Keeping Calm and Carrying On
I’m aiming for calm. A support worker didn’t visit and I hope they’re ok. (We can’t phone each other directly and the central switchboard is swamped, so I gave up.) Although my life is mostly domestic, I have to admit that this unexpected absence has thrown me. I’d counted on at least walking around the block with them, at a suitable distance from each other. Without that, and without contact from them, I’m thrown.
Being agoraphobic means I’m already home a lot. Having support to get out and about a bit is important for my sense of wellbeing. If this is going to be my new normal, I’m going to need to reorganise myself, alongside everyone else who’s suddenly in isolation. For this moment though, I’m just going to acknowledge my feelings. They’re saggy. I’ll draw a picture with crayons, then we’re done with that.
Ok, done. My disability application for priority grocery deliveries went through ok, so that’s good. The grocery delivery order is completed as well. What a relief! If I can’t get out to shop, I’m reliant on others. If they’re unavailable, there have to be other options. Again, I can’t be the only one in this situation.
It’s weird. I’m accustomed to being the only weirdo stuck at home while others carry on with their money making, shopping, socialising, travel and whatnot. And there’s still an element of that, but more are at home and any social contact I have is from an unsociable distance. No more hugs! The only touch I get is from my velcro cat, and as lovely as she is, come on, that’s not the same. An ex-partner used to keep her distance when I had a coldsore on my lip, and I felt like a leper. Is anyone else feeling like a leper, even if not yet infected with The Virus?
Should I add a bright side? Of course there have to be bright sides. A friend just emailed a link to a local business that now offers free delivery of healthy meals – enough to feed six. Very reasonably priced. If I had a freezer large enough, I’d probably opt into that. If I think of someone else who could benefit, I’ll gift them a meal. It’s great that people are thinking of creative solutions. One neighbour is leaving a bowl of chop suey on my letterbox tonight. She loves cooking and entertaining and is feeding multiple neighbours today. Bless her cotton socks.
The local library, now closed for several weeks at least, has ceased charging fines for overdue books. Definite upside. And although the internet is struggling with increased local demand, I still have internet and power and hot and cold running water, which is not always a given. I’m thinking now of Kiwi friends and of post-earthquake living. THAT was grim. Thinking of Croatia right now. One Kiwi mate told me that the increase in overall anxiety within their community affected them in unexpected ways. My mate relaxed, and put it down to no longer being the only anxious person in the village. Suddenly they felt ‘normal’ and felt they belonged.
Later: Heard about ViralKindness tonight. And received an apology for the support worker’s absence. Ate my chop suey and am trying to figure out what to do next. Unsettled. Have already made all my check-in calls. Will likely write my fingers off.
If you’re struggling, you’re not alone and we’ll get through this together. Take good care of yourself. Send smoke signals occasionally if you don’t feel up to writing or calling. You’re loved.