Back in March, when this whole pandemic thing really started ramping up in the US, I had a period of nearly two weeks when I was completely exhausted. I’d sleep 10-12 hours a day and feel like I could go right back to bed as soon as I got up. It was…worrying.
During this time, I was also mainlining news about COVID-19. It felt like something I needed to do. After all, the way I consume news in general was what allowed me to be aware of what was coming and push my family to prepare. We bought enough food that we would be able to stay home for weeks. I encouraged my partner to stop going into the office and reminded my kid repeatedly to bring the instrument he was going to learn home from school because I was pretty damn sure they wouldn’t be going back after spring break.
One of the (many, many) ways in which my anxiety manifests is the belief that if I worry enough about a possibility, I can keep it from happening. And, conversely, if something bad happens, it’s because I wasn’t concerned enough about it beforehand. Now, logically I know this is ridiculous. But my anxiety brain has no use for logic…unless it does (such as when looking at statistics and thinking that X being rare wasn’t much help to that 1 person out of 10). So anxiety brain, being the dickweed it is, says “hey – you’d better suck in all that COVID news or you’re failing your family.”
I’m sure you can guess the result of a nonstop influx of hopelessness and doom. If you need a clue, there’s one in that first paragraph where I talk about my impersonation of a hibernating bear. Indeed, my depression brain said, “thanks for the assist, bruh” to my anxiety brain and jumped in the driver’s seat.
After some time, things leveled off and, other than spiking anxiety for a couple days each time we had to go to the store (THANKS, DRUG WAR!*), I got back to normal-ish. Met some new online friends, had some virtual hangouts with my IRL friends, remembered to take my brain pills most days – I mean, as an introvert with social anxiety (YES! There’s MORE!), being told to stay at home and limit contact with other people was the least bad part of all this for me.
Oh, and that news stuff? Cut myself off. Some people may need to know the daily death totals and confirmed infection rates and the latest rumor about how COVID-19 makes our nipples invert or something, but all of that was doing nothing but kicking my ass over shit I could not control. So. In a surprising act of self-care, I made myself stop checking. Stop reading. Stop absorbing gallons of bad shit through my brain ports. It helped.
ALLLLL of this to say that in the last week+, I’m back to square one. And no, I haven’t started keeping up with the news more. I don’t really know what has me in a funk at the moment. I get the constant, low-grade stress all of us are experiencing. And some folks I know have gone through super rough times recently, so I’ve had that secondhand. But I’ve been fortunate that my little family and the life we lead hasn’t been negatively impacted any more than any other week so far.
Perhaps it’s the weather. Maybe the cesspool that is my house is finally getting to me. Possibly I’m stressing the impending depletion of my brain pills because my doctor fired me at the beginning of a global pandemic and refuses to take that into account and just call in one more fucking refill, for fuck’s sake. *ahem*
For whatever reason, my energy level has been nonexistent for days and it has shown in my work. Or lack thereof.
This is why I shared my fast fiction rather than releasing a chapter last Thursday. I did manage one on Monday, but today looks to also be a bust.
I’m up, though. These words are getting written. I might – might – even take a shower (shocker, I know). Here’s hoping that next Sunday is a go.
* – my allergy meds contain pseudoephedrine, so the amount I can get is severely restricted because meth.
Categories: general musing
Stormy Lane McKnight
Writer of trashy queer superhero romance, smutty sci-fi, and other things that are gay af. Disaster enby and all around bisexual wrecking ball.