The last few weeks, maybe months, I’d been questioning reality and wondering if all the past events in my life really happened.
Since the lockdown started, my husband and I had been working from home. The kid’s daycare closed, and even after it reopened, we decided not to enroll him until we feel more comfortable.
The situation at home has been far from comfortable. We’ve been struggling to juggle childcare, remote jobs, and tending to the household. We’ve been losing sleep to catch up on time for ourselves and one another.
There used to be boundaries that separated the different activities in our lives—unique spaces for work, play, eat, rest. But with the lines blurred by the pandemic, our home has stopped feeling like a sanctuary. More and more, it’s devolved into a place of chaos, full of stress and every family member’s unmet needs. More and more, it’s been feeling like a prison.
I’ve been in a suspended state, floating from one day into the next, being all philosophical about life and reality.
I would often stare at my husband, wondering, Have I been married to him for a decade?
Playing with my kid, I would think, Did I give birth to this boy? When did he get so big?
Is my job for real? Why are the issues never ending?
Have I been revising and resubmitting the same manuscript since 2019? Will I ever become the writer I set out to be?
I’d gotten these feelings of deflated detachment before… from a time when my depression and anxiety levels were bad enough to warrant medication.
And as much as I’d like to blame the pandemic for how messed up my head is right now—this is my cycle.
Every two years since high school, my mind had been shutting down, thanks to an ever-growing list of external triggers. For this 2020 iteration, the pandemic has been my biggest trigger and aggravator.
Still, COVID-19 didn’t spawn anything new. All it did was wake my ugly old double-headed giant to step out in time for its biennial fuckery.
Me floating around might be a defense mechanism to tune out the giant, to not feel the old aches too much, to not feel the new aches.
Every two years, my mind would shut down and attempt to repair itself. Like a computer, my brain would reboot, and while some parts of me would stay corrupted forever, others would either get updated or restored.
I would lose bits of myself but come out stronger, and hopefully a little wiser.
I wish to feel safe outside again. Even more, I wish for my mind to finish this reboot already. I want to feel safe inside my head again.