Written on 10-20-2020.
Hello darkness, my old friend.
I don’t think I’m alone in discovering that, as the COVID crisis continues—can we even call it a “crisis” any more?—it’s more like “a disaster that continues to unfold”—depression settles upon me more often than not. It comes and goes. I’ve learned to manage it pretty well. But it doesn’t disappear.
Today it comes. And not, like the fog, on little cat feet. It comes more like a blanket tossed over my head by a giant who carries me off against my will to a forest devoid of fortitude.
I want to be strong, but I am weak. I want to be happy—it is a matter of will, isn’t it? — but I am sad. I want to be over this shit. Don’t you?
My bouts of depression are almost always heralded in advance by binge eating: last night it was an unhealthy meal of hot dogs and canned beans (a childhood comfort food), followed by a desert binge of jelly beans.
When I went for the jellybeans, I should certainly have known what was coming. For my deceased husband and I, Jellybeans (specifically “jellyflops,” the misbegotten castoffs of the Jelly Belly Factory) were the gastronomic equivalent of “our song.” When we went to the opera it was de rigueur to carry a bag of these multi-colored delights to get us through the most piercing of arias. It was a beloved tradition, although perhaps not so much for our fellow opera lovers seated nearby at the War Memorial Opera House. Jim was invariably noisy with his cellophane.
So when the alarm went off at 5 a.m. this morning (my usual and preferred wakeup time), I was not surprised to find that body and soul rebelled. I picked up the phone, silenced the alarm, deleted all the other morning reminders, turned on the electric blanket, and rolled over to sleep and fitfully dream until 10 o’clock.
I’d love to tell you that at 10 I woke up bright eyed and bushy tailed, but I felt more like I had a hangover. Making the bed, dragging myself through my morning bathroom routine, fixing coffee, and getting dressed took nearly two and a half hours.
Settling down at the computer and managing to work on this column has consumed another two and a half.
What did I do with all that time? Frankly, I have no idea. I organized a few books, read and re-read a bunch of e-mails and face book posts, walked around in circles, and—of course—imbibed a few more handfuls of jellybeans. More than a few, actually. Honesty is a good policy.
On days like this, it feels like I have fallen into a hole and the world has passed me by. It seems hard to imagine that tomorrow will be any different.
But, you know something? It will. It always is.
Here comes the Sun.
How do you like THEM jellybeans?