No, I’m not ok.

Thanks for asking. No, actually, I’m not ok. This morning I hauled myself out of bed to make a 7am medical follow-up appointment, arrived on time, only to find I’d failed to properly book that appointment online. Last week I missed a medical appointment entirely. Last month I realized I was still sitting doing email at the time I should have been there. If you know me at all, you know I never miss an appointment. I’m not ok.

It’s been 10.5 months since my workplace locked down on March 16, 2020. Cracks have been showing for a while… and they’re widening. My hair is *literally* fraying. Fraying! I have never had such brittle hair. My right (mousing) shoulder leans forward all the time because the rib underneath it gets caught on my shoulder blade. I think I’m tired enough so I go to bed and then I lie there for an hour or more ruminating. I’ve always had trouble falling asleep (sources confirm 100% of my lifespan) but this feels different, more resistant to the coping strategies I’ve honed over the years. I often wake up in the middle of the night and ruminate some more–that’s entirely new. This week one of my (formerly in-person now Zoom) yoga teachers announced she was moving on from teaching and I had to stop doing the class to catch my breath through so many tears. You get the picture. I’m not ok.

I am deeply grateful I’m one of the lucky ones in all this. So. Much. Privilege. I still have my job and have not been furloughed. I have (mostly) successfully re-learned how to do the most important parts of my job. I share my work-from-home situation with my husband who is (still!) my best friend… and we share this luxuriously large 1200 square feet of space with no one else. I have not tested positive nor has anyone in my inner circles*. I have a home I love, and an office chair and a stand-up desk riser thing for our dining table my home office. I have access to the physical health care, mental health care, groceries, and internet I need. I live in a province where rates are relatively low and our leadership is taking this seriously…. There is so much I am grateful for. And I am not ok. I can’t imagine how so many others are functioning. You have my deepest admiration and respect.

My therapist reminds me to celebrate the resilience I am showing, all the things I am doing to keep myself as well as possible. She reminds me that there is no rulebook for how to get through a pandemic… as long as we’re following public health orders, I (we) cannot fail at this. I will emerge, we will emerge, bruised and exhausted and worn and humbled and immensely grateful for the smallest gestures, like a hug between friends.

In the meantime, let’s all stay physically away from each other, wear our masks properly, get the vaccine when we are able to, be patient with ourselves and each other, and dream of a day when we can put this all behind us.

*edit: except for RC and ML back at the start!

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