We had luck in Argentina; in a way, we did. We didn’t see corps piled up on the streets or refrigerated trucks picking up our loved ones like dead meat. So, for most of the Argentinians, the first year of the COVID was … What it was? New rules to comply to be a good citizen?
A first cousin of mine died due to it last year; she was hospitalized waiting for a transplant, caught the virus, fell into a comma and a few days later she was a corps. She was 49 years old. How did I take it? I cried one day… And the next day – probably – I said, “What can you do but to keep going?” So I did.
There was no funeral to attend; no relatives to hug… The combo I have with my ADHD and PTSD was about to explode after months of working non-stop so I could keep this brain busy and, consequently, so I could stay positive and strong. I said to myself, “well, we really didn’t have a relationship for the past two decades and that family is not my family anymore;” but, I guess I did feel something because I got stuck and I couldn’t move forward… for months.
First I took a “period of grace” for a few weeks, but when I wanted to write again I couldn’t see a thing. I thought, as I said at Laly’s once, “the monitor is dying” (and my 13” notebook is too small, I need a new desk; something else, something else) so I spent three months squinting my eyes and cursing the inflation in this country and the impossibility of purchasing a new monitor. A dollar that was 40 pesos in 2018 now it’s over 140. Yup.
I also wanted to skip the holidays. For the first time in my life, I didn’t put a single ornament and I simply pretended it was… I don’t know, another time in another world. Having drifted apart from the family I once knew and whose betray is a PTSD trigger, felt like mourning a family more than ever; so, I waited for January 1st looking at the calendar like refreshing a webpage every other second for the tickets to be released!
Then came January 1st and just like that, “just like that,” I woke up one morning and I could see. What had happened? Oh… This is good: The stress I was experiencing was colliding with the Ritalin and, therefore, giving one of the side effects I hate the most: blurred vision. I never thought it could last three months! but that’s what happens when your doctor knows … so little! and there’s no place in town to treat your PTSD.
With my sight back, I did my best for the NKOTB’s blog; it’s my happy place! I did things I always wanted to do and never could, mainly due to the lack of an ADHD diagnose; and the blog grew so much, and I felt ‘rewarded;’ after I finished all the planning I thought, “With this under control (a blog, multiple social platforms and a YouTube channel, by the way) now I can start doing the same for “Neurodivergent;” but I couldn’t.
I wanted to come back with a cheerful and motivational post; with an Instagram campaign filled with strength; with the strategies I’ve been using in beautifully designed PDFs you could download. I wrote – newsflash – about twenty drafts, every morning that I felt “This is the day!,” but the enthusiasm never lasted long enough for me to hit “publish.”
Then this morning, after having heard over the week that cases are rising again, I googled: “Argentina coronavirus,” and I found this: an alert on “coping” with the COVID.
And so it hit me…
I got used to see people wearing masks in the streets, to keep the distance at the market and to all the new routines at home to keep the virus away. I got so used to all of it that the new normal felt indeed normal, and I forgot that it isn’t.
Being alone all day? Not being able to go dancing, to travel? Not being able to sit on a pub and chat with a MAN? This is NOT normal. I made such an effort to stay on my feet that I didn’t fully realise I was using crutches.
One thing I learned while blogging that much at NKOTB’s blog, is that when one opens up great things happen; since I opened “Neurodivergent” I wanted to write about women and domestic abuse, but none of the copies I wrote seemed good enough. Then one day, on the anniversary of the release of a song about a couple who fights, well… let’s just say my post didn’t turn out to be a celebration.
I told my story; part of it… And suddenly I was receiving all these comments on Facebook, with women thanking me, saying “me too” and sharing their own stories. It still gives me goosebumps to recall that day.
So that’s what I have for you in my comeback… that learning… and the fact that I’m living up to it today. Because at the end of the day all I want is to say is that I’m tired; that I miss my world, my life, the life I was rebuilding or – better yet – the new life I was building. And I need someone to listen…
Daydreaming was a hobby before this pandemic; half hour of listening to music and visualizing my goals; now I think is where I live… And it’s so lonely up here…
How are you?
Laly York. B.Ed. Lawyer. Writer / Researcher. ADHD advocate
Developer and author of the blogs "Neurodivergent", "NKOTB" and "Laly's."