Are you okay? Because I’m not sure I’m okay.
My job, a source of deep satisfaction is gone, or at the very least changed into something almost unrecognizable. My husband still has to work at a place that may or may not be safe. My mother is 84-years-old and sad and worried. I can’t hug my children or hold my grandchildren. I’m drinking too much. I’m eating too much. I worry constantly.
Basically, I’m in the same boat as millions of people around the world.
Then there is the guilt because I’m so blessed. Everyone I love is, for the moment, healthy. My salary is guaranteed. My husband still has his job. I have extra food and plenty of toilet paper. So many people have so much less. So many people are alone, afraid, and unable to get the basic supplies they need. I’m so incredibly privileged and that causes equal parts guilt and gratitude.
Then there is the anger. Anger because our administration bungled our response to this threat. Anger because the daily press briefings are filled with lies and pandering instead of leadership and comfort. Anger because the war on truth marches on. Anger because the world has changed so drastically and has become a place that is unsafe for my grandchildren, for all the world’s grandchildren.
And sadness because of what we’ve lost, because we might never really get the chance to make the world a more equitable, kinder place. And—selfishly—sadness because this was the year that my hubby and I were going to make our retirement dreams come true and now? Who knows?
There’s so much collective grief in the world as we grapple with death, fear and lives changed beyond recognition. No wonder people are still clinging to the hope that the media is over-blowing this, that it’s just like the flu, that it will be gone by summer. No wonder they get angry when that hope is challenged.
I could get on my soap box about the importance of emotional resiliency and maturity, but why? How would it help? We know some people are going to deny this to the end. Maybe it’s because if they believe in the reality they will snap and shatter into a million tiny pieces. Maybe denial is their coping mechanism. Maybe some of them don’t have the intellectual capabilities to understand. Maybe because they believe the lies. All I know is that shaming people does no good. Screaming our anger does no good. The brief satisfaction of venting our fury, no matter how justified, doesn’t change the virus, doesn’t change the reality that we are all living with and in fact, gives us more anxiety which just leads to more despair.
So I try daily, hourly, moment by moment, to choose understanding, compassion and love. If I didn’t, this would all be unbearable.
So no, I’m not really okay, and that IS okay because NONE of this is okay. It’s just the reality of where I am and for now, I can accept that. How are you doing?