I’m angry.

And I have to get it out.

We trusted people who told us to stay inside.

We believed them when they told us if we did not stay inside PEOPLE WOULD DIE.

We boarded up windows on our mom-and-pop shops.

We made the tough choices to not visit family members who were dying because we were told if we traveled or entered retirement communities or left our homes WE WOULD NEVER SURVIVE.

We tried to connect virtually for birthdays and graduations and proms and celebrations and wakes.

We stopped going to AA meetings and churches and yoga classes that fed our souls.

We went longer than we ever have without the physical experience of another human’s embrace.

We started wondering if we’re breaking our children because we were never equipped to teach them algebra and what if we’ve made them ineligible for college with our shortcomings in homeschooling?

We started gaining weight and noticing old bad habits kicking back up and boy did it get noisy in the brain when all the chatter about how fragile life is kept cycling through, on loop.

Still, we trusted everyone and we did all the right things and then…

They said it’s still not SAFE but we should go back outside.

We should get a haircut. Visit a local restaurant. Try to get our jobs back. Resume some of our outdoor activities. Always in masks. Always socially distant. Always washing our hands a lot and never touching our faces.

But go outside.

Now that you’re staring at the business end of OCD and extra pandemic pounds and an empty savings account and bitten-off fingernails and panic attacks and crippling fear and massive anxiety…

Go outside.

Trust us.

We now need your money out there more than we need to flatten the curve. We now need those of you who HAVE TO work because there is no more to live off of to get out there and test our theory that maybe this thing isn’t as massive a killer as we insisted it was when we convinced you to shutter your lives as if you were in a bomb shelter two months ago.

Trust. Us.

Yeah. I’m not gonna be able to trust that easily ever again. You cannot trigger the part of my brain that wants to survive by telling it WE WILL DIE if we go outside and then say the beaches are safe as long as we don’t lay down a towel or park nearby.

I’m angry.

I’m angry at people who are manipulating people right now to keep us feeling scared.

I’m angry at the news media and the headlines and the sensationalism and the catastrophizing and the doomsaying.

I’m angry at the flaming Cheeto in charge and his criminal stupidity, racism, misogyny, and narcissism.

I’m angry at the politicians who bailed out on stocks before the COVID-19 news was released.

I’m angry at the lack of capacity our healthcare system has for handling the mental health needs that will emerge from all this.

I’m angry at myself for letting the completely helpless feelings turn into binge eating and lack of presence for my best self.

I’m angry at my business for it not being resilient enough to keep my husband feeling safe.

I’m angry that I built a sober, healthy, enoughness-filled life that worked so well and it’s still not enough to keep me from feeling so betrayed by so many things right now.

I’m angry that writing this feels like shouting into a wind so big that no one will ever hear my voice, all hoarse from too many Zoom meetings and too much leadership.

I am angry that I don’t have a tidy ending for this missive.

I am angry that all the rules have changed and that I’ll never be able to trust a rule the same way again.

I’m angry.

I am sober. I am monogamous. I am present. I am holding it together… for now. And I am angrier than I have ever been in my whole life. This is ire.

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7 Comments

  1. Avatar Sean Johnston (aka Sean Frost) May 16, 2020 at 8:51 pm

    Brilliant. Thank you. Seconded. As I said, I am grateful for being able to make it through this, but I am also extremely angry. Can you be angry and grateful at the same time?

    Reply
  2. Avatar Kellye Rowland May 19, 2020 at 11:22 am

    Thank you for sharing this bit of vulnerability with us. It all matters. Every feeling. All of it. Learned that from a pretty amazing woman as a matter of fact. 🙂

    Reply
  3. Avatar Sean Frost May 21, 2020 at 4:16 pm

    Hey, Bonnie. I asked this over the regular email but the auto responder had it sound like this comments section, might be more appropriate place for this (and I apologize if I’m being pushy at all): I love this post. It is my favorite of yours, and I wonder if I could have the honor of performing this as a monologue and maybe Put it up on YouTube and or Instagram, giving you credit, of course. I think it is very important, very well-written for a monologue and reminds me of that “I’m mad as hell and I’m not gonna take it anymore” speech from network.

    Anyway, whether you give me permission to perform it or not, it’s good stuff.

    Reply
  4. Avatar Denielle May 27, 2020 at 7:13 am

    I hear you.

    Reply
    1. TBG_Erin TBG_Erin May 27, 2020 at 3:16 pm

      Reply
  5. Bonnie Gillespie Bonnie Gillespie June 28, 2020 at 9:10 pm

    Sean — Absolutely, we can be grateful and angry at the same time. We can hold multiple emotions simultaneously about lots of things. BUT, the *focus* is up to us. I find when I focus on the gratitude, the anger lessens a bit, and sometimes I really need that. Other times, I need to feel the anger and I let that happen too. Oh, and yes, of course you can monologue this. 🙂 Thank you for citing the source. I’m glad it moved you enough to want to perform it for others.

    Kellye, Denielle, Jonathan, and of course Erin — Thanks for being here. ❤

    Reply

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