Hi Cassandra. Please forgive my late response to your post. I felt that I ought to allow others to voice their thoughts and opinions, but I guess that is not to be.
To return to the theme of this forum thread: As this pandemic continues, I, too, feel as you do, the quiet and isolation has increased for me. Although I live in an "open" state, I have made no attempts to minimize my isolation, and I seem to be folding in upon myself. I can't explain what that means, other than to say that I have very often been thinking of the section of the Course (a lesson perhaps?) that describes our bodies being shed as an old coat might be when it is no longer useful. I have been questioning whether this is the time for that, and whether I assent to that, and asking for guidance as to whether there are any tasks I need to pursue that have been left undone. It's occurred to me that I likely will not see my best friend again in this life, nor my sister, both of whom are in NY. To be honest, I don't even know if I will make it out to vote in the primary here on June 9; no mail-in voting here in this very red state. I very much understand you when you say how surprised you are at how much you base your sense of self on the presence, or absence, of others in your life. You wrote, "Now that they are not present physically in my life, it feels like I've lost my edge, I'm not quite so sharp or aware. Heck, I've pretty much let myself go." Absolutely! Not only do I feel less sharp, I find I am ambivalent about it! Let me clarify. I am not withdrawn or depressed. I have had times in my life when I was both, and this is not how I feel now, nor am I unhappy. On the contrary, I feel in some way that I have "permission" to take long naps, and not to have constant projects to complete. I stay in bed until 11am, drinking coffee, reading and petting my cats, and eventually get around to doing laundry, or watering plants, or any of the other myriad chores that one has to do to be a member of this world. Sound familiar? I often find myself feeling content, right here and now, with nothing that I need to finish, nothing that I need to start, and that is a feeling I have rarely allowed myself to savor.
Thank you so much for sharing your experience with me, Cassandra. It's nice to know that you exist.