Day 17

As I continue to try and break my habit of the reactive workflow, I am noticing that I can’t seem to focus.  I am making many typos and I’m rereading things multiple times before it sets in.  Yesterday and today I have been feeling tired, dehydrated, and generally a little off.  I can’t really explain it except it’s similar to how you would feel after working a 15-hour workday without leaving your office or after a 10-hour plane ride.  I have been drinking plenty of water, but it doesn’t seem to help. Not until I started feeling dizzy did I start researching what this could be.  And I found this:

If you are breathing in stale air, you might have started to notice some of the following symptoms:

•                Dizziness

•                Nausea

•                Headaches

•                Fatigue and exhaustion

•                Irritability

•                Anxiety

•                Depression

I have experienced all of these with the exception of nausea in the last 48 hours.  So it could be the lack of fresh air or it could be that I am getting a cold.  Maybe my ‘angels from above’ contaminated my grocery delivery?  Is paranoia on the list symptoms too?

As I am feeling all of these things, I am trying to take note how my isolation could be affecting these things too.  I am starting to feel as though I am not able to express myself fully and I am finding it frustrating when I can’t just pickup the phone to call someone that I need to reach immediately. Of course, I would probably just get their voicemail anyway.

Up until this point, I have felt like I have been able to be social and be a part of the outside world. I still feel this way for the most part, but I am noticing is that I miss real moments with people. Video chatting can be awkward because people are so aware of themselves. When you can see yourself in the little square in the corner you can’t help but constantly look at yourself rather then the other person.  It is also difficult to read someone’s body language when you can only see them from the chest up. However, as a friend pointed out tonight, we are quick to hate on technology that has changed our lives in drastic ways.  We can now video chat on our cell phones, but then are quick to complain when the connection doesn’t allow for a perfectly clear picture or perfect audio. So even though I am one of those complainers, I appreciate the ability to connect with people in that way.  Without it, I don’t know if I would have made it 17 days.

I am also thankful for my visitors.  If it weren’t for two special ones today, I might have stayed in bed. Knowing that people are coming to see me makes me get motivated and I am always happier once I see them.

6 Responses to “Day 17”

  1. lynne McCrudden Says:

    Hang in there….you are not going crazy…just as you said maybe missing the touch of another human. Sort of like being the “boy in a bubble”. I think you insights are great and I hope when it is all over you will be able to read back over your blog and discover this missing link that all this new technology allows for, in the way of communication, but all stunts the way that we communicate.
    Happy Thanksgiving…you have a lot to be thankful for, as do all of us

  2. Cliff Feightner Says:

    Cristin my friend,
    Know that what you are experiencing is normal. I too have gone through that phase after Lynn passed away. There were days when I didn’t even get out of bed, or shave, or shower, or read the paper, or eat – what was the point! I am the last person to be depressed; but I was. I had to find a purpose. I turned to writing. It has been my salvation!
    As Lynne (other comment (today) said, and as I told you a week ago, ‘touch’, or lack of it, will be the most trying element. Every once in a while, in private, pur your arms around your torso and hug yourself. Hold the hug and reflect on what you are accomplishing! You will feel better.

  3. George R. Says:

    Hey friend,

    I feel like I’m reading a ships log where the captain is slowly going crazy. However, I think what really concerns me is that there isn’t any real fresh air in that spot. Can’t they run some outdoor air into your box?

    I know you’ll be fine and hope that in 5 days you aren’t perched on top of something with paint smeared on your face. 🙂

    Are you allowed to make phone calls using your Google Voice account? You know you can make immediate outgoing calls from Gchat these days to any US number… just say’n.

  4. Dorothy Santos Says:

    Hey Cristin!

    Still following and catching up on your log. I’m extremely impressed by your determination and really looking forward to the day you are ‘released’ from your project. I think the after effect of this “isolation” is what piques my interest the most. Thank you for taking on the challenge to show that maybe…human interaction and connection is one of the very things that keep us going and that it is, perhaps, necessary. I’ll definitely be back to catch up via your blog.

    Lastly, you’re probably getting inundated with Tweets but hoping you were able to catch my Tweet and post of Emiliana Torrini’s ‘Sunny Road’.

    All the best Virtual Friend! 🙂


    PS: Hoping the guitar lessons are going well and you’ve been able to catch up on reading!

  5. Laen Says:

    Your symptoms remind me of the Mythbusters “isolation” episode:

    My mom has a list of good rules for hermits:

    I think certain personality types are better suited for the solitude. She spends months alone at her cabin.

    Of course, maybe you’re tired of thinking about isolation. In that case:

  6. Jen Says:

    What an interesting project – I wish you the best of luck in the final week!

    I’ve just started catching up on this project and am reading your posts backwards … so I’m sorry if this has already been addressed. But I’m certain there has been a study that shows an average person needs to make something like 11 contacts in a given day to stay psychologically – and physically – healthy. This might be as simple as brushing against someone in the hallway, petting your dog, a handshake, etc. – or it could also be something much more intimate. It has something to do with the endorphins or something like that. ((apparently journalism school didn’t prepare me to speak scientifically about studies i read YEARS ago!))

    Either way, I really wish I could find that study b/c with that in mind, it sounds as though a lot of what you’re describing is less about the stale air in your living quarters – and more about your lack of contact.

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Cristin Norine and Joshua Jay Elliott