Another Year That Wasn’t

I haven’t posted here since February — 10 months ago. 2021 has been, like 2020 before it, another Year That Wasn’t, as I’m sure it has been for many of you. We occupy this bizarre, liminal space of being-yet-not-being, safe-yet-not-safe, healthy-yet-not-healthy.

I’ve said it before, and it bears repeating: The effects of this pandemic on the mental health of, well, the world, really, is impossible to reckon. We’re going to be dealing with a large segment of the population dealing with PTSD, and I don’t think we’ve collectively wrapped our brains around that, as we’re still in the midst of it.

As for me, I’ve been dealing with my major depressive disorder & generalized anxiety disorder with medication — to varying degrees of success. The pandemic has made finding a therapist (a necessary stage of my treatment) difficult — every therapist I contact in my town is at capacity. So I soldier on with just the pharmacological assistance, which doesn’t make much headway against everything piled up around us.

I’ve been suffering from stress-nightmares and panic attacks, mostly centered around not having Far West fully completed and out the door — outside events have accumulated to prevent me from reaching my own self-imposed deadline of the year’s end, set at the beginning of this year. I try to console myself by the realization that it is, at most, delayed by a month or so — but my brain won’t relent (with a ‘helpful’ assist by the hate mail that I receive weekly).

The outside events include family members coming down with COVID-19, including my elderly parents and in-laws, although thankfully their cases appear to be mild and not requiring hospitalization (fingers crossed). So a lot of stress nightmares taking the form of losing people (including my kids — and would somebody explain to my brain that they are all grown adults now, so the “little kids in peril” dreams are NOT HELPFUL, kplsthnx.).

If you’re one of the few people who still read this thing: Thank you for your attention. I hope that the world is being kind to you — and, perhaps more importantly, that you are being kind with yourself. We all need a great deal more slack, especially from ourselves. At this time of Solstice, know that even here at the depths of darkness, the light is returning.

Longtime readers who remember my Friday Music posts will remember that I used to make a habit of providing a playlist of Christmas tunes every year. This year, I went back into my archives, and put every featured track from those collections in a Spotify playlist, which you’ll find below. Blessed Yule, Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays to one and all.

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