Mental Health: How’s THAT going?? Day 139, “The Me Project,” Day 4 “The Bunker”
So…a very sweet friend checked in on me today, knowing that on the best of days, my inside eye is twitching with anxiety. I assume we’re all just sort of mentally squeaking by right now, yes? Who else feels like you’re sprinting and frozen in place? Like you’re buzzing, heightened, frenzied, but unusually still? Like all your worst anxieties are suddenly shared by the whole world? Oh, hello, monster under the bed. I thought you’d be more slimy, but I always knew you existed! Salud!
Yeah, totally. Me, either. We’re fine. (Twitch, twitch)
I have chronic depression and generalized anxiety. It’s something for which I’m treated officially, because I have the resources and (Zoloft, intermittent psychotherapy) and unofficially (formerly booze and food, now CBD, exercise, writing and food).
I do…ok most of the time, not letting the darkness pull me down or the fear stop my feet. Usually I’m able to stay upright and moving forward. Not always, but usually, especially if I’m doing the hard work of health.
The last few months have kind of done me in. I’m still standing, but my knees are starting to buckle. THIS whole end-of-the-world-apocalypse-24-hr-a-day-parenting-Walking-Dead-scenario is some savage icing on the shit sandwich. I had exciting things going on this and next month, things I was looking forward to, but nonetheless, added stress on me and the family-I was in a community theater play, I was planning a trip to New York with a dear friend who is just getting through a health crisis, and I was going to attend a comedy writing conference. All of it was canceled, of course, so now there’s relief/regret and all the scrambling to un-do what was done.
Also, this is a stressor I’ve been sitting on until we had it ironed out, but Robb was laid off several months ago….yes, Robb, our current only income who is supporting our entire family AND small business while I run the business and write. Twitch. Twitch.
Let me start by saying, especially considering everything going on with businesses closing and people losing their only sources of income with COVID-19 isolation, we are VERY LUCKY. They eliminated his department in a generous, strange sort of way, where they gave him lots of time (home), with pay, to find a new job. So, again, VERY GENEROUS and EXTREMELY LUCKY, holy shit so lucky, the privileged few.
It also means uncertainty and difficult conversations over the past few months. Do we move? Do I go back to a full-time PA job and sit on the writing thing for a while? Do we sell the house or business or a kid or two to make it all work? (Joking…sort of….less with each passing day of social isolation) Again, we are SO FORTUNATE to have options, but had to feel all the feels as we poured over the life-changing options. At this point, it looks like he will have job when his old job is lapsed, and we’ll be able to stay local. SO FORTUNATE. Assuming there are still jobs once we’re all living in the new cave bunker society.
We’ve felt glad to have all this extra time together, for our relationship, and also in order to get business stuff done, but you know, him home ALL. THE. TIME. is a mixed bag. This newfound cherished alone time that I’ve gotten used to when I stopped working full-time and both kids were in school is….not here anymore. I realize how dependent I am on that for my mental stability. AND NOW the children are also here ALL. THE. TIME. with schools closed for the foreseeable future.
So….I’m trying to mom well, I’m trying to business well, I’m trying to spouse well, I’m trying to person well, to write well, to be open and honest and loving and calmmmmm…..but my insides are pacing all the time. And every time someone touches me (10–500,000 times/day), I a little bit want to punch them in the neck. I don’t care how big their neck is, wanna punch it.
Plus, being an empath, I am just sponging up ALL THE FEAR that is loose in the streets and houses and internets, coming from all directions. There is very little, “But in good news…” right now. It’s almost all: #death #dying #areghostsreal #we’llfindout.
So, yes. Thank you for asking. My anxiety is……manspreading in my chair right now. Next post, I swear I’ll share some of the healthy ways I’m working on survival, but for now, I just want to say I’m freaked out and angry and blech. And it’s OK to be freaked out and angry and blech now and then. Especially when the locusts are driving the infected robots, or whatever is happening in this 15-minute news cycle
There is good, great, exciting things happening, too. I’m so proud that we’ve all banded together and unified over a common goal (of ignoring our dumbfuck president and trying to protect our most vulnerable), also how it’s almost sunny, warm weather!
There will still be grass! There will still be flowers! Unless we have to eat those.