Spoiler alert: I am going to reveal some of my vulnerabilities and shortcomings below, thereby potentially burnishing my golden reputation for strength and stability. So if you don’t want to be disabused of your glowing perception of my perfectionism, cease and desist!
“Gloom, despair, and agony on me. Deep, dark depression, excessive misery.” It’s an old song, recognizable to my generation. It cycles through my mind.
It’s easy to get depressed during a pandemic. I try to keep up with friends who live alone, to make sure they know they are cherished by at least one person despite the distance. I understand how lonely and discouraging it can get.
I am not invulnerable, despite having a dinner companion and someone to watch my back. For example, today I got bad news: a possible plumbing leak at my rental condo (in the converted church). I know that Pope will try to support me through the ordeal, and stay nearby if tears flow. But the responsibility is mine.
Tears have been flowing easily. Not from loneliness per se, though it feels like I am alone in my troubles. Sound familiar?
Mostly, it’s despair at the shanghaied election process, the vile behavior of anti-maskers, the endless stream of problems that cannot be solved easily because of pandemic closures, reduced services, and reluctance to allow service personnel into my safe space. Equally depressing: we do not receive mail for long blocks of time, then a stack arrives all at once. The longest period was 7 days. We are getting other people's mail. The dismantling of postal service is real -- even 8 blocks from the US Capitol.
I know that not all readers of my blog share my political views. I forgive you, and hope that we can remain civil and respectful. I have handwritten, addressed, and stamped 800 election reminders to voters, hoping they will choose my favored candidates. Now, I have no confidence they will reach their intended recipients, because of corruption and malicious intent by the opposition. You may disagree with my politics, but my feelings are real. Tears of anger.
I have a friend who moved to Virginia last week and wants to vote. But DMV appointments to change an address and get a Real ID are not available until late October, and the deadline for voter registration changes is mid-October. I tried to help solve this problem. Tears of frustration.
Returning to the previous address to vote is not feasible. Voting by mail is ridiculous: the slim chance of a ballot application using the old address arriving at a short-staffed office, a ballot being forwarded from the old address to the new address by an unreliable USPS, and a completed ballot getting returned to election officials in time, by the same handcuffed USPS -- all around the same time frame that the DMV official address change is taking effect -- well, let’s just leave it at “ridiculous.”some people want to prevent other people from voting. The first set of people are more powerful than the second set of people. It’s a recipe for anxiety, anger, despair. Tears on behalf of the friend, myself, and all citizens affected by comparable dilemmas due to the sorry mess our country is in.
Finally, a source of tears and fears that I bet is not at all unusual: I wake up coughing every few days. I get hot flashes, chills, nausea, and lightheadedness. My head aches.
These might be attributable to allergies, hormone imbalances, hot weather, fluctuations in blood pressure, dehydration, stress. Who knows. In a time of pandemic, however, my mind flashes like lightning to the perfect storm: coronavirus.