(Fair warning: This post will be all over the place because my mind is experiencing zero G’s and I don’t have much control over it.)
I’ve sat down to write this post a half dozen times over the last three days but every word I type feels disingenuous. They aren’t wrong and the topics really interest me, I’m sure I’ll go back to them later, but they don’t feel honest. They don’t represent my current mindset. Every word feels forced, like I’m trying to put a child sizes mask over my abnormally large head. Try as I might, it just wouldn’t slide into place so I gave up on every attempt but this one…Apparently.
Now that fits my mood perfectly! Giving up is an apt description because all I want to do is curl up under the covers and wait for this to be over. I don’t know what ‘this’ is but when it ends I’ll know. Maybe. Possibly. There’s a chance I’ll never know what it is and I’ll stay under the covers forever. Waiting in perpetuity for a sign, a whisper, or an inkling.
A bit dramatic? My answer is a tired sigh.
The thing is, each word that flows across my screen is accompanied by one question: What’s the point? Every time I get up to do something there’s that one question: What’s the point? This one question is on a loop. Judging, nagging, begging for an answer but the answer is the question whispered back. What’s the point?
I don’t think there’s an answer for such an abstruse question but still, I ask. What’s the point? It’s a very sincere, all be it ambiguous, question about life, my life. Actions and reactions. Motivations or the lack thereof. I can’t help but wonder what the point of this, all of this, is? But looking for the answer feels pointless too.
I am so overwhelmed, and my usual pressure valves have been put on lockdown. I’m a creature of habits and rituals that crosses the border into OCD. That’s a clinical diagnosis, not a colloquial appropriation. Without these, let’s call them quirks, I feel like I’ve been put into a giant washing machine and someone’s turned it onto the highest setting. I don’t know which way is up or down. I’m drowning. I can’t breathe. There’s nothing to hold on to, and I can’t get my head above water.
My routines keep me balanced, and they help me feel just a little safer. Safe…It’s not a feeling I’m all that familiar with and I doubt I’ll ever get to fully appreciate everything it has to offer. My relationship with this sense of safety is, at best, a passing acquaintance. We say hello from time to time. Have a casual conversation about the weather and then we part ways. It’s amicable and civil, but we never break the surface or develop a deeper bond.
I was diagnosed with a chronic illness, kidney disease, when I was three years old so my whole life has been a game of hopscotch that I play with disaster. Jumping from one crisis to the next. If, by mistake or miracle, I land on a space between then it’s a moment to catch my breath, prepare for the next jump, but get comfortable? No, getting comfortable in the in-between has been a proven mistake. A mistake I’ve made two or three times and the let down is immense. I don’t think I have the heart for one more break.
But here I am, back in the in-between, and I’m waiting for something to happen. Praying it doesn’t but, I don’t know if I truly trust that the prayer will reach its mark. If it does? Do I really want to know the answer? In my experience, the answer isn’t always what I’d hoped for and, sometimes, I regret asking. Still, I pray because there’s nothing else I can do right now. Today, my prayer is for…Prayer isn’t like a birthday candle, is it? If I tell you what I wish for, it won’t change the outcome, right?
What the hell! Let’s risk it.
I’m praying for safety and stability. I crave it with such an intensity that it creeps towards desperation. It’s the one thing I want, but it’s the one thing I’ve never felt. I’ll never, ever, feel safe or secure because I can’t escape my body or my life. I’ve felt loved. I’ve felt protected by my loved ones. Safe? Secure? Not when my body hates me so much. But, God I wish…
No matter how much my heart lusts after more, my relationship with safety has always been, will always be, a passing affair. I know this is the way it has to be and I would love to make peace with it, but I can’t let it go. My routines, rituals, and quirks give me the sense of safety that I need to get up and do something with my day. They offset the panic by creating an illusion that’s pretty convincing and it gets the job done, most days. But that illusion is easily shattered by the smallest of things. A phone call, a knock on the door, a dinner invitation or a global pandemic.
Okay, that last one is about as big as it gets and it’s throwing the whole world off our axes. How do any of us feel safe right now? How do we keep living when life has been brought to a halt? How do we get out of bed when it feels so pointless? Or maybe that’s just me and I’m projecting my current mood on to you. My bad.
There are a few precious souls who are living in a very happy land of denial. They seem quite content thinking that this situation is being blown out of proportion or, more interestingly, it’s a government conspiracy. Some of those theories are really something and it would be tempting to go down that rabbit hole for just a few hours. Then again, I’m too much of a realist to fall too far down but wouldn’t it be nice to live in their world for a little while? A break from the realities we’re living in?
I don’t know about you but I’m so tired, anxious, and overwhelmed. My routines, rituals, have been upended. I can’t leave my house. My immune system doesn’t work so walking out my front door is a big risk. The things I do, like going to the grocery store on a Friday at two pm? I can’t risk it, and it’s just one of many risks I can’t take right now.
My one connection with safety has been taken away, and I don’t know what to do to get some sense of it back. I feel lost in a whirling machine, and I don’t have the power to flip the switch. I’m trying to create new routines to fit this new reality, but they aren’t working and feel like shutting down completely. Which leads me back to my original question: What’s the point? Why get out of bed? Why have a shower? Why make breakfast? Why try to write a blog? Why try to do any of it when all of it seems so pointless?
Nothing I do will help the situation. These words won’t make anything better. They don’t help me, you, or any of us get back to normal. Normal…My normal wasn’t all the great but at least it was familiar and there’s safety in that familiarity. What I wouldn’t give to feel safe for more than a few minutes in the in-between. If only the in-between could take up some more space. If only…
There I go strolling down into a black hole. If only, the if-only’s would only lead to something pretty, shiny, and sparkly. Ah but it’s a trap, a lie, an illusion that’s easier to see through than my upended routines. The if-only’s aren’t as comfortable as the in-between’s. They feel more desperate, cold, and lonely. Their end is sadder than the end of the in-between’s because at least there, in the space between, the ground is more solid and it feels more real. Fleeting, yes, but I’ll take that over the shapeless stream of the if-only’s.
I’m rambling. I’m filling the space. I’ll post this because it’s a part of my routine and at least I’ll have accomplished something today. Small, trivial, insignificant in the grand scheme of things but something is better than nothing. At least this post is an honest representation of my mind right now.
Chaotic. Fractured. Desperate. Empty. Lonely. Tired.
To ask the question one more time: What’s the point? Sometimes the point is in the pointlessness. It’s connecting to someone else who’s feeling just as aimless. Sometimes the point is simply saying, “I’m not okay right now.” I’m holding on. I’m waiting this out. I’m doing my best, but I’m not okay. My routine, my rituals, my quirks have been taken away, and I’m feeling lost.
Maybe the point is simply asking, “How are you holding up?”
* * *
For reliable, up to date, information about COVID-19 pandemic please check out these sites:
- The World Health Organization (https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019)
- The Centre for Disease Control (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html)
- The Public Health Agency (https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health.html)
I wanna have some kind of awesome thrown-back response to this.
I wanna kick seven bags of unmentionable stuff out of what’s being throw at you right now.
Everything seems crazy to me.
Everything in the world does.
But your words, even when you tear them from the worst places, are some of the very best things in it…
and that heart of yours could jumpstart dead forests.
You wrote “oh my heart” in an email once, and I could swear I felt the room beat – because so e people have that kind of heart.
Two or three times, reading a post by you has got me off the floor.
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You’re always too kind to me John. Thanks so much for your kind words!
Powerful. Truth. Just the things that writing should be. When a piece is well written it should grasp at its readers. It should show emotion, heartache and love. It needs to be real. Emotions are real. They show all of these things. And what you wrote is exactly as it should be. It is true and bares an openness into who you are. And don’t worry, you are not alone in this. I know many and have been there myself, wondering ‘what’s the point?’
The point I find most times is that if we can show each other just a bit of love and hope by sharing who we are and opening up to others then this world won’t seem so scary when we can’t control what is going on around us.
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Thank you so much. I appreciate your kind words. Hearing from others…It’s comforting to know we are in this life together. All of us. Thank you for kindness.