I fear that I have fallen so far down the rabbit hole (though I’m not entirely sure which one, because this one is so very complicated), that I’m not sure where I’m at anymore. Every month in 2020 has been one tragedy following the next. And I’m tired. And I’m unsure of who I am and what I’m meant to do with this life. It’s all just so overwhelming.
I miss my Mom. I miss my son. And even though he could be an awful pain in the ass, I miss my dad. There is so much complicated shit going on that sometimes I forget that grief. It blocks it out. Just for a moment because it’s so overwhelming. But then it comes back and the hurt and the love and the pain are all still there.
It hides there for a bit under the surface. I find it under the sorrow of watching our world crumbling, witnessing the awful divide of our country. I feel it in the anger of the injustice of what continues to happen unchecked by those in power. I glimpse it in the helplessness I feel at this very moment. What can I do to help?
And it’s a lot to carry with me through the day. My heart feels very heavy and my soul, weary. And my grief feels ever present. I miss my people. There are too many gone from this life.
I had a virtual physical yesterday which was interesting. In all honesty it made the health conversations much easier with my doctor and I kind of like her more now that we can laugh about my cat walking in front of my face during a zoom call. This is the first time it felt more personal and less clinical probably because I was at my own house in my pajamas during this conversation.
One of the questions before we even sat down was if I had an increase in anxiety. I honestly started laughing. Who doesn’t have an increase in anxiety right now? Who isn’t having scary thoughts? I’m pretty sure I’m not in the minority here.
My doctor asked if I felt like I needed to speak to a therapist and I honestly had to think about it for a few minutes. I’m pretty sure I’m going through what everybody else is going through on some level. So my answer to her was my anxiety has been worse before, this is manageable for now.
It’s manageable at the moment because we are all healthy. Is my life an absolute shit show some days? Yes, yes it is. As much as I love being home with my kids it is exhausting being home with my kids. My husband is still working and has had to pick up the slack at our business that I cannot attend to. So that means longer hours for him and in turn longer hours for me flying solo over here trying to hold everything together. It’s a delicate dance and it doesn’t always work.
Today in the middle of a Pre-K lesson about the letter ‘S’ I broke down crying over the fact that we had to cancel our trip to Storyland this August. I am just now seeing the irony that Storyland begins with ‘S’. Yes we are all healthy and lucky to be so and yes I am grateful to be home with my kids. However that does not minimize the fact that I am sad. I am sad that my youngest is at the perfect age and has just recently become obsessed with princesses and will miss out on this experience this year. And I know there have been worse things going on in the world and we’ve gone through terrible things as a family, but I do not want to minimize my feelings. Because if I do that, then I will not deal with them. To put it plainly, this sucks.
I’ve seen so many posts mocking the graduates of 2020 who did not get their prom or graduation ceremonies and comparing it to Vietnam. Well yes, it does make you think about what that generation went through. However, it should never minimalize what these kids are going through today. One experience does not negate the other.
You are allowed to feel what you are feeling. It is all valid. Whether you are home with kids or you are home alone or you are surrounded by a huge family right now This is still really, really hard. And you are allowed to feel sad and you are allowed to feel anxious or any other emotion that you are going through. And you are most certainly not alone in these feelings. Just like everybody grieves differently, everybody ‘pandemics’ differently.
Have you ever listened to a song, like a million times, and realized it has meaning? You really know the words and you sing along every time it comes on the radio. And then one day, you’re driving along and the full meaning of those words smack you in the heart.
I’ve read several posts about all of the beautiful things that we will learn from this pandemic. That we need to slow down. That we need to spend more time with family. That we shouldn’t take simple things for granted.
There are definitely things that I hope change. I think the entire system of education and healthcare has been shown to be insufficient at best. For the first time parents are seeing how fucking hard it is to be an educator in this country. We have learned that our current healthcare system doesn’t work if everyone doesn’t have access to care. We’ve learned that the hourly wage earners are our heros and that our health care workers wear invisible capes. The way we view the world has changed.
And I get that we need a silver lining. We as humans need to bring some meaning into this madness. But at what cost? Is it fair that someone had to suffer in sickness or even die for you to learn that lesson? Is it fair for us to bypass another person’s anguish for our own reasoning?
I am struggling with the memes. All of the happy anecdotal memes that speak of the great things that will happen because of the Covid-19 pandemic. I understand them. I even agree with them. But deep down they bother me.
I know that a lot of people have died. And when people try to add reason to that I have a very hard time. It comes across almost like a crude sacrifice. As if one person’s death is ok because the environment is doing better or it forced Little Johnny to become closer with his dad.
Nothing happens for a reason. Our loved ones do not die for a reason. There is no lesson in any of it. They die and you do the best damn job that you can of picking up the pieces and figuring out what you’re supposed to do next. And who even knows what that means?
I will never find reason with all of the loss in my life. I will not look at this disease and massive loss of life as a lesson. I know what it is to lose someone you love suddenly and expectedly. Neither is easy or fair.
This is complicated for me. Yes I hope that there is change and yes I hope that people recognize that the way we were doing things has failed. But the death of 80,000 people shouldn’t be used as a lesson. It’s unfortunate that it’s taken this for us to open our eyes. So many of us afflicted by grief already know not to take things for granted already. Now the world has joined us.
I have been struggling. The winter is so damn hard for me sometimes. The monotonous days stuck indoors are really hard. As much as I love my children and I love working with my husband, it can all just seem repetitious.
I am desperate to feel the sun on my face and spend hours outside. I want to feel grass beneath my toes and watch green leaves sway in a lazy Summer breeze.
At the same time, I love snow, I love skiing, I love sledding. But I don’t love the darkness and the cold. And it gets to me. I can feel myself sliding, moving backwards. I’m more tired, I’m more irritable. I’m way less motivated to do anything. And once I get into this slump, it’s very hard to ‘unslump’ myself.
There’s all this talk about, ‘being your own light,’ which is great and all, but what if you can’t be? What if what you’re going through is really hitting you hard and you can’t find a way back out? There’s a lot of pressure to fix yourself, by yourself.
This last month has felt this way to me. Just a lot of stuff weighing heavily and I know that the endless winter weather doesn’t help.
I hate the feeling of sinking. I know when it’s happening and sometimes I welcome it for the break that it is. Sometimes I just need to zone out (as best as you can with 3 kids) so I can try and process whatever this new grief slap is so that I can get through it. Sometimes I get stuck. Sometimes I just can’t find my light.
This time I recognized it for what it is. I am feeling stuck. I am feeling sad. I can’t turn my own light on right now. And that’s ok. I didn’t try to fight with myself or self deprecate. I knew I needed something.
Sometimes you need to borrow a little light from someone else. And I’m ok with that. I can’t be everything to everyone without needing a little help myself every once in awhile.
I’m ok with borrowing some light while I take the time to make mine bright again. The one thing grief isn’t is consistent. You can be fine and then all of a sudden something comes along to knock the wind out of your sails. For me it’s been several something’s.
So I’m ‘unslumping’ with a puppy, something I swore up and down that I would never, ever do. We’ve always rescued the big dogs that no one else wants. But sometimes you have to go outside of what you would normally do. If death has taught me anything, it’s certainly to take chances or do something I wouldn’t normally do.
Sometimes ‘unslumping’ means getting out of your normal routine. Sometimes it means go for a walk, get outside. Or maybe treat yourself to an ice cream or a haircut. There’s nothing better than when I feel good on the outside how it helps me feel a little bit better or the inside. Or, go get a puppy. You only have one life, do what you want to make it a little bit better.