"Shivering under a pile of six blankets, I finally lost it"

My breaking point was around midnight last Tuesday, during the “Arctic blast” which, prior to last week, sounded like a refreshing juice-box flavor for children. Our house was 40F (4C). My father was outside boiling water on the grill so we could have a hot drink to get us through the night. My only link to the outside world was a horrendous internet connection, so I couldn’t even doom-scroll my way out of this frozen hellscape.

As I lay there shivering in my sister’s bed, under a pile of no less than six blankets, I finally lost it. What began as hysteria-laced laughter soon transformed into full-blown wailing. I had had it. Even my angsty teenage sister, who usually loathes me and everyone around her, comforted me with an awkward but much-needed hug. I fell asleep to the sound of my teeth chattering.

I was already a shell of myself prior to Texas’s weather anomaly, thanks to Covid’s brain-numbing consequences. Each day, I answered emails horizontally on my bed until I closed my laptop and fell asleep – to repeat it all over again the following day. I rarely ate. There was nothing left to binge-watch, and reading for pleasure was fruitless since I felt nothing anyway.