A Short List Of Reactions In Impossible Times

Here is a short list of some behaviours and reactions I have noticed happening a lot since around mid-March. I am just noting them, not analyzing or judging them.

  1. If I am wearing headphones and Leif taps my shoulder, I startle badly, heart racing. I seem incapable of turning that reaction off.
  2. I can’t read more than a handful sentences a day. Books, articles, tweets.
  3. My entire body rebels from following through on tasks : suddenly I need to stretch, or leave the room (to go to the one other room), or my hands hurt (more than usual) and I need to have them not be at a keyboard or typing on a phone anymore. I then forget whatever I was doing (answering an email, putting away dishes, etc.), sometimes for days.
  4. Phone notifications, ringtones, and alerts cause me to panic. I have turned off all notifications. I check messages when I check messages now.
  5. I can’t remember the day of the week — even though I rarely forget the date. Last Friday I only realised it was Friday at 6PM. Again today, I believed we were Tuesday until I checked my calendar and saw that I had to be in a videoconference scheduled for Wednesday 3PM in 8 minutes.
  6. I can’t visualize right now. Whether it’s a thought exercise or picturing something I’m reading, unless I’m drawing from a vivid memory, my mind is short-circuiting the “make visual information happen” part of my imagination.
  7. Linked to the above? Maybe? A friend sent me a webcomic to read. I couldn’t understand anything that was on the page.
  8. I don’t remember what I did yesterday. I do remember what I did two or three days ago though.
  9. I forget that I need to move. I forget that I need to eat. I forget that I am a body. I forget that I am healing. I forget that I am in pain. I forget to exhale. I breathe in; I hold it in. Remember: exhale. Exhale. Exhale.
Gersande La Flèche

Gersande La Flèche

By day I am a writing coach & freelance English-French translator. By night (or rather by dawn because I'm an early bird) I scribble away at poetry, prose, and essays in one of my many notebooks.
MTL // Tiohtià:ke