Running on empty

I don’t know if it’s depression, trauma, or the pandemic, but it feels like everything hits harder these days. Disappointment. Anger. Frustration. Perhaps it’s because we’re enduring all these big feelings in isolation. Perhaps it’s because we can’t go out for drinks and go on a drunken rant about the shit we’re going through. Perhaps it’s because we’ve been in this miserable hell for over a year, and it doesn’t seem like things are getting any better.

I write on the day that my goddaughter turned two, and my godson dropped by for a brief, socially-distanced visit. And my son can only wave at them through the screen, or with a mask in between. Lucas hesitantly hands a gift to Daniel, before running away to hide. Shyly he hides from the webcam as I sit through Lia’s Zoom birthday party, before he warms up enough to greet her on camera.

No sitting on the grass for a picnic. No fighting over whose turn it is at the slide, or being made to share snacks. No giggling while running. Only painful distance. Only insufferable caution. Only postponement and patience.

I am running out of words for how tired I am of the restrictions and lockdowns, the guidelines and the fuck-ups. I am running out of words for how lonely I am for my friends and family. I am running out.

Every big feeling seems like it’s just waiting for something, anything, a tiny little signal, before it lets everything loose. A postponed salon appointment. A happy music video. A bad hair day. It could be any trivial thing, and I end up in tears, dejected. I force myself to do something other than sitting and sulking. I write. I clean. I work out. I force myself to be busy, to the point of fatigue. For a little while I’m better, but when the exhaustion passes, when my sweat has dried, when I’ve run out of clothes to fold, it comes back. Today it’s sorrow and disappointment, and I can’t reason with myself to get over it. Tomorrow, perhaps more of the same. Or perhaps anger and frustration.

I don’t even have the energy to cry.

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