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.

The Voyage Home

I’ve been in Mobile since Friday, departing this afternoon for California. This trip was longer than my last, which gave me time to become acclimated to being with K. It felt like a life together. It was as a very positive trip, with the specter of cancer still ever present.

This morning I broke down. And now too. I’m having a difficult time holding off my sadness and tears. I want to have this life, but so many obstacles and uncertainties are in the way. The unclear future has yet to reveal a long term forecast and that absence sends my anxiety looking for things to speculate about.

One thing I do know is that I love her and it would not be hard to be her partner in a practical sense. I have a confidence in myself and a fear of the unknown. This circumstance is stressful, but also full of love, and friendship.

But I have to go home now. I have to say goodbye to my girl and lock her away inside my phone; until we see each other again. I am holding you in my heart K. I hope we emerge from this tough time stronger, as I am strengthened in facing my pain by the inspirational way you address the difficulties of life. Never have I been more proud to be someone’s partner. That’s what makes goodbye so hard. That’s why I’m crying while I type this little post. I’m scared, and I don’t know what’s coming for us. What I do know is that I’ll love you loyalty and truly for as long as you are around to be loved.

So goodbye K, and may this not be our last adventure together.

Before The Group…

I’m sitting here getting ready for my support group. I will admit I’m having some symptoms: anxiety is spiking, depressed thoughts are chewing away at me, and a general sense of dread hangs overhead.

I long for that daily conversation I used to have with A. Now there is a silence that my wheels spin frantically in. I was engaged, and now, no one really cares what happens in my world.

I’ve started talking to other women. There are a few that have responded to my replies. I’m kinda rebounding hard, but this is what happened last time. I had a falling out only to be picked back up again almost immediately. I’m that circumstance back in June, I should have been more conservative. A and I were in bed together on our second date. I don’t want anything like that now. I’m still hurting.

I’d really enjoy talking to someone again. Having a chat buddy to catch up with on the day’s events. Someone who wants to see inside me. It’s so intoxicating to be cared about. I wish I could share my perspective with someone who admired me.

My group will go great tonight. I’ve got a lot I bring as facilitator and person living with mental illness. However, I just want tonight to be done. I’m feeling like I need to close my eyes and shut out the world for a while. I am alone here and feeling like I’m nailed to the shore as the tide comes in.

After

Torpor of ambition,

An atrophy–

The flame of dead sinews,

Fume up the haze of bile.

When does it end?

The outer void of boiling death,

Frozen and gas-ripped flesh–

Breathless words silent,

Glass shattered through the black.

Tired of wanting–

A gasp in a choking cloud,

Flesh melting away while it burns,

Rendered to nothing but ash.

Mudge

Things could not be better on the work front!! I was ” promoted” to coordinator of a fantastic program (P2P) and a bump in hours, plus I’m rekindling my efforts on doing some grant writing.

The vision of peer support / case management that I had I’m my mind when I moved here is finally (possibly) coming to fruition. To see the groundwork being laid for a wholly transformative venture is really inspiring. Ultimately, it’s on me to start recruitment and garner the funds we need to execute this plan. I do recognize that there’s a lot of work to do in this area, but very achievable I believe. I’m going to keep getting after it until I have it. I’m determined to succeed and replicate the success of the model that launched my recovery. We have the allies and the platform to be successful, and we absolutely will be.

Slammy Jammy was victorious this week, crushing Derpy into the concrete by 130 points. REVENGE!! This too was gratifying. Boom boom quesadilla.

I’ve got a lot of positives lined up. Good friends, a blooming career, and an upward trajectory which has me poised for advancement beyond anything I have known. This past year has been both joyous and tragic, but always teaching me something.

I’m taking a step back from myself and my haste. All these life changes are inching up from out of the soil; unpacking their aching leaves in search of the sun. I have no expectation of what my future has in store, but one thing I’m sure of is that I’m going somewhere. I built this reality with goal upon goal, and I’ll continue to do so independently for as long as I can. I see no ceiling; I see only sky. However, I imagine that I must be committed to holding myself up alone in order to stay internally strong.

I’m glad to have such cool friends to share this with. I am fortunate in that regard. I know now more than ever what I am (and what I cannot be). I also can relate to their being trauma for me in the future… and pain. I’m building up my circle to help me survive the coming storm, but my greatest strength is who I am right now. I’m so proud of that.

Three words:

Empowered

Reflective

Committed

Daddo

My dad has a limited time left with us, and I’m coming to terms with his upcoming death. I see only one path forward; to be there as needed until the end. I’m his son.

I feel everything one would expect me to feel, but I’m not expressing any of it right now. I’ve made the space in our reality for my mom and sister to experience things while I direct reason and action; providing stability. This role I fill helps us endure the hard times to come, but also works healthily for me since nothing gets repressed. The postponement of response is a promise, not a lock on a safe.

I know my time to process is coming, but right now I accept and embrace the role I have filled in this family unit. I am proud to be a member of it, and fighting to keep us from listing.

Will it work? There’s no telling. I have a good support structure in W and K. I need to be able to use my own tools in a crisis rather than always go looking for the answer outside of myself. I must survive with what I have if I am to survive at all.

Blurb

Tonight’s town hall had some ridiculously good moments:

-Was the only representative of NAMI there until after the event start time, and DOMINATED the organizing and preparation.

-Was called a “fine looking man” and was described as “very cool” by separate FEMALE individuals.

-Endeared myself further with my ED and accompanying staff, and will inherit the full responsibilities of my new title: Peer Connections Program Manager.

-Was thanked dozens of times by all sorts of people for my assistance, and was smiled at more times than memory can accurately retain.

-Provided solutions and tech insight for future meetings with free tech stuff given and access to a working projection system.

Basically, this was another exhibition of my invaluable self to NAMI, on a night when it was desperately needed. They would have been lost if not for me: fact.

I’m doing a good job of being introspective lately. I’m aware that depression is there, and creeping in. It invades like a tiny, little leak, reducing quantity at an undetectably slow rate. Tonight though, I felt like I gave that depression a kick in the teeth, or patched the leak with gum… or something. I was struggling, but I kept pushing forward, lifting, checking, helping, pacing… I was in motion, but, satisfyingly, thoroughly exhausted. It feels good to be deservedly tired; an ache I can reflect on and be proud of.

In the past couple years, I’ve endured doubters, neglecters, forgetters and haters. I offer no argument, for there is no debate to be had when it comes to judging the merits or flaws of my identity. This person right here is who I am: subsequently, it’s who I will continue to be for now. I would like to note that I am constantly improving to find a better way forward, but sometimes I slide down the hill into the poop-trough. My engine runs on work, commitment and respect, and makes lots of foul boy-smells come out. The fires that feed externally derived hatred from others originate from irrelevant, dry and lifeless roots of a long dead tree, reduced to little more than a pitted and rotten stump.

I’m satisfied with my integrity at this point, after years of positive reinforcement. The future is a big green arrow pointed up. Evidence being impossible to ignore while staying honest, I’m quite elated at the current direction I’m going.

Goodnight.