Mental Health Check-In Thread June 4, 2020 10:47 AM   Subscribe

As eluded to by the most recent podcast, it has indeed been a rough week. In cities all over the US and the world, the hits just keep coming, and not just from COVID-19. I know personally that it is taking a toll on me and I didn't see another thread that wasn't location-specific, so I am opening this up to anyone and everyone that needs someplace to vent and share their joys and struggles as the world convulses under the weight of fascism and pestilence and the ongoing fight to eliminate both. Be kind to each other. We are all hurting.
posted by grumpybear69 to MetaFilter-Related at 10:47 AM (82 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

I'll start, I guess. I am feeling very, very drained and shitty. I've been proximal to the protests here in Philadelphia twice, once when I went down to the parkway to take photos and once when the protest went right down my street, which was awe-inspiring. I feel intense guilt that I am not there with the protesters, risking my life. I feel horror at the state-sanctioned violence against everyone fighting for justice. It is unconscionable what the police have been allowed to do and speaks volumes about their true purpose. In addition to this I remain extremely concerned about COVID-19, which has not gone away. The other night I went to my roof to see the stars and saw a house on fire two blocks away. Philadelphia has also been rocked by explosions nightly, mostly people blowing up ATMs. One got blown up about two blocks from me; it shook the house. The social distancing has already had a deleterious effect on my mental well-being and everything happening now is just making it worse. I just want the world to be fixed, for people to stop getting killed, for this virus to be eliminated. It is all too much.
posted by grumpybear69 at 12:36 PM on June 4, 2020 [15 favorites]

Thanks for the thread.

My mental health is also poor right now. Without going into a lot of boring detail, I've had this absurd professional weight hanging over me for, oh, years now, and this spring was an opportunity to finally clear it. Then COVID-19 hit and my ability to focus and concentrate on getting it done was dramatically reduced, but I made some progress, and my boss has been extremely understanding. I'm way past the original deadline for this thing, but another "final" deadline was supposed to be this week, and with the fact that our country feels like it's now falling apart at the seams compounding the individual tragedies of Black people getting murdered by cops, I've been too heartsick to focus enough to do what I really, really need to do. In the grand scheme of things it's a small, very personal problem, but it's mine, and it's something that's been kind of ruining my life for years now.

This afternoon I wrote a letter to my congressional representative asking her to introduce or support articles of impeachment against Trump, and tomorrow afternoon I'm going to go to a small protest if I can. Both of those things have helped me feel a little less powerless even if they don't accomplish much on their own, and I may be able to start wrapping up my work now.

Stay safe everyone. We're in a marathon together whether we like it or not, but let's keep supporting each other to get through it.
posted by biogeo at 1:39 PM on June 4, 2020 [10 favorites]

Thanks for posting this, grumpybear69. I'm actually doing pretty okay the last bit; frankly working through the last stages of the hiring process and bringing on new mods has been hugely energizing in a way that maybe shouldn't be surprising but has been a welcome lift. I worry about coming down from that in the long run but I'm trying not to borrow trouble there and instead just take the good spirits and normal-feeling levels of executive function as they come and run with it.

For all that I've been doing a lot of doomscrolling on twitter on top of tracking discussion on MeFi the last week and I recognize that I'm not striking a very good balance on that sometimes. I want to know what's going on, I want to keep up, I want to be involved and offering support when I can, but my brain isn't unplugging very well for breaks. I'm guessing a ton of us are there in one way or another and it's emotionally draining as hell. Take breaks, folks, when you can.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:05 PM on June 4, 2020 [15 favorites]

Our police are using helicopters as much to annoy residents as to follow and intimidate protestors. The idea seems to be that if those who cannot or will not go out to protest are driven to complaints by the loud and unceasing noise, then an escalation can be "justified." The protests have moved from Manhattan parks to nearer the bridges. If even a tiny group was truly set on destruction, so many of these buildings could be on fire in 20 minutes. You could literally molotov cocktail three windows in each tenement building and set the whole thing on fire. You could do a whole block in 5 minutes with a slingshot and two people.

The noise is indeed discomfitting. And it is also a reminder to people indoors that they are alive. I continue to support the protests and urge others to as well.

That said, ya, I'm a mess. I am hardly having the ability to go for a walk on many days. The move outs on the three blocks that I travel most frequently were steady at 2 or more a day for the last two months. I have not been out enough to know if they have increased.

I have been tweeting a lot, and doomscrolling even more. I have been thinking about knitting each day, and some days I get a few rows in. I am reading for about 10-30 minutes a day. I am also working now a few hours a day, which is actually an improvement over a month and two months ago.
posted by bilabial at 2:49 PM on June 4, 2020 [9 favorites]

TIL the word "doomscrolling." I am definitely doing that.
posted by grumpybear69 at 3:25 PM on June 4, 2020 [28 favorites]

I was doing okay with the lockdown/pandemic, but the police violence at the protests on top of all the other covid stuff was apparently that one thing too much. I'm doing my best to stay off of news sites and social media, in an effort to get my mental health back to normal, but it's only sort of working. I pulled out an old paperback from probably a decade ago where I've forgotten the plot, to help me get away from the temptation of the screen I normally read on (because that way lies the news updates), and making myself continue with my exercise routine, because I need all the endorphins I can get. Hopefully I can manage to get back to normal soon - the perpetual mental background noise of howling into the void is not great for my sleep (or my waking hours, for that matter.)
posted by tautological at 3:40 PM on June 4, 2020 [5 favorites]

Just had a super unsettling experience outside my local pharmacy. Two white cops in white shirts and ties, both visibly carrying, stopped these two young kids on their bikes who were wearing masks. The cops, who weren't wearing masks, told the kids, "Oh, don't worry, we're okay. You don't need to wear masks around us." So the kids took their masks off and talked to the cops for like 10 minutes while I sat in my car. The cops were just smiling broadly with their hands on their belts the whole time. If those kids had been black, not white, this conversation would have not been the same. So disturbed right now. That's where I'm at.
posted by Kitchen Witch at 3:58 PM on June 4, 2020 [8 favorites]

I'm Chinese American, and originally from Hong Kong. June 4th also marks the anniversary of Tiananmen, so all of this is overwhelming: what happened to the pro-democracy students in Tiananmen, what will likely happen to the pro-democracy protestors of Hong Kong, what is happening with the militarization of the police against peaceful protestors of Black Lives Matter. I cried for hours earlier today with all of this on my mind.

Hong Kong can't win its fight, but it is my hope that Black Americans and all Americans who are against systemic racism and institutionalized police brutality can.

All of this has been tough on my mental health. I am trying my best to be part of the solution and not the problem, but sometimes all I can really do is block myself from social media for 24 hours at a time and go on a walk. Though racism took away even the innocent joys of birdwatching, and I can't help but think of Christian Cooper now.
posted by so much modern time at 4:06 PM on June 4, 2020 [29 favorites]

I’m...not okay. But I’m not in danger, and I have help. I wrote a long, ranting, worried screed about my PoC friends and family I’ve not heard from, and recent injustice to a young trans friend. And I feel better for having written it, getting my pain and outrage out. But now I’m cutting it to make room for other voices. I just want to thank you all for being here, for being who you are, for being this community. If nobody’s told you today and you’d like to hear it: I love you. You have a place in this world. You are so very, very cherished.
posted by Nancy_LockIsLit_Palmer at 4:21 PM on June 4, 2020 [12 favorites]

My niece was one of many arrested at the BLM protest in Louisville last weekend. Cops tear gassed her group while they were seated, chased them while shooting rubber bullets, and three cops tackled her to the ground and stood on her, leaving her with torn muscles in her shoulder. She is 19 years old, 4'11" and 110 pounds soaking wet. She spent twenty two hours in a single holding cell with a broken toilet, alongside 27 other women, without being told what she was charged with or allowed a phone call. Police came by repeatedly to scream at them that they were terrorists.

They charged her with felony rioting. She's pre-law, you guys.

It's scary, but I'm proud of her. Not just for standing up, but because since getting out, she remains focused on the bigger issues of police violence and systemic racism. I swear to you, I think she's going again.

2020 is a real head exploder of a year. I sure as shit didn't have Goofy Teenage Niece Turns Out to Be a White Woman Ready to Jump Into the Shit for Racial Justice on my bingo card.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:50 PM on June 4, 2020 [61 favorites]

I am sick of being sick. I can't get out of bed without a coughing fit. My husband has a TBI and gets overwhelmed easily. So our house has become a fucking disaster over the past 2+ months of my illness and it's very stressful and depressing.
posted by Jacqueline at 7:27 PM on June 4, 2020 [6 favorites]

I'm doing... not great. I've spent my whole life in the Minneapolis area and it hurts to see all the pain in the communities that have raised me, and to think about how that pain is nothing new for so many people, it's been there since the start, it's built into the system. It just hurts and it's hard to focus on anything or express myself clearly. Meanwhile there's a whole lot of other shit in my life that needs my attention and energy and I just want to hide and cry out of sadness at how terrible the world is.
posted by beandip at 7:42 PM on June 4, 2020 [6 favorites]

Music. I have new music in my life that I'm loving. I've posted about both the Brian Wright and the Indigo Girls albums here and they're in rotation right now, just those two. I get to my point and I go "I'm done" and I put on those albums and just let them run.

This is super hard for me because I've been an NPR hound since I was maybe 10 years old, and so turning off and stepping away is not normal for me. But I'm making a conscious choice to go "now is when I shift". It's helping me a lot.
posted by hippybear at 8:07 PM on June 4, 2020 [8 favorites]

Alcohol. And also other things. For very specific sets of chemistry, "Golden Hours" is, like, the best song ever my dudes. Surpassing even "It's All Too Much" (film version), which is saying a lot.

...probably not the best plan long term, but time is meaningless anyway so fuck the long term.

I should try that "consciously step away" thing. Like, with a uniform, or a badge or something.
posted by aramaic at 9:23 PM on June 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

Summer months are a bit much for a uniform, but maybe get some lisa frank stickers and put one on during your stepping away time? It's both meaningful and sparkly!
posted by hippybear at 9:30 PM on June 4, 2020 [4 favorites]

Whimsy is necessary in times like these.
posted by hippybear at 9:30 PM on June 4, 2020 [5 favorites]

Hanging in there, is what I keep saying when people ask.

My experience of depression in the past has been an overwhelming & hopeless sorrow that on its face is inexplicable. The overwhelming & hopeless sorrow I feel now is... totally explicable, and others around me are going through it too. So it's... not depression? but parallel to it. Some of the same things that have helped me in the past are helping now: tiny bits of exercise, all the word puzzles, therapy (though lordy my therapist is weathering this worse than me), figuring out things to do with my fingers other than use them to eat salty snacks, staying busy, various self-care approaches from my old DBT toolkit, trying to set aside more dedicated time to sit with sorrow and grief. Because that grief is happening anyway, & there's a finite number of cryptic crosswords the world I can use to tune it out. Once a week or so I get a chance to be outside by myself, on my way to some brief local errand, and I immediately start crying into my mask. I'm not aware that I'm trying very hard to Keep My Shit Together the rest of the time, but apparently those are the moments I can uncouple all the gears and just sob like I need to. (I'm crying plenty at home too.)

One bright note along the lines of keeping busy is that I have a job & it's going pretty well! In an odd way it's been energizing--we've been productive and the work feels useful, which has been a godsend for me & my mood. My office didn't really have a culture of WFH before and the transition's been bumpy but also energizing. I've been working my ass off, partly in an anxious bid to keep demonstrating my value at this freaky moment but mostly because I enjoy the work.

I'm also exhausted all the time. My wife & I are both working full-time from home at jobs in sectors that feel newly precarious, with two young kids with very different needs, in an apartment that increasingly feels like a generation spaceship toward the end of Act I in an overlong novel: The stores are adequate but worryingly low, the appliances are picking up a bit of a flutter, we're all working different shifts, relationships are deepening and fraying simultaneously, the mystery of who's been eating all the Cheez-Its is about to be resolved, we're all increasingly grumpy & finding new ways to isolate ourselves in tight quarters. *wanders up to the bridge with a cup of hot glek, listening to the reassuring hum of the servos and the occasional ping of space dust on the hull; sobs*
posted by miles per flower at 9:48 PM on June 4, 2020 [18 favorites]

an apartment that increasingly feels like a generation spaceship

...not to flood the thread or anything, but maybe this is one approach that could be used if kiddo is space-driven? I mean, "this is practice for outer space!" or something? It, uh, has certainly helped me a bit as a full-grown adult who should know better, so maybe kids would also think it's kinda cool?

Like, I mean literally track the time it takes to get to Mars, day by day at home. Or the Moon. Or both (Moon then Mars, even though nobody would fly that way).

My Hohmann Transfer Orbit (arbitrary launch date using shortest transfer time, because time is meaningless) means I personally am still about two months out from landing, but I've started decelerating in preparation for orbital insertion and I'd best step up my exercise routines because gravity is gonna suck.
posted by aramaic at 10:01 PM on June 4, 2020 [5 favorites]

Love to you all.

I have started doing grounding techniques at hourly or half-hour intervals. It helps.
posted by ceramicspaniel at 10:08 PM on June 4, 2020 [3 favorites]

"At first I didn’t want to do unicorns. The artist in me said no. Then I thought wait a minute this is commercial art. Let’s do what’s going to sell. So that’s how that happened.”

-Lisa Frank.
posted by clavdivs at 10:39 PM on June 4, 2020 [3 favorites]

Just went hunting for my Very Important Collection of Lisa Frank stickers etc. Have found partial components here and there. I think my most coveted stickers were the shiny leopard ones. Hope I still have some.
posted by Kitchen Witch at 11:01 PM on June 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

I once used Lisa Frank as a metaphor in a public talk about moderation for the brief period between when I took over managerial responsibility for MetaFilter, my absolute dream job, and the moment when Trump became the presumptive nominee of the 2016 GOP.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:05 PM on June 4, 2020 [14 favorites]

I've been thinking a lot in the last few days about how I feel about current events and have written a few things here and there that reflect my thoughts:

"I agree that there are tenets of the Constitution that have been shamefully violated but in reality, the Secretary of Defense is required to defer to the president and needs to present themselves as apolitical. I believe that the moment Mattis reached his breaking point of anger and frustration was the moment he gave his scathing opinion of Drumpf.

I was in ROTC for a year in college and my dad was a lifer in the Air Force. There's a really strict code of conduct in the military, a hierarchy of command, and an undercurrent of tension that keeps you from breaking the rules. I've never understood why anyone would want to live like that but I understand Mattis' dedication to his code of ethics or his morals or his higher power.

IME at least, being in the military requires that you always remember that there's someone higher-ranked than you who can directly and immediately ruin your life if you step out of line and I'm not ready to condemn Mattis' hesitation in speaking up."


"Drumpf's attempt to prohibit or eliminate voting by mail is ridiculous, especially in this time of the pandemic.

As other people have reported, voting by mail has been legal for decades. All fifty states allow voting by absentee ballot: you can ask to vote by mail and the state will send you a mail-in ballot. In 2002 the federal government outlawed states from asking voters for specific reasons that they wanted to vote absentee.

Additionally, there are millions of Americans who can *only* vote by mail. American government workers - including members of the military, ambassadors, State Department employees, Peace Corps volunteers and Edward Snowden - who are overseas can *only* vote by mail.

The prisoners in the US who are allowed to vote can *only* vote by mail. Given the fact that incarcerated Americans are, by a vast majority, black and with the emerging opinion that black voters will be crucial in November to oust Trump, it's important to not restrict their ability to vote.

Voting is not "an honor" as the Mango Mussolini asserted the other day, it's a goddam right that every US citizen is entitled to exercise from where ever they want."


"There are many many helicopters flying overhead right now and it’s 1 AM.

I violated the 8 pm curfew and went to the Chevron around midnight. I bought some cider for me and some 4Loko for a homeless guy I ran into on the way.

When I brought him his drinks he was trying to fix a franken-scooter that he was using as a replacement for what he really needs - one of those walkers you can rest your knee on.

I chatted with him for a few minutes. He had his own set of Allen wrenches and clearly knew his way around bike-type machines. He told me that he usually works as a bike mechanic.

He also told me the steps to take to successfully steal an e-scooter.

Now I’m sitting on a bench directly outside the door of a tower of very expensive condos a block from my house drinking cider.

The entire building is dark.

Five black SUVs in a row just sped the wrong way up the one-way street across the street."


A big window in my living room has one of those 50s-style storm windows on it and in the three years I've lived here, I've never been able to open it - when it gets hot here every little bit of cross breeze helps. I've asked the management company at least four times to help me with and they've never responded. I got frustrated and decided I was just going to use my sledgehammer to break it. I didn't think it would be that loud, so about 2AM yesterday I smashed it.

My upstairs neighbor heard and was calling and texting to see if I was OK but I didn't hear my phone. While I was picking the shards of glass out of the storm window frame, five cops showed up. Three crouch-running under the shrubs outside my window and two out on the sidewalk.

I had to temper my claims of innocence against trying to get them to talk to me just for a few more minutes because oh my god I'm so freaking alone.

And in the light of day, I realized that this is a really stupid time to be smashing windows. Therefore, my mental health is fine... juuuussstttt fine.
posted by bendy at 2:35 AM on June 5, 2020 [8 favorites]

There's a wonderful, peaceful bit of countryside near where I live. Takes an hour of walking to get there from town; most people don't walk that far, so I mostly have it to myself. It's full of skylarks at the moment, rising up out of the fields where they're nesting, trilling their song as they disappear upward to become just a dot in the blue. There are yellow wagtails, corn buntings, wheatears, pipits, you name it. I've never seen fields so alive with birds. For years it's been my balm against everything else that's going on: used to be just work issues, then Brexit, then the pandemic, now the rising racial tensions on top.

They're going to cover those fields in the country's biggest solar power station. Decision announced at the end of last week. East-west panels like roofs, stretching two and a half miles. Huge things, mounted on ten-foot poles because it's a coastal marsh and sometimes it floods. Security fencing, lights, cameras. Industrialisation on a grand scale. So grand it leapfrogged local planning altogether, straight to the Secretary of State. Who granted permission despite objections from local community organisations, wildlife organisations, heritage organisations and even the Green Party, because... solar power! Renewables! This counts towards our targets!

Literally destroying the environment in the name of the environment.

I'm broken, just broken.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 2:55 AM on June 5, 2020 [14 favorites]

It is with a heavy heart that I piss on our Lisa Frank parade: Last year Frank was credibly accused of ripping off design ideas from a Black woman.

Anyway... as for me & my fam, it's been hard. My wife is Black, and we have a 4 year old kiddo. Pandemic and quarentine have obviously already been taking a toll on us. But the cops' terror campaign is, well, terrifying. We live just outside DC and we have a lot of friends who are in the thick of it: medics, protesters, clergy. Every instinct I have is telling me to go there--but our kiddo (and my mid-60s mother-in-law, who's part of our quarentine bubble) change that equation. The 3 adults in our bubble are each at elevated levels of risk from COVID. So I'm giving where I can to bail funds and so forth and helping with mutual aid efforts in the community here, and reminding myself that it ain't about me or my sense of pride.

The other night at bedtime our kiddo sleepily asked "Is it a kind world or a mean world?" and I start sobbing every time I think of that.
posted by sugar and confetti at 4:39 AM on June 5, 2020 [24 favorites]

Dunno how many of you have also experienced a shift in your grocery-shopping routine (due to whichever of the clusterfucks), but learn from my experience and

Don't forget the chocolate.

Turns out I need it more than I ever realized.

But yeah, as miles put it, "hang in there." These may be the times that try men's souls, but one thing I know about MeFites is: at least we have them.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 6:40 AM on June 5, 2020 [17 favorites]

Like sugar and confetti I've been grappling with guilt for not attending protests and volunteer clean-ups in order to keep my at-risk partner safe. Doing what we can to donate and stay informed, but it feels like I'm not doing right by my community. But yeah, that's on me to group my own emotional poop.

CheesesOfBrazil, in addition to chocolate, cheese has been my friend. Many, many cheeses.
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 8:08 AM on June 5, 2020 [3 favorites]

It's confusing for me, a person who is used to a low hum of anxiety for the last three decades or so, to suddenly be depressed. It's not terrible - I get out for walks and clean my bathroom and feed myself and my cat - but it's real real different. I miss human contact so much, and for various reasons the people I share physical affection with aren't options right now.

Something good happened yesterday - small but hopeful - and I felt so light! but this week has been otherwise a shitshow. And there's going to be a fake protest - no one knows who created it, so the assumption is it's some hate group trying to destroy things - in my neighbourhood in an hour.

Orange Dinosaur Slide, cheese is my largest expense right now after rent and utility bills. Cheese ain't cheap in Canada but still.
posted by wellred at 8:26 AM on June 5, 2020 [6 favorites]

(What a friend we have in cheeses!)
posted by Spathe Cadet at 9:10 AM on June 5, 2020 [21 favorites]

Today the world feels big and heavy. I'm dealing with some pretty intense, non-covid, non-BLM, life shit, and all I want to do is disassociate and I keep getting frustrated with instagram because I JUST WANNA LOOK AT FUCKING MEMES NOT BE REMINDED THAT THE WORLD IS BROKEN, but then I remember I have the privilege to check out, and so I'm channeling the feeling of holding a broken-winged bird in my hands to donating donating donating because it's what I'm capable of right now. And hugging my dog. And repeatedly watching that video of a citizen telling the LAPD chief to "suck my dick and choke on it" during a live, recorded zoom call because that's the kind of energy I AM HERE FOR.
posted by Grandysaur at 9:45 AM on June 5, 2020 [6 favorites]

I knew my industry was going to be among the last to open up, but each cancellation still hits like a bucket of ice. I'm unemployed now through March 2021 (with a couple potential exceptions that feel a little like "any day now..."). Also my country is continuing its descent through hell and innocent people are continuing to be shot in the streets, so on both micro- and macro- levels it's just a lot right now. Helpful to write about it, and hoping this is an OK thread to talk about my minor personal problems in.
posted by fast ein Maedchen at 9:58 AM on June 5, 2020

Going to get tested for COVID Monday evening. :(

If you've had it, and/or have been recently tested for it, please DM me.
posted by Kitchen Witch at 10:48 AM on June 5, 2020 [4 favorites]

My mom is at the ER, and they won't let me stay with her, so there's no point in my being there. I called in to work to take her there, and I'm not telling them that I'm back. I'm going to take the rest of the day off. I'm going to do a workout video, drink a bunch of decaf iced coffee, maybe finish my book. This feels so frigging luxurious. I have taken basically no time to myself since mid-March. I think it will do wonders for my mental health.

Also they tested my mom for COVID at the ER, and she doesn't have it. And given how much time I spend deeply encroaching on her personal space, I think that if she doesn't have it, I also probably don't have it. If I had it, I would have given it to her. If she's still in the hospital tomorrow, I might go to a protest. I would still have to worry about getting COVID, but at least I wouldn't have to worry about spreading it. And I think that going to a protest might also do wonders for my mental health, although I guess it depends how the protest goes.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 11:15 AM on June 5, 2020 [13 favorites]

Doomscrolling indeed. The word I didn't want but is a perfect fit for where I am.
posted by RolandOfEld at 12:29 PM on June 5, 2020 [3 favorites]

Sending love, AAC.
posted by Kitchen Witch at 1:07 PM on June 5, 2020

I am just having one night a week where I really don't sleep well and that is so not helping my mental health. I think I'm keeping it together pretty well at work, but who knows. Nothing terrible is happening to me specifically (job fine, home stable, relationship good etc) so I think my current not feeling like I'm coping perfectly is a bit unnecessary. I really hope some more sleep is as helpful as it should be.
posted by plonkee at 1:18 PM on June 5, 2020

I'm struggling for multiple reasons. I have finally taken step one which was asking my PCP yesterday (I had an appt for something else entirely) about referring me to a therapist. Today, the therapist left a message. I don't have the spoons to follow up today but will contact them monday to set up an appt. I wish I could do an in-person visit for at least the first session but the thought of spending 45min talking and crying (and I know I'll cry) with a mask on sounds horrible. Also being hard of hearing means that not being able to read lips as well as slightly muffled voices is an added challenge. So it'll have to be virtual which is not ideal but I am glad that it's an option.

I kind of wished my PCP hadn't referred me to a male therapist and I think it's going to make me feel awkward to talk to him. Not sure how to proceed there, though.
posted by acidnova at 1:23 PM on June 5, 2020 [1 favorite]

I have had many MRIs in my life and always coped really well. No biggie! Until yesterday, when they showed me the bowl screwed to the table that they wanted me to put my head in so they could then immobilize me by placing a plastic basket over my face before burying me alive I mean sliding me into the tube. I think it must be the accumulated stress of the helltimes but I just panicked. Horrible. Took a while to get a grip so we could proceed. Came home and slept all afternoon.

On the bright side, our CSA started and I still have a job to pay for it. And for the stacks and stacks of medical bills.
posted by HotToddy at 3:24 PM on June 5, 2020 [6 favorites]

A friend just posted a list of suicide hotline numbers and I just couldn’t stop thinking about what if they call the cops, and how dangerous that could be for a black caller. I found info that suicide hotlines in the US try not to call the cops — but they will do so if a caller has immediate intent and means, and declines to make a safety plan (such as putting away a weapon). And policies and levels of training vary among local crisis centers (where your call will be routed). So I’m not sure that I could safely recommend that any of my black friends call a hotline right now.

I felt like a total jerk for being That Person who has to get all “you’re Doing It Wrong” on a post where someone else is legit trying to help. I mean, doing nothing is dangerous, and I don’t want to discourage anyone from reaching out for help. But I don’t know how to calculate the very real risk of doing nothing vs. the risk that a cop might hear “black person has a gun!” and come in shooting.
posted by snowmentality at 3:51 PM on June 5, 2020 [1 favorite]

I kind of wished my PCP hadn't referred me to a male therapist and I think it's going to make me feel awkward to talk to him. Not sure how to proceed there, though.
I think it's totally fine to contact your PCP and say that you've thought about it, and you've realized you would be more comfortable with a therapist who wasn't a man and to ask if your PCP had an appropriate referral for you. And if not, you could see if there's anyone in the same practice as the therapist with whom you're dealing who seems like they might be a better fit. It is completely fine and normal to have preferences about your therapist's gender or other identities, and I don't think you should feel weird about that.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 4:57 PM on June 5, 2020 [7 favorites]

Snowmentality, I don't know where you live, but some cities/counties have a behavioral health division. Mine has a mobile crisis unit that will send trained mental health professionals to de-escalate and connect individuals to care. You have to call them specifically, though, as far as I know they aren't connected with 911. But that could be something to provide, if your city/county has it.
posted by brook horse at 6:32 PM on June 5, 2020 [1 favorite]

I am angry.

Two white medics were injured by bean bag rounds in Austin last weekend. One has two broken hands, the other one broken hand and a badly bruised leg. Their crime? Trying to help non-white kids who'd been shot in the head with these "less-than-lethal" rounds.

Brad Levi Ayala, 16, Hispanic & Justin Howell, 20, African-American both suffered severe head injuries at the hands of Austin Police Department. Both were clearly unarmed, not in a crowd, and protesting peacefully.

Saraneka “Nemo” Martin, black and pregnant, was struck in the abdomen and the lower back.

I am just so so angry.
posted by MuChao at 8:42 PM on June 5, 2020 [9 favorites]

I once used Lisa Frank as a metaphor in a public talk about moderation for the brief period between when I took over managerial responsibility for MetaFilter, my absolute dream job, and the moment when Trump became the presumptive nominee of the 2016 GOP.

I once used Lisa Frank as a vehicle for multicolored vomit in a Starbucks cup. Nothing useful can be gleaned from this happenstance, as far as I can tell.
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:04 PM on June 5, 2020

Like, my Lisa Frank mention was meant to be "something that is a non-sequitur so you can be outside that other space" and not a total derail and I'm always impressed at MetaFilter's ability to do that.

Still, if you're stepping outside your news zone because you've had enough for the day, it's okay to signify that. Sticker or scarf or hanky code or whatever. Letting others know You're Done For The Day is a fine thing to do.
posted by hippybear at 10:24 PM on June 5, 2020 [1 favorite]

I honestly have no idea what hanky code is for "I'm done with news for the day" because the hanky code has been basically dead for 10-15 years at minimum. Please don't examine that joke in detail.
posted by hippybear at 10:26 PM on June 5, 2020 [1 favorite]

I'm... I don't know. My current med regime is keeping me stable at least, so that's good? I guess? I don't seem to be spiraling downward, anxiety is mostly under control, I'm managing to get out of bed and shower and exercise and do a couple of basic things every day. Eating too much, drinking too much, zero executive function to do anything productive, but I guess I should be grateful to at least be in a stable place. But I feel hopeless and cold and empty, and I'm struggling to find reasons to continue doing even the minimal things I'm doing every day. I'm honestly not sure if that's a sign of the meds not actually keeping up with what I need, or just an objectively reasonable response to the state of the world right now. I don't know.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 10:52 PM on June 5, 2020 [3 favorites]

Just going to show how we never can truly know someone, a friend and former coworker was just arrested on child pornography charges. So that’s great.
posted by hototogisu at 3:57 AM on June 6, 2020 [3 favorites]

I feel a bit like a time traveller. Spent the last 2 days online living the US riot experience, and just this evening got home from shooting local footage for my latest video, specifically "COVID-19, it gets better".

Here in China life is pretty much back to normal, situation under control. Some day it will be OK where you are, too. Stay safe guys, and so sorry things have played out as they have over there.
posted by Meatbomb at 5:04 AM on June 6, 2020 [6 favorites]

I'm stressed, my anxiety is kinda-sorta ok ..ish... and I'm very lonely. In my case, stress manifests itself by not being able to sleep and I get hives. Being tired and itchy (along with having noticeable welts) certainly doesn't make me any less stressed. On top of that, I had sudden unexplained hair loss Thurs/Fri -- I now have a bald patch about 1" in diameter about an inch in from my hairline, right above my left eyebrow. (Thank goodness this happened when I have hair long enough to cover it up -- if this was the case when I had a pixie cut, I'd be screwed) I have a Dr appt on Monday and it's hopefully easily fixable, but one of the causes could be stress. Sighhhhhh. I completely understand if my follicles decided to give up on 2020, but I wish it was leg or armpit hair instead.

I am called to change and action by all of the brave amazing people that are demanding an end of this unchecked police state we are in. I'm dismayed by the number of friends, family and coworkers who are using their privilege to choose to look away, bury their heads in the sand, and do nothing. I literally had someone tell me that at work yesterday - "I'm burying my head in the sand about that".

I know things are a lot worse for others, but I am definitely not my normal self lately, and I appreciate having this space to unload in.

Take care of yourselves and each other , I'm lovingly sending out internet hugs if you want them.
posted by Sparky Buttons at 6:10 AM on June 6, 2020 [11 favorites]

I finally found myself admitting this week that yeah, I might be depressed. My spouse and I were set to sell our house and move to Vermont, a longtime dream of ours, right before quarantine. We have been essentially stuck in our coronavirus hideout since March. It's been difficult to stay in a place we were planning to leave; we're still unsure about the mechanics of long-distance finding a place to live in Vermont due to travel restrictions.

And then the protests began and the sorrow and anger I feel around them are adding weight to this. I am numbed out. Reading, writing, anything I normally enjoy is not making the nut in keeping me grounded. I know I need therapy but I'm not sure I have the energy to start the process with a new person.

It's helped to stay in touch with friends who know my deal, but the cracks are starting to show; one of my dear friends has had their hypochondria triggered by the virus so badly that their worry hurts to see. Another friend is immune compromised and living with their immune compromised parents in a very populated area. I feel powerless to help.

I'm safe and healthy, still employed, not struggling financially, and it feels very wrong to gripe. It's just...hard to find joy right now.
posted by Otter_Handler at 7:10 AM on June 6, 2020 [5 favorites]

I had to put my cat to sleep this week. She was my shadow, my heart, my soul. Basically my everything, for the last 11.5 years. She was also very sick, and this was the last kindness and love I could give her. It was not a surprise, I knew this was coming, and in that sense I'm lucky. I've been processing the inevitability for weeks. My vet - omg my vet, has been absolutely amazing and supportive. But dammit, this is so hard. Making the final call, saying heart is just a shattered mess of what it once was. But there's also a lot of guilt, because having a sick cat meant a lot of compromises, and without her physical presence my life is easier as well. I also have two other cats whom I love so much, but I realized with Kilo gone now a lot of what I was doing before fell into two categories: "doing this for Kilo", or "doing this for the cats" - very little was "doing it for Echo" or "doing it for Zulu". So there's that, and that has to change. Also just so many small things that are different now ... no one stole my pizza crust at dinner for example. A ridiculous thing for a cat, but when you have one who does that... eating pizza is a whole different experience!


I was also going to rant about other things, continued challenges in "unprecedented times"... but I cant... one thing at a time is all I can handle right now. So grateful to metafilter and mefites for providing this safe space!!
posted by cgg at 7:43 AM on June 6, 2020 [25 favorites]

Right there with you, cgg. I had to put down my best-buddy-ever cat (quite unexpectedly) about a year ago, and I still sometimes call my other cat by his name accidentally. I've decided it's natural to have favorites, and therefore OK, so long as it doesn't result in actual neglect. Hug Echo and Zulu for us.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 7:53 AM on June 6, 2020 [10 favorites]

I'm sorry cgg, and CheesesOfBrazil. We had to say goodbye to our dog of 12 years last week, and it's so painful ... even though we really did know for quite a while that it was coming , and even though it's been quite a long time since she'd been herself (doggy dementia). I'm ugly crying now, again, but I'm grateful for all the joy she gave us (and I hope we gave her). Hugs to you both, and to everyone.
posted by taz (staff) at 10:19 AM on June 6, 2020 [13 favorites]

cgg, I'm so sorry about your kitty.

My mental health is terrible right now. I'm not a danger to myself or anything, but it's so bad that I am taking a leave from work, something I never thought I would do unless I was unconscious in the hospital or my house had actually burned down. The nervous breakdown I was trying to avoid or at least defer is upon me—a strange thing to be aware of, I suppose. My functioning is clearly impaired. I just got by far the worst performance review of my life, albeit everyone is sympathetic to my situation.

After three months of social isolation I, normally disciplined about routine, have become disregulated in my daily habits. I forget when I last showered, sleep fitfully at odd hours, let dirt and clutter accumulate, look at small household chores and think I might as well run up and down Mt. Everest a couple of times while I'm at it because that's how feasible they seem.

Depression is so weird. From the outside it makes no sense. Where's the struggle in my materially comfortable life? Where is the insurmountable difficulty? Why is the body's reaction "In these trying times, what you should be doing right now is dropping all of your tasks on the floor, staring off into space, talking to people like you're a robot, and sleeping a lot but badly?" It feels like something you should be able to just muster some self-discipline and reason yourself out of.

But that's not how that works, is it?
posted by 4rtemis at 1:29 PM on June 6, 2020 [16 favorites]

I had an appointment with my doctor where I described various symptoms I've been happening, which could be covid-19 or could just be allergies, reflux, and depression. I told him about the headaches.

"How long have you been having those?"
"A couple months."
"A couple months!?"
"I've just been chalking it up to stress."
[longish silence] "That makes sense."

I'm depressed and exhausted and seething with rage, and for the first time in decades I think it's not largely because of a chemical imbalance but is instead utterly justified. That's how I'm doing. That's how lots of people are doing.
posted by johnofjack at 2:31 PM on June 6, 2020 [9 favorites]

Hoo boy. I like a lot of others am really struggling, so I hope this won't be too much for a thread like this. If so please do flag for deletion.
[CW: suicide]
We lost a colleague to suicide on Monday. It was, as I think is often or even usually the case, totally out of the blue. We were not close, having worked on different teams, but had collaborated on projects in the past. Our profession is also just not that big, so they were someone I could have reasonably expected to work with for years. They were 25, not much younger than I am. Their direct teammates are, obviously, devastated.

I'm sure my other co-workers are also going through it, but I'm the only one who seems to be visibly cracking. The most recent lynchings in the US had already crushed me and I was struggling to concentrate. I'm not even going to go into the white fragility in that sentence because I'd hit the character limit before I even got started. I am wholly unable to focus on my work and am behind on several deliverables because all I do is read and think and talk and rage about it, and donate and/or demonstrate. I see no way to pull myself out of it because even on a totally intellectual level, those things ARE, to me, the only worthwhile thing left to engage in. Nothing I'm expected to give a damn about matters; deadlines and will-we-do-a-seminar-in-S4-2021 are hilariously stupid at this point. I am getting close to letting fly at people during conference calls because it all feels insane.

My love to everyone else struggling right now, and thanks for listening.
posted by blessmycottonsocks at 3:15 PM on June 6, 2020 [22 favorites]

I thought I was doing okay, but for the last week or so I've started having anxiety freakouts over basically nothing. It feels like my mental health is regressing to what it used to be like a couple of years ago, which is frightening. I hope I can get a handle on things over the summer, but who knows.
posted by Mauve at 2:02 AM on June 7, 2020 [7 favorites]

In some ways things are going not-terribly. I’ve been fighting depression for a while but my new meds and therapist are really good and I’ve made some great progress the past few sessions. I finally got through to see a doctor regarding a medical issue that has been weighing on me for a long time and that’s a relief. My loved ones are healthy and I have a job which is probably secure despite severe cashflow problems in our industry.

Despite these good things, I spend so much of my time nowadays either depressed into immobility or consumed with rage. I’m angry at everything. I’m pissed at our fucking society that constantly screws and fucks with the people who have the least to begin with, that rewards the jerks and hurts the kind people. It enrages me that we live in a world where people like Trump just fail up and up and gain more and more power, and selfish idiots who go out and spread Covid around so they can frolic on the beach never pay the price — whereas the thousands of good people who are destroying their mental health to stay home, or who have essential jobs that they can’t quit, or who risk life and limb to protest something they never should have to protest in the first place, THEY’RE the ones who just get fucked and fucked and fucked some more.

My anger at the unfairness extends to my personal life too. Last year I lost my best friend in the world, Lily. I tried to help her with some major personal problems and in the process overstepped and got in the way of her relationship with her wife Kate, who is controlling and gaslighting to the point that I'd call it emotional abuse. Regardless of what you call it, the long and the short of it is that Kate won’t permit me in Lily’s life at all anymore. Their dynamic is toxic and terrible and I’m so so worried about Lily now. Lily is fighting constant intrusive thoughts of suicide and I’m terrified that she is going to kill herself but there is nothing at all that I can do about it. I miss her and love her so much but I would willingly embrace never seeing her again if doing so would guarantee that she could get out of that horrible relationship. Alas, I can’t guarantee that. I can't do anything at all. I’ve lost hope that anything will ever get better because I tried and tried and tried and it just got more and more shit and made everything worse. The best thing I can do now is NOTHING, and that hurts so so bad.

I have fucking had it with everything. I am so, so mad at the colossal unfairness of it all. I used to be a hopeful person, I hoped things would get better, but the last few years have for me been a steadily narrowing of hope, and I just don’t have any in me anymore. And I’m mad about that too. I’m mad that I’m this angry hopeless person. It’s not who I want to be but lately it feels like it is who I am. I manage to hide it for the people who depend on me, especially my daughter, but it’s a hollow shell. Inside I just want to rage and burn it all the fuck down.
posted by fluffysocksarenice at 3:31 AM on June 7, 2020 [11 favorites]

Huge hugs to cgg, CheesesOfBrazil, and taz for the loss of your beautiful furry friends.
posted by daybeforetheday at 3:56 AM on June 7, 2020 [3 favorites]

My favorite dog in the world (not mine, but a close friend's) has cancer, but has been doing well on chemo. This week we learned that he has a second cancer, inoperable, which is very likely to shorten his life to just a few more months. Because he lives in Canada, I may well never see him again. Obviously I've known since he was diagnosed the first time that my time with him in my life was finite, but I always thought that when the turn for the worse came I would at least get to see him one more time to say goodbye (and to support my friend).

Just the small personal tragedy amidst the sea of civic and national catastrophe that threatens to make the cup overflow. At work, we are basically acting as if we were not all working from home under a curfew in the midst of an orgy of police violence in defense of racist impunity, etc., and it's getting surreal.
posted by praemunire at 10:13 AM on June 7, 2020 [4 favorites]

Hey, so after busting my ass and putting myself in harms way to make sure the North Seattle homeless population had access to heroin treatment during COVID19, the state abruptly (and I mean abruptly like as of that day) pulled funding. This was a political and budgeting thing involving people who are not me. I’ve been scrambling in emergency mode to get funds to stay open until June 30 so we can ...I don’t know, find someone to take over the program I built? I’m fine, tho technically jobless, but it’s just really great, in the middle of all the shit which started in the middle of all the other shit, to be personally reminded of the arbitrary out of nowhere ways the world hands you more pointless morally outrageous shit. I’m super grateful to have a house and family and health and stability and options but it makes one wonder about the ways those things can evaporate without warning. Like many I’m feeling utterly defeated and unable to fight anymore.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 4:03 PM on June 7, 2020 [26 favorites]

You know that (hopefully apocryphal) story about the lab monkeys that eventually stop complaining about the painful electric shocks? That’s about how I feel right now. Like not even sad. Just...numb.

I think this is called losing faith.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 4:22 PM on June 7, 2020 [8 favorites]

Me too, Slarty Bartfast. I feel like I've kind of given up recently. I feel terrible for doing so -- so many people are still trying while dealing with harder stuff than I am -- but something in me feels like it broke in the past month or so. I'm broken. For the sake of my kids I'm pretending not to be, but I'm broken.

I feel like everything went wrong several years ago, both for me personally and for our society (although the seeds of all of it were planted long before then). Since then I've been struggling and struggling and trying and trying to make it better, to find reasons to hope, to keep on keeping on. But everything has just gotten worse and worse. I've tried to help the world within my sphere of influence, only to burn myself out and have no effect that I can see. I've tried to help people, only to hurt them and lose them. I've tried to help myself, but I don't know how to do that.

I just keep thinking: Why bother? Why try? I know I'm depressed. But I've been fighting against the depression for a long time, and yet I'm still depressed. What's the point?
posted by forza at 4:50 PM on June 7, 2020 [3 favorites]

I think I am fully cooked now. I have no mental health left, no fucks to give.

My husband went into the urgent care for a cough, then into the ER on their advice, had a week stay and they said he had cirrhosis, but also a blood clot on his lung and referred him to another doctor for the liver stuff.

Who said she thought he had cancer, so she did a biopsy in his abdomen but no cancer but she couldn't touch his liver due to him being on blood thinners.

He was sent home on blood thinners but had bloody stools so said dr said stop taking them. Worried for a week about the blood clot on his lung, no word, him getting weaker and stuff.

She calls on a Sunday and says he needs a vena cava filter and can I bring him in. I say, yeah, but he is weak and can barely walk. Call the ambulance. I did. He gets that done, and then they say they want to do a liver embolization to get rid of the bloody mass that's been on his liver since last year, it's grown, but we have no idea if it will help his liver issues.

Next day, he poops blood, and then it's another endoscopy and an EKG. All the time, he cannot eat or drink. Day after that, he needs a colonoscopy, both of which he had at the first hospital visit. He is finally allowed to eat. The next day, he is released.

I get him home, he's really unsteady, I have to hold his hands to get him into his chair. I feed him up, he tries to get up to go to bed, he can't walk. I am trying to get him to the bathroom, and he just sank down. I can't get him up, and I call 911. They have to call someone to help slide him out, I have put a cushion under his head, to get him onto the gurney.

Then he gets there and they refuse to admit him. He has been in an ER bed all weekend. This fantastic doctor who we were referred to told them to not admit him. I talked to a woman at the ER today and she said I am not allowed to say ER purgatory, he needs to go to a skilled nursing facility and I can't say nursing home. This fucking specialist who he was referred to in the first place, I guess she got all she could get out of his insurance and now she's abandoned him.

I am allowed to say whatever the fuck I want. They released him too early and now he sits, in an ER bed, because they refused him admission, and they released him too early. They assure me it won't be a COVID-19 facility. Oh great.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 4:57 PM on June 7, 2020 [29 favorites]

This has been a really weird time for me in that my hitherto-constant background anxiety has just stopped the way it always does in the middle of a crisis except it's lasted for weeks instead of minutes. I feel like Cassandra watching the burning of Troy. I'm very sorry for everyone experiencing a loss of faith right now; it is very painful to experience a violation of a trust you didn't know you had. I'm trying to fend off the depressive symptoms and put my attention into local mutual aid work. People gotta eat.

If it hurts bad and you think it would hurt less if you told someone about it I'll listen.
posted by PMdixon at 1:52 PM on June 8, 2020 [1 favorite]

Oh Marie Mon Dieu, that sounds incredibly hard. To be in the midst of a health crisis with a loved one and have someone respond not with compassion but an SOP on language use...! Personally I never cope well with being asked to pretend a situation is something other than what it obviously is. My best to you and your husband.

Hugs to everyone here going through something hard.
posted by eirias at 3:34 PM on June 8, 2020 [5 favorites]

I was engaging in some pretty unhealthy doomscrolling last Sunday/Monday in regards to police brutality at protests that really put me into a mental health spiral, so I fled to my mother's house for a few days. Probably not wise, but I felt mentally so much better just... being around another person. We justified it by telling ourselves that we've both been doing the same cautious shit for 10 weeks and neither of us have gotten sick.

But... I'm back home now. I live alone in a small apartment. I moved to my city about a year and a half ago and have like 2 friends here. My social activities/outlets have all been canceled for... what, a year? Or more? I want to touch someone.

I just don't know what we're doing here. I don't think I have any friends that live alone. No one fucking gets it. I'm single and would like a relationship. How am I going to get one? Who the fuck knows. Guess I'm just not! And no one I know has the mental or emotional bandwidth to deal with my shit, but geez... before I hugged my mom last week, I literally hadn't touched another human being since early March. All my friends make soothing noises but they all have live-in partners or roommates they can hug on. I got nothing. Well, I have a dog. He's great and all, but...

I get being cautious about COVID, I really do. But this isn't life.
posted by Automocar at 1:01 PM on June 9, 2020 [8 favorites]

Automocar, I hear you. I haven't touched another human being since the tenth of March. Until concerned friends drove fifty miles to stand in a park with me for an hour on Monday evening, I hadn't seen a friend, colleague or family member in person since the tenth of March either. My friends had to come to me because I can't drive, so until the trains are available for non-essential travel again, I've lost my independence... and thanks to the UK housing market, the compromise I had to make in order to buy a house was to move fifty miles from anyone I knew, so losing my ability to travel freely matters a lot. I'm introverted and I'm broadly OK with my own company, so it could be a lot worse, but I am fraying at the edges in ways I don't recognise, and my coping mechanism has just been taken away from me. I don't even have a pet, and can't sensibly change that (allergies and, usually, very long hours out of the house).

As you say, this isn't life. And virtual hugs really aren't the same, though please have one anyway.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 5:59 AM on June 10, 2020 [8 favorites]

I get you, Automocar. I also live alone, and this really isn't life. I try not to think about how long it's been since I last touched a person, how long it'll be until I touch a person again, how unfair it is that this all started just when I was starting to move forward with my life after my fucking awful divorce, because if I dwell on it even a little I become a sobbing lump on the floor.

Add to that that this weekend I finally felt rested enough and disgusted enough with myself to tell my health anxiety "fuck you" and went to a protest. I am young, healthy, without preexisting conditions; I live alone and work at home. I have no one to protect by staying home except myself. I was staying at home because I am afraid and no better reason, and I finally couldn't live with that anymore. So I went, knowing that I would have at least a week of stress and anxiety and fear and checking my temperature compulsively as a result, and now I'm suffering those consequences. It was worth it to feel like I had done my part and stuck to my values, but god the fallout is not fun. And god, do I not want to get COVID. Please let me not have gotten COVID for doing the right thing.

My friends that I've brought this up to say that there's only a very small chance that I could get COVID, that I was as safe as I could be, but. We don't really know how safe protests are, do we? We won't know until cases spike or don't. And I think they are going to spike, which means I could be part of that spike. Is that anxiety speaking? Or is that reasonable? I can't tell anymore. It feels reasonable, but the world is acting like my reasonable is unreasonable anxiety, and I hate it. My state dropped the stay-at-home order yesterday, and I hate it. The main way this is going to affect people is that employers are no longer mandated to have everyone that can work from home anymore, so even though my employer is keeping us at home, other people with less reasonable employers, who are just as anxious as I, are now at the mercy of their employers as to whether they get to work from home or not. Our state was protecting them, and isn't any longer. People are going to get sick because of this. People are going to die. How can anyone be OK with this?

I am furious, I am despairing, I am anxious. I am trying to find the right thing and do it, I am trying to stick to what I know to be true and act accordingly, but it's hard and getting harder.
posted by bridgebury at 6:16 AM on June 10, 2020 [5 favorites]

Automocar, I understand. In addition to being new to my area I'm in a long-distance relationship and live alone. I went three months without any in-person social contact and I haven't touched another human at all since February. I'm an introvert and assumed I would tolerate the solitude reasonably well but in fact it's had a big and ongoing negative impact on my mental health. Weighing the benefits of resuming some kind of physical social life against the risk of COVID infection has led me to really grasp the concept of harm reduction. Humans are social animals and we can't safely live with this kind of isolation indefinitely.
posted by 4rtemis at 10:44 AM on June 10, 2020 [3 favorites]

Yup. For me, it's been since mid-February since I've talked to anyone other than deliveries I need to sign for. I'm immunocompromised and was already pretty isolated before all this began, and with the whole world showing up for the gem show here I stocked up on stuff and started avoiding people.

And now it's June. I have a ton of stuff to do, but I'm not getting to most of it. Whenever I get up some momentum my chronic disease rears up and kicks my ass. Most days are an effort to get through. I don't even have any pets.

And now my neighbor across the street has resumed his campaign of harassment against me, revving his un-muffled 1990s heavy-duty Chevy pickup for half an hour at a time, multiple times per day, accompanied by jeering and hand gestures. I've got it all on video, along with him saying he's doing it to drive me out of the neighborhood, insulting my sexuality and threatening to (no kidding) 'get me' like a cartoon villain. I think I've got enough for a restraining order, but to get one I'd have to leave my house and go deal with the court system, and I don't want to risk my life over this.

So yeah, this is all sucking pretty hard.
posted by MrVisible at 1:28 PM on June 10, 2020 [8 favorites]

My husband is back home, with a walker. As far as I can tell, there are no skilled nursing facilities open right now. They are backed up with taking new patients due to COVID-19, as each patient has to have a private room.

He got a visit today from an occupational therapist, and then a home healthcare nurse. His liver issues are ongoing, and we have a follow-up on Friday afternoon with the doctor who as been treating him. The OT is coming back on Friday, to make sure he can get into the car safely before his visit. The doctor's office just called and said I can pull up to their entrance and call them, and they will come down and help him out of the car and into a wheelchair to get him inside. His PCP's head nurse has been calling me to check up on him and to get updates.

I was able to get out and do laundry today, and get to the Walgreens for supplies and the grocery store for a prescription. I found his favorite food of all time, Klondike Oreo bars, which I'd previously only found at an old IGA in another town. He's still not eating a lot, but did eat more today than yesterday.

I have a list of questions for his next appointment, and will bring my notepad. At least I am allowed to go in with him for the doctor's appointment. He has been gamely using the walker, and apologizing for when he can't eat, but he did perk up at the Oreo Klondike bars.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 2:11 PM on June 10, 2020 [14 favorites]

I screamed at the car radio the other day because they were interviewing a police union shill who was doubling down on his use of slurs. At least they let him dig himself deeper and deeper; I can't imagine anyone listening to that coming away with "yeah the police are good people."
posted by basalganglia at 6:30 PM on June 13, 2020 [1 favorite]

My mom asked if she could come visit for the 4th of July, since her boyfriend's son wants to visit him.

I said no. I feel like a complete asshole.

I am literally the safest person on the planet right now for anyone else to have contact with. I just finished my last 2-week quarantine from having extremely brief contact with another human being delivering my groceries (without a mask, mind you). I only leave the apartment every two weeks because I absolutely have to. I can probably be reasonably sure I don't have it. I highly doubt my mom has it because she's only slightly out more than I am. But I don't feel like I can make exceptions to the rules. I don't think I should. I truly feel that it's not okay for anyone to have any contact at all with any other humans for any reason and even I'm a hypocrite for that because I went to Kaiser once. I can't stop anyone else and nobody but me feels like that and I know that, but everything is so crazy uncertain I feel like if I did make an exception, someone would come up with another thing about droplets or toilet flumes or god knows what. Or that Fort Benning link from another thread.

I feel like every minute the "what's sorta okay" shit might change. I can't deal with shades of gray and ambiguity because I'm too mentally ill to problem solve that. I felt sad and unable to forget about the virus the one time I saw anyone in person from a distance and I did not enjoy it. I don't want to feel like I killed her, as she is in good health but 70 years old. And then I think, what if she dies later and that was the last time I could ever see her, even though she is perfectly fine.

Too bad she came up with this idea after I already talked to my therapist for the first time in a month.

Also I found out from four people this week that they sent me texts that I did not receive. My carrier (Sprint) is shite anyway and I do NOT want to contact them for help because I am 100% sure they could not manage to anyway, but that is a problem when I thought my shrink was dead because she didn't write me back for 2 weeks and it turns out she had texted me all along. (My therapist is not doing well, though. Her husband lost his job and her mother just got cancer.)

All I can deduce is that all of those people have iPhones and I do not, which might be the kicker according to a coworker of mine who says her friend with an Android gets her texts randomly and late, which indeed happened when she sent me something "days later" in the middle of the night. But again, I can't problem solve this and I think I'll just end up stabbing myself if I have to call Sprint customer service.

(No, I don't think it was that big outage from yesterday. This has apparently been happening since the start of June, I'm still getting at least some texts from people, and my phone worked all day yesterday. But just now she was "So what do you think about the 4th of July? I just sent you a text" and I got nothing. It says sent on her end.)
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:12 PM on June 16, 2020 [1 favorite]

Well, I did manage to fix the phone at least, missed at least 90+ texts!
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:05 PM on June 16, 2020 [2 favorites]

Well, I did manage to fix the phone at least, missed at least 90+ texts!

Software/firmware/messaging technology is a nightmare, I'm glad you won this fight.
posted by PMdixon at 6:09 AM on June 17, 2020

So hey, remember back in March or so when I lost it because I thought my hot water was out and I didn't want to have to let the manager in?

I had no choice today: my smoke alarm went off and started shrieking so hard the entire block heard it. I left the door unlocked and then hid in the bedroom until she took it away.
Sigh. I had no choice on that one.
Another two week wait, right?

Also a friend of mine wanted to surprise drop off yarn--and have me go through it right there, apparently, tonight--and I said I wasn't going to touch it for several days out of paranoia (see above) and I think she's mad at me now, so that's awesome. I saw her through a keyhole and that's the best we're gonna do in life.

I feel like such an asshole saying no when "everyone else thinks it's okay!" but.... I don't feel like any of this is okay.
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:22 PM on June 19, 2020 [2 favorites]

I made a Zoom appointment with my workplace Employee Assistance Program. I am hoping they can help me find a therapist who I can meet with remotely, and I also need to think about how I can take some time for myself without feeling totally guilty. I am planning to ask work if I can work remotely for the Fall, and I think they will probably say yes. On the one hand, that's a relief, but on the other hand, what I'm doing now is not sustainable, and I need to make some changes if I'm going to do this for the long-ish haul.

So ok, that's progress. But it doesn't feel like it, because I'm basically bursting into tears every time I'm alone (or even semi-alone: if you're in D.C. and you see some random lady bawling in a minivan driving down Reno Road, that's probably me). Also, I think I'm teetering on the edge of eating disorder relapse. So yeah, not doing great, but trying to take some steps to do better.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 8:24 AM on June 20, 2020 [1 favorite]

We have been training our temp on (presumably) replacing my retiring coworker for months now. She applied for the job. She just got rejected for the job for (a) being nervous doing the interview, which made (b) grandboss decide she disliked her, I guess, and then (c) grandboss specifically said it was a conflict of interest to train someone for a job and then hire them for the job. I would like to point out that that is exactly how grandboss got her job, literally. Grandboss also claimed that temp "doesn't really know a whole lot about the job anyway." How the hell would she know? She's not around to know.

WTFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF. Swear to god, my office management is like the US government: the worst possible option is the one that they pick.

Seriously, I can't go train some fresh newbie from the outside on this shit when I don't even really understand it and the temp has had more brainpower to learn these things than I do. I can't "take the lead" on this stuff. My brain is handicapped here and I can't be in charge of it all. I have no choice. I am crying/drinking/feeling ill this week. Whee.

Still waiting on the smoke alarm replacement--theoretically now tomorrow.
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:44 PM on June 25, 2020 [1 favorite]

I'm in a pretty bad headspace thanks to not one but two terrible life events happening this week (three if you count Melbourne going from almost no cases into a huge second wave of COVID).

I'm barely hanging on. Day by day. Struggling to WFH. I just want a hug and I can't have one.
posted by daybeforetheday at 3:26 PM on June 25, 2020 [4 favorites]

After developing some symptoms on Monday night (sudden loss of taste, temp of 100) I got tested on Tues, with a 2-4 day lead time in getting results. The wait is agonizing! Especially so since I was in contact with my boss on Monday, so he's been banished from the building and has been working from home since then. I have a few other people heavily invested in the results, and also asking me repeatedly, which doesn't help my anticipation at all. I feel completely fine, so if I have it will almost be a relief, if it turns out there's some immunity.
posted by Sparky Buttons at 3:02 PM on June 26, 2020

« Older Resources for Anti-Racism/BLM Activism and Funding   |   Paywall Labelling Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments