Nope, it’s not COVID-19, although that is obviously a continuing source of anxiety.
My bigger problem right now is depression. Unlike coronavirus, there is no potential for avoiding this situation.
Depression runs through my family like a deep vein of coal. Sometimes it is easy to say my underlying sadness is situational, other times it just is. Like a shadow, some sort of darkness has always remained attached to me in one way or another.
Fortunately I have found ways to address my mood disorder. Counseling, antidepressants. But also diversion. If I am busy enough, it is generally sufficient to overcome.
What is happening right now is a game changer. Extroversion is part of my natural defense against despondency. And never in my life have I gone three weeks with no one touching me unless they were taking my blood pressure, attaching EKG leads, or poking me with a needle.
Sure, I have Kumo, my little white dog. He is an amazing comfort but it is not the same as the company of a human being.
I find myself arising in the morning only to go back to bed. I would rather sleep than do anything else and that is simply not normal.
Yesterday I asked my oncologist if we could double my dose of Prozac. This is a first for me, and I am hoping it is temporary.
However I am determined that I shall not be brought down by my very own demons. In some ways, this is the most difficult thing I have ever done, because of the complete and total social isolation. Desert islands are not my idea of paradise. I need contact–I need people. But I also need to make absolutely certain I don’t come down with COVID-19.