I’M SO STRESSED OUT I CAN’T WRITE FICTION
Over the past few weeks, you might have noticed something. No new chapters. No tweets. No news from me whatsoever. The only place I’ve been consistently active is Instagram, because pretty pictures are nice to look at and I need all the distraction I can get right now.
Real talk: I have anxiety. I’ve had it most of my adult life.
It’s bad enough having anxiety and trying to work through it when I know that there is no logical reason for me to be anxious. Trying to work through it when a pandemic is rolling over the entire world is…
I’m not worried about myself. While mentally I might be struggling, physically I’m in the peak of health. Both my husband and I work from home, and the few times we’ve been forced to venture out for necessities, we’ve avoided peak hours and taken great precautions.
It’s everyone else in my life stressing me out.
My husband’s grandparents (both in their 70s, one of whom has diabetes and is therefore in a ‘high risk’ category) decided NOT to cancel their cruise last week. Despite all the other cruise ship horror stories out there right now and the guidance for those at risk to stay home and, you know, not be around masses of people in airports and public transportation, etc.
Then there’s my mother and her partner (both in their 60s, both high risk because of heart disease and high blood pressure) who have so far ignored the advice to stay inside and instead of calling my sister to go get supplies for them, which we all agreed they would do, went grocery shopping themselves with half of the population in their town.
Then there’s people like my father and my husband’s mother, who are reposting conspiracy theories on Facebook about how this is all a hoax created by the left to destabilize “…the unparalleled and historic economic successes of President Trump”.
Lastly there is our federal government’s response to this crisis. Or lack thereof.
EXCEPT IT’S NOT OKAY. NONE OF THIS IS OKAY.
Why is it that so many of the most vulnerable people still aren’t taking this seriously? Is it because they’re not as plugged in as the younger generations? Are they not waking up at three a.m. to roll over and check the latest news, like so many of us are?
All you have to do is look at Italy and the near-collapse of their healthcare system in response to this outbreak to see the future of other countries with rising numbers of cases, our own included.
Why are people in cities like London still gathering en masse when the streets of Italy stand abandoned?
I understand those who have to keep working because of financial reasons or those who work in critical fields. But everyone else! Is it hubris? It boggles the mind that some people think, “Well, I’m healthy, so I’ll be fine” and go on with their day-to-day lives despite the warnings from seemingly every doctor on the planet about how infectious this is, and sure, you might be fine, but the old woman you stand shoulder-to-shoulder with at the flower market might not be.
I don’t want to be the reason that old woman is hospitalized or, god forbid, succumbs to this virus. How are other people okay with that? Is it selfishness? Has all the political and social turmoil over the past four years turned us all into sociopaths?
These are the things I can’t stop thinking about. These constant, nagging fears and anxieties are why my Fitbit is telling me I’ve been averaging about five hours of sleep a night.
And this is why I can’t write. My creative brain has completely shut down. I can’t unplug enough for me to disappear into a world of my own creating when the one I live in is a dumpster fire. I am so envious of those who can and I wish them all the best in their writing.
BUT, I need to keep writing. I don’t want to lose these skills, and I definitely don’t want to fall out of the habit. So I decided that I’m going to try blogging again. Maybe I’ll talk about books, or life, or, who knows, just totally random things.
I hope you decide to stick around, but mostly, my aim is to distract both myself, and hopefully you, the reader, in a time where we could all use some escapism.