Living with the dark heart of Brexit

GR, Germany
It’s so hard to find a balance between doing what one thinks is necessary, and keeping oneself clear-thinking, calm, balanced and stable (dare I still mention that word?), essential qualities for an effective activist and rebel. I had to cancel rallies I had planned to go to and had to have time out, sometimes nearly whole days, because I felt I was losing these essential qualities, while Brexit became an obsession which took over my entire life, stole my present so to say, for an unknown future. We are experiencing a huge attack against our entire social and economic structures, our democracy, and the protective laws on which we have relied. The rights and freedoms we have known are all at risk. for all of us, as we stand on the brink of a huge turning point in history, with potential catastrophe looming visibly, and in near sight. The fight against Brexit is no doubt the most important thing this country should engage in, right now and on a grand scale. Most people have not taken on that fight, no doubt for different reasons. Those of us who have, are increasingly feeling the huge burden and increased anxieties that come with the enormity and complexity of this task, which seems so insurmountable at times. The thing grew, in shape, complexity and colour; it grew obsessively and dug its claws into all layers of my being. My memory failing. Language deserting me. Dark heart of Brexit beating louder. Unstoppable roundabouts in corners of my mind , bones heavy and painful, my stomach swarming like a hive at times, my heart so heavy. Incessant worry. Insomnia. Addiction. Where is that post, that bit of news that calms me down? That stops this nightmare? The rollercoaster seesaw veering between glimmering lights of hope and deepest, darkest sadness and despair. Dark heart of Brexit beating louder. Adrenaline level rushes taking full control. Alarm bells ringing. I had to step out and back, get around and think around the thing. Forced myself out into the garden to plant bulbs, be with nature. Attend art exhibition previews. Talk about art, NOT the omnipresent Brexit. Back to my yoga books and practice. Back to study: learn Dutch, the language of the country we have always loved, try and get back into long-forgotten French. Book a shiatsu treatment with a lovely and wise friend. The diagnosis was: depleted earth energy. I’ve come to think it is important to invest emotional and mental, creative energy not just in Brexit, but in other things one loves. And CAN to some extent control. For me, that’s currently the autumn garden and, even more, research for our new camper van conversion project, a second home, symbol for being rooted in movement, in reaching out, beyond borders; new hopes, horizons and connections shimmering in distant places that beckon. Quite seductively. For now this strategy works quite well, a healing balm: I feel like living a more rounded, creative life, in the here and now, and am sleeping so much better as a result. I’m still immeasurably sad, angry and desperate the more I read about the dark heart of Brexit and its sinister backgrounds which get more complex and bizarre each day, and I won’t stop keeping myself informed and sharing stuff – that would be inexcusable and I would not be able to face my grandchildren when they may ask : but did you do nothing to protect our rights and freedoms? I won’t give up hope that altogether we can achieve something, with so many wonderful and deeply committed people on board of this ship, who give all their precious time and energy and who I feel so glad and honoured to have met. We must remember to look after ourselves. We must not become victims of the Brexiteers and their abominable crimes.

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