What strange times we live in.
Just four weeks ago I was going through the stages of grief after losing my job. I was struggling with keeping my days structured in order to keep my brain from melting so I would stay hireable. And things started to look up as I was finally able to relax and enjoy the “time off”.
Now as the world stands still, everyone is in the position I had just gotten over, except this time it feels like nothing matters.
Living alone is usually blissful, but right now I’d give anything to have a companion to hunker down with, if for nothing else, to feed my cats if I dropped dead, but more importantly, to prevent my brain from taking off into anxiety land at full speed.
Video chatting with friends has probably made all the difference. Whenever I’m talking face-to-face with someone, the anxiety melts away. The nausea goes away, I’m no longer about to die. I’m so grateful for the technology that allows us to connect with each other virtually. But that technology is also what’s fueling the worry and panic that’s taking over life as we knew it.
It’s hard to find a balance between being informed and being obsessed with the news. It’s hard to think about anything else when I have the slightest, tiniest fever, or if my stomach is upset. It’s almost impossible to think about trying to find a new job right now, or even to do anything productive. Right now I’m just trying to survive by any means possible.
I was out for my usual walk around the bike path and passed by a restaurant where, only a few months ago, I used to go with my sister and nephews. I walked over the grass where we used to see big, fat crickets hopping around, and joked about capturing them for the kids’ pet gecko. I wiped a tear away thinking about how that seemed like a lifetime ago. No one worried about touching a door knob, sharing drinks, or hugging each other. The world is completely different now, and this is our new normal for a while.
It’s OK to grieve for that life, and to accept that’s it’s pretty much gone, at least for now. It’s OK to feel lost and unsure of yourself. It’s OK to sit on the couch and do nothing for a while as you fight back the panic, but I think we also need to realize that this is a new normal, and we have to figure out how to navigate it without going insane.
I read an article about how many mental health issues are going to come out of this, and how children’s future emotional well-being will be hugely impacted. It’s important that we reach out and be there for each other and help keep the damage at bay as much as possible. I think that everyone is experiencing a little bit of panic right now and feeling lost and confused. No one cares if you’re not wearing makeup or if you’re unshowered. Even the most hardcore introverts need human interaction.
We all have to be in this together for it to work.