Is anyone else:

• Diminished by the pandemic/all the things and wholly uncertain how to regain a sense of emotional fortitude

• Lonely but also constantly craving solitude

• Hating the effects of doomscrolling/social media but can’t stop doomscrolling/social media

• Always despairing over unwanted weight gain but unable to curb the behaviors that lead to weight gain

• Absolutely fucking poleaxed by social anxiety now and forever, god I’m so tired of all the fucks I continue to give about the dumbest shit when there is so much REAL shit to freak out about, what is WRONG with me why am I such a STUPID GARBAGE TITTY BABY

• Really trying to work on the negative self-talk

• Honestly in a constant war with your own brain which wants to be convinced there’s something deeply wrong and bad about your own self (which is exhausting, but better than always allowing yourself to believe)

• Uninterested in a lot of the things you were interested in a few years ago

• Not reading books nearly as much as you used to

• Realizing just how many years of parenting involved siphoning off serotonin from children’s uncomplicated delight and the whole teenage “meh” vibe is a real poor replacement when it comes to secondhand happiness

• Scared, like really deep-down scared about the future for our kids

• Feeling low to mid-grade anxiety pretty much most of the time

• Missing the night’s rest of a decade or so ago, which felt much more restorative than the elusive, shallow, always-waking-to-pee, totally unreliable “sleeping” that happens now

• Totally unclear when it comes to deciding what life’s second act could look like

• A natural introvert who is now verging on hermit but not really the content/enlightened kind

• Wishing for more connection but hugely overwhelmed by any social obligation whatsoever

• Hanging in there lol!

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Kelley O
Kelley O
1 month ago

-despairing over weight gain but unable to initiate the behaviors which (might, thanks menopause) lead to sustainable weight loss
-reading way too many books instead of (see above for behaviors etc. etc.)
-introvert verging on hermit and LOVING IT, because people suck and my cat and boyfriend and one friend don’t, and that’s all I need, everyone else is best on the other side of a screen
-wondering how I did what I did before all this if this feels so natural and right for me

Jill
Jill
1 month ago

Thank you for this. I am in the middle of a complicated international move wherein I am spending weeks of the summer with all of my children at my (Fox News-binging) parents’ house and SO SO MANY of these points are speaking to me. I am compensating for not being able to control my situation in unhealthy ways involving poor nutritional choices and am both desperately looking forward to rejoining my husband in a new-to-us state (Washington!) but also dreading moving to a place where I am going to have to re-insert myself in the social situations of his workplace, 2 different schools, a new neighborhood etc.etc. Also deciding if this moves involves a change in employment for me, or taking some classes, or I will be too busy shuttling kids or or or. Thank you for posting because I will keep checking back for the (socially-distanced low-stakes) camaraderie.

Kristi
Kristi
1 month ago

OMG, yes. I relate 100% to so many of these. Why can’t I read books anymore? Why do I always feel on edge? Why are my kids such downers? I just want to relax and can’t. :(

kate
kate
1 month ago

yes, SO relatable! from the little to the big… thank you for sharing❤

JB2
JB2
1 month ago

Same, girlfriend, same. [sigh]

Swistle
1 month ago

yes

Trena
Trena
1 month ago

So much so to all of those points. I work in healthcare and I was already very meh on the rest of the planet pre-pandemic (introverts unite! But not really haha) but one pandemic and ongoing/unending shitty political stuff later and now I’m really done. Just hit 46 yesterday (my lower back decided to celebrate by randomly doing something terrible while I slept, yay for getting older) and basically just looking forward to the sweet release of (eventual) death. I really hope I don’t live to 100.

All this to basically say solidarity to all your points from VA.

Lisa
Lisa
1 month ago

Yes to allllll of this. I’m straight up treading water these days.

Rachael Rejiester
Rachael Rejiester
1 month ago

YES. Except for the reading thing. I am always reading. But ESPECIALLY YES to the teenager “meh” vibe!!! SO much less joy. Fortunately, I am an insane person and had a baby at age 39 so I still have a 5 year old running around the house. There is no mindfuck like going to high school orientation and kindergarten orientation on the same day.

Gigi
1 month ago

Definitely not alone.

Nine
Nine
1 month ago

SO MUCH YES. Full on hermit with a lady beard over here.

Nine
Nine
1 month ago
Reply to  Nine
Amy in PDX
Amy in PDX
1 month ago

Linda, this made me tear up because I truly can relate to every word. Thank you for articulating what I am feeling. You are so not alone.

Laura
Laura
1 month ago

I’ve read you and loved your writing for 15 years without commenting (I don’t know why, too shy I think) but this one finally did it. YES. Yes to all of this. Thank you, honestly, this helps so much.

Lisa
1 month ago

OMG yes – you’ve pretty much summed up the zeitgeist. I’m grateful to read things like this- I can’t stand the toxic positivity movement that’s telling us it will all be okay and things are great! No, they most certainly are not and I feel like I’m being gaslit half the time, especially at work.

Erin
Erin
1 month ago

I clicked through to the comments because I needed to read that there are many of us. Check to all of the points – especially the sleep. Why can’t we sleep????

BKC
BKC
1 month ago
Reply to  Erin

I think in a roundabout way it’s caused by the doomscrolling? Which I do because I can’t sleep?? Mothertrucker…

Heather
Heather
1 month ago

Yes. That’s the full comment. Yes.

Catherine
Catherine
1 month ago

I got a bit teary reading this, as I tend to do when I read something (always online bc see above referenced “doom scrolling” vs real reading….this week was #bamarush on Tik Tok….WTF 51 year old me?!?) that punches me in the gut with its absolute on-pointness.
My son is a Senior in HS, starting this week. I will miss his “last” first day due to a work trip and that makes me teary all over again. Second chapter in life planning, indeed.

Lindsey
Lindsey
1 month ago

GOD this made me laugh. No you aren’t the only one and I’m stealing stupid garbage titty baby.

sara
sara
1 month ago

all, or at least MOST, of the above lol. My brain is just so so tired and i feel like time is moving so very fast and i have so much to do and not enough time to do it. It’s all very overwhelming and sometimes i feel so overstimulated its like my brain can not hold on to any new info. And i’m so aware that im getting less and less cute as the days go on, which feels stupid and shallow but UUUUGGGGHHH.

Pinkiebling
Pinkiebling
1 month ago

Perfectly written, as usual. I laughed, I cried. Two very enthusiastic thumbs up!
I relate to all of this except the teenagers. I won’t have one for a several years, but I can imagine that you’re correct, and it sounds deeply un-fun.

Ronna
Ronna
1 month ago

Every single point here is 100% me, and I am here to say THANK YOU for making me feel less alone. I mean yeah, I am turning into a full on anxiety-filled hermit but at least I know there’s others out there, ya know?

Suzanne
1 month ago

Yes. This is me. Every word. (Well, except for the bullet about reading, which comes and goes.)

Kate
Kate
1 month ago

Can you just like, start a discord so we can basically have the zoomer version of an AOL chat room so that we can all confirm, in real time, that – yes – all of the above.

Jen
Jen
1 month ago

All of this!!! (Except the kids, I don’t have those). But everything else is spot on. 46 is confusing.

rebecca
rebecca
1 month ago

Yes. This is kind of why we got a dog last fall. The dog helps.

CarmenDHF
CarmenDHF
1 month ago

Is anyone else, you ask? Yes. I am in agreement with ALL of it. Just a huge resounding YES.

Marilyn
1 month ago

Whew, you are not the only one.

April
April
1 month ago

One million percent yes. Prior to the pandemic I was a crazy avid gardener and planted tons of stuff every spring. I did not plant one plant this year. I bought two plants and they sat on the porch until they died. I also used to can dozens and dozens of jars of jam so we would have several different types of jam by the end of the summer. I have not made one batch. I’m trying to give myself a pep talk to make one or two batches today so we at least have jam through the winter.

A few years ago my mom started saying things like “I just don’t feel like cooking anymore” which I found unfathomable and weird. Guess what I’ve been thinking lately? 😭

I just wonder if this is a phase or I’m going to be this apathetic always.

Laura
Laura
1 month ago

It’s good to know I’m not losing my mind because I feel all these things. Can we just declare a time mulligan and set the clock back to the before times?

MCW
MCW
1 month ago

The middle-aged social stuff is weird for us introverts/hermits. I was hanging out some friends who are parents of my kid’s friends. As the kids move around social groups and I don’t see the parents any more, my social life has gotten a lot smaller. When the kids stop hanging out together it is a bit awkward to make plans with the parents. The acquaintance-type friends I have trouble converting into real friendships. Eeee, the terror of making social plans with people you don’t know that well.

Penny
Penny
1 month ago

No one gets me like you do, and I mean that in the least creepy way possible. Thank you for always putting into words exactly what I’m feeling and making me feel less alone.

Nix
Nix
1 month ago

All of this. You are not alone.

Jessica
Jessica
21 days ago

My teenage son was recently diagnosed with autism. “AUTISM?” I shouted. “How ridiculous! He’s not …” [reads about autism] … “Oh.” [reads more about autism and how it is genetic] … “Wait a minute…” [sudden clarity about everything that has ever happened in my whole life like the end of a horror movie where you see what’s REALLY been going on the whole time] “Oh fuck, I am autistic af and always have been and that is why my whole life has always felt like I am massively broken and just wrong in all ways and have to work very very very hard to hide it so everyone doesn’t hate me even though it doesn’t work and they do anyway.” Anyway, that’s been my mid-40s epiphany. But learning about late-diagnosis autism in women has been really healing. I hate myself a lot less now. Except my turkey neck. I hate that quite a lot.