For more WRAP® support, visit PEERS’ WRAP® Program webpage, download the WRAP® app, and find out more about WRAP® online. By Kenneth Kozi Arrington

Caught In a Temporal Loop

Many movies have been made about someone being caught in a temporal loop. A time loop or temporal loop in fiction is a plot device whereby characters re-experience a span of time which is repeated, sometimes more than once, with some hope of breaking out of the cycle of repetition eventually. Well, that is exactly how I feel about having to shelter in place hour after hour, day in and day out, week after week, and now month after month with no foreseeable end in sight. 

This is not a fictional movie. This is real. I feel like I am reliving a nightmare; one where there is an absence of choice and I am denied the things that are most important to me. For those of you who know what I’m talking about, it’s kind of like being incarcerated and being on lockdown. This certainly isn’t as bad as being incarcerated because I do have more freedom; there are no steel bars or physical restraints, but it’s still pretty bad. There are, however, the bars I construct in my psyche that can be more confining and damning than real ones. In my case, the bars are made of fear, paranoia, dread, and unhappiness.

We are four months into this pandemic now and I’m stuck in my mentally self-constructed cell where I pace the floor, look at the latest developments on the news, become tearful, more fearful, and more uncertain with each passing day. I ruminate about the catastrophe. I rarely go outside, maybe twice a month, which people keep telling me is unhealthy. I don’t even walk around the block. 

I have tried to dig deep into my wellness toolbox to find something, anything that I can do to lift my spirit and help myself feel better. Unsuccessful sometimes, I sink in the quicksand that is depression and lack of motivation. Very little interests me or makes me smile. Thank goodness for cartoons and comedies. I’d be a total wreck without them. Thank goodness for my job, this keeps me active. Thank goodness for my voice, the only voice I hear most of the time. Thank goodness sometimes for the voices in my head or where ever they are generated from. 

When will this end? Will I survive the pandemic? How long can I go on and on and on existing in the void that my life has become? I can’t help but wonder how long this temporal loop will last.

I just woke up and nothing has changed; not for the better.  Here I go again, going through the motions emotionlessly.