Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Finding Balance

I recently took a break from intactivism due to a family vacation, work deadlines, and home improvement projects. My intactivism efforts included a few blog entries, participation in Twitter discussions, and efforts to improve the Wikipedia circumcision article. I'm not the most prolific or effective #i2 contributor, but I do try to make a difference.

The few months I spent closely following my Twitter feed, making efforts to improve Wikipedia and research have induced tremendous stress, anxiety, and anger. At various times, I found myself compulsively checking my phone to make sure I didn't miss any updates. I felt obligated to respond to mentions as quickly as possible. I felt compelled to respond to every argument used to justify the state of the Circumcision article on Wikipedia. It became difficult to relax and enjoy life "in the moment" due to anxiety caused by this self-induced need to be involved.

I found myself occasionally losing patience, having difficulty concentrating at work, and becoming less happy. One of my character weaknesses is a susceptibility to a greater emotional investment than should be warranted. I allowed my emotions—anger, frustration, helplessness—to affect my quality of life. Although it is my responsibility to overcome my emotions and this problem is mine to solve, it is also noteworthy that there is an emotional harm done to victims of non-consensual genital cutting.

After a break, my wellness returned. My laid-back nature returned. My patience returned. The anxiety and stress melted away.

I am in a better, more mature place now. I need to find a way to be involved without being consumed. I need to find a way to participate without such emotional attachment. I need to find balance. I want to continue to be involved because this issue is extremely important to me. I want to see routine infant circumcision end, but I cannot let the negativity of this evil consume me and damage my quality of life and my relationships.


3 comments:

  1. I never have this wellness, patience, etc. so the only way I have found to advocate effectively is just to inform as much as I can and then back away. If it's obvious someone I approach is not just ignorant but believes all the pro-circ bs, I'll counter the core of their argument very concisely and not even read what they reply. Once I'm positive I demonstrated my arguments the best way I could (and left no place for valid counter-arguments), there's no point to keep going back and forth with the same person, all they can add to the conversation is nonfactual, biased and subjective nonsense since you just proved it wrong. The rest is up to them. Like vegan friends have said, "if we could force people to change, we would" but since we can't, all we can do is plant seeds. We don't decide if the soil is fertile or not, but we don't know if it is until the seed is planted. When the soil turns out to be unfertile, throwing seeds at it only wears out the advocate. It's really hard living in a world like this, we don't have the mental abilities to endure this amount of horror. I have seen scary movies that still affect me today, but nothing is more haunting than the atrocities that go on in real life. I used to read my replies when I started advocating, but it just made my depression reach an all-time low. No good. They should be the ones feeling bad.

    On a side note, http://www.peacefulprairie.org/eNews/milk-ad.html

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  2. Thanks for your comment! Good idea about not reading replies.

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