Monday, 21 September 2020

OK.....

 With hopes that me typing this doesn't jinx anything.... the fire-smoke situation cleared up this weekend.

And everyone is SO so thankful for that.  Everyone. 

I woke up Sunday morning to limited vision skies again but it turns out that was just fog fog rather than smoke-fog-cloud, so windows stayed open and outside was visited.  Amen.

As I sit here attempting to add the photo you're (hopefully) looking at I'm still dealing with the frustration around new user interface layouts (or some proper term like that).  Blogger isn't the only organization that's changing things up but they so far seem to be the only one that's working to improve reported issues and listening to feedback, at least as far as I can see.  I've started to feel something like guilty/uncomfortable for the things I use that are free.  You know, the whole "if it's free, you're the product" thing.  Like, blogger, and social media sites, and google and yes, I've started to watch that Netflix documentary that  folks are talking about but I also don't want to pay a lot and I really dislike subscription sites.  Like I bought a program to help me balance finances and that kind of thing - personal finance software.  And it was a bit of an expenditure but they update regularly and I feel a bit more comfortable about using it.  I dunno, I'm babbling.

This has been a rough month.  A high anxiety, low calm month.  I said to Jason the other day (after who knows what crappy thing took place) that I felt like I've been running on high alert anxiety adrenaline since March (pandemic) and this last month I've been on some white knuckle using up fumes and hanging by a thread kind of thing and that it wasn't sustainable.

And because I can't control the things that are happening to/for/around me, I'm trying to find ways, HEALTHY ways to cope and approach the uncertainty and anxiety differently.  So there's the work of handling the anxiety and upset and then there's the work of reframing my thoughts and trying to push through to calm or positive or something.  It's been feeling like a lot.

But I really am glad to have the fresh air back, really really.  It was making things even worse.  So here's to fresh air and clean skies. 



Thursday, 17 September 2020

Sorry

 I am about to make the same complaint everyone in this town (and other towns, I know) is making right now.

The air quality has sucked for the last week or so.  So I keep my windows closed.  Which then means super stuffy non air in my apartment, which sucks.  Today, the air quality improved a bit so I opened my windows, which was nice.  But now I have sore eyes and I don't feel well and I'm grumpy and miserable.

I guess the positive is that the smoke-cloud combo is keeping the heat down, but still.  It's icky.  And we've had this odd.... I don't even know what all week... fog smoke?

Like they don't say "fog" in the forecast, they just say "cloudy" or "overcast" but it's like fog.  But with crap air quality.

I hate it and there's not much I can do about it and I should have bought filters or something but they kept saying it'd be gone by Monday.  (And yes it's now Thursday.  *swear word*)

Wednesday, 16 September 2020

I Usually Just Suffer Quietly...

 I got a new neighbour recently and they have never lived in an apartment before.  I know this, because I've had to interact with them and they have now let me know several times that apartment living isn't for them, but they're sticking around "for now".

The reason I've had to interact with them is speaker noise.  Theirs.  Sigh.

When I first moved into this building, we had a resident manager.  Which was lovely, because when the person helping to take care of the building lives IN the building, they have an actual understanding of what it's like to be in the building and the little things (especially in an older building) that you kind of have to be aware of to be a "good" neighbour.  When I first moved in the older gentleman who was the resident manager told me that I was "not allowed" to have speakers on the floor, or attached to walls.  "They reverberate too much" he said.  And so I got speaker stands.  Eventually the building changed hands and we lost our resident manager and have someone who lives elsewhere.

When I got this new neighbour (was it January?  something like that) I started  getting loud bass noises up through my floor.  Like think Charlie Brown's teacher noises but deep and low and reverberating.  I'd never had this with the couple who lived there before me, I never even heard their tv, but now I was hearing this deep low rumbling.  Honestly, it was hard to tell if it was radio, tv, music, just... it was frustrating.  After one particular day when I could feel my couch vibrating with the sound, I sent a message to my building manager.  I said hey, could she maybe let new neighbour know that this building is quite old and that they may not realize how much sound travels and a reminder not to have speakers on floors/walls, etc.  I ASSUMED this would be done privately, but the next day I got a pounding on my door and there (standing at a distance because covid!) was my new neighbour, small speaker in hand, unhappy look on face.  "This is the speaker, it's tiny, no way you're hearing this!"

And, well, long story short we talked for a while, calmly and in a friendly manner and neighbour wondered if it was when they were putting the speaker in certain spots (like their central kitchen "counter") or on their outside deck.  Neighbour also asked why I hadn't just talked to them myself and I said well a) I'm conflict avoidance.  "THIS ISN'T CONFLICT" they said... I shrugged.  I also said that b) it's covid, and I'm staying away from people.  (This was early days, like March/April maybe?)  Neighbour also asked me if I had a kid.  No.  Did I have a small trampoline?  No.  Well apparently my "walking on the spot" that I sometimes do for exercise in my kitchen bothers neighbour as they can hear it.  And the toddler from two floors up echos when running around their place and it bothers neighbour and, well, that's apartment living..... you know???  Anyway,  I suggested we exchange phone numbers and, well, I have not actually used that phone number to complain about the noise vibration that, for example, I AM DEALING WITH RIGHT NOW.

Because every time I see that neighbour now they tell me how they hate it here and how they didn't move to this town to retire to be told to turn the music down by a neighbour (sigh).  I am not bothering to point out that I didn't say that, I just asked that it was pointed out that sounds vibrate and travel a lot and so you have to be mindful of where your speakers are.  

So I'm writing this post instead.  I am avoiding pissing off said pissed of neighbour yet again and hoping they stop listening to... whatever Charlie Brown deep bass thing they are listening to.  

And, no, I'm not stomping when I do my "exercise", I'm pretty damn quiet, and now I'm even sensitive about that.  Sigh.

This is why I generally don't say anything about anything to anyone.  Ugh.



Tuesday, 15 September 2020

Mid September, Eh?

 I guess I saw that one coming seeing how August just kind of... came and went.  Never mind still being back in Spring, held back in March all the while half being aware that Fall is coming.  But damn, it's been a hard couple of weeks for me, so maybe that's why I'm a little stunned by the actual date.

At the very start of the month I had to go in to the hospital for a CT of my heart...stuff.

I just tried to search this blog to see if I ever talked about it but I'm not sure that I did and the search didn't help, but nearly two years ago now my brother decided to take his ongoing chest pain (when exercising) to the ER and they discovered that he had some pretty seriously blocked arteries.  They dealt with them and put him on medication and he's changed up his lifestyle and is monitored and getting great care and attention.

While he was in the hospital being observed he was approached by some doctors (or interns, I don't technically know, it doesn't really matter) to be part of a study.  He is young to have had the issues he did (under 50) and they wanted to take a closer look at some possible "why"s.  And they also asked if any other family members would like to join the study and I said sure.

So I signed up and had some blood work done and they didn't love what those results said and they ordered a "cardiac CT" to see where my heart health was.

I can tell you know that it seems my heart health is "good" and the scan didn't show anything of concern, which is great.  Really great.  I do have slightly elevated cholesterol and my sugars aren't "great" and so I'm to exercise more and be mindful of my diet and, well, honestly, those things have not been a priority these last few months with the pandemic.  Or, they've been a lot harder to focus on with "imminent health risk" feeling like it's constantly looming.  Anyway...

I have been really really anxious about the test since it was ordered.  And then even more anxious about it when the pandemic hit.  And I wasn't even really anxious about the possible results.  I mean, sure, I was hoping I'd not have to go on the "serious aggressive treatment" the cardiologist had talked about, but I also knew there wasn't much I could do to change the results if there had already been years of buildup like my brother had.  But I was terrified of the test itself.  

I worked at keeping the anxiety about it at bay until closer to test time, which helped, but in the week leading up to the test I got increasingly agitated.  I was worried about going into a hospital... during a pandemic.  (I don't love them at the best of times, but right now?  Geez...)  I was worried about wearing a mask for that long and if the mask would protect me if I got exposed or if I was carrying.  I was worried about asking Jason to drive me (wasn't allowed to drive self) but a cab is no less worrying, so then I was anxious about Jason waiting.  I was anxious about having to wait in my car until I was allowed in (pandemic protocols) and having to pee (had to load up on water beforehand).  I was worried about having to wake up so early (morning appointment, me not not not a morning person).  I was worried that I might react to the contrast dye they used.  Badly worried.  I was worried about how it would feel, maybe horrible.  It's actually, apparently a trauma thing from when I was a kid and in the hospital and had a bad reaction to a situation like that and, well, PTSD I guess.  I was worried about not being able to wear a bra.  I was worried about the machine.  I was worried about not being able to put my shoulder where it would have to go.   I was worried about the medication I had to take before (lower blood pressure and I already have lower blood pressure).  I was worried about everything. Everything.  The process of the test gave me massive anxiety.  Huge.  It was not good.

The morning of the test I tried to play it cool but my body didn't agree and I had to take something to settle (polite way of putting it) my stomach/digestive system.  And as Jason drove us there I kept saying "I'm fine, I'm fine" quietly to myself.  (Spoiler, I wasn't really.)  I tried to be very friendly to everyone in the hospital (I'm fine, see?  Could I be friendly if I wasn't fine?  Nope!  So clearly, I'm fine.)

They put in an IV thing... and they took my blood pressure and heart rate and EVEN THOUGH I had taken the whatchamacallit to lower my blood pressure and heart rate they were not.  My normal resting heart rate is usually around 60BPM.  With a medication in my system to slow that heart rate, my anxiety still had it pumping well over that.  The nurse said things were borderline not being able to do the test and I didn't understand why it wasn't lower when I WAS FINE!!!! AM FINE!!!

The nurse gave me some... nitro? and then they took me in to the machine.  I did have to take my bra off, by the way, but was able to still wear my own clothes rather than a gown, thankfully (short sleeves for the win).  They kept tucking me in with a heated thin blanket and I kept thinking how no one tucks you in once you're not a kid anymore.  I kept focussing on being calm... calm thoughts, calm heart.  And the machine kept making machine noises and I thought "wow, this is going really well" and then they were about to inject me with the contrast (sometimes people have bad reactions so I was scared) and then nothing happened and I was like YAY no reaction!  But it turns out there wasn't an injection and the machine itself was having issues and so after quite a while the tech had to help me off the table (machine I think was kind of frozen) and was like sorry, it's having issues, going to have to restart it and there was a hint of panic for me because oh no I can't do this again another day and they tucked me in back on a bed with another warm blanket and I waited.  And I had to pee.... but I didn't want to ask, didn't know who to ask, not like anyone was checking on me and I'm so glad that eventually I loudly asked "excuse me is there a bathroom"? because yes, there was in the waiting room and I made my way there trying not to dislodge the IV and I guess I really had to pee (partly all that hydration and partly I figure the saline they "tested" the IV with?) and I felt better after that and I was fine... right?  

And after whatever restart process I went back in and I tried not to think about it  breaking down again and I tried to think calm heart thoughts because you really need clear pictures for best results and the tech said ok here comes the contrast and I thought oh please and it felt weird but no reaction (THANK YOU!) and then the holding of the breath (never for too long and the "machine" had an accent when leading me through that) and more contrast and more weird feeling and more  holding of the breath and machine moving and table sliding and then they were like "you're done" and they took me back into the bed... place and took out the IV (please hold that for two minutes and if it bleeds then for another) and they asked how I felt and I said fine, actually?  I said it was interesting, and the machine was cool and that if I had to do it again I'd be far less nervous and the nurse said "yeah, you're like a whole different person from before you went in" and I thought "oh".  I'd tried to be fine.  I'd really tried.  And I hadn't said "I'm nervous or anxious" or anything.  I just was friendly and polite and apparently my anxiety and nerves showed.  Enough that a nurse noticed... and the heart rate monitors did too of course.  I should have asked what my heart rate was post scan but she'd turned the monitor away from me that time but I wouldn't be surprised if it had fallen.  Significantly.

I'm very grateful that I didn't have any major reactions to any of the medications, and I came home and drank lots of water (to flush out the dye I think) and I took it easy and I told Jason what the nurse had said and he said "yeah, on the drive here you were shaking so much you could have started the car on vibrations alone" (which doesn't necessarily make sense but point taken.)  I really thought I had hidden it you guys.  I thought I was playing it cool.  I really did.  I thought I was a little nervous but pretty good.

Apparently not... 

So that was right at the start of the month.  And then I had to wait two weeks to get the results.  I wasn't nervous about that until the day of, and then I was happy and relieved to hear the good.

Monday, 14 September 2020

The Sky

This weekend was strange.  "Weather" wise, I mean.  (I'll keep the human/emotional side out of things for now, the way the sky was this weekend was strange.)

 

The forecast called for "smoke" which isn't a weather exactly but is what has been happening as the smoke from Washington state and Oregon state (and California state?) wildfires has been getting... I dunno, pushed?  sucked?  up this way for the last week or so.  We first got it, I dunno, last Tuesday?  And it was a weird smoky sky hot day and I did walk to/from something and then thought better about doing much more outside stuff.  It was clear the next day and that was lovely and I thought we were good for the rest of the Summer.  (Or as some have sadly taken to calling it "fire season").  But then the smoke came back.  I'd meant to "do something" about it a year or two ago when we had smoke from more local fires.  But an air purifier wasn't in my budget and I told myself to just deal with it.  And then I said last year that I'd buy something to help filter/purify my air but again... money, so I didn't.  And even this year as we headed into Spring I didn't.  And even this weekend, I thought about purchasing something or other (maybe filters for my windows like I did on my van window for Burning Man?) and then... I didn't.  (I'm scared of spending money in a way that some part of my brain deems "unnecessary" - you know health and comfort and wellbeing.  Sigh)

Anyway.  Here's the weird part.  On Saturday (?) we woke up to... fog?  Like that low lying mist cloud fog thing that FELT damp and yes it was cooler.  And it smelled like ocean, or water, not smoke.  But the forecast still said "smoke" and the air quality reading was "highly dangerous" so it wasn't fog?  It was... fog with smoke?

So windows were closed and fans were on but outside was cool.  And smelt like "fog", but the forecasts didn't say fog, they said smoke.  And "overcast" and I guess maybe if I'd watched an actual meteorologist like on a newscast or something they might have explained it but I spent the weekend slightly baffled.  

I opened my bedroom windows at night, it's hard for me to sleep without cool/fresh/moving air and I can't sleep with fans going anyway so yeah, I guess I've been breathing smoke overnight but on the flip side (gross coming) my nose blowings haven't been soot coloured (like previous years) so I'm hopefully doing ok?  I dunno.

I'm surely inhaling stuff I shouldn't be.  My throat is sore and not in a "I'm sick" kind of way and I'm trying to stay hydrated and I am trying to keep my windows closed when I can but oh man that lack of fresh air gets to me.

I had some funny thoughts this weekend like I'd wake up and think "I'll get a walk in before the smoke gets bad" like the equivalent of exercising outside before it gets hot.  And well, you know, smoke and wildfires don't really turn off just because it's night/morning.

I also found I was waking up pretty early this week.  Not sure what it is about the smoke... maybe heat too that didn't mesh with sleeping past 6 or 7 but that just is what it is, not going to try to force sleeping later on a body that wants to be out of bed.  Plus it's not like usual when I can just roll over and push another "long morning nap" on myself in bed.  

On the Tuesday day I found my car had ash on it and on a drive I had to go on, I had to spray my windshield down a few times, but knock on wood, this weekend I've only had to spray the windshield when I first get in.

I know people know more about what's happening in the sky than I do, and maybe even some of you do!  But it was strange.  Fog like "low cloud" and the occasional "fog" horn but wicked bad air quality and a forecast of "smoke".  And low visibility.  But smelling like ocean/water/fog.

I never take fresh, clean air for granted (even when it's hot hot hot) and I think we're all hoping that the smoke clears out today and for this week.  And I know I am hoping that these fires are slowing, and stopping and I'm not even thinking about the future for this coast as I don't have enough chill in me to do so. 

Saturday, 12 September 2020

The Conversations

I noticed that schools went back this week.  Or at least the newspaper/media articles saying that schools went back this week made me notice.  Not really the point.  More that it got me thinking.

Because school this year is... weird.  Because pandemic.

And not only that, but masks during this pandemic.  Or lack thereof.

It made me wonder how you explain things to a younger person, like a little or medium sized one, you know... how do you explain that say your family is wearing masks for these reasons but other families may not be wearing masks.

How do you explain that not everyone agrees or what do you even explain and maybe if I was a parent I'd know you just have these conversations as they come up and you do the best you can but I feel like right now there's a lot I'd not really know how to try to explain, in "kid terms" to younger people.  I mean heck, I'm not even sure I know how to talk about it in "adult terms" to adult people.  You know?

Everything's so extra weird.

Sigh.

Friday, 11 September 2020

Damnit

Me, wakes up this morning, happier that it feels maybe a little cooler!  Looks outside... sees smoke again.  Damn.

Sigh.

I hope the weather got the memo to clear up and cool down for the weekend.  You sent that memo right?

Tuesday, 8 September 2020

A Dream And The Reality

I had a weird dream last night/this morning and I half woke from it to wonder how the smell of the person in the dream's cigarettes had transferred to me.  I woke several more times that morning and sniffed my fingers and they did indeed smell like I'd held a cigarette.  Or held the hand of someone holding a cigarette. I was too sleepy to figure out why but oh well, I would wash it off.  Guess my shower last night hadn't washed it off enough.  Ugh.

I popped my eyes open "for real" around 6:30 (early for me) and looked outside after checking the time.  Hmmm... cloudy... that wasn't expected.  But I couldn't quite fall asleep so around 7:00 I woke myself up actually and wondered... is that haze?

And yes, that tell tale orange light and that "not fog" haze is here, and so my smelling cigarettes on my hand was actually me smelling smoke.  I wish it wasn't so.

It's supposed to be warm this week.  Which is already not something I look forward to.  And now we have wildfire smoke (from Washington state it seems) and I had really hoped to avoid it this year but hey, can't control things, can I? 

So today I am already fighting anxiety around life things, and now heat and smoke things.  I don't want to close my windows but should I?  I didn't buy those filters for my windows... maybe I should have?  Do I turn my fans on?  I already put my big one in my bedroom blowing across/towards my windows. 

I would love to hope the smoke clears.

I would like to go back to the weekend when I told myself I "didn't have to deal with anything" because it was a long weekend.

Sigh.

Monday, 7 September 2020

Oh Right

Labour Day Long Weekend.  Another one I tend to forget about (except when travelling back from Burning Man).

Happy Monday.

I'm hoping that this week I find out that hot weather during September is not as bad/intense as hot weather during July/August.  *whimper...send help*

Rough week last week, not doing the best right now, maybe will see if I can talk about it.

Have a nice Monday though.

Thursday, 3 September 2020

Outside Perspective

I am lacking what I would consider "believable outside perspective" on a lot of things.  But for now, I'm talking about my writing.

I impulsively joined a 21 day writing course (?) online and it's day 2 (or 3?) of it as I write this and I have done exactly nothing. 

They suggested we join a Facebook group for the course and I did and people are sharing some of the writing they're doing and I keep thinking "is mine better or is mine just as... average as theirs?"  Like, do I (occasionally) like my writing but don't have the outside perspective to see that it's... blah?

I know some of you very kindly have told me from time to time that my writing is good.  But you're, if I dare to say so, biased.  You choose to be here and read and, well, I'm aware that it's all just... perspective.  Like, some people like Stephen King's writing.  Others do not.  I've enjoyed some of his books so I suppose I'm neutral?  So I'm aware that there isn't really ONE truth about "good writing" and even that there are different types of writing but I also know that some writing is clunky or hard to read or awkward or not very good.  And the writing that I'm reading is personal and not being shared for critique but I did take some writing classes in my first or second year of university and I was (at the time) devastated by the "criticism" (you know, what the professors are actually meant to do?) and that probably scared me off.  That, and the fact that writing, in the world I was raised in, is a hobby more than a job.  (Unless you count journalism or something...)

But yeah, I'm realizing as people share a sentence or phrase or two that I am not a good judge of my writing and I can't even tell if I'm "too harsh" or "too kind" about it.

I suppose that's some insight that could be valuable. 

Wednesday, 2 September 2020

Not Tuesday

I've been having weird dreams lately.  Or, I suppose to be more accurate... I've been remembering dreams lately because I seem to wake up early, check the clock, push myself to go back to sleep and then have light sleep and weird dreams that are unsettling.... I'm sure some sleep scientist would say something fancy about what's happening but yeah. 

I'd intended this morning to wake up and tell you all about the dream because it was intense but interesting.  But somehow it is two and a half hours later and I genuinely have no idea where the time has gone.  Usually I know where my morning goes but today I have absolutely no idea.  It's bizarre actually.  I guess I just did a bunch of little things and now here I am.

Weird.




Tuesday, 1 September 2020

Phew

Test done.  Results will be what they will be.  So glad it's over - that's been weighing on me for months now, phew.

Monday, 31 August 2020

Away

The weekend got away from me a bit, mainly because I lost a day to a panic attack.

My anxiety has been high this last couple of weeks, in part because I've got a hospital based test coming up this week and that's pushing a lot of anxiety buttons for me (I'm not really worried about the results, more the process and test itself, even though I've been assured it's fine) and some big stuff has come up in counselling this last few weeks and so the combo of the two has had me not so calm and after several days in a row of high high anxiety just this weekend I woke up to a panic attack and I made the decision to take something for it and then that made me sleepy and so I napped.

Which helped, I guess, as I woke up from said nap feeling a little lighter and physically better but also groggy for the rest of the day and then all of a sudden I realized that Monday was the next day.  Whoops.

And speaking of this weekend, Fall really crept in to things this weekend.  Tail end of Summer feeling to temperatures for sure.

I went for a distanced walk with a friend Saturday evening and luckily thought to bring a hoodie at the last minute because the wind had a bit of a bite to it.  And then Sunday it was chilly enough that I was under my blanket all day and rain came and, well, it felt like Summer really was transitioning towards Autumn.

Not that that doesn't mean we won't have (wait, did I just double negative myself?) another bunch of hot/warm days, in fact they're calling for a warm weekend again so I should really just stop talking before I jinx anything but let me just say I'm not putting my fans away yet. 

I have been throwing my Winter housecoat over the base of my bed as a mini blanket though, so blankets may be a thing that happen at night....

Only for the heat to come back so who knows!

Happy Monday y'all.  Enjoy this last day of August.  How weird is that, right?

Friday, 28 August 2020

Time

I was going to say something about it being mid August but then I glanced over at the calendar and, well, seems we're at the end of August.  Really not sure how that one happened, except maybe by me trying to lay low and survive the hot days I missed the time passing or something?

Not that end of August means end of heat.  We often have warm, even hot days into September.  But still... the end of Summer is in sight, eh?  I noticed a shorter day the other day... I know they've been getting shorter for a while now but the other night I noticed it was dusk at 8:30 rather than at 9:30, or those glorious days closer to 10...

It's funny, it wasn't really until I started travelling to Nevada at the end of August that I realized I live somewhere where Summer evenings really are longer.  Something something equator and all that jazz. 

I also started noticing how quickly the length of days shorten once I started doing that trip.  It always felt like in the ten or twelve days I was gone, by the time I got back home (first week of September) the days were "suddenly" shorter.  Which probably is only so true.  But still.  I noticed that.  And I noticed the dampness in the air.  We called it "the ocean smell" on our first trip back, but it often felt like there was some threshold heading into Northern Oregon and Washingon where the rains would hit us.  And re-rust Connor's truck.  And turn the playa dust on our bikes to a rust-creating mess.  Air's "damper" up here.  And then, yeah, you eventually hit the coast and having spent a week in the desert, you can smell the ocean.

And home.

It's always a bit jarring.

This wasn't intended to be a post about Burning Man but it's that time of year and it's not happening this year.  Or, as they'd like to say, it's happening virtually.  Online.  Not my thing, but hey, I hope those who "go" virtually (what do you call that like 3D thing you have to buy goggles for?) enjoy it.  I'm sure many will.  I'm on my fourth year of not going, so for me missing it is more normal than for those who have never missed.  But enough about that.

Time is passing.  I am holding back a lot of anxiety about the future and Fall.  Not just about the pandemic, but certainly about elections and yes, the medical system and just.... all of everything.  I don't currently feel I have anything to look forward to, and I'm already trying to figure out how to not stress about gifts at Christmas time since I'm 100% assuming we won't be gathering as a family at all at that time.  F*ck, I shouldn't have mentioned that.  Now I'm stressed and upset and let's just go back to talking about Summer and the length of days, ok?

Ok.

It's still Summer.  For a while.  Passing quickly though, no?

Thursday, 27 August 2020

Right Now

One thing that the world wide pandemic has changed for me is that it feels easier to talk about anxiety than it used to.

When Canada was asked to stay home to help reduce the spread and load on hospitals things felt very uncertain all of a sudden for pretty much everyone.

I'm sure there were folks who were unphased or unbothered but for the most part people were at least concerned, if not anxious and afraid.

I was terrified.  Or, I suppose I should say that my anxiety level rose to the extreme.  Or something like that.  I was not ok.

And I found that a lot of people were not ok.

People were worried.  People didn't know what was going to happen.  People weren't sure they were safe, or how to stay safe.  People had to adjust their routines.  Some lost work or were forced to work from home or were forced to work in an environment that was now riskier than before.  Things weren't how any of us were used to.  And we were told a lot of conflicting upsetting things.  People became more wary of other people.  We were asked not to socialize.  Many of us suddenly weren't supposed to see family and loved ones and friends.  People were worried.

And as I looked around and heard from others I realized... people were starting to understand anxiety.  People were feeling lots of the things people living with an anxiety disorder deal with all day every day.  Uncertainty.  Fear.  Lack of safety.  Concern.  Fear of the future.  Things being unknown.  Dread.  Existential angst.  Death feeling closer than usual.  Others being a threat.  And so on and so on.

And after a while it made me feel more comfortable saying to people "this is really making my anxiety bad" and "I've been dealing with anxiety for a while now... this is making it worse." Because for the first time it felt like people understood.

For the first time it didn't feel like people would say "just get over it" or "why are you worried?" because they were feeling stress/worry/anxiety about their own lives and selves and family and job and situation.  It felt like almost everyone got some sense of having anxiety or at least being very unsettled.

And so it felt easier for me to say "I am not ok".

In the past few months I've told people that I've been dealing with anxiety (and whatever other term(s) to explain it) that I've not told before. Do I feel better for having told them?  Hard to say, but I don't think I feel worse?  No one has been surprised.  Or at least they've been polite and non committal in their responses.  It's still awkward and uncomfortable but there has also been a sense of commonality, certainly in the first few months of everything.

Now it's a little bit different again as people have had very different reactions to "reopening" and mask usage and health and all sorts of things I don't want to get into here. 

I feel a bit nervous again telling people that I haven't been grocery shopping since March and that I'm really not socializing and really not doing much of anything because I know others are.  And so it's hard again for me to know if I'm being over reactive or they're being under reactive or who's judging who, so I just keep doing the best I can and I try to let people be and just adjust my behaviours around their choices.  (Like someone who's maybe going to the gym and restaurants and lots of socializing and shopping and being pretty normal, I will probably not go for a distance walk with them, but someone who's wearing a mask and not seeing many folks and shopping a bit, I will see if my anxiety will "let" me spend time near them.)




Please don't steal stuff from here, it's not nice. But leave a comment, why don't cha? And drink more water. It's good for you.

P.S. If you think you know me? You probably don't. If you're sure you know me? Pretend you don't. I'll never admit I know what you're talking about anyway.

P.P.S. All this stuff is copyright from then til now (Like, 2006-2020 and then some.) Kay? Kay.