- Carrie Usmar
Today begins another day of social distancing. I’ve lost count of days, I don’t even know what day it is and neither do my kids. Since we aren’t doing our regular activities the days of the week are lost and daddy working from home adds another element of confusion. These days are hard. I didn’t want to write that statement. I started to think in my mind well I’m not on the front lines. I’m not a teacher trying to answer 20 questions from their students while also helping their own kids with their schoolwork. I’m not sick. I've been able to find food to feed my family. I’ve been home educating my kids for three years now. I recently got one of the last things of toilet paper from the grocery store. My husband gets to work from home. Part of me thinks I shouldn’t feel anything at all, I should be grateful, I’m not in the thick of it like so and so. But then I thought about it more and that little voice that occasionally shines through the darkness reminded me it's okay to say the days are hard for me. This is my experience, not anyone else’s. And it’s ok for me to feel the weight. Comparing your situation to someone else's is one of the worst things you can do in a time of crisis. After measuring my situation up to so many others, I started to believe I wasn't worthy, or valued and that my voice doesn't matter. My mind believed that what I'm doing to try and manage this crazy new reality is not enough. The shame settled in nicely, and I am left heavy, empty, and looking for ways to make myself feel better. Lately, I've been reminding myself, it's okay to be scared, it's okay to be angry, it's okay to mourn, it's okay to be grateful, and celebrate the fact that I don't have to rush my kids to karate. It's okay to be happy amid all the chaos too. I often talk myself out of feeling, but it's important to feel and remind yourself of the tools that help you when in crisis. Sit and try to understand why it is you are afraid, what it is you are mourning the loss of, and enjoy that moment of happiness when you have it. If you don’t want to feel, I understand. I don’t want to experience the pain and darkness of our situation right now. But the feelings don't go away. They keep coming back and as you avoid them, the layers of shame, the I can't do this, I'm not worthy, I shouldn't voices fill your mind till you’ve lost sight of who you are and finding gratitude is like finding a needle in a haystack.
We have to keep going. If we numb ourselves through this pandemic we will come out with a different mask on, unsure of who we are. We are going to need our strongest to piece the world back together when this is over.
Keep feeling, keep being brave and seeking the truth.
We got this,