It’s been a sickly couple weeks in our house. My husband came home sick from work last Thursday with what we thought was a normal stomach bug. However, when it lasted longer than 5 days, we started to think it wasn’t your average norovirus.
We even ended up taking him to the ER because the diarrhea and abdominal pain got so bad. That was quite an experience as I wasn’t allowed in the hospital as a guest due to covid restrictions, so I spent 3 hours in the car waiting for him to be treated. Luckily, the heater in our car works just fine, or I would have frozen.
Eventually, we started to wonder if he might have covid. There is a significant amount of covid patients who primarily or even only get gastrointestinal symptoms according to various studies, and Steve had all the symptoms of that. These covid gastrointestinal symptoms tend to last longer than the 1 to 3 day window of an average stomach virus. Also, just a couple weeks ago, one of the students in my husband’s class at school tested positive for covid (as did his entire family), so he had been exposed.
Yesterday we went to get the covid test done. Waiting to see what the results say. Unfortunately, the past 48 hours, I’ve started exhibiting the same symptoms he has had for over a week 😦 I’m not feeling good and it sucks.
Yesterday I was glued to the tv news in a way I haven’t been since 9/11. Watching the insurrection happening in DC as Trumpers laid siege to the Capital was unreal in some ways, but in other ways, it was all too expected.
As I read the responses from all my friends on Facebook (shame, deep sadness, tears, anger, shock, fear, etc.), I must admit that I wasn’t quite feeling what everyone else seemed to be.
In fact, aside from sorrow for those who died and regret for the injured, yesterday highly entertained and amused me in many ways. Why? Because I’ve seen this coming from miles and miles away and wonder how so many others were wearing blinders.
As I watched these “protesters” take down the US flag and replace it with the Trump flag, walk through the Capital building with Confederate flags (something that never even happened during the Civil War era), and watched all the politicians forced to run like terrified children during a school shooting, the absurdity of it all just struck me as funny and (unfortunately) ironically fitting for the times we are living in now.
Our society is sick and this kind of stuff is only symptomatic of that deep, festering illness. Sometimes, I do feel great sadness and despair about it all, but I think I learned to laugh at the stupidity for the sake of my sanity. I feel a bit like the Joker with such a dark, nihilistic view, but it is what it is.
This morning I woke up thinking about my online reputation and what I would like it to be. When others read my poetry and personal blog posts (especially the ones having to do with mental illness, autism, or chronic pain/chronic illness) the things I strive to represent are honesty, openness, relatable vulnerability, realistic hope when possible, comforting solidarity, the healing power of sharing our pain, and the courage and inspiration to keep going, even when things feel hopeless.
However, since I myself struggle from mental illness and chronic pain, being transparent and honest means that often my viewpoint comes across as dark and bleak. I don’t try to hide that or tone it down when it happens, because to me, that is part of being honest and vulnerable enough to share what the experience of dealing with those issues is like on a daily basis. Putting a happy face on it would be lying.
My only worry is that sometimes the reality of dealing with daily mental and physical pain is that you can start to sound whiny. Part of me says, “well, of course, you are going to sound whiny now and then if you are in pain all the time! No shit!”, but for some reason our culture makes whining out to be such a negative thing that most of us want to avoid that look at all costs.
Maybe we as readers and audiences have to decide rather we really want full honesty and openness (even if it includes some whining and negativity) or if we pretend to want the truth, but in reality just want a short, scrubbed clean, feel good version of life. I know which I prefer, but I guess everyone has to decide for themselves.
2 days until Christmas, and I don’t think I could feel less festive if I tried. I’m dragging myself through each day, not really wanting to get out of bed or do anything. I’ve tried to break the depressive funk by making myself go to a couple holiday events in the past week, but the deep sadness I feel will not be pushed away or covered for long.
I’m still dealing with a lot of hurt from recent events with my husband, and while we are working on healing and doing therapy, the wounds are deep, especially for a heart like mine that struggles to trust so much in the first place due to a long history of trauma and abuse. Sometimes I despair that I’ll never be able to truly trust again.
My heart aches. My body and mind are worn out. I feel little hope. I wish I could report better things.