When I woke up this morning I did the thing that I have normally been doing for the last year or so. I get up, take my pills, make my first cup of coffee, and then go sit down in front of the TV and turn on the news.
It isn't actually the news I'm watching, it's MSNBC political commentary. I go from Morning Joe to Stephanie Ruhle, to Hallie Jackson, to Velshi and Ruhle... sometimes I spend hours in front of the TV watching them talk about the same things over and over again.
Last week, there was coverage of the camps for kids nonstop. Children being separated from their parents at the border, children being traumatized, children being lost in the system, their parents deported back to the country they fled from while they languished either in a child prison or an unfamiliar foster home thousands of miles away.
It's all just too much.
This morning all the news was about the shooting at The Capital newspaper office in Annapolis, Maryland.
I caught the end of Morning Joe just as they were listing off the five people who died and talking a bit about each of their lives, and I found myself suddenly crying.
Not weeping, like I tend to do a lot, but full out crying over this news in a way that I never have before.
I don't recall crying over a school shooting since Sandy Hook. I don't cry over the refugees, I don't cry over the Palestinians, I don't cry over the starving masses in Africa, but something about this got me.
Maybe it was because it was early in the morning and I haven't had my coffee yet, but probably not.
There's something about a newsroom being shot up that makes me feel more afraid of the world today than the average mass shooting does.
The truth is more brutal today: that we are not safe, anywhere we go, and no matter what we do to protect ourselves.
I know now, with a deep certainty, that at any moment a person could come walking into the coffee shop where I sit writing and start shooting up the place.
I know that when I go to a movie theatre, or the library, or even into a school, I could be shot to death at any time. It's not something that seems even the slightest bit unlikely anymore, and that's the thing that scares me the most about it - how normal it is now, that this happens so frequently.
Meanwhile, Trump is tweeting that the mainstream media (anything other than Fox News) is "fake news" and ruining our country.
It's almost as if he's totally okay with what happened at The Capital yesterday because it wasn't a paper or organization that supported his agenda of lies and manipulation. He offers no thoughts and prayers to these people as if thoughts and prayers are something that make a difference, ever.
I don't want to watch this news anymore, but what is the alternative?
Putting my head down in the sand, staying tight inside my oblivious bubble, and trying to forget that the world isn't going to shit?
There has to be some sort of balance between staying informed and staying sane, staying safe in my own mental space.
It does me no good to wake up in the morning only to cry at the terrible news in the world, but it does me no good to ignore it, either.
If I ignore it, aren't I also becoming part of the problem in this world?
Tomorrow I will try something new.
I'll get up, take my pills, make my coffee, and not turn on the news.
I'll come to my laptop and start writing, and not let anything make me cry before breakfast.
I'll try to remember that there are things in the world that are good, that are beautiful, that just get skipped over the morning news shows, because there is no shock and awe over beautiful things anymore unless I write them for myself.