Last Week

Been a while since I drew these guys.

Last week.

My god.

Last week was one of the longest, most excruciating weeks I have had the displeasure of experiencing period.

Like, all of the anxiety I’ve had during 2020 was jammed into the span of a week and heightened to levels that I haven’t felt in years.

All due to a very particular event that pretty much captured everyone’s attention and likewise had them refreshing endlessly whilst fueling their own worried states – Election 2020.

Jesus, give me strength.

Sunday and Monday were fine.  Normal even.

Then Tuesday rolled along.

I remember the last Presidential election and what it did to me.  How when states started falling to What’s His Face, I immediately had a massive panic/anxiety attack and fell apart.  So, I thought I’d be wise and turn my phone off all day, making sure to hide it away in my brother’s room just to be safe.

Didn’t stop me from worrying, but I thought’d that would be fine.  I’d manage.  Sure, there was anxiety building up, but then I’d go to bed and wake up to some sort of result.

Wednesday – of course, no result.  Because nothing can be easy in 2020.

After having some bizarre Election dreams and not sleeping well at all, I wake up to a big old mess.  Nothing’s been called.  Votes are still being counted.  Joe Biden’s behind in several very important states.  Another four years of What’s His Face.

Anxiety and stress levels immediately skyrocket.  What fun.

Several things happen when I get stressed.  One is that my sleep patterns go straight out the window.  Two is that I can’t eat.  I am not a stress eater.  At all.  My stomach just won’t let anything in.  Of course, if I don’t eat, my stomach immediately goes, “Why haven’t you eaten anything?!  Eat something now!”  But then if I do get something down, it’s all “Why did you do that?!”

So I’m exhausted, not eating, and chain-worrying.  I’m stuck in some weird suspended animation, just constantly refreshing, refreshing, REFRESHING.  Not doing anything else – I don’t have enough bandwidth to do so.  My attention span shrinks, only able to take in a few minutes at a time.

And I thought I was okay.

I honestly did.  I thought I was managing things just fine.  This was okay.  Totally, totally okay.

Thursday – I am not okay.

I am so far from okay it’s not even funny.  Exhaustion is catching up to me big time.  I’m probably dehydrated at this point as well.  Still can’t do anything else except hit that damn refresh button.

I should also mention that I was home this entire time.  Didn’t have to go to work Tuesday through Thursday, which really would’ve been a big help in keeping me distracted.  It seemed great weeks ago – until I got stuck in Election Purgatory.

And – a very BIG and – we had people working on the house, replacing the siding.  Which turned out to be a noisy process.  A very early, noisy process.  So sleep ended early.  And my psyche slowly cracked further under the constant hammering coming from every which way.

I do manage to make my way to my friend Suzy’s house, which ends up being a much needed respite from the noise/anxiety/screens/refreshing/everything.  Honestly, I’m amazed that I make it there, considering how tired I am.  But we talk.  We sat in her basement room, and just hash it out.  The first time that week that I say out loud to someone other than myself that I am not okay.  That I am stuck deep in some anxiety hole.

That evening, I end up getting so overwhelmed that I break down into my Chinese food.  I’m tired.  I’m hurting.  Why can’t I break out of this cycle?  Why am I here in this pit?  Why can’t they just call the stupid race already my GOD.

Friday.  The workers are gone.  The house looks nice and fresh.  I get to wake up naturally.  I get to go to work.  I’m still a mess, but at least I’m functioning kind of.  And things are starting to look up Electionwise.

Which is where more what ifs show up.  What if there is 4 more years of What’s His Face?  What if Pennsylvania doesn’t flip?  What if, what if, what if.

And yet, for the first time in days, I’m hopeful.  It’s just a spark, but it’s something.

Still can’t eat properly, by the by.  And starting to feel a depressive front moving in.  Just what I need at this time.

Then, Saturday.

Glorious, glorious Saturday.

They start calling the Election.  Biden’s in the lead – and he’s won.

I’ll get further into the story Wednesday but holy crap.  Like, holiest of craps.  What is happening.

What am I feeling?  Relief.  Disbelief.  Shock.  This isn’t real.  But it is real.

And the anxiety fog starts to lift a bit.

I’m actually able to eat a full plate of dinner.  I manage to sleep through the night.  And Sunday, I can take a nap without struggle.  It’s amazing.

So, here we are in this week.  I’m still feeling the after effects, honestly.  And I still need to be careful of what I’m checking on my phone because anxiety is a beast and I don’t want to set it off again.

But I’m so much better.  Each day I feel more and more alive again.  I’m drawing.  I’ve started a new book.  I’m turned on my Switch.  All the coping mechanisms I should’ve been using all of last week, according to my therapist.

I’m glad to be out of suspended animation.  I’m glad to be moving around and feeling human again.

And I’m feeling very, very good about the next four years.  But again, that’s for Wednesday.

Right now, I’m doing stuff.

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It’s Been a Summer

He’s been having a rough time.

Poor Summer.

He just wants everyone to enjoy themselves.

And things keep getting weirder/worse.

Also, can I just say, what in the WORLD are they thinking with opening up schools?  It’s a pandemic – jamming a bunch of kids into a place that is already a hub for germs is straight up stupid.  I don’t understand.  I really don’t.

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Mistakes Were Made

How will I check Instagram 10 times an hour without it???

Yep.

Fell down a rabbit hole of election news for a good solid hour a few days ago.  Managed to get my heart rate/anxiety up.

On the plus side, this is the first time I’ve done that in ages.  And I don’t plan on doing it again soon.  Because I’m not actually learning anything or taking anything in.  Just worrying.

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2020 in a Nutshell

Screaming internally, screaming eternally.

Well.

It certainly has been a time now, hasn’t it.

We’ve gone from the brink of WWIII (January) and Australia being on fire (February) to being in the midst of a pandemic (March), dealing with killer hornets (April) and now, the United States is on fire (May-June).

It has been…a lot.

Like, 2020 has been pulling no punches and just keeps dishing stuff out.  It’s crazy, man.  I am all up for joining Anemone under the sea at this point.

On a more serious note, I have already posted my thoughts about everything that’s going on over on Facebook, but to sum it up here:

  1. Now is NOT the time for all lives matter.  Now is the time for Black Lives Matter.  Now is the time to give Black people the microphone.  Period.
  2. I really, really hope something good comes out of all this, and that everyone participating in the protests stay safe.
  3. Derek Chauvin and his fellow cops can rot.
  4. Donald Trump needs to take an exit.  Or least have his Twitter taken away.
  5. George Floyd.  Breonna Taylor.  Tony McDade.  Say their names.

It would feel a bit remiss to not at least mention something here about it.  Now is the time to learn and listen.  Believe me, I’m doing both.

Okay.  Back to screaming.

 

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Therapist Hunting

It’s one way to handle the search.

I know what you’re all thinking.

And the answer is – yes, I really can’t draw dartboards.  Looks like I’ll have to add it the list, alongside cars.

In all seriousness, though, I do need a therapist to get my anxiety under control.  And I am in the process of looking for one.  It’s not as easy as I would’ve hoped, and it does honestly feel like I’m throwing darts at a dartboard hoping that one will stick.  I just don’t want to make the wrong choice.

Oh, and also I don’t know what Quincy is either.  I…just liked the way he looked.  So, here he is.

I seriously need to introduce some characters.  I still introduce Dot’s monster friends.  And get back to her storyline.

One thing at a time!

Right now: therapy.

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Working from Home

Oof.

Now, I know that I am super duper lucky to be employed right now.  Believe me, it’s a relief to not have to think about unemployment.

But it’s still not the same.

I miss working with the books.  I miss being at the returns desk.  I even miss interacting with the patrons to an extent.

Not all of them.  But most.

It’s not fun being here at home, at the dining room table, scrolling through the library catalog and trying to figure out what to do with my time.  Plus, my sole coworker only really seems to care about mealworms and napping.  Not much for conversation.

I know when we reopen, things are going to be different.  My boss is already talking about masks, installing plastic shields on the desks, trying to make sure we can still do the six feet apart deal – that’s fine.  I’ll take it.

It’s gonna be nuts whenever we reopen, I know that for sure.

Until then, I’ll be here.  Teleworking.  Having a blast and a half.

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Chatting: Names

This is the same cousin he had to convince not to name her firstborn “Rubella.”

You know it’s going to happen.

Heck, it’s already happening.

Please donate to my GoFundMe to donate baby name dictionaries to all those expectant or soon to be expectant parents who are even considering Corona or Covid and already ruining their children’s lives.

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Kerblooey

Clearly, I didn’t.

I still don’t know exactly what happened.

But I’m pretty sure it was my fault.

So.  Friday.  I log on, ready to post.  WordPress lets me know that there are a few things I should probably fix on my blog.  And I’m like, “Okay, sure.  I’ll get on that.”

One of them was updating to https.  Now, I have the technological know-how of a squirrel, but after looking it up, I think, “Oh!  Okay.  I’ve got this.  All I have to do is change one little thing here, and-”

Kerblooey.

I can’t log in.  None of my posts can be clicked on.  They all lead to some North Carolina plumbing service’s website.

So, I decided to handle this in a calm, mature fashion, and proceeded to promptly freak out.

My parents didn’t know what to do.  I didn’t know what to do.  5 years of work seemingly went straight down the tubes.  I have all the pictures saved, but none of the writing, because what even is backing up?

And, of course, it had to happen on a Friday afternoon.  With COVID-19 prancing around the country.  Because IMPECCABLE TIMING.

I finally managed to gather enough of my senses to Google what the sweet hell what I’m supposed to do now.  And I discovered a WordPress Support website.  Thank GOD.

I get in touch with someone.  I spill all the sweet gory details of what happened to my precious blog.  And they get right to work.

Apparently, my directory databases got corrupted, which screwed up my ability to log in.  Could they fix it?  Yes they could.

I paid up the money (which was a lot), sent them what I could – and all I could do was wait.  And panic.  And stress.  And wait.  And hope I wasn’t being taken for a ride.

And wait.

The next day, at 11 AM, I woke up from my post-breakfast nap, because clearly I slept well the night before, and saw an email.

It’s fixed.

They’re done.

I clicked over to my website and lo and behold, I Draw Walruses is alive.

And there was much rejoicing.

Even though I don’t get a lot of traffic, even though I get maybe 10 people tops reading this website – this is my baby.  My diary.  It’s seen a lot over the past five years.  Post-grad unemployment.  Getting hired as a page.  Experiencing all sorts of fun adulting stuff.  Getting promoted.  Whatever the heck is going on now.  And developing all sorts of fun characters – Lars, Willa, Eliza, Jeff the Reindeer, Cleo, and more.

And to lose that all – that would hurt.  That would just drain me even more that this whole event did.

So, now, what do I do?

I think I know what I did wrong.  BUT.  I refuse to touch anything, do anything stupid at all, before I back everything up.

That is truly the lesson to be gained from all this.  Don’t take anything for granted, and back up your work.

Seriously.  Back it up.

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