The Pandemic Breakdown

Normal or crazy?

I had The Pandemic Breakdown yesterday. I sent out a flurry of emails that caused responses about concern for my well-being to a mild rebuke to chill out.

I chilled out.

It shouldn’t have happened at all. I saw the warning signs coming and slowed down for them, but ultimately didn’t stop. And I paid. As did the family and friends getting an email from me.

It started when I made the wise decision to go to bed the other evening rather than watch the “presidential” debate. I knew a train wreck was coming. That was the problem; the next morning I just had to rubberneck to see how bad it was, so I went to NPR, Politico, BBC and other news outlets.

As one friend has described it, I had “cranial fibrillation.” My brain had bees buzzing in it.

My emotions got the best of me, I let fly, and felt better. For the moment. Then family and friends started checking on me. One person I can count on to always cut to the chase warned me that I was getting a bit too self-absorbed. This person, of course, was correct.

Yet, I received no harsh rebuke. Just genuine concern and guidance. In short, grace.

I understand. I don’t think I’ve run across a family member or friend that hasn’t had some sort of mental or emotional crisis, exacerbated or caused by the pandemic. I have done my best to be sympathetic, but I’ve been a little too uppity about my “loner” status as a writer. “Oh, I’m used to it,” I’d say. “I’m good.”

Well, apparently I’m not.

So, like my friends and family did for me, let’s extend each other a bit of grace. I have forgotten to count my blessings. I’m going for a walk to see them and consider those I can’t see. Maybe we should all do that.

I don’t know if the Pandemic Breakdown is normal or crazy. But I do know that Jimmy Buffet sang, in “Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes,” “If we weren’t all crazy, we would go insane.” Just before that, the line is, “If we couldn’t laugh, we would all go insane.”

So, I’ll laugh rather than rant. Why? Because I’m crazy I reckon.

© Michael M. Barrick, 2020. “Peace” Photo by Jonathan Meyer on Unsplash

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