On Mental Health, Self Care, Social Distancing Diaries

Limbo.

Nothing makes me more anxious or depressed or frazzled or unmotivated as the unknown future. And the last 24 hours thrust me into a major “unknown future” downward spiral.

I’ve already been on a bit shaky grown as my full-time position at the library is “interim” until the new fiscal year starts October 1st. For the first two months I was just getting used to the new job/schedule but now that we’re in the final month I’m constantly struggling with making plans or doing anything past October 1st because I HAVE NO IDEA IF I WILL BE IN THIS POSITION. The not-knowing has made me really struggle with progress in any capacity. Part of it is well, I don’t want to do that and then have to undo it in 2-3 weeks and part of it is the mental state of the unknown makes me unable to organize my brain around other tasks too, even those not relevant to the future or my job status.

But then…then…Wes tested positive for Covid Wednesday night. Now, he immediately started quarantining the best he could and we all took tests and were negative. My work policy is that I can still go to work (as long as I’m negative and asymptomatic) but I have to stay masked for 10 days. My instinct was to go to work because since I am not in this position “officially” I have no sick days. I just don’t get paid.

But the more I thought about it the more I thought I don’t know…this doesn’t seem like the right call. Wes and I live in the same small house, we share a bathroom, we drive together. The odds are more likely that I will test positive eventually, so should I risk it?

I ended up deciding to stay home through his quarantine period as well.

So NOW there’s an even BIGGER unknown. Not only am I worried about my future position but I also don’t even know what I’m doing day-to-day because of this damn potential for Covid. So my inaction anxiety loop is bigger and loopier and causing just permanent inaction.

Periodically when I would consider a possible quarantine I would think that would be the perfect time to get X, Y, and Z done. Things that I need to do but aren’t a big enough priority to actually do them when I have work/life in the way. Like cleaning up this blog (HI!) or reading more or painting more or writing more.

Did I do any of that yesterday? No.

I doomscrolled on my phone which threw upsetting shit in my face AND made me feel shitty for being stuck in such an Anxiety Loop of Inaction. I didn’t even cook or shower all day. I was just stumbling around with my head swimming in “WHAT IF?” scenarios. It was terrible.

This may continue for a few days so last night I blocked Facebook from my laptop and took it off my phone. Same with Twitter. I don’t feel like Instagram destroys my soul as much so I haven’t removed it yet. I gave myself permission to just veg out and watch TV and try to focus on rest since I haven’t been getting much sleep lately.

But today? Today I’d like to not be stuck in a depression/anxiety loop all day.

I don’t know what to do, honestly. I don’t want to fall into productivity trap which makes me feel like I need to be productive when things are stressful, but also don’t want to feel so…lost and without direction. I also do NOT like not being at my library. It makes me crazy.

I don’t know. I think I just want to be doing something besides spiraling. I think that’s my only goal. If I feel myself spiral, find something to focus on…reading, painting, whatever…just avoid the massive downward spiral I was suffering under yesterday.

And remind myself: I will know about the job soon and I will get past Covid soon.

Keep us in your thoughts. Wes feels REALLY terrible. Lost his smell/taste and is REALLY stressed about being sick and missing school. He also HATES being trapped in his room all do so we’re trying to set up “safe” times together so he doesn’t lose his mind.

Here’s to surviving limbo and just trusting I’ll find direction again soon.

3 thoughts on “Limbo.”

  1. *hugs* I have a really hard time with the unknown, too. I spent several years in that “I have no idea what is happening next” space during and after the divorce; it’s starting to get better.

    PLease ignore if this is assvice. I have learned a lot about handling ADHD and anxiety, between my kid and friends’ kids, and when I find myself getting into the “aaaaaahhhhhhh” mindset (which I call my brain spinning) I do one of two things. One is stop yourself, sit down or stand still, and draw a square in the air as you breathe, starting at one bottom corner-up is an inbreath for two counts, across is hold for two counts, down is out breath for two counts, across is hold for two counts. Just breathing doesn’t work well for me, but the drawing a picture/physical component helps knock my brain off of the spinning track. The other is (also after sitting or standing still) naming five things in your environment you can see, four things you can touch, three things you can hear, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste. The breathing works better for me, but the second option helps sometimes when the breathing isn’t enough.

  2. Oh, I am so sorry! For Wes and for your limbo; I would hate that too. I will definitely be thinking of you, and I hope things straighten out soon. I love seeing your painting on Instagram, so I’m selfishly glad that you can do that and not send yourself spiraling. Hang in there!

  3. Stopping by to say Hi and that I am sending good thoughts 🙂 My daughter wasn’t always up for it but I encouraged her to get outside as much as possible when she was sick for the same reasons….she was going crazy and it felt safe to be outside together. She’s 15 but I even suggested side walk chalk and balloons and big wand bubbles. Hang in there!!

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