when i feel overwhelmed, my brain goes into overdrive. like i know what’s going on. i know how i feel and i know the right way to process things. but i can’t. not yet. i have to do it my way first. i have to look at all the ways it could go south or wrong or bad or whatever. it’s the pessimist that’s buried deep under layer forty five of me. it’s not meant to be dramatic or even attention seeking. it’s actually kinda my protection. because once i cry and scream and hide under the covers and i look my anxieties and fears and all the ways that this could be a true epic fail; it’s easier to move forward with it. yes, i said move forward with it. and i mean it. it’s true. we have all of this stuff that we are facing and it’s all right in front of us. and for me, i hate to break it to ya but i have to throw a fit first. and right now, i kinda have the right to throw one.
see, i have been doing all the hard stuff. not just in the last four weeks but really since two thousand eighteen tumbled me and two thousand nineteen didn’t get the memo that i needed a break and then twenty twenty really didn’t get the memo. and if you know me, you know that it’s really not my day, week, month or even my year [if you watch friends, then you know]. and while i keep saying it’s okay or it’s fine out loud- it really isn’t. and i am trying to get into a pattern where i allow myself some grace in the process. and where i allow my mind and my head to really go through the motions of it all. i didn’t really expect any of this to happen. and maybe that’s the problem. my expectation was that i would finally get a break. a breather. six nights ago at the suggestion of my therapist, my husband and i began to unpack the hell of the last six weeks. by talking about the experience. the pain, the loneliness, the fear, the anxiety of the unknown, what near death experiences really do to your body, your head, your mind, your marriage, your body image. what surviving does to your body, your head, your mind, your marriage, your body image. it’s all a process. the whole damn thing. the accepting. the hurting. the anxiety. the healing. for all of us. every minute, every hour, every day. just a process. we are processing what we are going through. we are making sense of what is our reality. we are gaining depth and understanding to what’s around us and who we can trust for information and who can we help and who is hurting. and when i talked to my psychiatrist today, she said to me “you’re the only one who knows what you’ve been through and that’s the hardest part” and i thought to myself, “yeah, that is the hardest part”. because who is there to cling to? i have discovered that my experiences over the last six weeks are not a hot topic of discussion and that’s okay. but i have also discovered that so many people have silently tapped out of being in a friendship with me because it’s too anxiety producing. and i wanna be able to say that’s okay to that too. but right now, i can’t.
but what i can say is that i kinda get it. every ounce of this climate is something to process. including the impact it has on the people around us. so i am doing what my therapist suggested last week. i have a lot to process right now. from processing how much my body has changed to praising it for getting this far. from processing the work that i still have to do to gain my strength back to praising myself for getting to this point. from processing the hard and dark days, especially the thirty six hours before my hospital stay to relishing in the moments here, now alive. from processing the changes this experience has on every single role i carry to just acknowledging myself. everything is different and everything has changed. and that’s okay. but it’s a process. so, i am just going to start by processing the me part. not the other people parts. just me. and my body. and what we can do together, each day. because it’s going to take a long time. and that’s okay.
this whole thing. it’s a lot. it’s a lot to wake up to and it’s a whole lot to go to bed with. and it’s a lot to read about and think about and dream about and talk about. and it’s a lot to process. to unpack and lay out. to recognize and possibly, even accept. but it also can’t be done in a day. so maybe, just maybe, i will take on the task of understanding me in all this and what i can do for myself in the healing process. and then i will tackle my roles as wife and daughter and sister and teacher. and then tackle my friendships. and then tackle my doctoral program.
so, i guess what it all boils down to is how much energy we wanna put into a pandemic. do we really want it to take everything out of us? do we really wanna give it that much power? honestly, probs not. because when’s it all over, and it will be over. maybe not today and maybe not tomorrow and maybe not even super soon. but it will be over. and when it is- do we wanna be ready to tackle what’s next? or do we wanna be sifting through pandemic feelings? it’s a lot. all of this. believe me. i hear you and feel you and see you for all of that. and it’s a process. and it’s kinda ugly and scary and messy.
but you’ll be glad you dug your hands into it and surfaced it. you’ll thank yourself for doing the hard work later.
feel what you gotta feel. you don’t owe anyone any explanation for your process.
can’t wait to tackle what’s next with a margarita post rona’. xo.