Democratic congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, commonly known as AOC, has bravely revealed she is focusing on her mental health after living through the trauma of the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol building.
AOC's admission that she is "doing therapy" to help her process the incident is powerful because it shows that even one of the country's most prominent leaders needs to take time for their mental health.
We live in a world where people still face stigmatization for going to therapy, so for a person who is often the target of malicious attacks, to let her guard down is courageous. It's also a great example for people everywhere. If one of the fiercest members of Congress needs time for her mental health, it has nothing to do with weakness.
When hundreds of pro-Trump insurgents stormed the Capitol building, Ocasio-Cortez thought her life was in danger. "Wednesday was an extremely traumatizing event. And it was not an exaggeration to say that many members of the House were nearly assassinated," she said after the event.
Several of the insurgents had guns, pipe bombs, Molotov cocktails, and zip ties to take hostages. Video from the attack shows attackers chanting "Hang Mike Pence!"
Garrett Miller, an insurgent from Richardson, Texas, made death threats during the attack on the Capitol tweeting, "Assassinate AOC."
Ocasio-Cortez wasn't in the Capitol building during the attack, but she sheltered in her office at the nearby Cannon House Office Building. At one point she hid in the bathroom and was startled when a police officer pounded on her office door asking, "Where is she? Where is she?"
AOC thought the man pounding on the door was an insurgent who came to hurt her.
"And I just thought to myself, 'They got inside' ... I mean, I thought I was going to die," Ocasio-Cortez said, according to People.
The 31-year-old Congresswoman told the LatinoUSA podcast that the January 6 insurrection was an incredibly scary moment for her and her coworkers. "You have this transition period of escalating violence, which really culminated on the 6th, for which was an extraordinarily traumatizing event that's not really being discussed," she said.
As a Congresswoman, Ocasio-Cortez is constantly reacting to the never-ending business of government, but after receiving some heartfelt advice, decided to take a break and pay attention to her mental health after five years of incredible stress.
"Oh yeah, I'm doing therapy but also I've just slowed down," Ocasio-Cortez continued. "I think the Trump administration had a lot of us, especially Latino communities, in a very reactive mode."
"After the 6th, I took some time and it was really [Rep.] Ayanna Pressley when I explained to her what happened to me, like the day of, because I ran to her office," AOC explained. "And she was like, 'You need to recognize trauma. And this is something that you went through, but we're all going through. And it's really important to pause after that, because that's how you process it.'"
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