiencing or being reminded of a perceived wrong or injustice — a grievance — activate these same reward and habit regions of the brain, triggering cravings in anticipation of experiencing pleasure and relief through retaliation. To be clear, the retaliation doesn’t need to be physically violent—an unkind word, or tweet, can also be very gratifying.
James Kimmel, Jr., POLITICO Magazine
Personally, I am actively trying to break any addiction to grievances by focusing on other — more adaptive — addictions, like blogging, walking, and taking photos for this blog.
I am also addicted to connections, synchronicity, and making meaning, so it occurs to me, here and now, that a brain addicted to grievances is a cold and dark place.
What are you addicted to? Have you ever been addicted to grievances? Do you know somebody who is addicted to grievances? I’m addicted to your comments, so please leave one, below.
Finally, I’m addicted to expressing gratitude, so thanks to all who help enable me in my addiction to blogging, including YOU!
“What are people thinking?” is something I often ask in my Coping and Healing groups.
“What are people thinking?” is also something I am increasingly asking myself as I look at the news these days.
What are people thinking on Twitter recently?
What are people thinking about the photos I took yesterday?
When I search YouTube for “What are people thinking?” many of the videos focus on what rich people are thinking, which, to my way of thinking, explains a lot. Personally, I don’t care what rich people are thinking. I think people think about rich people way too much.
Here is “The Dangers of Thinking Too Much; And Thinking Too Little” (and what were people thinking punctuating that title like that?)
Here is what one person is thinking about that video:
I think that sometimes I may think too much about thinking too much.. I think.
One thousand, three hundred, and sixty days ago (it’s good to know who’s counting — me!), I wrote another post titled “Good to know.” It’s good to know that it’s still good to know things, even during these times of a deadly pandemic and deadly denial.
I hope it’s good to know that I finally got up some good courage yesterday to call the Internal Revenue Service to know about my good refund, which, as you might know, is a good many months late.
It’s good to know details, so here’s what happened:
I know how difficult it is to connect with a real person in the IRS, especially these days, so I set aside a good long time to make the call.
The automated IRS phone system gave me the same response I had gotten on-line a good many weeks ago — that the system had no knowledge of my refund — which was not good to know.
Other automated information increased my fear that something bad had happened to my refund.
I tried navigating the phone system every which way I knew, but still couldn’t get through to a real person with knowledge.
I googled “how to reach a real person at IRS” which gave me a complicated hack of the phone system including refusing to enter my social security number twice, which was very good to know.
I stayed on hold for 45 minutes, marveling that so many good people ahead of me had figured out the good-to-know hack of the phone system.
I finally spoke to a wonderful IRS employee who was home in Texas with her dogs and who was good to know. She told me the good-to-know information that there was a backlog of mailed returns and mine was among them. That was the only reason I had not received my refund, instead of all the bad-to-know fears my mind had manufactured.
She told me other good-to-know information, including (1) don’t mail in your return again, (2) don’t worry about identity thieves stealing your refund, (3) your husband’s erroneous Social Security information (which necessitated the mailing rather than the e-filing of our joint tax return) has been corrected, and (4) you go, girl, for marrying a good guy 10 years younger than you who cooks!
It’s good to know that bureaucracies can be made up of good-to-know human beings.
Are any of today’s images good to know?
It’s good to know Hanukkah is starting tonight and Michael will be making good potato latkes very soon.
Here are five good-to-know facts about Hanukkah from watchmojo.com:
Many thanks to all my good-to-know readers, including YOU.
When I was young, I read many fairy tales, including the ones in the Brown Fairy Tale Book, Green Fairy Tale Book, and the other colors of Fairy Tale Books illustrated by the amazing Arthur Rackham.
I wonder if that’s why I believe that life could be like a fairy tale with
rewards for kindness, and
the triumph of good over evil.
I especially remember the Grimm brothers’ tale of The Fisherman and His Wife (found here) which I have been quoting to Michael with increasing frequency over the past four years. This is a story of escalating greed, selfishness, hubris, overreach, narcissism, and ultimate retribution, where somebody wishes for more and more absurd amounts of wealth and power, until they get what they deserve.
Because of all the tales I read as a kid, I’ve believed that narcissism and greed, while perhaps succeeding spectacularly for a while, ultimately would not win.
Last week, Human Resources at work sent me an email stating that if I had not filed for unemployment benefits (I had not), my identity had been stolen. Because I had heard previously that our work email system might have been hacked, I doubted the identity of the emailer and wrote back “Why should I believe YOU?” The HR person validated my concern and offered to prove her identity by calling me. In that phone call, we established that, indeed, my identity had been stolen.
As I looked into the theft of my identity, I discovered that it had been stolen TWO YEARS AGO. All this time, I’ve been blissfully ignorant of my identity theft, even though part of my identity has been preparing and protecting myself from trouble.
In the past, when I’ve heard that somebody’s identity had been stolen, I’ve reacted with worry, concern, and fear that this might someday happen to me. Now that my identity has been stolen, I am happy to identify that I am still me, doing what needs to be done, surviving it all, and remaining hopeful about the future.
As a matter of fact, my identity theft has seemed so insignificant to me — compared to the attempted theft of the identity of my country — I haven’t mentioned it here on my blog, until now.
Because part of my identity is to define my terms, here’s a definition of identity:
Do you see identity in any of my other recently captured images?
I can’t wait for the day when we stop obsessing about the identity of Donald Trump and focus on much more important identities.