Being a Human in 2022 When Everything is A Lot All the Time

Hi Darling Ones,

A few weeks ago on a Zoom with one of my clients, she looked into the camera, sighed heavily, and said, “Who knew the apocalypse would take so long?”

Her thought was so brilliant and spot on that I shared it with everyone I knew. When I told BFK, she said, “I was promised a flash of white light and then nothing.”

At the time I laughed. Nuclear war was hilarious a month ago. Today, not so much. Today every Cold War-related childhood anxiety has flared up inside of me. I keep thinking of that day in third grade when Kari Christ, with her blonde pigtails wrapped in pink ribbons turned in her desk and said, “If Ronald Reagan is elected we’re all going to die.” If I had known it would take forty-plus years I wouldn’t have lost so much sleep in the 80s.

I was so anxious about nuclear war that my usually lackadaisical at best, neglectful at worst parents decided that I could not watch “The Day After” even though every other person alive on the planet was. In retrospect I’m surprised they paid enough attention to me to recognize I was not okay and actually put in a modicum of effort to protect me.

Everything is a lot right now and I wish there was someone or some way to put in a modicum of effort to protect me from thirty years of anxiety crashing back into my brain like the Kool-Aid man.

Nobody ever taught us how to handle a multi-year pandemic in a nation teetering on fascism where voting rights are rapidly eroding, actual war is being waged on the other side of the earth, Texas is gearing up for genocide on trans and nonbinary children, and Florida is making it illegal to talk about homosexuality.

That list doesn’t even touch on the book banning, the rampant racism, the murderous cops, and the billionaires raking in the cash while prices on everything rise and people can’t survive on working 40 hours a week. And that’s just the external factors. This doesn’t even begin to address the personal demons and emergencies and emotional labor it takes to be a human on a good day.

What are we supposed to do during all this? Everything is pointless. I’m experiencing a strange sense of urgency to be productive, to carry on as if we aren’t living through an apocalypse. Do the work. Make the donuts. Despite the feeling of urgency, I’m stagnant. I think about the work, without actually doing it. I eat the donuts, but do not make them. This is a metaphor, I have never made donuts.

It’s easy to frown at the social media comedians as they joke through the 873rd unprecedented time we’ve had since March 2020. But what else are we supposed to do? I can sit and wring my hands and worry if I’m getting an ulcer, and that is somehow better than cracking jokes on Twitter?

All these things are happening and continue to happen and my daily life is unchanged. My routine remains the same: get up, exercise, coffee and Spanish, work or something like it, read, nap, eat dinner, stare at the tv, two melatonin and furious masturbation in the hope that sleep will come unimpeded and uninterrupted.

I spend all day and all night with a constant, quiet chant running through the back of my mind, “what does this mean? what does this mean? what does this mean?”

The sad part is with every recitation the this changes. What does my life mean? What does this chaos mean? What does my unchanged routine in the midst of chaos mean?

I don’t fucking know. Living in 2022 is hard, man.

Everything is a lot all the time and I don’t know what to do.

Anxiously yours,
Jodi

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