I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I feel like I am living in a dystopian remake of the movie “Groundhog Day.”
Isolating alone in my apartment has some benefits, no doubt. I don’t have to deal with anyone else’s issues about noise, space usage, food, bathroom usage, etc. I know so many of my friends are feeling their relationships strained during this extended period of quarantine. I am lucky in some respects.
On the other hand, being alone all the time creates other challenges. Loneliness is the most prevalent of those. When I am feeling sad or depressed – or alternately when something is fantastic or I have amazingly good news – there’s nobody to share it with me. I need a hug – more than one. Lots and lots of hugs. Sadly, that’s not going to happen anytime soon.
Even when I have different things to do from day to day, the days still seem somehow to be the same. The food I prepare may be different, but the energy of meal planning and meal preparation and eating and cleaning up remain like an endless repetitive pattern.
As much as I try not to get into ruts, I find myself sometimes falling into very specific patterns of behavior. I wake up, pull my morning tarot card, start water boiling for coffee, take my morning pills, grind coffee for my French Press, make up my bed while that’s going on, get dressed, wait to hear the kettle boil, pour the water over the grounds and set a timer, power up my iPad and decide where I’m going to sit to sip coffee while I check my email and social media, pour a cup of coffee and check my social media and email. On a workday, I then move into my home office and power up the laptop. On a non-work day, I move into the living room and plan out what I’m going to do with the rest of my day.
Most days are exactly the same. Oh, I may change up where I sit or what mug I drink my coffee in, or even where I decide to set up my home office computer. But overall, it’s the same thing day after day after day. And today, despite an actual trip outside to go grocery shopping, I felt much the same with one exception.
Today, it finally started to sink in that this might not change significantly for a long time. It’s been just over 16 weeks and if I am not misinterpreting the signs, I may be sitting here in my apartment alone for a long time. Well, sitting here or pacing around or laying sprawled in the middle of the floor or curled up into a fetal position sucking my thumb. Whatever. But alone.
That thought makes me profoundly depressed right now. I long for something to help me reignite passion, for something to help me see things in a more positive light. I long for someone to hold me and tell me that it’s going to be ok, that I am not alone.
But I know that’s not going to happen. Oh, I can find ways to feel more passionate and I can reframe my thinking into a positive direction – those are things over which I do have control. But the loneliness is something I cannot cure. No matter how much I try to reframe my thoughts, the pure fact of the matter is that I am all by myself here and it’s not going to change. Nobody is going to appear and hug me or hold me when I need to cry or stroke my cheek and tell me that I am alright.
Today is the first time I have looked the future squarely in the face and thought to myself, “What if this stays the same for another 16 weeks? Or more?” I don’t know the answer to that “what if” question. All I can do is try to just re-center myself and take things one day at a time.
One Groundhog Day at a time.
It’s only Quarantine if it comes from the Quarante province of France. Otherwise, it’s just Sparkling Isolation.