I have had no desire to write recently. None.
So I haven’t forced it.
I’m not sure if this has been a week of avoidance or a week of conscious “mental time off” to allow my whole self to contain and to rest. Maybe it was a little bit of both. In fact, I still think I’m there. I just don’t feel like doing much of anything.
I don’t handle stress well. And life is so stressful right now. Easy things are hard: sleeping/eating properly, cleaning, showers, anything other than the very least necessary which recently has only been my short work shifts to try to make the bills.
The Weight of the World
I don’t think I give enough credence to the anxiety I have regarding this pandemic, or how it has exacerbated anxieties and fears already sowed deep into my soul which are now blooming fully.
My heart feels the weight of the pain in this world as I watch the black community rise up, rightfully, against police brutality and murder. I don’t understand what my black brothers and sisters are going through, as a white woman my life is lived much differently – but I hurt for them deeply. My empathy is strong enough to feel my breath taken when I try to imagine their pain, their anger, and their fear.
I am afraid as I watch the President of my country and his allies attacking the LGBTQIA community. I feel helpless to protect my own son, a gay transgender man. He is a person just like me and he deserves the same rights and protections in this country that I have.
I have already lived through an economic recession. I am old enough to have been an adult when wages were good, when I had a little extra – and now, I fear constantly for the stability and security of myself and my children’s futures.
Then there is my 5 year old – she is such a social child and many of her friends’ parents have become COVID fatigued, thus relaxing their own precautions. She is watching the world reopen like something has changed. It is not an easy task explaining the dangers of a highly contagious pathogen to a 5 year old but we are trying. This new normal is not easy in many ways.
What’s the Trick to Carrying This Weight?
Is there one? A button I can press, perhaps? How do I recharge such a weary soul, especially in a time of self-isolation and only essential errands?
I’m still working this one out, self-care is one of my bigger struggles.
It has been recommended I create a schedule for myself; something to hold myself accountable to that gives me a sense of normalcy and structure. I am working on today.
The last few days I have been taking 10 minutes to stretch my body. Nothing fancy, no videos, just some easy leg stretches, shoulder rolls, head rolls, etc. It’s been a long time, I am not very flexible anymore but it has been nice to have those couple of moments with myself and my body.
We are still doing things as a family, trying to get out to places where social distancing is easily accomplished for proper fresh air, exercise, and sun.
I am trying to be mindful in these moments, while allowing myself to pull away at times to find the healing I need right now, however that happens.
It has been so comfortable sitting in the numbness these past few days. I wonder if this will always be a part of my process. So long as I don’t get stuck there, right?
It’s Monday, the beginning of the work week. Seems as good a day as any to kick it back into gear with the schedule mentioned above. It’s time I remember the good things, refocus myself, pay respect to the phases of my process, and bid the avoidance and disconnect goodbye.
I’ve got some ideas flowing that I am still trying to get out of my own way on. Baby steps, right?
At least, despite the occasional day here and there – I have still been here, writing about what I am feeling and experiencing even as I move through these darker days. For me this is a huge win because it demonstrates a change from past behavioral patterns.
Be a Part of the Survivors Speak Series
I am starting a new series called Survivors Speak. In this series, I will conduct email interviews with survivors of childhood trauma and share their stories from the interviews (sharing can be anonymous). This series is scheduled to begin in July with interviews publishing once per week.
If you are interested in sharing your story as a survivor and participating in this interview series please contact me and we can discuss further.
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What a great series idea!
I am right there with you, and I’m grateful to read your words. It’s like looking into a mirror. In my country and specifically my province, things have relaxed due to an almost cessation of new cases. My son went to stay with my Mom for awhile for a little vacation and I had a ton of plans to clean and do all the things I can’t do when I’m busy working, parenting, and surviving.
Instead, I slept. A lot. I ate. I tidied a bit here and there. I went on long bike rides and swam in the ocean. I watched a lot of TV, read, and slept some more. I realized that I’ve been in a survival state for months now and at some point just had to numb out the pain I was feeling so I could avoid emotional burn out. When I was given the opportunity to, I went into a state of deep rest and moment to moment living. Self care is hard for me to, I’m very much what people would describe as type A – busy and ambitious and super hard on myself because my expectations are high.
I love what you say about the body though, that’s what I ultimately had to tune into in order to allow myself rest without criticism. My mind is always alert and active but my body has made it clear that resting and going slow is really the only way through this at this point. It’s asked for a little love. A lot of compassion. It’s hard to honour the request but I understand it’s a worthy one.
Wishing you the best. You’re not alone in feeling this way. One day at a time, for us all.
I really appreciate you sharing with me. Makes me feel less alone as I navigate all of this. Complete mental and body fatigue is all consuming, isn’t it? I hope you got all the rest that you needed, be safe and well. Thank you so much for following along on my journey. 🙂
I think it’s a brilliant idea and would love to help.