I have been trying to stick to a routine in these days of social distancing. I have been trying to get up at about the same time, go to bed at the same time, get dressed, put on makeup, walk the dog, take a lunch break. I have set up a coffee meeting with friends and colleagues three times a week. I have a little list of people I text on a regular basis. I see the boyfriend (He does not have a nickname. He needs a blog nickname. I’ll work on this) because we (and his lovely oldest son) are not really ever seeing anyone else, so we count as some sort of isolation buddies. I’ve done all the things that should be assuring me some form of mental health protection. Nope.
The downside of up, or the upside of down is this: it’s hard to scare me after the universe made me hold my baby in my arms while he suffocated to death and died. Really, what else could you do to me? What more is there? You can’t threaten me with the fear of pain and hurt and sorrow and near death, so I’m not worried about getting sick and dying. I should be, what with the MS. I should be at least a little bit worried. I’m not. I’m worried I am going to lose my job, that I shall become homeless and Gracie and the cats and I shall have to go and live in a cardboard box.
What makes me panic is randomness. When the universe took away the fear of pain and hurt and sorrow, it left me with an ironclad sense that the world is not fair. The world is not just, it is not reasonable and it does not care whether or not you are a nice person. Bad things happen to good people, to bad people, to meh people. Bad things happen. You cannot predict them, you cannot stop them, you cannot even hedge against them.
I tell myself that we are all panicking. Indeed, I would question the mental health of anyone who wasn’t worried. This is a time of panic.
Still. It’s exhausting.