Today is Day 358 since I began working in self-isolation from my apartment for my university library system. Next week, on March 16th, 2021, it will be an entire year that I have been operating this way.
I slept so poorly last night that I took another yet sick day from my paying job, and so far, the only things that I have been able to accomplish by 1:00 p.m. today have been:
- having a shower and making a pot of coffee;
- going for a brief walk outside in the sunshine; and
- creating a pile of 14 months’ worth of pharmacy receipts that I need to submit electronically to my insurance company.
Yes, fourteen months of pharmacy receipts (and please do NOT feel sorry for me; I have a 16-month window to submit pharmacy claims to my insurance company, and I have a well-paying, unionized job with excellent benefits, including pharmacy coverage, up to a certain point when the Manitoba PharmaCare program kicks in).
Yes, as a depressive, I have been avoiding this task for a long, long time, which of course, only makes it worse when I finally do attempt to tackle it (I am the same way about doing the dishes and cleaning my apartment). But I find it truly ironic that the most depressing part of being depressed, is going through the procedures that force you to face your depression, head on, such as submitting pharmacy receipts. I’d rather have a root canal than do this. But I have to face it.
As the coronavirus pandemic has dragged on, my chronic clinical depression has slowly and steadily gotten worse and worse. And, at the one-year mark, I now have to put all options on the table, including taking an extended sick leave from my paying job, something I would not have countenanced even a month ago.
I want to clearly repeat something that I have said before:
IMPORTANT NOTE: Although I suffer from a chronic form of clinical depression, I am not suicidal. I have every intention of living that extra quarter-century to age 80, and beyond! I have to live to witness and document what happens next in the ever-evolving metaverse! But I do need to get some practical matters settled. I hope you understand.
Please don’t worry about me. I am taking good care of myself and coping with the current situation as best I can.
I am doing literally everything I can to take good care of myself (antidepressant and anti-anxiety medication, talk therapy, and leaning on my real-life and virtual world social networks). For example, on Sunday I held a one-hour Zoom call with the friends in my (currently suspended) Arts and Entertainment group, just to vent about the truly epic, roller-coaster twists and turns of the past couple of weeks, which was wonderfully therapeutic. I talk to many people, including professionals, about my problems. I take long naps. I listen to music. I go for walks. Every so often, I have had a good cry, and a good rage at the universe. Everything helps.
In the past, I have landed up in a hospital psychiatric ward for treatment of severe clinical depression twice (once after my marriage fell apart, and a second time after a textbook-classic case of hit-the-wall job burnout). So I need to pay attention to what is happening to me, rather than continue to put on a brave face and say that I am fine.
Today, I have been following the news media as they report breathlessly on every single possible aspect of Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan’s bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey. And I am absolutely incandescent with rage at how people like Piers Morgan have the audacity to say that Meghan is lying when she says she was pushed to the brink of suicide because of her situation. One person tweeted:
WHEN SOMEONE TELLS YOU THAT THEY ARE STRUGGLING, BELIEVE THEM. I AM DONE WITH SUFFERING IN SILENCE. You will hear about it!
By the way, the only Piers Morgan footage that you need to watch is this clip featuring the magnificent Dr. Shola Mos-Shogbamimu, a Black woman who quite rightly took Piers to task for his response: “Are you out of your Godforsaken mind?!??”
God bless you, Dr. Mos-Shogbamimu, for daring to speak truth to power.
Anyway, I’ll keep you posted, one way or another, as to what happens over the next few months as I wait to get a vaccine in my arm, somehow, somewhere, somewhen, God knows when.
Please continue to keep me in your thoughts and prayers, and please stay in touch.
Thank you, and God bless.
UPDATE 5:23 p.m.: Well, I finally had a nap this afternoon to catch up on some badly-needed sleep, and I also had a good cry. And I’ve been listening to a great song by Amy Grant and James Taylor called Don’t Try So Hard on an endless loop:
Today has been a pretty horrible day for me, but I believe it will get better.
UPDATE 8:28 p.m.: Finally, some good news today! My mother called, and she and my stepfather (who are both in their eighties) have been able to make appointments to get their COVID-19 vaccines on March 21st. I am so relieved.
UPDATE March 9th, 2021: Today ITV announced that Piers Morgan is quitting his job at Good Morning Britain. Translation: he was fired, but Piers was given the option to say he was leaving rather than he was fired. Good riddance to bad rubbish!