Is This The Saddest Day?

Cloudy Day (1895) by Isaac Levitan

Since this nightmare began, I’ve had a lot of reasonably productive days. Today feels different. Today I can’t stop watching those snapshots of the pandemic from around the world flashing on the New York Times site. Today I’m having this repeating, out-of-body experience: How is this happening?

I reached a saturation point this morning before I even got out of bed. I feel like I have too much sadness in my body and I can’t hold anymore. I can’t keep reading numbers and looking at names and faces. Maybe I let my guard down this week and now I’m paying for it.

But also? People are asking me for advice. And there are times when I just don’t have a thing to give. Trying to offer helpful pointers in the middle of this darkness sometimes feels like walking around on the beach at Normandy and telling teenagers who are bleeding into the sand to look on the fucking bright side.

Sometimes I just want a place to say: This is just so sad, isn’t it? It’s just so fucking sad. I need that today. I don’t want to drag anyone down. But if you’re already down, I just want to sit with you and say it: This is too much for me, too. It’s too much for anyone.

If you’re struggling today, you’re not alone. Consider this a place to say so. I don’t have that much to offer here. I just want to make some space for whatever you’ve got.

Polly’s evil twin Molly wrote about despair here. This week’s Ask Polly is here. Write to Polly here: