today i recorded myself. just talking. in a voice memo. for twenty two minutes. when i listened to it before pressing send on it as an attachment to a favorite podcaster, i realized just how much is happening right now. and i realized just how much my life has changed and will forever be changed. it’s a lot. and while i tend to lend myself to the more dramatic side of life, this is all just a lot. and in many sentences over the last few weeks, i have called myself selfish. which i absolutely hate. because i know that i am not selfish; if anything, i am selfless. but i do know that this is a lot and perhaps it wasn’t until this week that it really clicked just how a lot it is for everyone, not just me. and in this voice memo that i randomly recorded on a thursday afternoon, i found myself word vomiting the a lot that’s happening in my life. the immense grief i feel at the loss of my normalcy, my body from before the virus, my headspace from before the virus and pretty much anything that existed before traveling down that dark road. i also feel very behind. like that feeling when you’re home sick for a few days and you go back to school and everyone started the group project without ya. and your forth grade teacher just shouts to you “just jump in and you’ll get the hang of it”. yeah no. this time; this global climate or crisis or situation or whatever you wanna call it. it’s not something we are able to just jump into and get the hang of. for lots of reasons. but specifically because every single day, we are hoping it’ll be over. and that we can embrace the world we once loved with the people we used to hug and high five. we are ready to see our coworkers, even the ones who send too many reply all emails. we are ready to pack lunchboxes again, even if it means finding old apples at the bottom of backpacks two weeks later. we are so ready for our nurses and doctors and frontline heroes to get the much needed and incredibly deserved rest and sleep that they have more than earned. we are ready. except some people aren’t willing to do the work to get to that point but that’s another rage for another quarantine day. the point is- we haven’t fully jumped into this world. because who knows how long we will have to swim in it. who knows how the waters will shift. will they be shallow and safe? or will they swallow us whole? all i know for certain is that all of this is a lot.
and at times, i have realized that i have been selfish. selfish in expecting certain things from certain people in my life. because when i entered recovery fifty eight days ago and said a tearful goodbye to the team that saved my life and held the final four doses of a drug that kept me alive, i couldn’t have even imagined the next phases. and i will fully admit to having high expectations right now. wanting so much from so many people and places and relationships and groups and in reality, it’s actually not cute. of me. to ask so much or to expect so much from everyone and everything. because it’s a lot right now. which is why i have decided to lay it all out. so here it goes:
i am so sorry. we are all struggling. through insane highs and deep bottomed out lows. navigating [new favorite word] uncharted waters. surfing high surfs and taking low belly breaths for the waves that swallow us whole. for those who’ve lost their jobs. those who are risking their lives. those who can’t see their children or parents or neighbors. those who became teachers overnight. those who became stay at home parents overnight. those up late trying to figure out how the bills will get paid. those who are living in fear or anxiety. those who are alone. those who wish for a moment alone. those still working. those who are now overwhelmed while working at home. it’s a lot. every single bit of it. and it’s been so selfish of me to want people to be in my corner, helping to ease my pain and my anxiety, when the world is one giant, swirling sphere of anxiety.
i guess what i am trying to say is that i am finally caught up. i was behind for a while. not on the same level as everyone else. kinda just now getting the cabin fever and the panics. a little slow on the uptake but that’s because i had to survive the infectious disease that’s sweeping the globe pandemic style so that i could tell y’all about it. so here we are. i have organized all my closets and i know that i must be driving my husband insane and there’s nothing left to watch on tv and the school year ends in a week so. now that i am all caught up, living the life that y’all have been living for the last ten weeks; i can finally stop, take a deep breath and let out all the apologies that have been stuck inside of me. i feel terrible for wanting so much of other people right now. and while i can safely say that the selfishness wasn’t coming from my brain, it was coming from my heart. it was coming from a place that’s currently broken and open and wounded and a work in progress. my heart is going through a lot right now and i am learning to navigate all my feelings and emotions and all the things that i have witnessed; witnessed happen to my body, to my health and to my headspace. and while it came from a place that’s currently healing, it still doesn’t mean that everyone else can stop what they are doing to help heal. what it means is that it’s time to take my healing into my own hands. and away from other people’s plates.
because we are all going through a lot right now. slow down, check yourself and then check on your friends. but don’t expect more than you can handle yourself. it’s a lot. it’s a lot to process and handle and deal with and wade through.
the time will come when we all get to play in the waves, dance in the sun and build all the sandcastles. together. one day.
until then, let the healing begin. it’s a lot. but we’ve got this.