the new normal/stir crazy

By now its been about a week since my clinic closed its doors physically to clients, a week and two days since they closed the schools and the daycares, and im not sure how long since the province issued a state of emergency overall. I’ve gone from worried about unpacking my lens from Tokyo as a vector to the disease, to being afraid of every human i cross paths with outside my home, or even my neighbors as possible vectors to coronavirus. I have gone from having deeply fulfilling days with client work, casual shopping for unique Zeiss lenses on eBay, and slow nights with H and W, to almost no work, watching weeks of client bookings cancelled, having no day to day routine, and just an overall frustration, irritability, and grief and loss in normality. Oh and worried about everyone dying. That too. That has come up a lot. Standing afar from my parents dropping off groceries and not being able to be near or to hug them, or fear of speaking too long in their presence was a surreal experience. I think I had tears come to me at that point- up until then I think I was more accepting of the change, seeing there was little that I could do to change the unchangeable, and that we were all in this together. But then I think that that moment it became more real to me. And despite what I tell my clients to focus on – what we have to control, it has been incredibly tough, frustrating, and irritating to mourn the loss of normality. Finding my new normal has been frustrating. I didn’t think we were going to lose our unit gym, but then we did- and really that was not unprecedented since all commerical gyms were closed. But seeing part of my home shut down for use, one that I use extensively daily, was tough. The very real morality of my parents and Ws parents was tough. The very morality of the community and life overall, and frailty of life is now very real. Just a month ago I was celebrating the end of my thesis draft; now I must deal with the possibility that it won’t even matter, won’t finish, won’t convocate, or won’t have my family at graduation. There will be no graduation this year- I doubt we figure out this pandemic within that time frame in order to have mass gatherings again. And thinking there is the possibility of family not being at graduation is a stark and horrible and possible reality. I read a pair of Ontario physicians who had lost a father to coronavirus today and it was very sobering to think that despite being expertly trained in this area of horror, they could not save their loved ones. They could only grieve and send a message to the public to be wary. As the weather warms and I normally get excited for the outdoor runs and the stairs in the River Valley, I am now turned off by the reports of over-crowding and people not maintaining their social distance on the Glenora stairs. Places where I used to find solace now I find anxiety.  I think I’m also grieving the loss (sense of) utility. If I cannot be there to support my clients, what use am I? I know there are multiple thought errors CBT wise happening here, but its definitely where my mind is. Catastrophic thinking, black and white thinking, negative filtering, overgeneralizing….gross. Lack of social contact is also killing my extroverted cup. And yet all of these are similar thoughts occurring with everyone, everywhere.

Its been some time since I have felt this level of despair. I just want to go back reviewing old electronics and being a simpleton.

The discomfory you’re feeling is grief- an article in Harvard Business Review describing my low.

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