Shortly after the Women's March, I ended up in the hospital. My relapse later in the year closely followed the May Day protests. Being in large groups running high with emotion causes me intense distress. I don't enjoy concerts for the same reason.
The message in the activist community is pretty clear; participation in street action is mandatory and the absolute minimum you can do. This is unhealthy for the movement and ignores the importance of structural support work as well as the mental health of participants. While I believe that my reactions to street protests are valid, it is hard not to internalize the guilt I feel about staying indoors.
I hope that my work as Branch Secretary for the newly chartered Philadelphia IWW can have a significant impact and allow me to remain healthy. Also, I encourage others to be open to individuals contributing in ways that will enable them to live healthily.