I unraveled last night and I’m not afraid to admit it. Unraveled like a giant ball of yarn. Every fucking day is like a roller coaster of emotions. So why was today different? Who knows really. I couldn’t handle the fighting between the girls at bed time and I just gave up. I told them to leave me alone and not to come find me because I was done. I unleashed a war with my husband and then the night just kept getting worse and worse by the second.
I had the most epic cry with my 6 year old. When I say epic, I think both of my kids went to bed at 9:30/10 due to this epic cry. We were all sitting together all nestled up tight and just cried. Cam was crying because she was so god damn tired and didn’t know what was going on. Harper and I knew why we were crying. We cried about her ending first grade so abruptly. We cried about not being able to see Grammy, the boys, her new baby cousin and her aunties. We cried about life not being what it used to be. Then she looks up and says, “well, auntie will fix this so don’t worry”. I cried harder because as strong as she knows her auntie is, auntie can’t fix this right now. Part of me in that moment wanted to be a kid again. Although they are clearly affected by this, they still have this positive outlook. I wish I had a glimmer of her positivity. I don’t. This whole thing has made me even more jaded. More scared. More anxious. More negative. More angry.
As we gained our breath back and looked at each other with our crazy puffy faces and red eyes, I had one small nugget of gratitude. An extremely sad but also incredible moment happened during all of this that will never be lost on me. Both of my girls came to give me hugs and check on me when I was at my lowest point. Camryn asked me why I was crying and kept saying that I was ok. Harper came over and wouldn’t stop apologizing for me not being able to see my family because she knew I missed them. We have raised such incredible little girls with the kindest hearts and mounds of empathy for others. For that, I am thankful.
After crying for several hours with my kids and having a massive headache, I feel asleep when they did. Writing this in two sessions didn’t make me feel any better. I was hoping that since I finally went to bed at a semi decent hour I would feel refreshed. Nope, not at all. Woke up with a pounding headache and felt like I was sucker punched in the gut and had a Cobra Kai come out of nowhere and sweep the leg.
In order for me to keep my chronic anxiety at bay, I take a lot on. Actually a million things on, let’s be more realistic. Having struggled with anxiety for some ungodly amount of time at this point, my method works. Pile on as much shit you can bear and continue doing that until you break. For me, breaking doesn’t come all that often, but when it does, I break hard. Really fucking hard. Most times with one hell of a panic attack. Tonight it was sponsored by tears instead of panic. And no, I’m not complaining. I will take tears over panic any day.
People in whatever category you want to put me under are always the strong ones. We are always the ones that hold everything together, well, we look like we hold it together. We are always the ones that take other burdens on because we genuinely like to and it gets us out of dealing with our own shit so I typically welcome anyone else’s shit to deal with. Right now, like most, I am managing a household, working full-time and consulting part-time (but now from home), dealing with two children who are struggling coping with their new normal, a husband who is now realizing his own mental health constraints and dealing with the fact that my entire family are all essential employees. Let that sink in for a minute. All are essential employees.
My dad seems like the lowest risk safety-wise since the campus is closed and lack of people that he has to encounter. My youngest sister who just had a baby is returning to work after most of her maternity leave was stripped away from her due to this virus. You know the time where you need people the most so you don’t do anything to harm your newborn who just cries, shits and eat all day and night and doesn’t really want to sleep. Then there is my mom. She is in the hospital setting managing supply chain for sterile processing and material management. She is the rock star with the PPE for her whole hospital and her department are the ones sterilizing all equipment and continuing to keep hospital staff safe. Last but certainly not least, there is my middle sister Kerin, a nurse on an all covid floor. She has been stripped away from what she has grown accustom to nursing actually being. You can’t comfort patients like you used to, you can’t comfort their family members like you used to. Everything she was taught and knows what’s right in her heart has completely been taken from her. Never have I ever been more scared and more proud of my family in all of my life.
I spend a portion of each day securing PPE for my family and the hospitals they work for, donating food and keeping the spirits up of the nursing staff on my sister’s floor and making sure she can continue fighting this battle with as much strength as she has each and every day. But, she is tired. They all are tired. That is what gives me the strength to keep doing what I do. At the end of the day, family is family and I will go to the ends of the earth to protect mine even if it means that I have this very much needed breakdown I had last night.