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Barbara Dehn

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Election Withdrawal

Posted: 11/14/08 08:25 PM ET

As part of my post on Election Obsession, I was interviewed by CNN. Recently they asked me about an update from people who had been obsessed with the Election. As Nurse Barb, I sent out a survey to people who might have been obsessed with the election about whether they were experiencing "Election Withdrawal." Here's what they had to say:

Are you going through "Election Withdrawal?"

• "I guess it's withdrawal, because my nerves are shot. I couldn't last much longer."

• "I am because I find myself looking at various news channels and thinking, I really don't have a reason to watch the news so intently anymore."

• "I am still obsessed with all the election post mortem... especially the annihilation of Sarah Palin. I have to openly admit, my competitive, combative spirit loves seeing this woman taken out. It (selfishly) gives my own ego great pleasure to see this "shadow" figure of all our egos taken down. Funny thing is, I do not feel this way about John McCain, I feel he fought a more decent battle, lost and gracefully exited the scene."

• "My first reaction to the election was that I felt liberated (like the Berlin Wall crumbling!). I feel that as people we have been belittled and somewhat philosophically oppressed by the current administration....as in "if you aren't with me you are against me".

• "It's good to have the Obsessive Compulsive Election Disorder (OCED) in remission. No longer searching the blogs for polling updates. No longer reading stories about the 'Bradley effect' and Joe the unlicensed plumber. No longer wondering how the ballots are going to be misinterpreted by voters. No longer anxious about the long lines and how people would be turned away from voting. No longer dreading the intervention of the courts in the vote counting process. It's amazing how the antidote of an overwhelming electoral win cures this disorder."

• "A little bit. I am more happy to have it over. The commercials & robo-calls were getting annoying."

What are you doing with your time now?

• "My 6 year old daughter was a Barack Obama supporter and now wants to know what winning the election means for him. Thus, I am now the 'educator in chief' about presidential issues. I am answering lots of questions about what the White House is like. She had previously asked if it had an elevator. Thanks to CNN I now know that it has 3 elevators."

• "I find myself watching the news all the time. I haven't followed the news for years, 6 or 7 years at least. In fact, CNN is on in the background as I'm typing this (Paulson just spoke regarding the Economic Crisis and the Automakers issues) with hopes that I will hear some news from the Obama team."

• "Still watching all the same news shows to see what is going on with the transition and to watch the Republican damage control. No where near as much concern but still trying to keep up and wean myself off the pundits. After 911 it took me 3 months to stop listening to news programs on the radio on the way to work and get back to listening to music."

Are you focusing on the economy, your jobs, your family?

• "I am homeschooling mom that now has many relevant and timely lessons to incorporate in my daughter's curriculum (sic). I am a legitimate version of 'Joe the Plumber' in that I am a small business owner trying to keep my company going."

• "I'm depressed, but my baseboards are clean. I spent the first day after the election in a bit of shock. I know that everyone else knew he was going to win, but I can't permit myself that kind of optimism. So the day after was a surreal haze. Anyway, there were no more poll to watch (sic) and the smell of windex seems to revive me so I started cleaning. I often do this while I'm processing things and it's also an excellent cover up to simple procrastination. When I found myself on my hands and knees vacuuming that little vent on the bottom of the refrigerator (don't feel bad if you have no idea what I' talking about, you obviously have better things to do) I knew it was time for serious help. Or at least a martini."

• "Yes, of course we're selling our home and are now looking at new 8x11 tents at Walmart! Should be enough room for two unless the pesky kids want to move in to save money!"

Are you depressed? Elated? Cautiously optimistic?

• "My emotional reaction is one mainly of relief. Interesting note: when my son and I were watching Saving Private Ryan last night, and the end of the opening D day scene, one of the soldiers sits down and starts to cry. My son asked me why he was crying! As I teared up, I explained to him that he was relieved that he survived a very stressful experience and that's pretty much analogous to how I feel, (though not on the same scale, obviously). What's amazing to realize, is just how stressful these last 8 years have been on some level. I'm just relieved not to be embarrassed and angry and frustrated any more. I'm relieved to have an adult in charge."

• "I am cautiously optimistic that the new administration will make things better for the country. I hope that people don't expect Barack Obama to solve all the world's problems."

• "I am Elated and anxiously awaiting the change. I must say as an African American I feel different. I can't put my finger on it but I feel good!"

• "So I am a bit depressed. In a perverse sort of way, I always looked forward to the next gaff by McCain or especially Sarah Palin."

What are you doing with the time that you previously devoted to following the election?

• "I am trying to resume my daily life and do more of the things that I should have been doing prior to the election. I hope to exercise more, read more, and spend more time being productive."

• "I am now on the web following the recount of the senate race in Minnesota to see if Al Franken can pull it off. I have however drawn the line at looking into the schools in DC that the Obama's are considering for their girls or weighing in on what kind of puppy they should get. I have used the leftover nervous energy to clean my house and I am considering repainting the outdoor furniture."

Clearly the entire country is coming to terms with the outcome of the election. Many are getting back to their routines, others are more engaged in current events. I want to know what's different for you since the election.

Be well,
NurseBarb

Read more reaction from HuffPost bloggers to Barack Obama's victory in the 2008 presidential election

 
 
 

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