I woke at 4:30 this morning. I’m not complaining I slept really well and I normally am up and exercising at 5. I don’t look at the clock. Thoughts began to race and this relatively incoherent stream of consciousness just wouldn’t leave me alone.
I hate this! Fucking pandemic! I hate everything to do with it. I hate wearing a mask. I hate not being able to spend time comfortably outside. Agreeably, this last gripe is weather related.
I purged myself of Facebook several months ago. That was one of the best decisions that I’ve made. But the stress is still palpable.
I normally head upstairs to bed around 9:30 pm where I meditate, journal, and read. Last night I headed upstairs about an hour earlier. I could tell my wife was feeling a lot of stress. I asked her what was wrong and she responded simply “all I want to do is sit down.” I asked if she needed help with anything and she gruffly pushed past me and said, “You can do it all.” I asked what that meant and without looking at me she again stated, “You can do it all.” I asked her what was wrong and she said, “All I want to do is sit down.” Not wanting an argument and being emotionally drained I kept my thoughts to myself and said to myself “All I want to do is sit down on a nice sandy beach in Florida and listen to the waves lapping against the shore from the Gulf of Mexico.” A couple of days ago I brought it up that I’d like to start planning a vacation since COVID stole that from us last year. As I discussed vacation plans my wife said she wanted to do something else. When asked what, she offered no suggestions. Do I go on vacation? Do I not go on vacation? Do I go by myself? Do I go with a friend? Do I still have to quarantine if I go on vacation? If I do, is it worth it?
Quarantine. Isolation. Anger about quarantining. Frustration wearing a mask. People becoming angry with me when I genuinely forget to wear a mask. Restaurants closing. Unemployment rates rising. Winter is here. The cold and the snow. I’m stuck in the house. People telling me I should go outside. It’s 5° outside. I’ve read eight books already this year. There are two COVID vaccines and maybe a third. Get the vaccine, don’t get the vaccine. It’s not safe. Sure it’s safe. Kids still aren’t going to school face to face. Sadness about they’re not going to school face to face because they’re lacking the socialization that’s so important in their lives. The fear spewed by 24-hour news. Depression. Anxiety. Increasing violence. The election. Impeachment. Stress. People who rhetorically ask me “Why are you stressed? Your a social worker. You should be able to manage this. It can’t be that bad. You wanted to do this for a living” I could go on and on…
I hear the stress at work from my coworkers. I hear it from my clients throughout the day and their stresses of dealing with this invisible pandemic. Nobody ever reaches out to me and asks, how are you doing? And if they did I would probably minimize everything I’m feeling and respond, I’m good. I sometimes close myself off in my office because I don’t want to be asked “How are you doing?”
My head begins to hurt and I don’t want to think about these things anymore but unfortunately these thoughts inundate my life everyday. I brush them aside, meditate, journal and read. I put my head down and I push through.