For weeks now I have tried, as much as possible, to carry on as usual. I was already in hermit mode. My default setting is introverted and antisocial. Yes, I have changed my grocery shopping and cooking habits. Rather than twice a week I go once a week, with an eye on the possibility that at some point I may not be able to go out for several weeks. This new normal is in theory more of what I want, which is quiet time to write.
The problem is that I have both an anxiety disorder and executive dysfunction disorder, and this ongoing situation is an open loop. We know that it will get worse before it gets better. How bad will it get? When will we reach the peak, the top of the curve, before is slows down again? Are we going to be able to weather all of the peripheral impacts, like the inevitable financial crisis. Are there things that I haven’t thought of that I should be preparing for? There are too many variables, the ground is constantly shifting, and I can’t make plans.
This New Normal
What I need to do is let it go. Throw my hands up in the air, say eff it, write, publish, and deal with every day as it comes. My specialty in the corporate world was troubleshooting crises. I can be calm, cool, and creative under pressure. I find ways to fix things, make them work, or work around them. The problem is that years of doing precisely that, wrangling chaos into some sort of order, is the whole reason my brain now works the way it does. I long ago reached my limit for pandemonium. What I require is predictability and some comforting semblance of order.
Which is a really convoluted way to say: I’m struggling.
I need to continue writing and publishing, as I’m currently the only source of income for the family. That’s also why I worry about getting sick. Our residence is coming up for renewal over the summer, and I’m sure the pandemic is only going to make the process more difficult than it already is. I fear having to go back to the United States right now, because I’m convinced I’ll die.
Nope, not as bad as many other people have it. Yup, I’ve got a lot of privilege working in my favor. Please find a way to explain that to my amygadala and my serotonin levels.
All I can do is keep going, try to hold myself together, and figure it out as I go along. Please bear with me if I seem more batty than usual sometimes. Like everyone else, I’m dealing with this day to day, hour to hour, and trying to do my best while the world seems to be coming apart at the seams.