As you may (or more likely may have not) noticed is I haven’t been posting *at all* the last couple of months, not even for Carnival of Aces which normally I manage to at least squeeze out a hot mess of personal thoughts. Part of the problem is the pandemic has cut me off from my usual free wifi hotspots. There’s also a global pandemic happening and I work part-time at a pharmacy and I picked up a 2nd job as substitute teacher so I’m just overwhelmed by *everything*.
I was able to get my first dose Covid vaccine right before Christmas only to find out the *next day* that my boss tested positive on a rapid test so I could already be infected before the first vaccine has a chance to do anything much less before I’m scheduled to get my 2nd dose and it’s still *two weeks after that* I would have the benefit of the full effect of the vaccine. I am losing my mind right now. We had a small potluck *at work* and gift exchange right before the holiday that was just the folks on shift that day and only 3-4 people in the break area at a time. We are so, so freaking careful because it’s a *Pharmacy*. We don’t have the option to work from home or fill scripts remotely and some jackass doctor had the nerve to tell my boss that we “weren’t healthcare providers” so we shouldn’t have gotten our vaccines first. Don’t bite the hand that immunizes you, dude, or schedules your appointment.
At this moment. I feel fine. …Fine-ish, my anxiety symptoms get a free pass or don’t count or whatever. After the shot my arm hurt (zero surprise there) and I was *exhausted* the next day to the point that I thought I would need to chug an energy drink to finish doing my laundry. Today I worked a ten hour shift no problem with my usual (if some what ridiculous) caffeine intake. I have a mild stress/caffeine induced caffeine headache which is typical after a ten hour shift. Even if I’m not showing symptoms I still want to get tested on Monday.
Before this latest “holy shit” moment I’ve just been doing as much as I could to keep my stress to manageable levels. I splurged on some essential oils to add to my laundry because cuddling up in cozy smells is amazing and if there’s a chance I could lose that I want to enjoy it as much as possible now. Similarly with food I’ve given myself permission to be as picky or free as I want. When I get like *overwhelming super stressed* my face starts to tingle and lose feels and I’m definitely touching that point today. The last time that happened it literally felt like I had been given a shot of novocain and my immediate circle of medical professionals (pharmacist, dentist, nurse practitioner) didn’t have an answer for me other than “are you sure it’s not bells palsy?” The fuck if I know, I’m not the one with a medical degree. Google says tingling lips and fingers is a physical symptom of anxiety (and definitely preferable to nausea which is my coworker’s usual symptom) and it’s not on the “if you have these symptoms go to the hospital now” list.
In light of that awkward tangent, I guess it safe to segue to how it’s so weird that being a “writer” and writing was something that was important to me and part of my core identity for *years*, like I literally wanted to be a writer when I grew up, and it’s one of the first things I had to cut for my mental health. I love writing, but I also find it ridiculous draining. It’s not even a case that I’m reading more to make up for it because I barely sit down to read a couple times a week and it’s mostly rereading because that’s, once again, less draining that trying to find and commit to a new book.
Currently my free time adventures consist of watching reaction channels on YouTube to supplement some human connection and binge watching M*A*S*H while doing yarn based crafts. I spent a month knitting a scarf for my work’s Secret Santa and now I’m teaching myself needle binding, the neolithic precursor to knitting that is apparently all the rage with reenactors. I spent something like four hours trying to carve my own wooden needles; one got eaten by my dog, one split when I was drilling the eye, and the last one is chilling in a junk drawer because I decided “fuck it” and just ordered some bone and horn needles off etsy. Under normal conditions these activities would be really, really boring but now I *need* boring-while-keeping-hands-occupied because it helps with the anxiety symptoms and feelings of being overwhelmed.
There’s no pretty way to end this. I’m just dealing with a lot right now and trying to stay sane. I’m still a little sad that writing didn’t make the cut, but it is what it is and I totally count just surviving 2020 as a huge accomplishment. I’ll knock on some wood on my way out.
Edit: Sunday makes the 2nd time I’ve been called in to come and work this week. They should just make me fulltime already
Edit: On monday I stood in line for two hours to do the city’s free asymptomatic testing and the test came back negative, thankfully, so I can focus on the stress of while I was in line to get a covid test my supervisor asked if I could come into work [facepalm emoji] which means that I was asked to come into work every. single. day. I wasn’t already scheduled this week. Seriously guys. Just make me fulltime.