Present Day, April 3rd, 2020

FURLOUGH – day 6

It had been scheduled weeks ago. Maybe months. I do not really remember. Just like the plans of so many others. A Spring Break get-away. For us, one of the family favorite activities: camping. Reservations in place. A great break in the weather. Three days away from “it all.”

Then, as it has for everyone, everything changed. Not actually until the last minute for us. It was just last night that the governor closed the state park campgrounds for overnight stays. We almost made it. Nevertheless, the order came down, the campgrounds were closed, and vacation plans had to be altered. It is just the new normal.

In this case, for this time, it meant pulling the camper into the yard and setting it up for a staycation. Same dinner, just cooked inside and then eaten outside on camping chairs. Same games of ladder ball. And for my wife and the girls, the same sleeping accommodations. I just cannot be this close to my bed and pass up the opportunity to sleep in it.

You really have to go with the flow during this time. That is not my specialty. I am easily derailed and frustrated. I am trying to be less rushed and more patient. Trying.

I took our dog for a walk this afternoon. The usual route that I typically hope to navigate in about 35 to 45 minutes time. I took a different approach today. It was sunny and mid-60s outside. So I just let the pooch set the pace. She tends to stop and sniff…a lot. Normally I give a tug on the leash and encourage her to keep moving. Not today. Today I just let her sniff. I kept telling myself, “What’s the hurry?” “What do you have to get back to?” “What else do you have to do?” The end result was a walk that took about an hour, and still get me home in plenty of time for…well, nothing.

Truth be told, I continue to struggle. Struggle with depression. Struggle with anxiety. Struggle with getting my head around this whole situation we are in. The old saying says “One day at a time”, but I cannot think of another time in my life that I was living more hour to hour. Activity to activity. Just trying to pass time, make it to the next activity, complete another day.

It is terrible thinking that there are months of this still to come. And that even with that, literally hundreds of people may die! How are we not supposed to be afraid? How are we supposed to “feel” healthy or normal? How is someone with a mental illness supposed to manage their condition in the midst of this?

The family is in the backyard cooking s’mores. I should just join them and act like everything is okay. At least for tonight. At least for the next few hours of this staycation. But that is so hard for me. I just want to meltdown and scream. I just want to crawl into bed and weep. I just want to find a new way to get away from “it all”.

May 20th, 2017 – Musical Truths

The secret side of me
I never let you see
I keep it caged
But I can’t control it
So stay away from me
The beast is ugly
I feel the rage
And I just can’t hold it

It’s scratching on the walls
In the closet, in the halls
It comes awake
And I can’t control it
Hiding under the bed
In my body, in my head
Why won’t somebody come and save me from this?
Make it end!

I feel it deep within,
It’s just beneath the skin
I must confess that I feel like a monster
I hate what I’ve become
The nightmare’s just begun
I must confess that I feel like a monster
I, I feel like a monster
I, I feel like a monster

My secret side I keep
Hid under lock and key
I keep it caged
But I can’t control it
‘Cause if I let him out
He’ll tear me up
And break me down
Why won’t somebody come and save me from this?
Make it end!

I feel it deep within,
It’s just beneath the skin
I must confess that I feel like a monster
I hate what I’ve become
The nightmare’s just begun
I must confess that I feel like a monster

I feel it deep within,
It’s just beneath the skin
I must confess that I feel like a monster
I, I feel like a monster
I, I feel like a monster

It’s hiding in the dark
Its teeth are razor sharp
There’s no escape for me
It wants my soul,
It wants my heart

No one can hear me scream
Maybe it’s just a dream
Or maybe it’s inside of me
Stop this monster!

I feel it deep within,
It’s just beneath the skin
I must confess that I feel like a monster
I hate what I’ve become
The nightmare’s just begun
I must confess that I feel like a monster

I feel it deep within,
It’s just beneath the skin
I must confess that I feel like a monster
I’m gonna lose control
Here’s something radical
I must confess that I feel like a monster