Pandemic Diary: You’re forgiven; now move on (and maybe forgive me, too)

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I come bearing absolution.

It’s ok to be sick of your limited social circle right now. The two, four or fourteen people who have been your household—COVID cohort—shrunken support network for the past ten months? They’re lovely people. And you love them. Well, you loved them. But now, you’re sick to death (almost) of them)—you don’t want to hear any more of their stories—you’ve heard them all, actually—everything they do irritates you, every flaw, once endearing, now magnified a thousand times…

It’s all right. They are annoying as fuck. They suck. Ok, yes, they’re great people. You’re just sick of them. And that’s ok, it’s normal—it’s ok.

Absolved.

I know that Sally and Molly over there have just grown closer and more Hallmark greeting card co-dependent over the pandemic, posting pictures of disgusting harmony, love, and perfectly nested, delighting fully in each other co-existence. They even work from the same home office. AT the same desk. All is love and perfection. Sick of each other? They are even more in love now than they were before COVID hit.

It’s ok. They’re the freaks here—or outright liars. Probably, actually—they’re the liars. You and your not-so-low-key homicidal rage towards people you live with and (used to) love?

That’s what’s perfectly normal.

You’ve spent so much time with each other, with no external distractions, limited coping techniques. You’re grating on each other like never before.

Of course you’re sick of your people. They’re sick of you too. And the only way to take a break from each other is to be completely alone—and that can be difficult to accomplish during lockdown when you’re locked down together—also, how many solo winter walks can one person take?

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My January blues manifest in a visceral dislike of all of my friends. I don’t return texts (now you know why, sorry, I’m so sick of you, no, it’s nothing you’ve done, you just exist, go away). I don’t make plans. I fantasize about Cuba. Then, suddenly, I go online in search of strangers—for the love of god, give me a new person, a new conversation, anything other than this, anything other than you.

You: I feel really unloved here.

Jane: Tell me you don’t feel the same way about me?

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So. I come bearing absolution. For you. for me. Of course we’re sick of each other. OF course we want to run away.

Of course we feel trapped.

Her: And you could call me! You haven’t seen me in six months and, well, I still won’t see you, because pandemic, but we could talk on the phone and…

Jane: Weirdly enough, I’m sick of you too. So, no.

January blues, pandemic blues.

Don’t worry about it. It’s normal. It’s ok.

I give you absolution.

xoxo

“Jane”