It’s the End of the World As We Know It…

21 Mar

And I don’t feel fine.

I’m amazed how fast things changed.

I have to admit, just a few weeks ago, I was in the camp that this was going to blow over and it wouldn’t be a big deal.  I was wrong.  This spread so fast, and in the past few weeks, our government, mostly on state level, has reacted with extreme (but needed) precautions.

I get this whole need for social distancing and sheltering in place.  This self-quarantine.

But it sucks.

If this had happened some years ago, it wouldn’t have been much of a change for me.

For a time, I never left my apartment anyways.  I lived in deep depression, and this wouldn’t have been a lifestyle change for me.

But I spent years overcoming my depression and isolationist behavior, and re-entered the world.  I developed a structure of fellowship and support, which involved being around other human beings as a vital aspect.

And now I don’t get to go to AA meetings.  There are online meetings.  There are phone meetings.  Both miss the vital aspect I need.  That half-hour before the meeting.  The fellowship.

My church has also stopped meeting.  No coffee hour.  No bible discussion.  I can drink coffee alone.  I can read the bible alone.  But I miss the gathering.  I even miss the uncomfortable arguments that would come from so many different people coming together.

I’m stuck at home, realizing that despite my mental health/recovery supports, I never re-developed a social circle of friends. I am alone.  And that was actually okay.  I didn’t mind that I spend most of my time alone, because I got to have those meetings and coffee hours.  As an introvert, I would go and spend an hour with people, and that would fill my need, then I was able to go home and be alone again and that was okay.  Now grocery shopping is my only real interaction with other people.  I sit home watching the news, and our president won’t tell the truth, because he thinks he has to exaggerate a positive spin for us, but I just want honesty, because honesty is safe.

It’s also been an awkwardly weird few weeks for me for other reasons, that this pandemic just has topped it off.

I was working at a shelter.  A few weeks ago a guest punched me.  Rather than being supportive, the bosses at the shelter chose to attack me.  I consulted with several other people in the field, people who work in equivalent roles to my bosses.  They all agreed that I handled the situation commendably, and that my boss was ridiculous.  Realizing that I was in a toxic, abusive situation with my employer, I quit.

But meanwhile, I had been, with the shelter season ending, applying to other jobs.  Five jobs I responded to all contacted me in at the same time.  I spent two weeks (yes, during this crazy pandemic), interviewing.  I expected that maybe one might offer me a job.

It has been a weird few weeks for interviewing.  One job decided after the interview to halt the hiring process until this pandemic crisis is under control.  In another interview, we all had to sit six feet apart, and definitely no hand shakes.  Meeting with an HR representative, she wouldn’t let me in the building, and made me fill out the paperwork in my car!

So of the five jobs I applied for:

My top choice is peer support specialist for ServiceNet Recovery Zone in Greenfield.  They are still checking references to my knowledge.

My second choice was for recovery coach for Community Health Center of Franklin County.  They are the ones who halted the hiring process until the pandemic is over.

My third choice is for office manager for the Recover Project.  I have to go back on Tuesday to take a computer test.

My fourth choice is for overnight staff at the Greenfield Family Inn.  They are supposed to be getting HR to reach out to me, but that hasn’t happened yet.

My bottom choice is for overnight relief staff (seasonal) for the Interfaith Cot Shelter.  That is my bottom choice mostly because it’s only two nights and the job ends April 30.  But ironically, it’s the one I’m closest to getting.  I filled out the hire paperwork with HR.  They are just waiting on me to get fingerprinted, my direct deposit info, and my CORI to come back.

The other major lifestyle change is that I got a car.  Yes, I got a car, that I have to make payments on, then I quit my job!  But, if I hadn’t gotten the car, I wouldn’t have been able to attend these job interviews.  And the car has been so helpful with being able to go to the grocery store, so that I’m not paying for overpriced food at the corner market.

So…  I’m really missing my meetings and church stuff.  I miss the fellowship.  Oh, and movies.  I miss going to the movies.  Watching TV is not the same as the movie theater experience.  But… It’s not much of a lifestyle change for me to stay home.  It’s not much of a lifestyle change for me to be alone.

I saw a meme on Facebook that said “I picked the wrong year to get my shit together” and that really sums it up.  When I was living with depression and isolation, none of this would have really affected me.  But now that I actually am getting back out into the world… Sorry, the world is closed.  The moose out front should have told you.  (Who gets that reference?)


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