It’s OK to not be OK right now

So. Hey. How are you doing? I’m running the gamut from totally fine to completely tharn. I’m just going to assume that you are, too? Psst — come closer, I have a secret — that’s OK.

It’s OK to not feel OK right now. (It’s also OK to feel OK.) However you feel is perfectly valid, because how you feel is how you deal with things and you and I may feel differently and deal differently and that’s what’s so awesome about human people. There’s room here for all of our emotions. It’s even perfectly fine to feel different things throughout the day. I KNOW. HOW CRAZY IS THAT. It’s perfectly fine to feel great when you first wake up, and then after you have coffee and check Facebook, it’s also OK to want to hide under your desk and chew on your hair.

It’s OK to be a little scared. A little fear makes us cautious, makes us observant. That’s a good thing. It’s even OK to be a lot scared. Remember, though, that fear is the mind-killer. Do what you can to feel your fear but not let it take you over. Am I saying this out loud so that I will hear myself? Maaaaaaaaaaaaybe. See “tharn,” above. It’s good to be cautious. It’s good to be observant. It’s good to be aware. It’s not … effective … to be frozen in fear. Probably not real healthy, either, emotionally.

I see a lot of my friends who have been fighting invisible demons their entire lives, reaching out for help right now. Saying that they’re not OK and they could use some virtual love. And that … that makes my eyes leak a little happiness. I don’t know if any of y’all who are reaching out feel like you’re weak for doing so, but… you’re not. We’re all fucking petrified (if we’re paying attention) and you are goddamn brave for reaching out for connection. Better, so much better, than keeping it all inside and self-destructing. Keep reaching out, as long as this takes. My hands will always be there for you.

Personally, right now, I’m having a hell of a time eating, sleeping, and concentrating. What’s that? You too? Yeah. Oh, I’m hungry, yeah. But I start to eat and… I’m not hungry. Or I’m not hungry for what’s in front of me. Or I’ve just got the munchies and want to snack all day long but not actually eat anything of value. I just want to fill that empty hole that’s in me somewhere, fill it with cheese and chocolate and … well, just cheese and chocolate, really.

I just wrote and deleted about four paragraphs of things that are freaking me out right now, but (1) I didn’t want this post to be ABOUT ME and (2) y’all are probably freaked out about the same shit. Maybe I’ll write a freak-out post tomorrow (especially if that’s all I can think about when I sit down to write fiction, like I’m supposed to be doing right now, haha).

SO ANYWAY. Back to you.

How are you dealing? I know a lot of you have littles of varying ages; do you have a supportive partner or close friend who is there for you to lean on right now? I know you’re showing brave faces to your littles, so I hope there’s someone there for you to feel not-so-brave around. And even if you don’t have kids (there are some of us who don’t!).

Are you suddenly working at home? I think a lot of you are, because I’m seeing a lot of home office pictures, pets who have been raised up to employee status, and also a ton of people linking to or asking to links about what to do when you have to be stuck at home (seriously, do y’all go out to dinner and dancing every night? How can you not know what to do when you’re home?).

How is your social distancing working? I know some of you are closer to 50% isolation, if you still have to go to work, and some of you are closer to 90%. Whatever level you can do? Awesome. The more we can flatten this curve, keep people away from each other to not infect each other, the better. It’s crazy that there’s what, a 5-10 day incubation period, when you don’t know you’re infected but can infect others? Think about how many people you usually see during the day. Would you deliberately infect them with a virus? No. And yet I’m hearing horror stories of people going to work when sick, and yadda yadda, it’s a broken system, yeah, we know. Just… do the best you can to stay away from as many people as possible for two weeks. I mean, how many times have you said “I wish I could just get away from everyone for a couple of weeks!”…. now’s your chance.

Oh – what are y’all doing about boxes and mail? I didn’t know until yesterday that apparently you have to leave your mail outside for three days until it stops coughing and running a fever? Hahaha! But really though. If you are… how do you do that? Do you put on gloves, get it out of your mailbox and then dump it on your porch out of the rain for three days?

How’s your toilet paper stock? I haven’t seen anything that says this virus gives you the runs, and yet here we are. Mad Max and Tank Girl taught me that battles would be over water and gasoline, but here people are beating each other down for TP. Sigh.

Are you out of ice cream yet? Cheese? Fresh produce? This is kind of like the first few days after a hurricane, when you can’t go anywhere because the roads are blocked with debris, but you wouldn’t want to go anywhere anyway because the stores haven’t gotten restock shipments yet because the roads are blocked with debris. But you have electricity, ac, and wifi. (Good thing, too, because I don’t think Denise and Tarrant would let me in their house right now to take a shower!)

But mostly, what I want to ask is… how are you. Are you OK?

5 Comments

  1. marie stanley

    I’ve been thinking about a lot of other nasty social junk that 14 days will effect ; unless that affect ; too lazy to look it up . Creeping crud i don’t want to mention publicly . Head Lice ; pin worms ? The common cold ? Will nastiness like that bounce back stronger or take a break or …sigh… I’m eating all my fresh foods ; saving the cans and frozens for later.

    • I think a lot of that (common cold, regular flu, etc) probably depends on how the immune system reacts to Cov19. If it’s like measles, which can wipe out your immune system for years? Everyone is in for a world of shit. But we won’t know until people start recovering – what makes people who recover different from those who die? Is it something genetic or in their immune system or is it just luck of the draw and previous conditions? I don’t think we’ll know for a while.

      I’m more concerned with what society is going to look like after this. Are movie theaters, county fairs, science fiction conventions… a thing of the past, now? Again, we won’t know until people start fighting it off and recovering or we get a vaccine… which could take months. I’m willing to shelter in place as much as I can, for the good of the many. But I worry about my loved ones, like you. XOXO

  2. Jenn D

    My livelihood has just been yanked by the Governor for 60 days. Sixty. Days. Don’t get me wrong – I closed my acupuncture clinic for two weeks to slow the curve, for a reset…who knows if I have been exposed? I get it! Better maybe than most! – But how am I gonna pay my house payment with two months of not working? How will I pay my office rent? My freezer and pantry are stuffed with food (and booze…), buuut…mama’s got bills to pay!
    Plus, social disorder from global economic shutdown – how many deaths will that cause? How much suffering? Is is worth it, in the balance? But here we are. Effectively quarantined. Most of us taking some kind of hit – and for some of us, debilitating hits, already.
    So, am I ok? No. But yes? But no. Maybe ok if…?

      • I love you too, cuteshews. Heart’s sister. I’m so worried about you. I mean, as long as I have a place to live, you (and Chloe and Ella) have a place to live. But what if I don’t have a place to live either, and I can’t help you? I think that’s my biggest fear – not for my own health and safety but that at some point I won’t be able to help the people I love the most.

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