SNAP Challenge Day Two: Calmer But Still Afraid
On Day Two, I am calmer. I realize that all that stuff in yesterday’s blog was a manifestation of anxiety – even panic. I saw that no longer would I have practically unfettered – regardless of time or location – access to food.
I worried I could possibly run out of food. Unthinkable.
I worried I might be faced with eating food I did not love.
I worried I might be unable to resist the impulse to eat food in a restaurant, or in my home — food that had not been purchased with my SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly “food stamps”) budget — and thus “fail” the SNAP Challenge.
It would be embarrassing if a stellar person like me failed. I would have to blog about it.
However, today I see that such a failure – or “slip” — would not be fatal. Today, I can relax a little.
When I try to imagine how aspects of my experience might be mirrored in the life of someone who truly must rely on SNAP to put food on their family’s table, I think there may be some parallels. There is no mirror image – everyone is different and everyone takes a different path to today.
However, I imagine that members of working families who rely on SNAP know something about worry. I think they know something about fear, are familiar with anxiety. For many people, I now realize, concern about obtaining necessities is an everyday, 24/7 concern.
In addition, while I was calmer today, some piece of me – my inner child – was biting her spongy nails, “waiting for the other shoe to drop.”
I did a little online research and found enough information to form a personal opinion that poverty could be a factor in an increased prevalence of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) seen among low-income people presenting at emergency rooms. At the very least, the experts say poverty contributes to anxiety disorders.
Imagine going to bed, knowing tomorrow morning there will be no milk in the children’s cereal.
Some people argue that worrying is a choice. Others argue that you can have either fear – or faith.
I say, when it comes to living in a world where necessities are scarce — there is no choice – and anxiety is part of the emotional landscape every day.
Our brothers and sisters, young and old, should not have to live that way.