Lockdown, Week 2

Hours Bleed Into Days

I wake up at noon, or just after one o’clock in the afternoon. Husband has already made lunch (usually leftovers from the previous night’s dinner). We do chores – washing the dishes, cleaning the floor, doing the laundry. We don’t have a washing machine, so we decided to just cycle five sets of house clothes once a week, and hand-wash them. We use an old clothes stand to hang our clothes. One of us cooks dinner, and we chat about our day – small things, inconsequential things, important things. We clean up, take a shower, and Husband heads to bed while I turn on my laptop and pretend to get things done.

Sometimes I write (because there are still deadlines), and other times I fall into a YouTube hole and struggle to get out. Other times, I find myself returning to old comforts: a old video game, rewatching an old show, or re-reading comforting books. My brain cannot seem to handle anything new right now; I suspect it’s because of the sheer amount of brain power needed to function as a sane individual during the day.

A friend mentioned to me recently that he’s also been staying awake until dawn, and then waking up in the afternoon. It makes the quarantine bearable, he says, because it makes the days seem shorter. I suspect I am doing the same thing.

The Sad

Sometimes, when I am awake in the early mornings, I have a persistent case of The Sad (and yes, it’s in title case, because it’s a proper noun for me). The last time I felt anything similar to this was in 2016, when the world seemed to be falling apart because a madman was elected president. For months, I was dealing with anxiety and panic in various measures, and sleeping so poorly that I was getting sick every few weeks.

I suppose it doesn’t help that my fight or flight response is usually flight – that is, refusing to engage in anything new. I don’t want to deal with something else because my brain is desperately trying to find a balance with all of the new input. So it takes a significant amount of effort for me to pursue anything new right now (which is also why the writing is terribly slow). This also means that once The Sad arrives, it is very difficult for me to do something – whether it’s answering emails or doing something that is being asked of me, or planning ahead.

It’s the last one that’s really bothering me right now. More often than not, I try to plan for contingencies, and I try to figure out how to address situations before they escalate. In other words, I really like planning. But in the past two weeks, I have not been planning. My brain has looped, and I am now just a creature of habit. The Sad has gotten to me.

New Stress Triggers

I’ve been unconsciously clenching my teeth so much that my jaw is starting to ache. This is new, and I am unsure how to handle it.

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