The last time I wrote to you, I was in the 5th grade. I believe we discussed my disappointment in the durability of the press-on nails I’d purchased from the grocery store with my best friend, Tracy. If Facebook and Twitter had been a thing back then, I would’ve BLOWN UP THEIR FEEDS with complaints about how they DO NOT HOLD UP to digging gopher holes by hand in Tracy’s backyard. Total rip-off. I want my $1.49 back.
I suppose that event was so traumatic, I abandoned my relationship with you. What can I say? Extreme disappointment causes us to do strange things.
I’ve decided, though, in light of the Cancelation of Planet Earth due to COVID-19, it’s time to renew our relationship. There are simply Too Many Thoughts racing through my brain these days, and I’m not able to corral them to my satisfaction. I need a way to pull them apart and put them into bite sized pieces so I can figure out what the eff I’m dealing with here. So you’re up to bat, Diary!
Since we spoke last, in 1983, I moved to SE Asia, moved back to America, got a Bachelor’s Degree in Church History (hahahahaha! that was useful!), married, put my marriage in the crapper, adopted and birthed 100 children (or 5 — CLOSE ENOUGH to 100, tho), pulled the marriage back out, and learned I have chronic, clinical depression I get to manage for the rest of my life. So, pretty much all fun and games. WHEEEEE!
Now we’re in a global pandemic, and our family is sheltering in place. We’re not being ordered to yet. We’re being told to “self-isolate” here in Oregon — or self-quarantine if we’ve been exposed. But we’re not going out for reasons other than grocery and pharmacy runs or a brief walk along the rural path behind our house because we really, really EXTRA don’t want to be the cause of folks dying. The current goal is to slow the spread of the virus so we don’t all overwhelm the hospitals at the same time. Frankly, the projections don’t look good, but you and me, Diary, are going to HOPE ANYWAY. And stay home.
My MAJOR goal in all this is to Keep My Shit Together. NOT to Keep From Freaking Out — oh, there WILL be freak-outs, Diary. That’s just part of what Living in the Unknown means. No; by Keeping My Shit Together, I mean managing my mental illness. Remaining sane. Which in turn means Paying Attention to my mental health and enacting the best Self Care models I can stand.
That’s where you come in, Diary. You and I are going to track this together. I’m going to tell you on the daily what’s happening so we can gauge what’s going on.
Today’s check in: doing well. I’m mostly upbeat >>>AS LONG AS I DON’T SCROLL ON FACEBOOK TOO LONG<<<. That’s something I’m going to need to watch. I can actually FEEL my mental wellness depleting itself like a battery if I spend more than, oh, an hour on the Book of Faces. As a result, I’ve made myself a schedule LIKE I’M 8 YEARS OLD with strict screen time limits for checking in BUT NOT DWELLING there. I believe to my bones that digital connection is A WONDERFUL THING and suddenly MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER for human interaction. And also, I need to be careful to stay in the positive spaces of the Book, rather than fly down the rabbit holes of What If and Oh No and WHEN WILL THE STORE HAVE TOILET PAPER AGAIN? I’ve never been excellent at moderation, Diary, but I’m gonna try on this one. OK? OK. Deal.
More tomorrow on methods for Staying Sane. In the vein of Not Trying to Do Too Much, I’m just sharing snippets with you at a time so this is sustainable.
P.S. I got in a bar fight today. I tried to snatch a coin purse from a Dwarf who was just letting his money dangle there. Unfortunately, his friends flipped the table while I was underneath it cutting the purse strings. 🤦🏻♀️ DO NOT WORRY TOO MUCH, THOUGH: a) I DID get to finish my beer, and b) I got away because a dragon ripped the roof off the pub and everyone was distracted. Close call, though. Need to be more careful while thieving in the future.
P.P.S. Lunchtime Dungeons and Dragons with the children is more enjoyable than I imagined.