COVIDiaries part 7

I am so incredibly blessed. I still have my job. I do really well being alone. I’m not touch-starved because (outside of sex) it’s not that important to me. I have amazing people in my life who are checking in on me, sending words of encouragement, sending me flowers, Zooming with me. In many ways I’m less lonely than I’ve ever been. I had let hating the scratchiness of phone calls and glitchiness of video chats keep me from keeping in contact with my friends who are dispersed. But now I don’t care. I’m happy to endure the technical difficulties and it’s made my life much richer.

All that being said, this week one thing I’ve noticed is pain. When a friend glibly described themselves as so happy and and well-adjusted that they don’t really need to exercise, it felt like they were a rich person describing their Bentley to me, a poor person. I wanted, and want, to be happy for them. But what I mostly felt, and feel, is alienated. I need to exercise.

Or when a polyam guy I’m talking to and want to date prioritizes his girlfriend over me. I am happy for them. I’m so happy for everyone who has a happy, supportive, pro-growth romantic relationship. And for everyone who doesn’t have one but doesn’t really want one or care. But it feels like a rich person describing their Bentley to me, a poor person. Except I care about being rich one one millionth as much as I wish I were happy, well-adjusted, and in a happy, supportive, pro-growth romantic relationship.

I don’t know if it’s drinking less, doing drugs less often, having less sex, meditating, therapy, or something else, but the pain feels sharper than before. More clearly delineated. I feel like I notice that I’m feeling it, and identify what it is, faster than before.

I’m thinking a lot about loneliness, because everyone is. And also because I’m generally pretty obsessed with it. I’m realizing the extent to which I keep people at arm’s length because I’m scared of them hurting me. I’m afraid of rejection. I’m afraid of them flaking. I’m afraid of the offhand comments that don’t mean anything to them but destroy me. I’m thinking about the Brene Brown Netflix special. About how feeling love requires feeling grief. I’m thinking about how I don’t want life to go back to normal. Not just politically. But personally.

People are awful. They’ll hurt you in the ways you expected and in ways you could have never thought of. But they’re worth it. There’s no life without them.

I’m scared of COVID. I’m tired of washing my groceries. I’m scared I’m not getting enough done at work. I’m scared of getting my heart broken. But, as my mom likes to say, “Do it scared.”

Overall, I’m in an extremely privileged position. I have a job. I have a place to live that is clean and safe. I have plenty of food. My heart goes out to everyone that’s not true for. I can’t imagine that stress on top of COVID stress.

And, overall, I’m hopeful. SF infections seem to be stabilizing. People are saying 200,000 deaths where before people were talking about 2 million. I’m becoming convinced that we should all wear masks anytime we leave the house. I think that will cut down the duration of lockdowns. Apparently even homemade masks are super useful and almost as good as surgical masks.

That’s all I got. Shit’s lonely. But, we’re all in this together. Love you all.

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