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Seek Distractions.

Day 2 I had a panic attack that put me out of commission for a good chunk of the day. And I accepted that. The number of COVID-19 cases in Illinois shot up over the weekend, and I casually got a new text update and couldn't breathe, couldn't focus, couldn't anything.

So I took a bath which I never do, because I get bored of them by the time the tub fills up. But I did it anyway to calm down. Then I watched "Legally Blonde" to feel happy, but instead I kept crying everytime a character got a hug, shook someone's hand or dined in at a restaurant.

I am hopeful that the world will connect and evolve after all of this. But a part of me is grieving it too.

Day 3 I spent half the day being afraid I would have another panic attack, so I left my phone in another room and refused to look at it. I stuck to my routine, which consists of rising at 7AM, making coffee and doing the morning pages for 30 minutes. Then I work on my script for an hour (always aiming for a scene a day). Then, I either work from home on the day job or continue writing if its my day off. At 3pm on the dot, I take a walk with my partner. At 6pm we start dinner.

I'm not binging TV as much as I thought I would during all of this. Taking advantage of the gift of time, but when I do watch TV, I make it count. I select movies for daytime viewings, split up into 30 minute increments, and I watch "Love is Blind" at night. Because it's silly and the world needs silly.

Here's my movies that I have watched:

Legally Blonde: Seen it a million times and I still giggle at the wonderfulness of it

Step Mom: Wasn't sure if I would've been able to handle this one. It makes me ugly cry. But if I've learned anything about my anxiety, it's that it feels like there's some force in me that I can't properly release. Usually I scream into a pillow, but the last time I did that I was so upset that I let the pillow fall and I just started being that girl screaming in her room in the middle of the day. This movie worked for me somehow. Whatever awfulness was sitting at the pit of my stomach came up and it was wonderful.

Good Will Hunting: Hadn't watched it in years. I introduced it to my partner, and it's now his favorite film. He holds it close to his heart the way I hold "Hook" close to mine. While I love the whole movie, I truly feel like I could just watch Robin William's monologue on the bench in the park and be good. It's that good.

What Lies Beneath: I love Harrison Ford. And I've always loved Michelle Pfeiffer. And there's something about 90's thriller movies that were just done so well. That was truly the genre of the time. And this one was blissfully distracting. I yelled at the TV and responded to everything that was happening. I was so in sync with it that at one point I got up to fix lunch, and on the way back to the TV, I stepped on a tiny shard of glass. When I unpaused the movie, not even 2 seconds later, Michelle Pfeiffer stepped on a piece of glass. And that tiny shard of synchronicity will somehow stay with me forever, I hope. When you ask me in a few years what got me through this, I'll simply respond, "What Lies Beneath."


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