The Quarantine Month 1: How I feel…

It has been over a month since I have worked. (RIP my job at Bandago 8 1/2 years.)  That last day, Sunday March 15th, I had an eerie feeling it was my last ( I wasn’t laid off until the 18th.)   I remember a sound engineer dropping off a van after the tour she was on was cancelled, she had just driven back from the East Coast. The next 7 months of work she had planned completely vanished.  She seemed devastated and numb.   That was the last client I remember talking to.  The rest of the day was me and my coworker driving  excess vans across LA to store them in lots to sit. On my last day, only a few of the hundred some vans at the LA location were still on the road, and set to return that week.  I enjoyed my job (for a day job,) and appreciate the company. I hope they can eventually recover.

I keep having horrible anxiety dreams about my job.  It is so weird that it isn’t a part of my life and I don’t need to be concerned about it.

I am not OK, and I shouldn’t feel like I have to pretend to be.  I am in a depression mixed with anxiety and adjusting to the new traumatic environment.  I have major depressive disorder and I have trouble getting joy out of life sometimes.  My life has been a roller coaster of going between “normal,” mild depression (eat a lot, lazy, trouble accomplishing small tasks and socializing,) and severe depression (lose weight, quit eating, can’t sleep, ashamed to talk to people, thinking everyone hates me and I don’t deserve friends, and not even drumming brings me happiness.)

I would love to be working, I am not someone who is able to enjoy excess free time.  I need a filled schedule to keep me moving and distracted.  Having a schedule and commitments helps.  I have that kind of successful depression where I can accomplish a lot of things.  With no job or bands, it is getting hard to feel any sense of purpose.  To make matters worse, I am about to run out of my medicine.  This year a 3 month supply jumped from $135 to$ 420.

Normally, losing my job would trigger a depressive episode, but I would be able to use positive thinking, gratitude, and coping skills to get out of it fairly quickly.  I am pretty aware of my illness and take good care most of the time.

Almost all of my normal coping skills are unattainable in this current state. I can’t smash my acoustic drum set, I can’t have band practice, connect with people musically,  and I can’t preform live.  I also can’t go for hikes or spend time deep in nature, and that is a big part of my life.  It is essential to my health.

I can’t take a vacation or go visit my family.  I have been going on 7 mile jogs each day as some type of escape.  Anytime I film myself drumming I just feel like a joke. That’s not me, a  solo drummer. I need a band.  My face hurts from putting on a fake smile.  I am very apathetic towards life.

I have a personal survival plan for I ever start to feel suicidal. Laugh if you want, my last resort plan is to get on a plane, fly to Boise Idaho, rent a car, drive to Yellowstone National Park and bottle feed a baby bear.  My emergency  “life saving cuteness overload serotonin shot to the brain to save my life.”  It’s is a life long dream that I am saving for a dire emergency, because animal rights and stuff. But if it comes to life or death and I have no hope left, I will go hug myself a baby bear.

Well, my baby bear experience is not accessible at this time.  I don’t need it, but just knowing that option isn’t there is adding to the anxiety.

I am thinking very rationally, but my feelings are out of control. It sucks not always being able to have your rational brain control your emotional responses to life.  My rational brain controls my actions, while my gut is a painful ball of knots and panic attacks.  I am stressing about my future security and stability, even though I shouldn’t be.  I feel guilty not being able to just be grateful for having some security at all.  I hate that I have this stupid illness that I feel I should have control over, and but sometimes I can’t.  I feel like I am judged by everyone for not being happy, upbeat or OK with the situation.  Like people think because you are not saying positive things it means you are not following the orders. No…I am just very depressed and can’t fake being OK in times like this.

I have been knocked out of a long running coping routine into a communal trauma induced depression.  Fun times for sure huh? But yes, I am thankful I have a home, Manny, Elvis, and toilet paper.

I really need to do…something. I know having a routine and feeling like I am contributing to society and helping during this crisis, will help me get out of this depressive funk.  I have all the time, just not the money. I want to volunteer.  I am looking for where the volunteers are needed and what is needed from them.  I still have drumming and giving drum lessons, but I do feel stupid just posting solo videos of myself. I want to be doing more than drumming.  I wish I was a scientist working to find a vaccine or studying the genetics of the illness.  I got the knowledge but not the college degree or access to labs lol.  I am a writer, but how and where can I write to make a difference.