COVID-19

I, along with countless others, share a general sense of unease at the arrival of this novel coronavirus on the world stage. At the time that I write this post, over 88,000 have contracted it with 3,000 dead. 102 confirmed cases in the United States with 6 dead.

That doesn’t seem at all like pandemic territory, considering the flu has killed 16,000 this season alone. But…

COVID-19 did all that in a little over three months, not an entire season like the flu had. COVID-19 kills 2% of those infected, which is a higher rate than the flu. The global PR machine has been working overtime to spin calm and complacency, but is there any reason to be?

What I see is a rapidly expanding bubble, touching more people than the governments of the world can account for. The bubble infects some that can be explained or traced, and then others who we have no idea how they contracted the virus. These “community” infections are most troubling because they represent an unhinged aspect to the spread which could accelerate into the aforementioned pandemic territory.

I don’t fear for myself, but I do fear for others. I’m unlikely to die from COVID-19, but my parents are in jeopardy due to their age. The novel coronavirus is being downplayed in a way that is largely CYA and less about informing the public of the very real possibility of a much bigger, life-altering event that would reshape how our daily activities are conducted.

What gets me is that we have now made this arbitrary potential pandemic a political issue, like it’s somehow reflective of our absurd politics and not the result of a new infectious pathogen randomly appearing on the global stage. This is not Donald Trump’s fault, nor is it the fault of the Democratic Party. We all need to pull our heads out of our asses and look straight ahead.

Lean times might be coming soon, and we are fools for believing that the divisive rhetoric of the past conflicts will serve any propose in the epidemic to come. Right now would be the best time to pool resources, keep people informed and work logically to halt the spread of this virus as best we can. People will die because our discourse can’t be honest or rational enough to tell us the truth about the crisis looming on the horizon. We will not be pacified and deluded, only to be taken by surprise when the shit hits the fan. Wake the fuck up and start telling it like it is. We deserve your honesty; our lives are at stake.

So people: no need to horde face masks and hand sanitizer. No need to blame your political rivals. We only survive if we are smart and aware together. We will prevail if we work collectively to stay informed and safe. Sadly, this will not be the case, and our petty politics will intrude upon the truth with thousands of lives as the final consequence.

Flattened

It’s not good. The hallways are narrow and I’m feeling like my steps are slowing down, dragging out each painful agony where I can’t reach the end. A vacant area swirling with bits of trash and dried leaves.

Looking outward, the sun still shines somewhere. I can’t see anything.

I didn’t do a good enough job to be kept. I was not useful. I created burdens. I reminded of a future that could never be. Another failed attempt at being a partner added to a long history of sequential failure.

I hoped to have stopped my search, but now I must go on alone.

Maybe I will move on one day, but not anytime soon.

Hi

I’m checking in for the first time in a while. I have been sliding down into a depressed state for many weeks now, and I am starting to use my coping tools to help me find a way back up. I have already begun this turn to some degree but coming back here and writing my thoughts out is a big part of how I process.

My depression is lubricated by the circumstance of K having cancer and engaging in a knock-down, drag-out brawl to liberate herself from it. It’s a very real possibility that she will not be here at the end of this struggle, and that chills me in a cold-knife-to-the-intestines kinda way. I do try to keep my optimism and attitude positive but I won’t hide that I’m scared. I gave her every part of myself that I had to give, and she could be gone. More than just that though, I feel detached from myself like I’m watching my reality through a screen and I have the joystick in my hands. I don’t feel like there is much I can do to influence anything… I feel ineffectual somehow. Irrelevant maybe is the better word. I have lost a sense of what I am good for, what I am doing and why I am doing it. Is anything I do making a real difference? Are people benefitting from the energy I give? Am I even giving enough in the first place? There is a voice of nagging negativity and dubiety plaguing me from afar. Work has felt like a black hole since we lost our office. I’ve had a very hard time establishing a routine since there is no physical location to drive to. I end up somewhere between serious and relaxed, composed and decomposing. I need to get out of this house and I have been contemplating ways I could have a remote location where I do work. I’m actively problem solving my circumstances. Lastly, I just feel that neurochemical imbalance… slow, sad, unexcited, bored, anxious. It’s an all the time stagnant haze which my flashlight only further illuminates rather than provides me with any clarity on the path forward.

Though these thoughts and feelings do haunt me, they are a small fraction of the pervading good that I feel in my life. Many positive things are happening in my world that are cause to be hopeful: I have a wonderful woman in my life who knows me and loves me for who I am; she is with me every day whether physically present or not. I have a loving family that is willing to work on improving their  communication skills. I just traded in my 15 year old Dodge for a new Nissan truck! I have a job where being mentally ill isn’t something I need to hide, it’s something that qualifies me to do the work that I do. We just bought a new house for my mom and dad and I, in a very beautiful area just up the freeway from Sacramento. Life has never been as good as it is about to be.

I have these dialectical thought processes: I take the good and the bad and respect both while not siding conclusively with either aspect. I often proceed with things having considered both the positive and negative aspects of said things (or, I try to). I can love/hate with the best of them. I think this keeps me from being too stubborn, or too closed minded. I like having things to add to either column, and since the balance favors the less objectionable option, I have the ability to be moved on issues where most would be unwilling to acquiesce. It also helps me not get too lost in my depression, because I can still see the good too. I know there is sadness, and sometimes it is the only thing I feel… but I also know that the sadness will pass on to something else if I help it do so. A distraction, or a game, a good conversation, a hug if you can get one for sure but we don’t always have someone to hug. There are things I can do for myself to help me get out of this place and that’s what I’m going to be pushing for in the days ahead.

I need to get this body moving again and continue my better eating habits. I have a plan of action to help restore my vital energy and eccentric spunk I’m so often known for. I am coming back, one doofy comment at a time.

A Gift To Me

I haven’t been checking in as much as I have in the past. I think this is for a couple reasons: I’m profusely distracted with work things and also in love, so everything is a little brighter. I have that ambiance of tranquility around me and my days feel purposeful as a result of my ongoing interactions with K. That doesn’t mean I don’t also feel down, or exasperated at times. Sometimes I just feel worn out, like there’s no tread left on the balding tire of my available energy. These two things, one not outweighing the other, provide me with a version of reality I can thrive within at the beneficence of stability. I find myself continually making moves in my reality to improve outcomes, promote a more prosperous state of mental wellness, and develop a support structure that can carry me forward as life procures new and tragic events, at random disbursements.

I have to be mindful of my mental health as a top priority. I have done a fairly good job of being introspective in this regard. I did have days where I struggled, and felt depressed in the last few months. I had other days where I was happy or content with my situation. I saw no acute peaks and no devastating troughs and did not linger in any one state for too long. I feel remarkably balanced and expectedly fatigued from my life and schedule. I did take time for myself and I’ve, notably, had a harder time getting back plugged in to my routine since visiting K. This has been the only thing I have felt concerned about in any way. Now, the burden of work will lessen as the holidays approach.

On that front, I bought K a round-trip to CA from AL on Christmas morning. She’ll stay for a week and I deliver her to the airport on new years day. Her situation didn’t seem like it would yield the available funds to procure a ticket in enough advanced notice not to be exorbitant in cost. So, I did it. She’s never been out west anywhere before and this will be pretty mind-blowing for her. Our future together is still years apart, but this exchange of company and trips to each other’s worlds was a necessary step in forming a more permanent bond. Being a part of her reality is something I can now actively imagine as I have been a visitor to her world, for a time. Now she will get the opportunity to do the same for my reality.

I am more than willing to demonstrate my desire to invest in a future with K, and this ticket seemed like a good way to do that.  I love her, and I just want to be able to continue taking steps towards a time where we can be together like cheese and tortillas. It seemed worth the money to have her here again in my arms. Money can’t compare to the way she makes me feel: Like exploding sparkle-berries.

Well, have a good day, and I’ll check in with you more often going forward.

Back

In short: it was more than I ever expected. My trip to see K was an affirmation of all the feelings I’d been having and the proof of concept that the physical part of our relationship was good. It was very good. We have a symbiotic relationship with overwhelming sensation and generosity. It’s a functional dynamic I’ve rarely seen in my life. Most importantly, it’s a compliment to our relationship and not the foundation as in times past.

K is the person I’ve been looking for on my journey. A real equal companion. I’m so grateful to have her in my life and I want our worlds to be brought together. I know that day is far off still but worth keeping in mind and working towards.

The threads pull tighter. The affirmations provide strength. The road is long ahead still however.

Upbeat

I haven’t been writing much as a coping tool lately. I guess that would be because I’m not suffering any emotional turbulence in my world that has caused me to reach for more tools. In truth, things are both up and down, but my mood remains “flat.” I don’t mean that negatively, just that there isn’t any vacillation to my states for the most part. I’m going from content to blissful at times, with the occasional bout of stress and pressure.

This all seems pretty normal to me, and does not require massive elaboration to process things that need to be dealt with,

I am in love for sure. head over heels. Topsy-turvey. It is quite a sensation, reminding me of another person I loved wildly who also lived in the deep south. This new feeling though is much more grounded, explored and vetted than any interaction I had with J. These interactions with K have proven that his is a real relationship grounded in commonalities, desire, ambition and friendship. K and I have much more to our partnership now then J and I ever had at any point in our relationship.

Having the physical barrier of being 2400 miles apart has helped cement our interest in each other for lots of other reasons that aren’t lust. Don’t get me wrong, the physical attraction is great, but it shouldn’t be the thread that ties the knot. Physical companionship should be the icing on the cake to make the thing all the more sweet. Embellishment, not essential to the existence of the partnership or love.

We have found ways to be caring and affectionate despite our distance. Every day we are in contact. We are present in each other’s lives. We are learning so much about our pasts and per paring for a future where we can be together. I’m flipping out in my brain about how many emotions and sensations she makes me feel… its like nothing I’ve felt in a very long time. I am devoted to this woman, and she to me.

So things are going pretty damn good. How can life really get me down when my heart is just overflowing with the feels. I feel like I have a friend in my world, and soon, a lover to lie beside. I’ll be there in just a few weeks, where we will finally be in each other’s arms, and in bed together at last.

Farewell

My dating account will go unused in lieu of how terrible I feel about it all. What am I doing? I need some time to myself. This grasping for companionship is stupid and wrong. I still hurt in my heart and I’m already moving to the next distraction. Shame.

Instead I’m going to not be a dick. I’m in no shape to be in a partnership. I have too much life right now. My situation does not lend itself to a liberty of choice. I’m not focused on the right things.

I have better things I could be doing. There’s still a lot of shit I need to be responsible for. I have a reality to occupy my attention indefinitely. I’m all done.