Today marks the half way point of self-isolation/quarantine. That feels good. It’s like you’ve climbed most of the mountain and can see the end in sight. But we are in no way clear of this thing.
How are we doing?
Physically, none of us have any real symptoms. Of course as a young person, @PanKwake would likely be asymptomatic. Since I am and continue to be primary carer for her, that means I’d likely be the first to show signs. While I have a bit of a scratchy throat and occasional cough, no fever or anything else. The throat improves throughout the day and is not unusual. It is likely related to my snoring, especially since I am not sleeping well. And Alan, well, I jump and my heart pounds faster every time he clears his throat.
So, yeah, physically, so far so good. But mentally? That is a whole other matter. @PanKwake and Alan are both rather stoic about the whole thing. But not me. I must consciously put all my effort into not losing my shit. Not curling into a ball in bed and crying for the next seven days. Not screaming, throwing, or breaking things. Well, two out of three ain’t bad on that one, right?
I’m sure that lack of sleep is contributing heavily to that. I have taken one of the old mattresses that we use in the gymnastics room into DollTopia. But it is not comfortable. Of course, all the body aches that come from that, well, I’m always wondering…’is this a symptom?’
It is now official – this is the longest time that Alan and I have slept apart since we got together. That may not seem like a big deal to some people. But I place intense value on sleeping next to the person you love, even if sex is not involved. By the time this is over, we will have almost tripled the number of nights we have spent apart, from about five to fifteen. That leaves this huge hole in my soul.
Eating meals together is not the same either. We are traditional like that. We almost always take at least two of our meals together every day. Of course, @PanKwake rarely joins us, but it is special just having that twenty minutes to half an hour every day to talk. Actually, those are some of the best conversations we have about politics, philosophy, economics, world events, and just about anything and everything.
We do our best now. He sits about half way up the stairs to the top floor that he inhabits alone now. I sit on the landing below. More than the two meters separate us. Whether it is balancing the plates on our laps, or the situation, it is just not the same.
As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, the only therapy that I have found effective in terms of my mental health is Dialectal Behavioral Therapy (DBT). One of its core tenants is Distraction. That is primarily how I get through the days.
In addition to writing, I am focusing on our @HomeCrazzyHome. I am decluttering, reorganizing, and cleaning like mad. It is a process that Alan and I had begun even before this. I like starting each New Year with a tabula rasa, or clean slate.
But since I have hoarding tendencies, it is usually a process we do together. He encourages me to make tough decisions and questions my reasons. Because there is a solid foundation of trust, it is not nearly as traumatic as those TV shows.
Of course, sometimes he gets it wrong. I spent shit loads of money on plastic plant pots during this crisis (price gouging on Amazon) because he had convinced me to throw out a bunch of sour cream and yogurt tubs earlier. This time we were both a bit more conservative about what we threw away.
It feels strange doing this without him. I find myself wanting to ask his opinion often. But so far in the four days that we have known to self-isolate, minus the one I spent angry, crying, and screaming, I have converted DollTopia into my temporary living quarters. I have half cleaned Creatrium (my old study and new sewing/crafting room).
It is not even noon yet today and I have taken a grocery delivery (all measures observed). I have also cleaned the fridge/freezer and deep freezer in the basement, taking a full inventory of what is in them. When I’m done with this blog, I will update my Excel Spreadsheet with that info.
I hope to finish the Creatrium today. Then I will have the space to begin sewing doll clothes and blankets. We have ten almost new baby dolls that @PanKwake collected when she was younger. Since she has gotten older, had the stability of our @HomeCrazzyHome, realized just how much stuff she has and just how little other children sometimes have, she has been able to address her own hoarding tendencies (except for plushies and collectibles). I have found this wonderful Facebook group where you give stuff away. As soon as we are cleared (fingers crossed and goddess bless), I am putting those dolls up. They along with the blankets and clothes I make new will be nice presents for children in need.
So, yeah, I’m trying really hard to stay positive and make this time meaningful to us and others. But that is not always easy. Especially at night. When I typed that about the ‘stability of our @HomeCrazzyHome,’ I started to slip down that…What If path. But another of the tenants of DBT is…
We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.
I’m trying to do that. Honest, I am. But one strength and weakness of being a writer is…an over-active imagination.
Okay, time to get off here now. Go, tackle Creatrium.
Just, please, folks, remember that your actions right now have PROFOUND impacts on others. The choices that you make could not only cost someone their life, but for families like ours with one or more members in a high-risk category, the cost to our mental health is significant.
Is sitting in that pub, coffee house, or restaurant really worth putting someone you know through all this?
Yes, I know this is the exact opposite message that our governments are sending right now as they push us to spend money on things we don’t need, to prop up businesses that are not sustainable. But the hard truth is that human lives are expendable to them. They have placed a premium on the economy over our lives.
You are the only one that truly cares about your family’s health. Even good people are tiring of this crisis and taking risks that simply are not worth it. Please act responsibly for yourself and others. Ask yourself…
Is this worth someone’s life?
And ultimately, for those of us who are high-risk or care about someone who is, remember…
You alone are must take responsibility for deciding what level of risk you are willing to take.
Because all those government guidelines are lying. But unlike some people believe, they are not being alarmist. The truth is they do NOT go far enough. Because the almighty dollar/pound/euro/whatever is worth more than a few vulnerable people. Don’t be one of their casualities.
Goddess bless, protect, and keep you and yours safe,
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