For the past month, I have been struggling to find the words to describe how I feel. In the blink of an eye, COVID19 changed the world as we knew it. I'm the first to admit that when this all started, I was skeptical. I honestly felt that there was no way in 2020 would we be dealing with a deadly pandemic.
I never thought we were invincible, the United States is supposed to be prepared for this type of thing but watching the number of positive coronavirus cases and the death toll rise each day has taken a toll on me mentally, physically and emotionally and it's time to confess that I'm NOT OK!
For weeks, I was drawn to the television watching daily briefings. Each day, there seemed to be a different rhythm and as the information changed, I lost my sense of peace. We are in crisis and the very people that we expect to lead us, are failing! No matter which side of the political fence you sit, you have to agree that as a country we are crumbling.
During a quick trip to downtown Philly, I was overcome with anxiety. The city was eerily quiet. There were very few people around and most of the stores were closed. I have seen this before after a snowstorm but this felt different. The air was peculiar and I could not breathe. I struggled with each breathe as I hurried to the car once my tasks were completed. I generally look forward to hanging out in downtown Philadelphia, so I can explore the city and see what's new. This new normal was not what I wanted to see.
The world continues to change, and like it or not we have to adapt. Every day there are messages encouraging us to make great use of this time. Be creative, discover a new hobby, or rediscover yourself. And despite being excited that I have now time to do all these things, I just cannot. I feel like I'm in a revolving door that will not stop.
My quarantine situation is perfect. I live in a quaint suburban home with my husband and two kids. The kids are handling virtual school pretty well even though my son has no clue the opportunity he has been handed. We have every modern convenience at our fingertips or an arms reach. Organic food and products are within a 5-10 minute drive. My kitchen is stocked, we have plenty of toilet paper, wipes and hand sanitizer. I have a glass of wine often before bedtime (which is all thrown off thanks to DNice).So why aren't I OK?
I'm elated to see the positive messages and the overflowing of joy but it makes me wonder about the people no one wants to talk about. These people are not handling this situation so well. Some are fighting to overcome loneliness, abuse, and the stress of feeding their families. Most are postponing weddings and proms while others are deciding which ten family members can attend the funeral of a loved one. And a large population are struggling with being the “teacher” while others wrestle with what happens if their job doesn't open soon.
Today, I decided to be honest with myself and admit that my brain is on overload. I will allow myself moments of emotional grief and honor that being productive is often the last thing on my mind.
I invite you to own your feelings and know that you don't have to force yourself to be positive, just be honest with yourself and know when to ask for help.