I had a really shitty week mentally leading up to writing this blog. I had work deadlines up the ass, some heavy personal shit going on, lofty goals to reach and I felt like things were spinning out of control. My anxiety kicked in at full speed because why not kick me when I am down? Makes sense. As my shitty sleep continued to mount and my mindless tv, podcasts and things that I tried to occupy myself with to keep my anxiety at bay started to dwindle, I began to unravel. I have fallen into the “pandemic fine” category, myself. Basically, pandemic fine is a state of being in which you are employed and healthy during a pandemic but you’re also tired, depressed and feel like a bag of shit all the damn time. Yup, that about sums that up.
I started thinking about this past year. And since the days and months blurred together, I had completely forgotten that we were coming up on a full year of Covid. Can you believe that? An entire year of being afraid for our lives, losing loved ones, taking pay cuts or getting furloughed from our jobs and managing our sanity albeit, poorly. Let that take a moment to sink in. It has been a year being in lockdown (for those that took it seriously.) A year of not hugging your extended family and friends who don’t live in the same house as you. A year that your kids had no full time brick and mortar schooling. A year that you watched your friends and family members who were deemed essential fight for their lives and the safety of others every single day. A year when you truly realized the toll that it takes on ones self when your mental health is not stable.
This past year we were asked to do great things. So great that it has worn all of us down. It made us shells of who we once were. All of the structure of our routine days and even not so routine days, gone. None of us knowing when we will feel safe again. The days and nights blended together and continued becoming longer and longer. It made sense for me to unravel. When trauma this big goes unprocessed and undiscussed it starts to implode. I think the largest mistake we could make is to repress the trauma and pretend it will go away on its own. It won’t. Trust me.
So on this pandemic anniversary, embrace the shitty moments. Think about them. Talk about them. Even though it is hard. Try and talk about the positive moments too. I started to do it with the girls at dinner to see if it would help ease the tension in my mind. I asked them to think back when we started lockdown and to name one thing that they didn’t like and one thing that they really enjoyed. This past year was dark and shitty but there is a vaccine and a light at the end of the tunnel. As Amanda Gorman so eloquently said, “For there is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it.” On this pandemic anniversary, I choose to see the light.