Anyone of a certain age will remember the original Atari video game – Pong. It was released in 1972, but I think my first copy of it was a Christmas gift in 1975. That was a big deal back then! I mean, the whole concept of an interactive video game was new and exciting.
I bring this up, because today I had a vivid flash of Pong when I was thinking about my emotions. Yesterday, if you read my post, you will know that I hit rock bottom. I talked about the pendulum swinging all the way over to the dark side.
Today, the opposite seems to be happening. Just like a game of 1970s Pong, my mood hit some kind of invisible barrier and started to bounce back across the abyss towards the opposite side. At the moment, I haven’t hit a positive “high” point, but I do feel remarkably more equanimous and centered than I did last night.
If you have followed my posts here, you will know that I am a huge fan of metaphor and simile to help describe the odd flowing of emotions during our current crisis. This “Pong” analogy is just one of many, similar to the “Coronacoaster” concept I have written about many times.
Up, down, up, down. Now – side to side, hit the wall, bounce back.
However I choose to parse this, the end result is an exhausting cycle of energy. I truly feel a bit like that mythical Phoenix who bursts into flame, withers into ashes, then suddenly rises anew from the ash to fly off and start a new life. Every day I feel like I am going through that cycle on some level – feeling fine, suddenly feeling horrible, sinking into despair, wishing I were dead, sleeping on it, then waking the next day with a better attitude and finally rising up to a decent place o feeling OK again.
What I realize now, however, is that I only seem to make it up to “OK.” I cannot recall the last time I felt better than that – anything closer to “great” or “awesome” or even “good.” On a scale of 1 – 100 I feel like this pandemic has put me into a place where I bounce from about 10 up to 60 with occasional spikes to 70. It’s like a damper pedal on the piano – pushing down the high end so that I can only seem to reach a certain point and no higher.
I don’t know where this is going for me, but I feel like I needed to just get it out there – this feeling of being somehow restrained, unable to feel anything better than “just ok.” I wonder if others feel like this too?
It’s only Quarantine if it comes from the Quarante province of France. Otherwise, it’s just Sparkling Isolation.