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Reinforced the Strength

Published Dec. 28, 2016

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As one of those who attended the evening at Chester Library (Dec. 1 “Alleviate Post-Election Anxiety), I would like to express my opinion about it, which is quite different from what the letter from Alison Nichols expressed [“An Expression of Self-Pity,” Dec. 15].

I found it very worthwhile to consider the reasons that women were feeling anxious, how that stress was affecting them, and how this year was different from past elections. As a retired librarian, I was happy to see that our local library would offer such a program in a setting where a trained professional could guide the conversation.

Indeed, the lack of what I would call “civil discourse” is one of the things I found most distressing this past year. People seemed to be so much more divided than in the past. Even in our little town, some of these women had been literally run off the road because of the bumper stickers they had on their cars, had political signs stolen, or had been bullied by friends or family members so that they were dreading holiday gatherings. Their emotions were real and legitimate, and talking about them with others was helpful.

Our facilitator was able to guide the conversation so that no one person or perspective was right, but that everyone felt they had been heard. She was very knowledgeable, describing the physical and mental origins of the fight or flight response that engenders feelings of stress and fear, and she offered lists of websites and reading material for more information.

Having the chance to reflect as a group didn’t leave us feeling self-pitying, as the writer suggested, but reinforced the strength we have to go out and continue to be contributing members in our community.

As she said, it truly is all about perspective!

Pat Holloway

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