Stay At Home: Day 35
I thought I was on an upswing.
After almost a week of almost-normal sleep, a steadier pulse, an no anxiety attacks, the past couple days have seen my stress levels increase again. As the country as a whole seems to be moving closer to relaxing stay-at-home orders, Los Angeles has seen a sudden three-day increase in the number of confirmed cases. I probably shouldn’t be looking at the Department of Health’s daily press releases, but I do. I probably shouldn’t have taken a drive yesterday to try to clear my head and get outside for more than a walk around the neighborhood. I’ve been up since 4:30 am this morning worrying about getting sick and convincing myself I’m experience symptoms. It’s like week one of “Safer At Home” all over again. Today I’ve tried to busy myself to preoccupy my brain, first with job/class hunting, then with a short walk around the neighborhood, and right now with preparing dinner for tonight.
I know it’s probably irrational — see, I can’t even bring myself to flat-out say it is irrational — but that’s life with an anxiety disorder.
Yeah. I went on a drive down to northern Orange County yesterday. I got to the Fullerton area in about 35-40 minutes, which is a drive that would normally take at least an hour even on a weekday at midday. I probably wasn’t outside of my car for more than ten minutes once I reached my destination. On my way home I stopped at a small shop in Culver City to retrieve some supplies. There, one of the employees walks your order to your car and places it in your trunk for you. So, basically, I interacted with one person through a sneeze guard yesterday and carried two cardboard boxes from my car into my home. And that was enough to cause a sleepless night. God, I’m a mess.
The rest of the week has been…okay. On Monday I put together a small Zoom get together with my co-workers (former co-workers?). We basically vented and lamented for an hour, which was pleasant enough given the circumstances. Earlier that day I applied for unemployment, which is always a soul-crushing experience. I’ve only had to do that once before in my life. I’m pretty sure my claim was approved because I received an email alert from my bank confirming my new profile/debit card. I guess that card comes in the mail? Hopefully pre-loaded? I’m not hurting for money at the moment, but depending on how long I’m out of work things could always get a little dicey. Time to tighten up the purse strings, I suppose. I got all excited today because one of my “in stock” alerts rang to inform me that Nintendo Switch is back in stock several places online…and now I don’t think I want one anymore. Sorry, friends who have been begging me to play Mario Kart, or Animal Crossing, or FFVII, or whatever the game of the moment is with them…not until I’m getting paid again.
On Tuesday…what did I do on Tuesday? Let’s call it a lost day. I think I had to wait around for some packages and then we watched a movie at night. Pretty boring. I haven’t been cooking much this week, honestly. On Tuesday we heated up some chicken and prosciutto tortellini in marinara sauce with steamed broccoli and shredded parmesan cheese. Last night I made prosciutto, heirloom tomato, mozzarella, and pesto sandwiches in the panini press. I couldn’t really be bothered to put forth a lot of effort last night. Aside from the general anxiety, we lost power at noon yesterday and it didn’t come back on until almost 7:30 pm. Talk about a boring afternoon. I actually picked up my guitar and strummed it for an hour or so. My muscle memory is terrible at this point. I should be taking online guitar lessons right now.
Last night I had my weekly Survivor watch party on Zoom with some friends. We made plans to have a Zoom party/game night on Saturday for my birthday. This is already shaping up to be my most depressing birthday ever. Actually, come to think of it, I should rank my least favorite birthdays ever. I don’t know if I have ten bad ones that come to mind, but…the worst was definitely my 21st birthday. I had maybe one or two friends on campus when I was a Junior in college. I don’t think either of them drank alcohol. Pennsylvania has — or had, at that time — those weird laws where you had to buy spirits and beer at different locations. I don’t think a store could sell both. So I went to a liquor store and purchased a small bottle of Maker’s Mark. Then I sat in my dorm room alone drinking it until I fell asleep. Talk about a depressing birthday. We’ll know soon enough whether turning 37 gives turning 21 a run for its money. Stay tuned…
And, as always — no more than ever — stay healthy and stay safe.
The Flowers – After Dark [MP3]
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