Not gonna lie, guys. Quarantine hasn’t been fun.
I’ve been waking up grumpy. I’ve made it through the work day stressed and over-reacting. I’ve spent the evening mourning the too-quick hours between clocking off and falling asleep. I haven’t been writing. I’ve been ruminating all day and all night. Most nights I wake up between 3 and 4AM and can’t go back to sleep. The only exercise I get is walking to the store. I’ve been so sad on Sunday nights. Most nights. I went three ACTUAL WORK days without changing or putting on deodorant.
But – on the flip side, things are also sorta ok?
Some days I wake up full of Carpe Diem. I clock in early and make a list of things to do and smash it throughout the work day. I take a walk around the neighbourhood while listening to music. I stretch for 30 mins. I manage to scribble some sentences in a journal or edit something in my book. I spend some Sundays in a good mood happy for my life. I’ve managed to wash my face every day for 41 days – even if I don’t take a shower. Oh and we found Coffee Mate hazelnut creamer at the store and it put a nostalgic smile on my face – even as it destroyed my stomach.
I’ve been riding a razor’s edge of moods for the last two months, and it’s SO FUN. For every day that I feel in control, confident, and full of achievement, I have 6 days where it’s a literal struggle to get out of bed and feel like troll the rest of the day. It’s a roller coaster without all the safety or the guy who had an 8 hour orientation telling me when my trains get to go. It’s not typical depression. I have a better grasp on that. This one million percent Quarantine related. And if we drill down further, it’s I Am A Control Freak in an Environment That Can’t Be Controlled related – every time I start to get my bearings and adjust, more changes come. And it’s hard to remember to be gentle with myself and do positive things when all I want to do is wallow.
So I’ve been wallowing. It’s not as productive as one would think.
Then came Friday. I realised I was getting a bit burnt at the edges, so I took a day off. In typical Audrey fashion, I had big plans to wake up early and write and then spend some time with my book and do some life admin before making cookies and going through my closet. What actually happened was I went to run some errands before the stores got crowded. Then I sat down with my computer, whose small screen crack that had grown up the screen had now started to bleed across the screen. So I spent the day going back and forth from home to the Apple store, then debating if I pay $750 to repair the screen on a soon to be obsolete machine or $1500 to get a new, better, souped up machine, before eventually just getting a new on and settling in for a Friday night of buyer’s remorse, which set off the rumination game. Instead of relaxing, I spent the afternoon agonising over spending my emergency rent money on a new computer and being pissed off that I didn’t get done what I wanted to get done. I tried to be gentle with myself and remind myself that I was fortunate that I could buy a new machine when I needed it. And that I got a day off to begin with. But nothing worked. And it pissed me off. And being pissed off that I was pissed off made me even MORE pissed off.
That meant the next day was spent watching the time march obnoxiously forward while obsessivley combing the internet for Mac accessories (ohh because boy did I fall into a spending spree but the lock down gods were on my side because everyone in Australia bought everyone of everything I need and the only places left selling were dodgy online sites that won’t deliver for 5 weeks – so my wallet took less of a beating than I thought). By the time Saturday night rolled around I was restless and irritated.
Then I had this thought. It was the last bit of advice my therapist gave me before she went on maternity leave – and that was “don’t give yourself the chance to talk yourself out of it.”
I’ve been letting myself talk myself out of good things I can be doing for myself. It’s much easier to lie around and eat biscuits than it is to do anything. It’s much more fun to sleep in – or stay in bed reading my phone – than it is to wake up early and stretch or do a workout. And it’s definitely easier to complain about not writing than it is to sit down – with a new special laptop – than it is to actually sit down and write. It’s easier to think about calling or texting someone than it is to actually do it.
I woke up yesterday, Monday, armed with my new mantra, didn’t let myself talk myself out of anything. And I seized the day – before work, during work, after work, and then fell asleep and barely moved for the rest of the night. Before I went to bed I thought “wow, I hope this doesn’t all come crashing down tomorrow!”
And lo, I woke up with a massive headache and shit attitude.
You can’t win all the time, I remind myself. This could be one bad day or it could be the start of a lot of bad days. I don’t know. But I’m trying really hard not to wallow in it. Things suck now. But they won’t suck forever.
I’ll be back with something more uplifting later.
Keep your chins up. xoxo