When I clicked publish on my last post I didn’t expect this to be my next one, but here we are. I had such high hopes for this year after seemingly getting my life under control. I thought I was going to be my healthiest since getting colitis, travel more than ever and really do shit that I’ve been putting off. Now I’m travelling between my house and work, terrified of getting this fucking virus.
I don’t know what’s meant to be normal when it comes to thinking about our own mortality as humans, obviously it’s one of the pitfalls of higher consciousness as a species but then again we all differ wildly. I personally am mortified of the prospect of no longer existing, not for narcissistic reasons (I don’t think I’ll contribute much at all over the course of my life) but mostly just because I quite like being alive. I also have no idea what the fuck will happen when that stops. I know we all have that issue but I actually have spent a fair bit of time over the years in panic attacks when spontaneously thinking about my own death sooooo yeh… needless to say I am not having a great time right now.
This conundrum usually figures itself out by taking time to work through it practically – yes my condition likely increases my chances of an early death but it’s highly unlikely to be a hell of a lot earlier than average. In that case, I bank on making it to my 60s and I also bank on hopefully caring less about death by then. The other option is a quick sneaky death, which ideally I won’t know about a thus will just be gone from the universe like turning a light switch off. I’m okay with that too, I think, because I won’t have the chance to worry about it.
This current world crisis has fucked both those ideas though, because now I have the likelihood of catching this virus on top of the increased chance of an already not-unlikely death. The worst part is that I can’t really do anything about it outside of limit what I do and where I go, I have 13 weeks of sick leave if I strangle my pay but what if I take my 13 weeks and have to go back to work when the virus is hitting its peak?
It’s fucked me up because now I spend all day stressed out. I took on more responsibility at work being our union delegate and a couple of other roles like health and safety rep, which turns out to be very necessary during a pandemic – who woulda thought??? So now I’m dealing with meetings about the virus, the damage to the economy thanks to the virus, what our workers have to do to protect themselves from the virus. All this stress and constant exposure to bad news has sent me into an anxiety riddled meltdown, putting pressure on my poor little gastrointestinal system, and making me far more likely to have a flare up.
I didn’t want to write this post because everyone is facing the pandemic right now. I feel like a whiny idiot saying poor me like there aren’t millions of others in the same or worse situations. At least I have a stable union backed job with the freedom to take time off, paid for as long as my leave lasts. By the end of this half our country is going to be unemployed, life as we know it will be turned on its head. I don’t have the right to complain.
But I do – as does everyone. This is a problem I’ve faced my entire life being brought up in a culture of “there’s people worse off than you” and “your problems don’t matter because there’s shit to get done”. Right now there are people far worse off than me, and there’s a whole load of shit that has to get done. I’m allowed to be upset, anxious and angry; everyone’s issues are valid when it comes to your health and well-being. I still have to go to hospital to get my drugs that tank my immune system and stop it from attacking my guts, while dodging people that might give me a respiratory illness my pathetic compromised immune system won’t fight off. That terrifies me.
I really don’t know what to do right now and it’s this hopelessness that I think is hitting a lot of us the hardest. Despite its flaws our society in the western world is pretty smooth sailing, and we’ve been incredibly lucky in Australia to never really have any widespread distress. That good luck has stopped this year. I’m just hoping my good luck hasn’t run out either.