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#community care
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We really need to make every aspect of our culture, of our daily lives, of celebrations, of travel - of everything! - regenerative and healing. Everything should encourage and nurture recovery and healing and growth.

From growing food in a way that grows soil as well instead of depleting it to making household chores into little grounding rituals to rethinking the entire concept of christmas (for those who even celebrate it to begin with) to overthrowing capitalism.

All of it. Every aspect of life should be reconstructed to be as healing and nurturing as possible. We need community and networks and friends for this, but it’s possible.

It’s mostly a matter of (collective) intent.

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I want everyone reading this to know I am holding you in my heart. In this terrifying time, let us find generosity & kindness. Let us take good care of ourselves and also those who have less than us. Let’s hold each other up & be our best selves. 

 At some point, we will be on the other side of this.

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it’s really important to learn how to handle Really Difficult Situations™ that might affect your friends or (chosen) family (which is all of them unless you are so bigoted that you would never even be around someone who’s affected by bigotry, exploitation or their effects or even just severe bad luck).

I’m thinking of mid-to-long-term severe issues that may overshadow a person’s life like severe/chronic illness, discrimination, psychological wounds and scars (mental illness), or poverty, (threat of) homelessness etc.

So many ppl who grew up privileged didn’t learn how to handle these topics and instead only saw them as something that affects others far far away, so when people in their lives do encounter Really Difficult Situations™, they either sweep them under the rug, make ppl affected by these and similar issues not talk about them even when they are extremely relevant, isolating these ppl and/or trying to be “polite” (or pc, or an “ally”) by listening to their friend’s venting without having coping strategies or ever setting boundaries until they will inevitably be unable to continue doing that and snap and break off all contact whatsoever. Isolation again for the people who need social networks the most…

I’ve noticed that ppl who grew up with and/or were around others with Really Difficult Situations™ (or later on got more used to it), tend to be used to venting to their friends, having friends vent to them, and also to say “no not now” when friends try to vent while they’re in crisis themselves or “lets talk about something else now” when it gets too much all at once.

It’s not inconsiderate, but a vital part of coping, to set boundaries, to have fun, to just distract oneself/each other for a while, to join in humour about the Difficult Thing, to not set the rest of one’s life aside completely, but to also not ignore or downplay the Difficult Thing and its consequences.

  • It’s really good to ask ppl if it’s ok to vent before starting to vent at them
  • It’s also good to ask if someone wants to have advice before dishing it out
  • it’s important to take other people’s problems seriously and not make them seem smaller or easier to solve than they actually are just to feel better yourself
  • it’s important to listen to and respect the lived experiences of ppl who deal with those difficult problems rather than thinking you know better if you haven’t experienced the situation yourself
    • and even if you have experienced it! everyone is different
  • It’s important to respect one’s own and each other’s boundaries and limitations to the best of everyone’s abilities.
  • It’s good to say “You can call me during [these times]” instead of “call me anytime!” if you cannot actually be there for them at all times.
  • It’s important not to promise support that you cannot deliver on
  • it can also be helpful to give specific examples of what help you could offer like “you can come over and eat here/crash on the couch for x amount of time” or “you can talk to me” or “i can help you make phonecalls and accompany you to appointments”
    • a generic “if you need anything, ask” can feel overwhelming or like a mere platitude sometimes
    • but also keep in mind that you may not be able to predict what the person needs and let them make suggestions or ask for things you haven’t considered
  • It’s good to brainstorm and implement plans for how they can build a broader support network instead of only relying on one or a few people for a lot of support
  • It’s good to have coping strategies for oneself for times when the struggles of a friend or loved one affect one’s own mood, life or mental wellbeing too much
    • or a support group/network for oneself if necessary
  • it’s good to remind your friend of their coping strategies (including distractions or humour and getting breaks as often as possible) or brainstorm some with them if they don’t know what to do (but don’t be pushy!)
  • it’s good to have a plan b for when you cannot lend an ear or otherwise support them
  • dont put your own life on hold longterm to support someone else if you can avoid it
  • support them in persuing/appreciating other areas of their lives outside the Really Difficult Situations™, as well as plans and hopes and goals or simply a hobby, even just watching a tv show together
  • do not isolate or push away people with Really Difficult Situations, even if all you can do to support them is to carry on your friendship like usual!
    • of course you can and should get away from abusive or bigoted people no matter what!
    • you should also not feign friendship for ppl you genuinely don’t like or find boring. But ask yourself if you have some unconscious bias against them or if you could do something less drastic than cutting them out of your life to solve the problem (like setting clearer boundaries about what things to do or topics to discuss)
  • help them find friends or make connections/networks with ppl in similar circumstances if they’d like that
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“One thing I have observed: When we are engaged in acts of love, we humans are at our best and most resilient. The love in romance that makes us want to be better people, the love of children that makes us change our whole lives to meet their needs, the love of family that makes us drop everything to take care of them, the love of community that makes us work tirelessly with broken hearts.”

Adrienne Maree Brown, “Emergent Strategy”

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An important part of self care is community care. Community care happens when we work toward our own self-care while also supporting the care of our peers, friends, family, and communities.

It works when we find and develop conscious networks of people to work toward personal and collective healing. Yashna Padamsee summed it up well when she said, “It is our responsibility not as individuals, but as communities to create structures in which self-care changes to community care. In which we are cared-for and able to care for others.”

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This is what it looks like after you go to a community care workshop and come home with NARCAN® kits.  Injectable naloxone, not the nasal spray.  

I may not be active in regular community gatherings right now, but I’ll never stop adding to those skillsets.  This stuff needs a protective case and then, because the injectable does not need refrigeration (unlike the nasal spray), the naloxone will get packed with my emergency supplies.

I once told a teenage boy with a raccoon tail at a festival that if he kept twirling so close to the fire, he should know that I was prepared to tackle him, roll him in the dirt and put him out if he lit himself up.  On that same note, I’m ready to stop your OD and deal with your angry, cold-turkey ass when you regain consciousness if you do that shit in front of me.

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I think it’s cool when you can tell people have figured out their style and strategy to care for people. Like my one friend had hugs down. It was a fucking calculated move and an extremely rich form of communication for them.

Idk if people have noticed when I do it but I make a conscious effort to listen and never give unsolicited advice when people talk to me. I always let them have space and hold their experience without trying to assert my ego.

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Financial assistance

Sort of drowning financially right now. I’m waiting to be assigned a disability hearing and can’t pay bills, food, housing, etc in the mean time. Please help if you’re able? Thank you! I’m also open to talking about what I can offer…labor/skills/pics/etc.

$surviveandthrive on square cash and venmo. Tehribbit at gmail on PayPal.

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I’m gonna take a break from thinking about politics for the next day or so. I encourage all of you who need it to do the same. Spend time with people you love. Spend time alone. Do things that are healing or happy or restful or caring. 

At the protest last night we chanted “Grieve. Organize. Resist.” Part of grieving is also taking space to process and taking space to have fun. Be happy and BE GOOD TO YOURSELF. We have time yet. 

And this is especially to those of you who are directly affected by this election and who are feeling fear and anger and sadness right now. 

So I’m going to practice some self care and also some community care by spending time with myself and my wonderful friends/chosen family. 

Love and care to all of you. I am here to talk whenever needed! 

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for once, i am breaking my rules as a clinician and offering psychological/mental health care (not therapy, mind you) to folks digitally for the next 24 hours. i am a clinical psychologist and i specialise in depressive spectrum. i am available on fb to speak/listen. send me a message and i will add you. if you are a woman/woman-identified, we are also experiencing substantial amount of help via the mira project page. am going to offer myself and my resources till am exhausted.

salamati. stay safe. 

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