I cried all day yesterday and as I sit in bed a write this, I am tearing up again.
I have chronic anxiety and a tendency towards depression. So when I cry all day, I blame it on that.
But then, I get online and read article after article about depression and anxiety on the rise since the beginning of the pandemic, and I wonder, is it that?
Probably all of the above, but I do realize that all of my hours alone have given me quite a bit of space to perseverate on all of the past transgressions and hurts and failures.
Anyone else dong that?
And then of course, minus my uterus and minus my youth, I’m still getting all PMS-y; but that could just be an excuse to eat flan AND ice cream for dessert.
I think that I am struggling to admit that I have succumbed to the struggles of Covid and isolation. I have convinced myself that time without being social is my dream world. But, even me, the ultimate introvert, could use some live entertainment.
I went to TJ Maxx yesterday to buy a gift card. In the town over the hill, in the more progressive and socially conscious next county over, they wear masks, sanitize surfaces, and limit the number of people in a store.
Anyway, It’s hard to say “I went to the mall” here because the mall mostly consists of vacated store spaces surrounding TJ’s and Bed Bath and Beyond – the last men standing next to the long-gone Pier One and JC Penny.
I wasn’t planning on actually shopping because there is a pandemic and lingering in public spaces is low on my list of appropriate behaviors, but when I stepped into the store I felt like a kid walking into Santa’s Workshop with a shopping cart.
I promised myself I wouldn’t spend money on me – this is Christmas time – but I had so much fun pretending I was a gazillionaire. It was irresistable. I browsed high heels, lingerie, and butter dishes. I picked out 3 beaded purses that I didn’t need and thought about a fake mink coat. I picked up a few presents and some super luxurious hand soap for my kitchen.
I can’t tell you how liberating it felt to take my time and casually stroll through the entire store, coursing through every single aisle, checking out every single item on the shelf.
From afar. Not touching.
And to be able to do so, anonymously, because I finally got out of my 4-store radius, was like breathing fresh air.
It felt so normal, in a time when nothing has felt normal for so so long.
I told two saleswomen and a fellow shopper that this was my first time doing something like this since the beginning. One woman said, “Relax. Enjoy. I’d serve you tea if I could.”
Can you imagine if TJ Maxx served margaritas?
Eventually, I left, after miraculously remaining within my budget.
I also left with enormous awareness of how isolated I have felt – without realizing it.
I can see that those unimportant little things like filling up my basket with unnecessary cashmere bathrobes and butt-enhancing clay masks, are missing and…
Suddenly, I realize that even this introvert with an enviable quarantine-life (boyfriend, beautiful home, Elvis, and a natural penchant for shutting out the world) has been craving normalcy.
As often as I have said, “I love me a pandemic” I can now see that it has slowly been chipping away at my sanity.
I think about those folks who are not natural loners and worry. If this is killing me, what is it doing to people who have more of a desire, or need, to connect with other human beings?
I don’t really know if my tears are covid related or just my natural state of being. Because I am already anxious and depressed half of the time, I can’t say that this is any different.
But I can say, after my response to being in a discount store with bright shiny objects, that this pandemic has clearly gotten to me.