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Thread: The COVID-19 coping thread

  1. #751
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    My mom was here visiting the last couple weeks to help my sister out (she had a second son a couple months ago; other nephew is 5 now). She spent her last day here at my place and we just watched a couple movies and she taught me how to make quiche (can confirm it turned out great). Sounds pedestrian but it was nice.

    A couple weeks ago I got to see my best friend for the first time in 6 months. We watched Bill And Ted Face The Music socially distanced in my living room. He was recently diagnosed with colon cancer. He had surgery this week and seems to be doing well. Early word is no chemo will be needed so he’ll have a rough next 6 weeks but hopefully good thereafter.

    There’s other potentially horrible stuff going on with me but I am trying to not let the anxiety of it consume me.

  2. #752
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    hmm, whatever could the reason be...I know I'm stumped.

  3. #753
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    Australia going forth with the worlds first "COVID safe" festival this October.

    It's an interesting concept. They split the festival ground into 4 quadrants each limited to 1,200 people.
    The stage is going to be in the middle of all 4. It's a complete 360 degree stage. No back. So, the crowd is 100% around you from all sides.
    Has a turntable/rotating ground on the stage so the musicians can turn around and face each quadrant.

    Looks kinda neat. Hope it works out.

    https://musicfeeds.com.au/news/there...dSyLsfRWkARZHM


  4. #754
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    I'm authentically wondering if I'm losing my mind a bit. I think I chat everyone up too much when I actually have a chance to really talk to somebody. It's... crazy.

    I've never been this lonely in my life, I thought I'd hit that nadir. This is unreal. If i didn't have my devices and stuff, I'd go insane. I wonder if I might be losing my mind a bit really... My head is all static. I want to give someone a hug. I haven't hugged someone in about three months or so. I haven't sat in the same room with someone who wanted to talk to me in at least 3 months. I don't even talk to myself anymore.

    I can't keep this up. Can all you Trump supporter dickheads PLEASE put on your fucking masks for a month?! PLEASE!!!!!!!! We would be DONE with this! We'd be done with it...
    Last edited by Jinsai; 09-20-2020 at 05:10 AM.

  5. #755
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jinsai View Post
    I'm authentically wondering if I'm losing my mind a bit. I think I chat everyone up too much when I actually have a chance to really talk to somebody. It's... crazy.

    I've never been this lonely in my life, I thought I'd hit that nadir. This is unreal. If i didn't have my devices and stuff, I'd go insane. I wonder if I might be losing my mind a bit really... My head is all static. I want to give someone a hug. I haven't hugged someone in about three months or so. I haven't sat in the same room with someone who wanted to talk to me in at least 3 months. I don't even talk to myself anymore.

    I can't keep this up. Can all you Trump supporter dickheads PLEASE put on your fucking masks for a month?! PLEASE!!!!!!!! We would be DONE with this! We'd be done with it...
    I feel you. That's terrible. When I was twenty, the same summer I made the most serious attempt on my life, I realized I hadn't physically touched someone in months. I had no idea how much that would bother me; I'd never considered it a situation I'd ever have to confront. Maybe excluding the touch, can you think of anything you might be able to do? Even if it's an idle six-foot conversation with someone you don't know well in an open-air space?

    On a related note, but of a much smaller scale, I had a two-hour in-person job interview last week. Pretty sure I didn't get it, not just because I'm not really qualified, but also because the second hour was with the CEO, during which I went absolutely everywhere—from the lack of implications/real existence of "cancel culture" to the idiocy of Calvinism to the flaws in viewing the world teleologically. At an interview. In my defense, he did prompt me with some very peculiar interview questions related to ethics and "doing the right thing" (I think to see if I'd fit in with their office culture, which seems to be overwork predicated on devout Christianity and his belief in mandatory military service), but I later realized that I was all over the place because it was by far—by so far—the longest conversation I've had with anyone except my wife in almost seven months. And even she and I haven't sat and talked continuously for two hours in I don't know how long—it's not really our way, we're more fits and starts regardless, and by now we've more or less been within 1,000 square feet of each other for almost the whole year.

    I have almost no friends left as it is and, in the middle of everything, moved back to a city I haven't lived in since 2017. I'm out of sight and mind of the people I was with back in February and not yet a consideration for anyone in the city where I now live. The few humans with whom I'm still in contact aren't really texters; I've never really had a lot of humans in my life.

    I thought I'd be fine for as long as this could go on, but there are ways I'm decompensating that are becoming really obvious even to me. I'll probably look fucking nuts to the next non-wife friend I meet up with, whenever the hell that may be. I'm more than a bit afraid of what the reentry to society will look like. At this point, I'm actually worried I'll get fired from whatever shit job I end up with because I'll no longer remember how to behave and how to tolerate selling my consciousness and labor for 33-50% of each day.

  6. #756
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    Quote Originally Posted by ManBurning View Post
    Australia going forth with the worlds first "COVID safe" festival this October.

    It's an interesting concept. They split the festival ground into 4 quadrants each limited to 1,200 people.
    The stage is going to be in the middle of all 4. It's a complete 360 degree stage. No back. So, the crowd is 100% around you from all sides.
    Has a turntable/rotating ground on the stage so the musicians can turn around and face each quadrant.

    Looks kinda neat. Hope it works out.

    https://musicfeeds.com.au/news/there...dSyLsfRWkARZHM

    I hope this doesn’t go the way of the Smash Mouth concert...

  7. #757
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    and this really shouldn't mean much, maybe this isn't my scene or whatever, but I haven't heard of a single artist on this lineup. Not a single one.

  8. #758
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sesquipedalism View Post
    I have almost no friends left as it is and, in the middle of everything, moved back to a city I haven't lived in since 2017. I'm out of sight and mind of the people I was with back in February and not yet a consideration for anyone in the city where I now live. The few humans with whom I'm still in contact aren't really texters; I've never really had a lot of humans in my life.
    I'm in the same boat. I moved back to the US, but not to the region where my friend group resides. The plan was that I'd make friends here and fly up to visit old friends/ they'd come down and visit. I can't make new friends in my area because of COVID. I'm stuck only interacting digitally. My old friend group isn't in a hurry to video chat often or talk on the phone but once every 2 months.

    It's going on month 6-7 pottering around a big house with my mother. We get along well enough, but we both know we're sick to death of each other. So I'm deprived of interacting with friends and my work demands 60-70 hrs of my week. I'm burnt out and lonely at the same time.

  9. #759
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magnetic View Post
    It's going on month 6-7 pottering around a big house with my mother. We get along well enough, but we both know we're sick to death of each other. So I'm deprived of interacting with friends and my work demands 60-70 hrs of my week. I'm burnt out and lonely at the same time.
    It's a lot to take in, and then I look next door and the neighbor is having a house party. It doesn't just defeat the purpose of everything, it's just obnoxiously irresponsible. Sure, I'm much more of an introvert, and I don't mind isolating myself for extended periods of time really, but I didn't expect how much I would miss human company. On some level, I think I get how solitary confinement in prison can quickly drive people insane.

    Before, I imagined I'd be fine if I had a computer and a music controller of some kind, and you could just drop me off forever and I'd be fine. I now know that is totally insane and untrue.

  10. #760
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jinsai View Post
    I haven't hugged someone in about three months or so.
    My Mom and I do a kind of sort of hug. I wear a mask and we figure out a hug that's as much of a hug as we can muster during Covid where she wraps her arms around me and I put my face in the other direction and I am aware that I am sticking my butt way out like I'm Typhoid Mary and my clothes are covered in Covid or something and it's all pretty fucking weird, but it's good enough for my Mom and that's all that matters.

  11. #761
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jinsai View Post
    and this really shouldn't mean much, maybe this isn't my scene or whatever, but I haven't heard of a single artist on this lineup. Not a single one.
    To be fair, it's happening in Western Australia, which is far-removed from the city and all that. They're separated by vast desert and bushland, and haven't had that many COVID cases compared to Sydney/Queensland/Melbourne.

  12. #762
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jinsai View Post
    and this really shouldn't mean much, maybe this isn't my scene or whatever, but I haven't heard of a single artist on this lineup. Not a single one.
    But, but, but... according to the article they have a "pretty stacked lineup" lol

    Good Day Sunshine festival is set to go down on Saturday, 31st October in Busselton, WA, with a pretty stacked lineup including John Butler, Xavier Rudd, Josh Pyke and more.
    I have heard of Xavier Rudd before, at least the name dropped. He seems to play every single festival here in BC... Just googled his name, he's Australian. Thought maybe he was Canadian considering how many time's i've seen his name announced at gigs here.

    Them Australian's really like Canada though. 90% of Whistler is Australian's on working visa's lol

  13. #763
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    And on that previous subject, I've been texting a bit with a friend who always has a lot on her plate. Early corona, she and her husband were going to get a divorce because he couldn't deal with her depression and she can't afford therapy, so I checked in for a few hours every day to see how she was and let her vent with no judgment. Things got better, they agreed to work on their relationship instead of separating; they found some money and both found a doc who couldn't counsel, but got them on meds.

    Anyways, the past few months she's had different shit going on and I've tried to be supportive, but it's like every conversation leaves me wondering what in the hell connects us? We've been friends a long time; in and out of contact for years, but she and her husband are the only people I still know who I knew when I was young. Why are we even friends? We don't share interests. She doesn't listen to me when I talk about things. Half of the stuff she vents to me about is phrased as a humblebrag. But she's one of the few human beings left in my life and every time I'm annoyed by her I assume I'm being too severe.

    I wonder: Did friendships feel so fucking arbitrary before they were all something other than face-to-face?

    In a hoodie and mask I walked past a house around sundown where four thirtysomethings were rolling dice and drinking beer, laughing around a dining room table during a no-big-deal game night. I wanted to, but couldn't cry.
    Last edited by Sesquipedalism; 09-21-2020 at 01:33 AM.

  14. #764
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sesquipedalism View Post
    And on that previous subject, I've been texting a bit with a friend who always has a lot on her plate. Early corona, she and her husband were going to get a divorce because he couldn't deal with her depression and she can't afford therapy, so I checked in for a few hours every day to see how she was and let her vent with no judgment. Things got better, they agreed to work on their relationship instead of separating; they found some money and both found a doc who couldn't counsel, but got them on meds.

    Anyways, the past few months she's had different shit going on and I've tried to be supportive, but it's like every conversation leaves me wondering what in the hell connects us? We've been friends a long time; in and out of contact for years, but she and her husband are the only people I still know who I knew when I was young. Why are we even friends? We don't share interests. She doesn't listen to me when I talk about things. Half of the stuff she vents to me about is phrased as a humblebrag. But she's one of the few human beings left in my life and every time I'm annoyed by her I assume I'm being too severe.
    Not to get too off-topic, but this reminds me very much of a "friendship" in my life. I've known this lady since 1995 and we were like BFFs back then. We were in and out of touch in the years after high school, but we started being much more involved around 2013 when her second marriage was falling apart. So I gave her hours and hours of my time on the phone, sharing the burden of her issues and coaching her through all this stuff. Eventually she got divorced and started dating again, which meant more and more drama. Last year it became apparent that we don't even have much in common/don't enjoy each other anymore. And she never cared much about my problems and never did anything for me. And she never owned up to anything she did that was hurtful to me. I have other friends from back in the day, but they all unfortunately live too far away for me to see them on a regular basis. She lives about 20 minutes away so she ended up being the one I would talk to and see most often, which turned out to be the worst relationship that I could pour that much into. Currently, we barely speak/text. I'm better off for it.

    In your case, it sounds like she's starting to burn you out/exhaust you, just like my friend did to me. Seems like she's just taking advantage of your generous capacity for listening. I would encourage you to change the way you engage that friendship and address your concerns with her, if you haven't. If you have and she's still a bad friend, maybe look at letting go before you end up hating her. I am very fortunate to have contact with my other old friends and it has added a lot of much-needed authenticity to counteract the bullshit. Is there any possibility that you can reconnect with anyone else from the past?
    Last edited by piggy; 09-21-2020 at 04:32 AM.

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  16. #766
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    Quote Originally Posted by piggy View Post
    In your case, it sounds like she's starting to burn you out/exhaust you, just like my friend did to me.
    She is, yes. It's also sort of becoming clear that I've been exhausted by her for a long time. But this is maybe par for the course? Or is it? I don't know how friendships between average humans go.

    When I was a kid (from six to thirteen), I usually only had one friend at a time. These friendships went on for what felt like forever until they were over but, best I can figure, they were usually about two years each. I don't have any real debris from my childhood, so I have to use some odd metrics to date memories—like the quarterly release schedules of action figures. Anyways. Two of those friends pretty regularly beat me up or made fun of me. One of them sexually assaulted me—it took me a long-ass time to realize the shit this kid did was nothing normal kids do with or to each other. So, when it comes to friendships throughout my life, I've never been really sure how much you're supposed to like the other person or, put differently, how frequently you're allowed to be really exasperated by/angry with/let down by a friend before you say "this isn't how friendship works." There's a part of my brain that beeps in the background, saying "They're not hitting or mocking or raping you. Don't be oversensitive. People are inconsistent. Just deal."

    Sometimes, I've made logical, maybe healthy decisions like, "If you, on balance, seem to be forcing me to expend huge amounts of effort to keep us in a barely net positive state on a day-to-day basis, then that's more work than I should have to do to maintain an adult friendship and I'm going to redirect my attention and effort to something more positive and potentially productive." Then I look around and realize there's no one in my life left outside of the casually fun coworker or two, whom I don't see outside of the workplace. So then I "lower the bar" again, and let people in because it's lonely, and soon I look around and say, "I have little in common with you people, I don't respect you and you don't seem to respect me, and this is a lot of work for very little net happiness." Rinse and repeat.

    I have had a lot of friendships where it seems like I am frantically treading water, holding onto someone else who is not moving except to play a Game Boy, and I occasionally think, "Wouldn't it be nice if I got to play Game Boy?" But then I think, "Jesus, don't be greedy, let's first focus on not drowning." And I tread on.

    Now that I'm typing this out for the first time in my life, I realize it would have been nice if I had ever in my life been able to afford the kind of therapy where I could have gotten to a frank discussion of my friendships with people. It's a pretty big issue—there are a lot of painful stories—but it also seems to be so far down the "seismic effect on my life" priority tree that I have never once been able to justify bringing it up when there's so much mere survival stuff ahead of it in line for those expensive, far-between visits.

    Fuck.

    Quote Originally Posted by piggy View Post
    I would encourage you to change the way you engage that friendship and address your concerns with her, if you haven't.
    Solid advice. I have adjusted the way I interact with her a number of times over the years, but I've never discussed it directly with her because—honestly?—I'm starting to think that this is not the first time I've started to think that, if I get into it, what I'll have to articulate is "I would like for you to be a different human being," which is obviously impossible and dumb. Every few years I come to a moment of detente with myself, saying, "She's who she is, which is pretty much who she's always been. Asking or expecting her to change is fruitless and counterproductive. Maybe just accept her as she is as a smaller part of your life and go on from here."

    This has started to feel a little outsized in its effect on me over the course of this year. I don't even have coworkers for outside human interaction. It's my wife or text messages with this friend or one other who—surprise!—thanks to the plague has now also hit the divorce stage of marriage, is working on selling a house, and lives hundreds of miles away anyways. That's everyone, more or less. I can't find a job. And my wife's germ-related terror precludes making any twenty-seven-foot, outdoor, but still technically risky connections. My world is very small. There's no one else. I'm pretty good puttering around by my lonesome, but after seven months, it's started to have an effect on me.

    Also, the world is going to hell. It's so difficult to emigrate. And I frequently just think about how nice it is that someday I'll be dead and not have to deal with all these spinning plates.

    Quote Originally Posted by piggy View Post
    If you have and she's still a bad friend, maybe look at letting go before you end up hating her.
    This is probably the right option. It feels like a really hard trashcan to empty, though, when there's no one else. I have, as is probably clear from the above, never had an easy time making friends and, the older I get, the harder it gets to meet anyone, much less someone with whom I have common interests, and find the time to actually connect.

    Quote Originally Posted by piggy View Post
    Is there any possibility that you can reconnect with anyone else from the past?
    Aside from that other friend—starting a separation, selling a house, with whom I haven't hung out in five years and of whom, at this moment, it would be insane to ask anything else—there is no one. Which would be fine by me, except for the big benefit of people from the past: a lot of the time-consuming groundwork of friendship is already done. It takes so much goddamned time to connect with people and, the age I am, most people are more focused on career and family. Then there's the odd calculus of being married and single friends and friend couples and opposite sex friends and blah, blah, blah. We don't have and won't have children, nor do we have any interest in them; I gave up my career and put future professional interests in limbo to support my wife's career ambitions, and then corona happened and I don't even have the other people in limbo.

    I'm not expecting anything in return from this. It was actually helpful just to sort out my thoughts in print. Thanks, @piggy !

  17. #767
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    First of all you're super welcome, @Sesquipedalism . I see that you have some trauma that naturally makes it difficult for you to differentiate between acceptable and unacceptable behavior in friendships. I, too, am late to understanding this distinction and am seeing that sometimes friendship can have a very delayed learning curve! I didn't quite have normal friendships as a kid, either, so I only started to really experience them in earnest during my teens and have been getting an education ever since.

    If your friendship with the problem-dumper lady feels completely one-sided, that's not normal. That's what I had to learn with my former bestie. Honestly, she was selfish and took advantage of me from the beginning, 25 years ago. It took our friendship going in the shitter for me to recall and validate that, and to see parallels to the present. When you speak of wondering if your reactions to issues are overblown, it reminded me of how she made me feel so bad for attempting to call her out on her shit that I, like you, started wonder if I was the one with a problem. I consulted with other people around us and realized I was being rational. I had thought in recent years that she would have grown up more than she has (she's 40 and I turn 40 next month) and that she was just broken and if I would hold out a little longer, she would heal and things would get better. This has yet to happen and I'm now unable to maintain something healthy with her. I still very much wish for her to get better, as she's not a garbage person, but it won't be with me. I only wish I could have realized sooner that she may never change, just like you are thinking with your friend.

    I totally understand the reluctance to attempt to reboot something with old friends our age, as I'm unmarried and child-free and most of my friends are the opposite. But I find that even the most relationship-y, parent-y people still want hang time with their peeps. The need for that never really goes away, it just becomes more difficult to coordinate. I hope you'll needle some folks about hanging out, and see what happens. I think it's always worth trying, for the sake of your own health. And remember that your potential hangout buddies might also be suffering in the same way right now, and they might appreciate you reaching out. In the meantime, you're always welcome to PM me and get more into this stuff if you want to. I can't afford therapy, either!

    EDIT: Jeebus, I can't even keep usernames straight. I mentioned the wrong person in the first sentence.
    Last edited by piggy; Today at 04:12 AM.

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