Doctor, I’ve been feeling really strange these past few days. I haven’t really felt this way in about four years. My chronic migraines have completely disappeared, and the past few nights I’ve slept like a baby. I have pleasant dreams, sleep for eight hours without interruption, and then wake up feeling refreshed.
My digestion has been fantastic; I haven’t had any acid reflux, constipation, nausea, or diarrhea — my IBS has gone into remission. I’ve stopped drinking, I suddenly enjoy long walks, and my heart no longer races when I read the news.
I’ve also stopped clenching my jaw, my libido has returned, and yesterday I called my mom, out of the blue, just to say hi, and we had a long, pleasant conversation.
This all started when I was watching Biden’s inauguration, and it’s only gotten worse since then. Do you think — and, believe me, it feels bonkers to say this — I could be feeling optimistic?
I scrolled through Twitter to try and snap out of it and feel pessimistic again, but all I felt was joy seeing people praise Amanda Gorman and share those kindhearted Bernie memes.
It’s kind of crazy, but I’m feeling a whole lot better about the state of the country. My resting heart rate is down to 60 beats per minute. I’ve been able to concentrate on things for long stretches of time and be very productive. I read an entire book this past weekend, Doc — a whole book!
Do you think my condition is temporary? Can I expect my optimism to increase in the coming weeks? Or will it die down as Biden and Harris work their way through the many problems they inherited from Trump? In an extreme case, could it cause me to see the world through rose-colored glasses and never feel the need to take any action to enact change?
I’ve read online that optimism is treatable. There are plenty of op-eds saying the new administration can’t wave a magic wand and make COVID-19 suddenly disappear, or immediately undo the wealth gap and systemic racism. I know we still have a long road ahead, but the thought of millions of Americans soon being vaccinated against COVID-19 makes me beam like the sun.
What should I do, Doc? Where is my cynicism? What happened to my dread? I want to be prepared when things start going bad again, so it isn’t as soul-crushing the next time around. Should I start watching Newsmax? Spend more time on Facebook? Join the NRA? Should I, dear god, become a Jets fan?
Please help save me from all this hope!