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Updated: May 24, 2022

I couldn’t have written this last week because I felt like I was in quicksand. Can anyone else relate?

There are so many problems facing people and the world that the solid ground I thought I was on started to sink right out from under me. Sometimes life just seems to swallow you up in giant unforgiving gulps.

When I try to pop my little gopher head up to see if there’s a lifeline to grab, it can seem impossible to reach for. Last week the only thing visible from the hole I was in was my tiny white flag.

I tell myself I’m okay a lot. I tell myself I’m lucky. I know my biggest obstacle of the pandemic is temporary, but at times I still can’t escape it. My nemesis is unrelenting solitude, and just when I think it is a thing of the past, it sneaks up on me. There’s a threshold I reach, and the result isn’t good. I have determined when I’ve been alone for a month, it’s about two weeks too long. I was alone for a month, and I felt no amount of flag waving would help, but I don’t want to get stuck there, so I waved anyhow.

The way out of a difficult situation can be complicated. For me there seems to be three stages to escaping my solitude: wanting people around, but not knowing how to be around them, trying to be around people and feeling awkward, and being around the right people and feeling better.

Even writing about this is awkward. I am an extrovert and a sociable being. I love being around people, yet I’m stuck in this soupy spot, trying hard to make it past the part where I get pulled down again. I’m like this unfamiliar character in my own story.

The way out is not a clear path, but I’ve got to try.

I’ve decided to go to an industry event this weekend. It would normally be a familiar and comfortable setting, but now it is not that simple. I need support to even attempt it. The thought of going makes me uneasy. I have not been in a busy public social environment in six months. I’ve been around very few people in two years to be honest.

For this weekend’s event, I’ve asked people I trust for help. I have a plan in place that I’m comfortable with, and I believe it is very likely things will be just fine. It could even be fun. If it is not, part of my plan is permission from myself to leave.

This sucks. It’s weird.

I feel like I need to send thank you cards to the people who’ve spend time with me. That is a product of being here in the quicksand for so long, with my white flag waving. I am aware my social structures and ability to navigate them are completely broken, but I’m trying.

If you see me waving, and trying, give me a hand…I could really use it.

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