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So all this has been bubbling up inside for days, a sense of desperation and defeat, that feeling of  “why the fuck even bother anymore??”… and today it has me reduced to tears. I just keep crying. Maybe not a bad thing as I’ve been holding them in for so long. So I’m just letting the tears flow while I go about my day. Which is basically all about doing pretty much nothing other than get through the day, and then go to bed for maybe 3-4 hours of sleep. And then start all over again. Groundhog Day style.

Where is the hope? Even when I thought I was going to die from stage 4 cancer (because they told me so) I never felt quite this hopeless. Possibly due to my exceptional “living in denial” skillz (most child abuse victims have them – it’s that secret place we go to when what’s happening around us is too unbearable to keep experiencing). But even now that is failing me. It’s not working its usual magic. And I am left feeling… terrified and alone, which is bad enough, but even worse is seeing no way out. How is this ever going to get better? I can honestly say I have never felt like this before in my entire life, during an entire life filled with uncertaintly and fear.

I always used to be able to cope (often badly, but whatever works, right?). And I have usually, I think, given the impression that I am a strong and capable woman. I’m even someone that many people have “feared” because of my own seemingly fearless way of living, with sometimes brutal honesty and a serious no-bullshit approach to, well, bullshit. To be honest, that whole persona has softened in the past few years, because it just took so much effort to keep her going, but many prefer to keep me buttonholed into the “scary Shawn” persona that they mostly created. Makes it easier for them to write me off. Whatever.

I no longer give many fucks about most things anymore EXCEPT how we are going to get through this. So when I look around and see so many people truly not giving even one fuck about all that is happening with Covid, I just get overwhelmed. Shit like, what you CAN’T wear a fucking mask? You HAD to go to that party? You HAVE to travel abroad on fucking holiday?? All of this going on without any proper testing, track & trace programme by our – or anybody’s – government.

But I suppose what I find most disheartening is how people think we are just going to go back to our old lives, without even the teensiest iota of understanding that it was specifically OUR OLD LIVES that led to this pandemic and the disastrous global response that has followed.

Much has been said about the “New Normal” but what most don’t want to accept or even acknowledge is that the New Normal won’t just be the Old Normal with masks on. The New Normal is going to rock everyone’s lives to the core. And we are not going to get anywhere unless we learn compassion and especially empathy. Because that person over there? Not really much different from you, just had other things happen to them during their life. At the risk of sounding totally flaky, we do actually have to learn to open our hearts to others, because they are also us. But I don’t see that happening anywhere. Not yet. Or not nearly enough. It’s still “every man for himself”. And it’s making me cry. For all of us.

Thanks to my friend Julie who sent me this video while I was in the middle of writing this – couldn’t have been more appropriate.