There we were, yelling at each other, standing in the master bathroom. I can’t even recall what it was about, but it was pointless. It was just one, amongst a string of inconsequential disagreements my partner and I have had in the last two weeks. He walked out and I was left standing alone in our bathroom like a statue – frozen, staring blankly, feeling nothing and everything all at once.
I couldn’t fathom walking back downstairs, putting on a happy face, and dealing with the chaos of two kids, three dogs, and a husband who was likely still angry at me. I couldn’t go outside (windy and cold). So I stood there – frozen – only jarred alert by the sound of my two-year-old climbing the stairs yelling, “momma!”
Unable to face what was a mere seconds away, I walked into our master bedroom closet. We have a large closet and in the back corner sits a dark, tiny nook where we typically keep the hamper. I walked back to that corner, pulled the hamper out of the nook, and proceeded to back myself into the nook, sit down, and pull the hamper back in front of the hole.
Seconds later, my son comes running into the closet, expecting to find me, but can’t. He spends a few minutes looking for me, then retreats back downstairs to the chaos. I took a deep breath, plugged my ears to drown out the noise and then…
Fourteen days into quarantine and seven days into governor-mandated stay-at-home order – I was feeling the effects of the disruption to life as we know it and the emotional toll a global pandemic can take on a human…this human.
It’s safe to say…I am not okay.
I’ve left the house twice in the last 14 days. I cried leaving the grocery store. I cried because I miss feeling normal. I cried because I’m grateful for grocery store employees bravely stocking shelves and working checkout lines. I cried at the realization that this is how people in war-torn countries feel every day. They feel insecure. They feel unsafe. They feel afraid.
The honest truth is, I’m scared. I’m tired. I’m stressed. I’m bored. I’m stir-crazy. I’m exhausted. I’m sad. I’m worried. I can’t sleep. I can’t focus. I’m grateful for the time with my family – and I really want to just be alone all at the same time. I fall asleep fast and then I lie awake for hours thinking of everything that this pandemic means for me, my family, my career, my community, our country, the world. I’m a walking oxymoron and a ticking time-bomb. Yesterday I exploded.
I sat in my closet, crying, for likely an hour, hidden away from my family so well my dogs couldn’t even find me. When I reemerged, I still felt like a shell of myself.
I am not okay. You don’t have to be either.
This blog isn’t going to give you any tips. It’s not going to give you some quippy, hope-filled quote or a picture of a beach. It’s just going to tell you that I’m falling apart a little bit – and if me falling apart gives you permission to fall apart a little too, let it. Maybe it gives you permission to not be okay, too. If all of that makes you feel a little more “normal” and allows me to stand in grief, fear, or sadness with you – I will.
This might be one of the most difficult things we go through collectively in our lifetime. We can collectively sit in the discomfort, fear, and pain together, too. It’s okay to not be okay right now.
I’m not okay. That’s the real talk for this #QuarantineMonday.