Remember when our biggest problems were doctors not taking us seriously and people’s lack of understanding about our health issues? Are you nostalgic for those days? Me too!
If you’re frustrated and overwhelmed by what’s been going on with the Trump administration but you don’t have the energy to deal with it AND make sure you get in all your medical appointments while you still have health insurance, there are websites that can help. It’s not like protesting is anything new for spoonies, right? We’re just used to doing it during awareness month.
The News. There. Is. Just. So. Much. I was trying to read the New York Times and The Washington Post, watch MSNBC, listen to NPR, and occasionally read The Guardian and Vox. I gained almost 20 pounds from stress eating. So yeah, you can gain weight on Autoimmune Paleo! I’m still stressed, but now Donald Trump can fat-shame me.
Then I found the perfectly named WhatTheFuckJustHappenedToday.com. Matt Kiser, the founder, devotes hours every day to reading everything, and he posts easy, paragraph-long news summaries with links to the original articles. He also has a missed-yesterday-catch-up option for when you take a mental health day.
Indivisible Guide and Calling Congress — By this point, you may have read The Indivisible Guide and learned that calling your senators and representatives is more effective than emailing or signing petitions. If you haven’t read the Guide, I recommend checking it out, because it was written by former Congressional staffers who understand how representatives think. I do think some of the suggestions are overwhelming for spoonies and for that matter, introverts. I can call Congress until I’m blue, but group organizing? Please. I can barely organize my meds.
There are a lot of daily and weekly action sites that make it easy to call Congress — they provide you with a script and a direct phone connection. If you still can’t get through, especially to the Senate, here is a list of all the senators’ websites with all their office locations. If you have a senator whose phones are always busy (HELLO, CHUCK SCHUMER), try the smallest, most remote office in the state and don’t call early in the morning, during lunch hours, or right before 5 p.m. You can also call using the Congressional Switchboard: 202-225-3121. If you can’t get through no matter what, try Resistbot (see below, under Daily Action Sites).
These action sites will sometimes list protests, meetings, and events that may not work for spoonies, but there are always plenty of phone and social media actions.
Daily Action Sites
DailyAction.org — Exactly what the title says — an action a day, according to your zip code. Usually it’s a phone call. Very easy — I get a text message, I make a call — boom, I did something. (Update: Daily Action is also starting a book club on Facebook.)
5calls.org — I love this one, because it gives you a list of issues so you can choose what’s most important to you each day. Also, it now has an app on the App Store and in Google Play, so it’s very convenient. How it works: you enter your zip code and a list of issues appears. After you choose your priority issue, a brief explanation pops up, along with who to call and a short script you can use if you can’t think of what to say.
Resistbot — Text “Resist” to 50409, enter your zip code, and Resistbot will send a short fax that you write to your senators. There is no prepared script — you choose what you want to say. If you enter your whole address, it will find your representative and fax them as well. It’s incredibly quick and convenient.
Weekly Action Sites
Wall of Us — emails four actions per week to your inbox. Sometimes they’re in-person events, but there are lots of phone and social media actions.
3NoTrump — emails three actions a week, also mostly phone and social media. This one is fairly new, but the scripts are a little more detailed than the scripts on other sites. For example, they will use specific names of bills in the House and Senate.
FightTrump.co — Like 5 Calls, when you sign up, you choose your priority issues. So far, Fight Trump seems to focus on one or two issues per week, but they’ll give you a lot of things to do for each issue.
Jennifer Hoffman’s Weekly Action List — She provides weekly actions and great reading recommendations.
This might seem like a lot, but it isn’t that much if you think of doing something every other day. I’d like to say I found one site and stuck with it, but thanks to my brain fog and inability to concentrate, I tend to jump around and do one thing from one site and one thing from another. It’s good idea to have a designated email address for political things, especially if you sign petitions. Every time I sign a petition I seem to get 10 other emails, including annoying donation requests.
4) Facebook Groups: All this calling gets lonely! There are a ton of groups on Facebook and more forming every day. If you find a group in your area, you can meet people and figure out if there are events you can go to easily. For example, there was a protest at my local airport I thought about attending, but it was 30 miles away, the taxis were on strike, it was 20 degrees, and the protest was outside. Hello, Lyme relapse? Thanks to a Facebook group, I found a short rally that was 10 minutes from my apartment.
If you’re not sure which Facebook groups are in your area, search the word “indivisible” with your city or state. I also really like Rise and Resist, which is linked to a meeting in New York City but has nationwide membership. And of course, if you join one Facebook group, Facebook will immediately start suggesting others.
There’s also a Lymies for Bernie group. Check it out!
If you do go to a march and carrying a sign is too much, consider this strategy from someone at the Women’s March on NYC:
I tried it, and all I can say is definitely make sure your coat or shirt can handle Scotch tape. My sign fell off during a rally in a dirty park. Someone picked it up off the ground and handed it to me. Did I mention I have OCD? Ew.
Last but not least, there is the Disability March site. They did the virtual march for the Women’s March and you can see all the people who participated. They also have links to suggested articles about ableism and other relevant topics, as well as lists of organizations and resources.
Do you have groups or sites to recommend? Please leave them in the comments. And now, here’s a cheery song about the upcoming apocalypse (if you’re receiving this by email, the video might not show).