Self-care is primary in the revolution.
Don’t let being woke make you go mad. I know, I know. Being woke is a problematic term. It implies that people can be asleep, and for Black and Brown people, I’m not sure that’s completely true. And yet, there still is a stark difference between before you were motivated to take action in social justice, and after. But what people don’t really talk about is how painful that awakening can be. Which is why self-care has been so important in this movement.
So, take care of yourself. Be cautious of what you consume. Violence against Black and Brown people happens so frequently that you could spend all day retweeting that stuff. But you have to remember how trauma affects people. How trauma of repetition of violence can really mess with you.
I’m not speaking about this abstractly; I’m speaking about it specifics. It’s traumatizing to see violence all day every day. I don’t talk about the shit that I saw as a kid. Suicides, overdoses, abuse, fights, violence… all these were staples of the place I grew up. To the point where I became so numb to it that it wasn’t even surprising when it happened. And that makes everything else harder.
Be cautious of what you consume.
The trauma wasn’t in my own home, but it was around me everywhere else. It was in all my friends homes. It was at school. It was everywhere. I could go from one house listening to elders tell stories while they wove snowshoes, and then go to another house and watch someone shoot up in the back bedroom on a mattress. Trauma is no joke. Be careful about how much you consume. Be careful about how much you share.
“Staying woke” isn’t a single instance, it’s a verb. It describes a continual awakening. But it also doesn’t mean you never rest. Staying woke doesn’t mean you ignore yourself. Being aware of the world means also being aware of yourself. Being aware of your privileges, and being aware of your vulnerabilities. Staying woke requires that you take care of yourself.
Love on yourself.
Check on those around you.
Do the work.
This is based on a thread I wrote on Twitter. You can see the whole thing here:
Don't let being woke make you go crazy.
— Benjamin YoungSavage (@benjancewicz) March 21, 2017
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