Where to begin? When months have transpired since I wrote last, and the fact that I don’t feel particularly interesting or inspired at the moment. This is not the place where I usually start my thoughts, these are the days that I tend to forgive myself the need to write in some form of self compassion.
Then there is the factor that this is 2020 we’re living in. The dumpster fire of years to believe. The world is in the toilet at the moment. People have lost their lives, families have been separated in the name of safety, the mental health of the planet has been flushed and swirls with fear. Economies have collapsed and the day to day life we once knew, and frankly took for granted, has evaporated before our very eyes.
Lockdown, quarantine, physical distancing. Words and phrases that have reshaped our very lives, ones that I never once dreamed would hit me so close to home. I’m a solitary creature, but never have I experienced the pain of only being able to stand six feet from family and not being able to give them a hug. One single hug to solidify how much I love and care for them in a way words just can’t express. One single embrace that conveys a moment of relaxation and stability for me, a confidence that things will be okay. I’m brought to tears by the thought of families separated and people dying alone in hospital unable to see their loved ones. Crying myself to sleep over the injustice of it all, knowing I’m not alone and that the world is crying with me.
My heart goes out to those who are now finding themselves at the mercy of a mental health crisis. My previous experience has blessed me with tools and skills to adapt, to interpret my thoughts and feelings, to find ways to adjust and process what is happening. Some days I stand strong and proud, others I crumble and fall into despair. Knowing I’m not alone and reminding others that they too are not alone is a beacon of hope in this time of unknown.
Thus far 2020 has been kind to me, pandemic not considered, and for that I am thankful. I believe that I’m finally off the roller coaster of medications that was my life last year. So slowly the stability I was craving at year’s end is finally coming to fruition. There is still a ways to go, but the small changes in my day to day are stating to have an impact, to gain momentum and shift me in the direction I need to be going. However the year is still young, and the current pandemic of the globe has shifted the life I once knew.
Being an ambivert I believe that most days I have adapted well to the current world climate. Some days are harder than others, especially living alone, but comparative to others I know I’ve got it good most days. As an ambivert my heart sighs heavily for those who are extroverted, the people who crave people to maintain their mental health. It also cries for those introverts who are feeling even more isolated, losing even further connection with the world as we strive to “stay home and save lives”.
Never has my generation faced such a world crisis, and looking past to previous generations that have suffered through wars and strife I can only see that those people could band together and find shelter and solace in others. No staying at home to save lives isn’t asking us to bear the burdens of the past, hardly, but it brings to light the inequalities in the world. Those who don’t have a home. Those whose “home” is no longer a safe space, or perhaps never was. Those who have lost employment, the one and only thing that was keeping them in whatever home they had. The world is suffering and no one seems to have any real answers. I fear for the health of the globe, physically and mentally as this pandemic progresses. Staying at home to save lives only works for so long, but sooner or later the world has to reopen we will have to face the consequences of that when the time comes.
When news of this new virus was happening in a distant land I felt sympathies for them. When news broke that it had hit the shores of my beloved country I wept and raged, and then the fear set in. My anxiety skyrocketed and I finally started watching the news again. Now I’ve spent months watching every government update, following the global cases, searching the day to day changes imposed around the globe. While my anxiety has since resumed to stable levels, I must admit that I’m beginning to suffer from “covid fatigue”.
The swirl and spiral that is this world has taken its toll. Being used to the endless spirals of my illness I try to remind myself that there will be light at the end, that nothing lasts forever. But with the world suffering along side me, spiraling between fear, anxiety, hope and fatigue, this becomes all the more challenging as the days pass. Many days have I wanted to sit down behind the keys and pen my frustration at those not following the rules, people who have no common respect for one another, people who can’t follow simple instructions to stand at a distance. Then I remind myself that I don’t want to put more negative into the universe when hope is what is needed most.
For the first time in months I got in my car and left my city, a privilege at the moment, and let myself recharge in true nature if only for a little while. It was a cool and rainy day, with barely another soul around. Not your typical day for a day trip, but a most necessary step outside of things if only briefly. Away from the constant barrage of news cycles and fear. A chance to just walk, feel the rain on my face, smell the clean air and enjoy the stillness of the world. This needed diversion from life has reset something inside of me, bringing me a peace and sense of hope that I haven’t felt for quite some time. A chance to just exist without worry and fear dominating my every move.
Maybe you need that reset. Maybe it can’t come in the form of escaping your four walls at the moment, but I encourage everyone to find a way to reset. Just as your inbox at work will always be full, the world can wait while you take some time for yourself. Set aside technology for a period of time, turn off the news and spend some time doing something that refocuses your mind and balances your energies. Embrace a moment of just existing and how amazing that possibility is. Turn off the world for a while and truly, deeply check in with yourself. Recognize and acknowledge how you are and the small things you can do to make things better. Remember to take things one day at a time. Never has living in the present moment been needed so deeply.
Keep your chin up and cry when you need to. Reach out to others and have deep conversations about life, check in with those you know who are struggling and those who seem completely fine. Give human life the value it truly deserves for perhaps the first time in a lifetime. Allow time for yourself, time to settle and process and just be. Look to the stars and ponder the vastness and the finite nature of it all. Remember the things you are grateful for and hold tight to them. There will be light after all this darkness, after all the sun still shines above the clouds whether we can see it or not.
Be safe, be kind and have hope for a brighter future ahead.