A Chronic Voice Link Up Prompts for April:
For me, right now, it is a case of the Eternal Return of the Same.
“What, if some day or night a demon were to steal after you into your loneliest loneliness and say to you: ‘This life as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more; and there will be nothing new in it, but every pain and every joy and every thought and sigh and everything unutterably small or great in your life will have to return to you, all in the same succession and sequence—even this spider and this moonlight between the trees, and even this moment and I myself. The eternal hourglass of existence is turned upside down again and again, and you with it, speck of dust!’ Nietzsche
In the sense that I am stuck in the house and on repeat. Stuck in this cycle of dizziness and low functionality with very little usable time in the day for anything at all… and everything I choose to do has such an immense cost to it … and then I’m laid out. And repeat. And repeat. And repeat.
I am tired of being so sick all the time and being so incapable of doing even a small amount of things in the day. Maybe 1 thing. Yay me. Then like 3 naps. And resting. And that is that. I am so fatigued all the time. It is indescribable. The heaviness of the fatigue. The drained feeling. The difficulty with getting around when symptoms get severe. The extremeness of this dizziness. I am losing hope a solution will be found. Even an answer or diagnosis or treatment.
I do have a level of acceptance of this. I value the time I have where I can do a little bit of something. It is Precious to me. Infinitely precious to me.
Nevertheless, I reset, and the eternal return of the same the next day.
I understand the dangers of the pandemic we are experiencing and the risk factors I have. I take it seriously. I am at risk. I know it. I am therefore staying indoors. Aside from necessary specialist appointments and tests… which I would rather not do but have little choice in the matter. I want to flatten the curve and I find it to be my moral obligation to do my part and my social obligation to do my part in doing so. So I will. And I hope others take it as seriously as I do.
I also understand it is a big ask and social isolation takes a toll over time. I understand how difficult it is for healthy people to distract themselves and their inability to deal with boredom. Did you know boredom is necessary for creativity? It spurs it on. We ponder and think and it inspires us. Sometimes silence and … boredom… causes creation. Sometimes silence and lack of activity causes introspection and internal growth. I don’t know. I guess I value pacing, a slower mellow pace, silence… things I never did before.
But I understand feeling antsy. I felt that at one time. This sense of stagnation of my skills. This sense of being sluggish and lethargy sets in. And you have to cope with that and find ways to deal with that or motivation will definitely lag. But I tire of their complaints. I understand they are forced to deal with something they never have before. But so have so many with chronic illnesses for many years. And we never asked for it either. And we just coped with it, silently, because no one wanted to listen. Maybe it is because I can think of So many things to do from home, to suit all sorts of people, and enhance them in all sorts of ways… that I cannot do because I am severely limited. And they are bored! Bored! All the things I could Do if just I had functionality and focus and energy! But I do empathize… because there is a price for social isolation (that is Monday’s post) and no one can escape that price. Hits people with chronic illnesses more, unfortunately, but hits every human being.
I know, it sounds like I am not empathetic. But I am. I know what it feels like. Antsy in the pantsy. Going from work every day… to what? What do you do all day? I remember it well and all the emotional baggage that comes with losing work. Not fun at all. And yeah it takes some time to sort all that out. Took me some time to value what I do as something worthwhile and a form of productivity. That I am more than what I do for work. To fill that void work left. A lot of time, man. At least this is a temporary venture for them. There is that. Longer than anyone desires, yes, but vital and necessary nonetheless. It isn’t a fun experience. I have known this many times over from short term leaves to long term leaves to disability from work. Loss of work and staying home and isolation… all take adjustments that take time. More time for some than others. In my case, More than others. I am stubborn that way. It is emotional. It is difficult. It hits you in your self-identity. All this I know Now. I understand a lot more now than I did years ago about myself and life satisfaction.
My spouse is currently working after a long period of being laid off (due to the economy here) and he found something recently. So he is socially distancing which is his social obligation since he cannot socially isolate due to working. This means work and home, work and home. And necessary errands such as the pharmacy for our medications and groceries as needed. Otherwise, he doesn’t go anywhere. And he keeps his distance. We wash our hands. Obviously, with my risk factors his being out and about is a risk factor but that is a necessary one and he is meticulous.
For me, I find social distancing a chronic illness lifestyle. I find isolation something of a red flag for my depression though and something I have to watch for. But social distancing? That is how I roll. With a chronic illness, we choose when we can socialize, how we can, for how long we can, and under what conditions we can. And it is infrequent. It is necessary, I find, but infrequent because it takes a lot of energy and it difficult to manage and, well, we are quite symptomatic some days and just not up for it. Limitations. Just the way it is. So this is not a hard thing to manage. At all. But with this pandemic… a lot of us are in the High Risk category and we find ourselves not in the social distancing category we live in but in the social isolation category. As I said, that can aggravate mental illness… it is something that I do when depressed and it something that stirs up depression. So now I have to maintain my mood while isolation for Months for my wellbeing and the wellbeing of society.
I’m a worrier and an overthinker. Isolate me and it just gives me a crapton of time to ruminate on worst-case scenarios and hellish things that could happen. And be online and see horrible things happening to families already due to this pandemic (deaths where they cannot be by their loved one’s side to say goodbye, can’t have a funeral… and the overwhelming sadness that I strongly empathize with). And too much news exposure and negativity.
And I am anxious about my friend and family who are at high risk… I was seriously anxious. More anxiety than I have had in a long time since depression is usually my go-to and not anxiety. I needed to calm down. I did some relaxation breathing. Distraction with hobbies. Meditation. Journalling. All sorts of things to just slow my brain down. And I am still worried. I think it is impossible to Not worry. All I can do is manage the stress as best as I can. And I am pretty sick so I do not have that much energy to be anxious most of the time…like when the dizziness gets bad… I’m laid out… and out of it.
April Fool’s day was my anniversary with my spouse (common-law). We do not know the exact date we started dating because I am not the type of person that keeps track of things like that, so that is the date I chose. And so we have been together for 22 or 23 years… not quite sure on which it is. I know, we are hopeless with dates. We also do not celebrate it… so it is just a day to keep track on how long we have been together. But nevertheless, that happened this month.
Also, this is the month of my birthday, the 28th, which will be a strange one… one where I will not go out for dinner with my mom or see my friends. It will be sort of a drag really. I don’t know, maybe I will buy myself an ebook. And a cake. And eat the whole cake. I’d dance to some loud music too, but I can’t actually dance with dizziness… the one time I tried that really was a bad idea. I’ll find some little way to celebrate with some of my favourite things. Maybe a movie marathon or something. Who knows, eh?