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The New World

A lot has changed in the last week.

A week ago I was in work overdrive prepping for my big event and this week I’m wondering if I have enough toilet paper and food to last through Gov. Newsom’s mandated-quarantine here in Los Angeles.

LA has turned into a ghost town. The electronic signs on the freeways warn the public about COVID-19 and my mother updates me daily about which counties are closed near her and about how she learned how to make her own hand sanitizer. The last part is less surprising (my mom is crafty like that), but I feel uneasy about the state of the world.

My friends and family are panicked, but me…I’ve just kind of numbed out. My emotions are flattened and have been replaced with a sad apathy. It’s a Xanax-induced numbness that offers little understanding of my feelings and only wants me to lay on the bathroom floor in the dark.


I have to admit I’m enjoying the pseudo-anonymity of writing here. It reminds me of the days when I used to blog on Livejournal (yes, Livejournal).

I cringe when I read my old entries. Just now I logged into my very first Livejournal (freshman year of college) and landed on an old entry about my ex and a never-ending argument we were having about who-knows-what.

We had a lot of those kinds of arguments.

The funny thing about reading old journal entries is not just seeing how much things have changed, but realizing how much hasn’t changed. Reading old entries dating back to 2002-2003, I recognized old thought patterns, the genesis of some of my relationship traumas, and similarities between that ex and the exes to come.

I feel a bit frustrated by my predictability.


At this point, I find myself asking if death is a better option than my current situation of being lectured all day, every day.

The Overwhelm

Dissociate, verb: disconnect or separate (used especially in abstract contexts).

At a certain point when I’m feeling overwhelmed, I begin to dissociate. It doesn’t happen immediately or all at once, but more like I slowly find myself drifting off or imagine myself exiting the room inside my head.

I used to do this as a kid. It was a necessary survival tool in my house, especially post-divorce. Now as an adult, my ability to dissociate/disconnect discretely is depending on how much bandwidth I have in a situation.

My work responsibilities are centered around hosting an event that was supposed to take place this weekend. I raised a very large sum of money from sponsors. People were/are in the process of flying in from around the world to attend and spent a lot of money on dresses and other arrangements.

Late last night the Governor of California released a statement urging the cancelation of Los Angeles events expecting more than 250 attendees. I texted my boss the news while half-asleep, rolled over, and passed out. I’m guessing sleep was the only way I could escape my anxiety and exit the room.

This year’s event has been particularly difficult with Dan’s passing in December. He was integral to the event (not just in terms of job responsibilities, but energetically as well) and his absence has left a painful void for me and my co-workers. There hasn’t been much time or space for unstructured, overwhelming grief. For the most part, we’ve had to chug along as if he was just on an extended vacation or grieve in short, structured breaks between work.

Depression is so inconvenient as an adult. As a teenager, there is space to be messy, to fall apart. As an adult, especially if you’re a successful adult, the confines of real life make it very difficult to allow yourself to experience the full extent of your feelings.

There’s not much I can do at 6am to fix the situation. I know I will spend today on the phone with the venue, meeting in-person with my boss, and creating an action plan for our most likely canceled event. But right now, I’m exiting the room.


Dear Dan,

You know what’s funny? I never called you “Danny” while you were alive, even though most people I know did. I thought I remember you told me once you hated when people called you that (other than your sister). I sometimes catch myself calling you that whenever I’m talking to someone who refers to you as “Danny.” I wonder if you’re cringing wherever you are right now. I can almost hear that familiar annoyed groan you used to let out like a sigh.