Coping: a Frustrating Revolutionary Reality

Yesterday, my husband David received a NEGATIVE! result for the free coronavirus test we took last Friday.

So that’s great.

However, since we took our tests at the same time at the same place… it felt weird I did not receive my test result when he did.

First my sense of humor and #1 coping mechanism kicked in and I thought: “OMG NOW THEY KNOW I’M AN ALIEN AND THEY’RE SCHEMING”

Did you see the interview with E.T.? They asked him if he was ever returning to earth.

E.T.: “Hell no.”

But then my humor sputtered out and I wondered if I had coronavirus because… why hadn’t they called me on the day they called my husband with the results?


But I still thought I had coronavirus since I didn’t receive my results and David did. I reasoned maybe it took longer for positive results to come through.

Which makes no sense but, completely uninhibited by logic, I felt almost convinced I had coronavirus by noon yesterday.

We live in a zip code which recently had the highest increase in the number of coronavirus cases in the city and I really didn’t want to risk making things worse.

Consequently, this affected my decision to join the protest being organized in a nearby neighborhood as I had been planning to go but then, since I was mostly convinced that I had coronavirus, I wasn’t going to go and infect a large group of protestors and play the role of the resident colonist.


In other more devastating news, a couple days ago the American president officially threatened (using his voice this time instead of his usual official means of communication, Twitter, which he is really mad at right now) to deploy military troops to shoot at citizens/civilians practicing their First Amendment right to peacefully gather and protest.

If he does, that will be the end of our flawed yet spunky democracy.

I don’t think most governors will allow the military to occupy their states but there are Facebook users who continuously threaten to grab their guns and go shoot anyone they don’t agree with if the president gives the “okay.”

Facebook is cool with them though. They don’t violate any community standards.

Because Faceboook has no standards.

Unless you’re talking about standards of currency.

On top of the pile of Smaller Shit, my computer gave up yesterday morning.

I opened it and it screamed “CRITICAL BATTERY LOSS!!!!!!!” and then its screen went black.

It was a bit dramatic and I stared into the blackness for a minute.

If this computer which I have to essentially hack to use dies on me… that’s kind of it for this blog.

That would be a tiny blow for the very small crowd voluntarily reading this.

But it would be a big blow for me because the writing and shitty illustrating both happily occupy my overactive, analytical mind during the ongoing quarantine/health crisis/hiring pause/violent seeds sewn/pot bubbling over/civil unrest under a wanna-be dictator who is orange.

Therefore, I softly whisper:


That wasn’t very mature but it’s my approach toward inanimate objects as it’s the same approach I use toward myself.

It’s effective. It’s what has caused me to repeatedly get back up after being knocked down, or “robotically resilient.”

However, if I were a famous person, I wouldn’t be getting up or resilient. I’d just be pliable, pumped full of drugs and physically moved around like a puppet.

Yes, I watched The Rocketman last night.

If you’ve seen this movie you’ll see it only further substantiates my belief that too many rock and roll moments are bad for you and rock and roll stars who need serious help are instead pumped full of narcotics and moved around like inanimate objects.

If you’re into that sort of thing, being a rock star should work out quite well for you.

In other inconsequential news, I also noticed that I’d somehow lost a diamond from my wedding ring after realizing my computer was not really feeling resilient today and needed a longer mental health break and/or death.

“IT’S JUST STUFF IT MEANS NOTHING,” I sternly told my ring.

Yet… my wedding ring is a sentimental item. It looked back at me in a very sad way.

And then some other super-charged coping mechanism kicked in and I was all “OH MY MY, I’m just SHEDDING diamonds!” in a Southern belle accent.

Hold on. I’m still shuddering after making that illustration…


In reality, the wedding ring was from a website because my husband and I had learned-through-looking that we couldn’t afford “nice vintage wedding rings” or “nice new wedding rings” from any place and so, while buying a wedding ring off the internet doesn’t sound incredibly weird now, this was 2006.

In 2006, we had the internet but this was before smart phones and Amazon was still that place with the rainforest which is continually dying in an uninhibited fashion, and Facebook was only that other new social media site that did, in my eyes, exactly what MySpace did but without the option to choose a song which would start playing when people visited your profile page.

I loved that.

I miss MySpace.


Did you hear Facebook staff members staged a virtual walk-out over how their CEO, Mark Whatshisname, stated Facebook was not an “arbiter of truth”?

I bet those Facebook employees who participated in the walk-out were also thinking how much they miss MySpace.

Even though I remember how everyone “hated” Tom of MySpace and immediately dismissed him as the “free friend” you got after signing up for a MySpace account.


I mean, we humans are not often rational thinkers.

In any case, I begrudgingly joined stupid Facebook in 2006 and did find joy in Pet Society, a Facebook app, with a couple goth friends.

My pet’s name was Brad.

Brad was an accomplished weirdo who wore wigs and who lived with a tiny buffalo and a few small ghosts.

He was also sporadically social, especially when emergencies happened.

And Brad would sleep anywhere.

However, the thing about that Facebook app was how, if you didn’t log in to care for your Pet Society pet, it would slowly die.

Because you had to care for it using the usual life-maintenance activities.

And, if you didn’t for a time, and then came back and logged in, you’d find your pet all emaciated and dying.

Rather brutal.

But effective.

And yet I still left Brad to suffer and die and now I can’t log in to Pet Society and can only imagine his sad state, perpetually strung somewhere between death and life.

Oh sweet Brad.


It was a bold move to order a wedding ring using the internet in 2006.

I also bought my wedding dress for one hundred dollars using the internet and a fun new website called eBay.

And so… I mean, my humble little wedding ring may look sad but it’s not like it was a family heirloom worn by generations of women before me.

And stuff doesn’t matter.

I say this as I lug around a piano, a big dresser and its matching bureau and a few really awkward-to-carry chairs because they’re sentimental and I was left with them after my parents died.

This would be fine if my husband and I didn’t continuously move.

You cannot maintain a gypsy lifestyle with a piano.

In any case, this whole wedding ring thing shouldn’t bother me.

Yet, as an only child with PTSD and lifelong transitional objects, my missing mini-diamond is only tragic to me because the ring now “looks sad.”

I just stopped looking at my hand.

Unfortunately, I was and remain an only child so I see faces in most objects because of my abject loneliness as a kid without siblings/with many stuffed animals who I still refer to as “my friends.”

My husband, David MuellerLowLife, did a painting of them:

There’s Fluffy the no-longer-fluffy cat, Racky Nelson and Juan, who is in the back, setting fire to the house for some reason. I suppose because he is the newest friend and David doesn’t quite trust him.

My hair is also falling out. This is upsetting. I don’t see any kind of face in the massive amount of hair I cut out of the vacuum every week.

However, I do see a nice looking wig if I had the patience.

In short, I’m coping and hanging in there because… to paraphrase Paolo Freire:

“We are conditioned but not determined.”

We can all change in some ways which previously felt impossible to us.

Therefore, in general, when everything feels so crazy and overwhelming and exciting and upsetting and terrifying and cathartic,

(maybe don’t Mozilla Firefox “earthquakes” and “Yellowstone” or “cryptosporidiosis” right now),

we may need to withdraw and engage in critical self-reflection while also not forgetting to take care of our own mental health and physical needs during such intense times.

We have to healthfully cope and take care of our own mental and physical health, no matter who we are.

This is a lesson poor Brad never learned.

There is a lot being stirred up right now. I feel it is necessary but it can feel overwhelming so be sure to take care of you.

And, when exhausted or feeling in doubt, be kind

because life is not black and white,

all or nothing,

absolutely this or that.

It’s intensely grey and layered.

At the same time, it’s also not as complicated as we may think it is.

I believe with all my heart that most Americans want liberty and justice for all.

And this promise should be fulfilled for George Floyd as a starting point from which we can build. 🖤

13 thoughts on “Coping: a Frustrating Revolutionary Reality

  1. This is great as always Hillarie. I think people who harangue others at conferences are rude, but at the same time to be pitied. How can someone be so personally affected by progressive research methods that they need to attack students? We were very lucky to be taught by the Edinburgh team at that time. And I love David’s painting of your friends! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Anne!!!! Oh yes. Something is wrong with those who scream at others and, again, this was a COUNSELLING AND PSYCHOTHERAPY CONFERENCE. I mean, academia can be crazy but… the context… goodness. And… it just seemed he was delighting at the linguistic discomfort of my colleagues… I was… so deathly cold and calm when it came to be my turn. I feel I could have sent a wave of ice that froze that man and cooled him off. And yes! Our team was amazing!!!!! David’s work is so great… I hope he takes off somehow. 🙂 Love to you. Miss you! And… all of the international and domestic protests have DONE SOMETHING!!!! WOOHOO!!!!!!


  2. OMG! My internet diamond anniversary ring just lost a stone last week! E Wedding is fixing it for the cost of shipping, which was pretty shocking, honestly.



    1. MY COMPUTER LIVES ANOTHER DAY! It’s an old Dell PC with Microsoft Suite and my unwillingness to use Explorer or Chrome so… the poor machine has its work cut out for it. Sometimes it just goes ALL BLACK (breathe in) and then my screen returns (breathe out).

      Thank you so much, dear H. I really appreciate the support… it just means a lot. Thank you thank you thank you. xx

      Liked by 1 person

  3. “Our wedding stones are bailing!” Mine, too (cue Twilight Zone theme) for the second time! No sooner did I replace one tee-tiny stone (flake), than another disappeared. I wouldn’t fret except that the empty socket catches on everything. I’m thinking of gluing in one from my mom’s band.

    On hair–at the end of my daughter’s Unfortunate Starter Marriage (as we refer to it), she developed several utterly bald patches about the diameter of a quarter. She reckons stress is expressed by her scalp.

    On the actual content of your post–I ask again, “Just what are they afraid of?”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I felt your question was rhetorical, dear Lisa. I will provide the answer in my super long blog post I’m working on but short answer for what they’re afraid of: what goes around comes around.

      And… ugh. Our tiny little wedding ring stones are bailing! I am a believer in signs but with you, my bird best friend Val and I each experiencing this… I don’t know what it could signify beyond “life is unfair and that should be no surprise to anyone”. 🙂

      And I agree with your daughter… stress is causing this hair loss. And… I don’t see an end to the stress so… I just keep following my life coach shtick. 🙃


  4. I feel that, “Anger is always a manifestation of fear” belongs on a bumper sticker. Or t-shirt. Or billboard. Anyway, somewhere it gets seen a lot.

    As to the rest–nap, chocolate, repeat.

    Liked by 1 person

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