I know most everyone is struggling with our global pandemic in one way or another. I know this, and yet, I feel alone in some of my particular struggles.
See, I've been "at home" for a while now. And I don't just mean pandemic while, I mean years before that. Since I got sick, which feels so strange to say "sick with anxiety".... "sick with depression"? Since my mental health got bad enough that I was pulled from work. Since then, I have been very much at home.
And yes, that means and meant isolating. Never really willingly - more so because that's all I had the energy for. Or that's all that felt safe? Or "safe" at least... I suppose. So I have been home in a very small social box for a very long time.
Sure, I'd talk to people every day, maybe only by text, maybe a call or two. I spend time with Jason regularly, and I'd see C-Dawg or other friends now and then but social stuff? Not something I've been great at for a while now. But I did get out and do things... I drove to Burning Man by myself... although that, now, it appears was nearly four years ago so who knows, but I did try. When I could.
And I've always had appointments. Massage, physio, acupuncture, hair cuts, dentist, counselling, doctor, whatever else I've forgotten, I had those regularly. I'd give myself a "week off" every now and then but most of the time I'd be out several times a week, sometimes a few times a day for an appointment. And I'd shop. Often with Jason - he'd pick the groceries and cook and I would eat the food. Or I'd pick something up for myself or that shampoo I needed or whatever else. And I made sure I got my "bare minimum" exercise every day, and I'd try to get myself out of the apartment most days, but yeah, I've been home for a while, but certainly not like this.
Since whenever it was in March (third week?) that our province and country shut down, or slowed down and we were asked to stay home to keep ourselves and others safe and well... since then I've not had the same experience as the last few years. I've had few appointments. And the only ones I have had have been at home, via a computer screen. And I've had food deliveries from online ordering. So I've had maybe two "appointments" a week for several months now. Food delivery, and a counselling video appointment. And that's it. I still text C-Dawg all the time and we talk regularly and she dropped off a book and cookies just before lockdown. I do still see Jason. For food and some company. It's honestly the main reason I'm still eating fairly well... I order online, groceries get delivered, I take them over to his place, he cooks enough for the both of us and leftovers, we eat, I take leftovers home.. rinse and repeat.
I know, I know, he's not in my household. I know I've been breaking the rules with that. I know all that and the guilt and fear I feel around it is endless and often overwhelming. And I'm sorry if that angers you or upsets you or scares you, it does all the same to me but still.... I did it. I'm sorry.
But honestly, other than driving myself over to his house? I'm having an extremely hard time getting myself out of my apartment. At all.
There are some days where the only reason I leave my front door is to get a "flight of stairs" on my fitbit so I can hit all my "stars" and get a virtual high five. But even on those days I don't go outside. I barely go outside. I'm proud of myself if I go for a walk outside once a week. And fuck me does that suck.
When I go to Jason's there is a back yard and I am outside, so it's not as if I never get fresh air, but it's different, at least in my mind when I go from my inside box to his fenced yard box and back. It feels... well it feels like I'm terrified. Which at least a part of me is.
I am finding it incredibly difficult to get outside and around my neighbourhood for walks and exercise. And it freaks me out.
I see lots of people, or, ok, I don't know how many but it feels like "everyone except me" (which it probably isn't) out and about doing things. I know people haven't stopped shopping. C-Dawg and Jason both talk to me about their grocery adventures... where they go, how busy it was, and I know C-Dawg shops for her folks and in laws and, well, my folks are doing online groceries as well, so... yeah. Sigh. But I feel like I have, in my attempt to be well and stay healthy, I feel like I have boxed myself in extra extra tight to a box that was already fairly enclosed.
And as my psychologist said, I was just starting to get out there again... I was just starting to get back to the gym and socializing a bit more and now... this.
I am scared. I really am. Not just about getting sick, but about getting stuck in here. About how to motivate myself when I was already struggling with motivation and now there's this perceived, invisible risk out there... everywhere.
I've read a few things about how this particular situation is so hard on humans because of that invisible nature of the virus. Something something neuroscience and wiring and this is not good for us. Especially with absolutely no end in sight. And yes, I hear the talk that this may be "years" and I just... don't know. I do not know how to mitigate my risk and my fear.
I do not know how to motivate myself to DO ALL THE THINGS when all the things feel literally unsafe. I mean they always used to feel overwhelming and like... a lot, but now they feel... deadly. But people are still doing things. They are. And I judge them at times. But they are out and about and shopping and visiting and exercising and doing all sorts of things and I am not.
I am stuck in this box and I am afraid of never feeling safe enough to get out but I am also afraid of getting out and I know there is a lot of this in my head and, well, good thing I have one of those video counselling sessions tomorrow to talk about it eh?
This is just hard. And I'm scared. And scared. And struggling. And I'm torn. Torn between something that feels both safe and not ok. Less likely to catch the virus if I never leave my box, but it's no way to live being stuck inside a shrinking box.