Editor’s note: The following essay is not the usual nerdy fare we get from Marselles Coe, a.k.a. The Geekfather, but we think these heartfelt words will resonate with so many of you.
I don’t know how to start this, so I’m just going to get into it. I’m struggling. Of course, I think everyone is having hard times with this never-ending pandemic. I never thought of myself as someone who suffered from any kind of anxiety or panic. However, this worldwide pandemic, all the bad news, racial and social upheaval, political warfare, my slowly declining health, and constant reminders of death happening on a horrible, grand scale has put me in a constant state of near-breakdown.
I mentioned my slowly declining health. The fact is that I am extremely immunocompromised. I suffer from congestive heart failure, atrial fibrillation, end stage renal disease, and stage 4 liver cirrhosis. I have lived with heart disease for 23 years. The other shit is relatively new. I know you may wonder how I continue to put one foot in front of the other, right? Me, too. I don’t know why I’m still on this Earth, but for whatever the reason, I persist.
I never truly understood friends who had social anxiety. I’d always say, “I love people. I love being around people. The world is fascinating to me. I want to experience everything! How could any of this really bring you down?” I was wrong. I have to offer a heartfelt apology to anyone who truly struggles with anxiety and fear on a daily basis: I’m sorry.
These past nine months, I’ve basically been shut off from society at large. Maybe more than others because I’m very . I suffer from congestive heart failure, atrial fibrillation, end stage renal disease, and stage 4 liver cirrhosis. I have lived with heart disease for 23 years. The other shit is relatively new. Any exposure to COVID could very well put me in the hospital, and there’s a high probability that it would kill me. My friends are trying to protect me because they love me dearly. They’re keeping their distance. My rational mind knows this is out of love, but my emotional mind is slowly dying from the lack of regular physical contact. I am in a constant, hyper-vigilant state of fear, dread, melancholy, and infinite sadness. I feel it in the pit of my stomach. I can taste it.
You may be wondering how I continue to put one foot in front of the other, right? Me, too. I don’t know why I’m still on this Earth, but for whatever the reason, I persist.
Here’s an example: I’m writing this on a Tuesday while I watch Michael Rosenbaum’s Inside of You Podcast. It’s a gem I discovered while going down the YouTube rabbit hole. On Monday, I had a nosebleed. No, it was worse than a nosebleed. It was an epistaxis. There are nosebleeds that stop with a pinching of the nose or a little tissue, and then there’s the boxer getting punched hard in the nose, resulting in a waterfall of blood. That’s epistaxis. I suffer from dry mouth and dry nasal passages due to different medications, as well as my use of a CPAP machine to help me breathe better while I sleep.
I guess I blew open a cut in my dry-ass nose, and it would not stop bleeding. I had dialysis, and my nose bled the entire time. I got home. It kept bleeding. I tried EVERYTHING. Tissue, pinching my nose closed and holding my head forward for 10 minutes, saline rinse, everything. Nothing worked. The blood would form a soft clot and then just glop out my nose or down my throat. Gross.
I knew I was in trouble when blood started coming out of my tear ducts. I was so afraid. I considered going to the hospital, but I am deathly afraid of going there and not coming home.
This nosebleed from hell kicked off a depressive episode that drove me into an “I’m ready. I’m done with this. I can’t do this anymore. I can’t. I’m ready to go” tearful breakdown. I’ve had more than a few of these since my health decline started in 2017. I go up and down. I’ve had therapy and I’m considering it again. Hopefully, I can find a nice therapist that takes Medicare. Lol. I don’t think this is clinical depression, but it is notable.
If you’re wondering, I did get the bleeding to stop finally after shoving gobs of Vaseline up my nose like I was Rocky during his first fight with Apollo Creed. Then I took my Gabapentin. I originally started taking that med for peripheral neuropathy. I had no idea it was also helpful for dealing with anxiety and panic attacks, too.
I don’t know why I’m writing this other than for my own mental health. I have to get this out or it will eat me up. By the way, I am absolutely not a writer, so I apologize if I am all over the place. This month, I meant to write about new and returning shows you should watch, but life decided I had to write about this instead. Maybe you all can recommend some shows and movies to me? Maybe recommend things I can do so as not to focus on the upcoming holidays? Anyone want to adopt a 45-yea-old sensitive nerd? Feel free to comment down below. Share your feelings too, if you want.
And of course, thank you for supporting The Blurred Nerds Podcast. It means so very much to Lil Bit and me.