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Anxiety and Depression Quarantine Uncategorized

Built for Times Like These

In the worst ways. I was strangely built for times like these. For isolation and hibernation. For keeping close ones close and far ones further. For creating plans that may never be needed. For constant vigilance.

These are the things my anxiety wants. These are the things my anxiety has wanted for as long as I can remember. No, not death. Not sickness and human suffering. None of that. My anxiety wants to curl up in isolation and hibernate with my closest close ones, planning and preparing for eventualities that may (hopefully) never be. My anxiety wants to be constantly vigilant.

It’s the reason I am the first to move on a green traffic light. It is the reason I have a storm reserve and a flu reserve year-round. It is the reason for most of my daily routines. That constant vigilance.

And it’s exhausting.

Since I was a small girl, I have had this fantasy of storing up supplies and hibernating with my family. Like a bear but with more mobility. It is a warm, comforting feeling for me. Think of how much anxiety-related noise is just cut off during hibernation! Traffic and bullies and bad-faith actors. Scams and schemes. Perils of all imagining.

So at first, hibernating is relaxing. Euphoric. I can easily account for the whereabouts of each of my people, in my home or theirs. Gone are those imaginings that deal with continual motion of humans through life.

If you have zero idea what I’m talking about, it’s okay. Just know that people like me are out here, and social distancing feels a little like a win in an otherwise unwinnable situation.

The problem, of course, is constant vigilance. Anxiety doesn’t put that down just because all the nestlings come home and we have food and supplies in our own little nest. Oh, no. Constant vigilance is, well, constant. It looks for things to be vigilant about. The biggest thing currently: are all the rules being followed by everyone?

[Spoiler: They are not.]

Am I following all the rules?

Probably not, too. I mean, there’s no single list of rules. There’s no single defined space that says these are the things that will keep you well. Because that is impossible. Enter anxiety!

Where impossibilities and possibilities meet, that is where you will always find anxiety and anxious people. The impossibility of indefinite quarantine at the corner of school shut-downs and dwindling resources. The impossibility of following all the rules that don’t exist intersects the possibilities of time, togetherness, apartness. The impossibility of living wage-free in a wage-based world drives straight through the possibilities of layoffs, economic disaster, and restoration. The impossibility of being on this earth without my people strikes the center of possible points of infection, routes of disease, and survival limitations.

As in all things, we want to see the picture while it is still being painted. We want to know the answers, though we exist primarily in questions. We want to know the worth of all our impossibilities and possibilities before they become tangible, measurable.

And we cannot. As we each move forward into this new vista of society, let us remember our social responsibilities to one another, and most particularly to the most vulnerable. Wherever you fall on the spectrum of ease or discomfort during lockdowns, voluntary quarantine, or simply times like these, my ardent hope is that you are loved and that you love, that you see and are seen, that you remain vigilant for yourself and for everyone else. May you have health, security, and every thing you need.

If you or someone you love is in danger during times like these, here are some resources that might be beneficial:

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

SAMHSA Taking Care of Your Behavioral Health

Homeless Alliance of Oklahoma City

Stop It Now! Crisis Hotlines

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Coronavirus

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Uncategorized

The Year of Intentional Living, Part 2

I make few assumptions about you. You, as passersby of this blog, don’t have a predetermined image in my head. So when I write of my goals for 2015, understand that I am simply oversharing a piece of my life. I have absolutely zero fantasies, desires, or aims to push off my goals onto you.

My theme for 2015 – The Year of Intentional Living – focuses on multiple facets of my life, the life I intend to have. My areas of intentional living are based on my life where it exists today. I didn’t look to a book or blog to see where my focus should be. I looked to the life I already have. I examined that life. I looked at my many flaws and all the things I do that set me away from the path I desire.

Then I broke my life into those chunks that I want to foster. My chunks of life might be similar to yours but only by coincidence. I’ll not hold you to my chunks of life and I’ll not be held to yours. And that’s okay. We could be different in a gajillion ways, in everything from personal demons to family of origin differences, from religion to age to what we’ve already learned to what we have left to learn.

We embrace one another’s differences by acknowledging that differences are not the enemy. Consider yourself embraced.

Here is a streamlined breakdown of my theme that I developed in November and December:

Theme: The Year of Intentional Living. This time next year I will be the person I intended daily to be.

Purpose: In 2015 I will live with intention. I will act intentionally to strengthen my everyday commitments to my God, marriage, parenting, body/mind health, career, resources, and socialization.

Categories:

  1. My God
  2. My Marriage

  3. My Parenting

  4. Myself

  5. My Career

  6. My Resources

  7. My Socialization

For each of these areas, I have set goals that can be measured and planned and executed. Each goal has a set of actions intended to achieve the goals.

As you can see, these are areas that matter to me. Now. Once upon a time I had no marriage to include on a list like this one. I had no children. I had no career. But I had other things, other concerns, other areas of growth and development. They were important and I was invested in them, as I am in these areas now.

In the next seven posts, I’ll go into further detail for each category’s goals, necessary actions, and reviews. If you share one or more of these categories, perhaps you and I can encourage one another in our separate goals. If you are wholly different, perhaps you and I can encourage one another in our separate goals. I mean, I’ll be oversharing, and who wants to do that alone?

Welcome to 2015, however you 2015.

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