April 14, 2020

A turning point, of sorts

Today is the day that the fog finally lifted.

The past month, since this new world and new reality began, wasn’t kind to me. I struggled with performative proximity and narrative dissonance, and I withdrew from others instead of reaching out. I was still healthy and safe and able to work effectively—and for those blessings I am immensely grateful—but I felt out of sorts and off balance, and that was clear to most people who crossed my path.

Today, I’m feeling more social than I was before. I’m feeling much less anxious about participating in video calls, and a lot more willing to engage with people via text or phone. I’m closer to being back to (a semblance of) normal (whatever normal can really be in these times), than I have for the past four weeks.

This is, of course, due to a confluence of reasons. I’ve started to establish routines that make me feel more like myself, and have been engaging in non-pandemic related activities in conversation. But most of all, I think I’m feeling better because I spent the past few days allowing myself to process grief.

We’re all grieving, in some way, right now. Over the past weekend, I embraced that grief and worked through understanding how to cope with that grief. I spent time journaling and meditating (two practices I had, for no reason in particular, stopped once all this tumult began), I re-engaged with physical fitness, I spent time connecting with friends and family, I chatted with my therapist, and I attended a virtual memorial service for an old acquaintance. The activities of the past week were heavy, but they were an important part of a process of grieving that I had been putting off for too long.

All that to say: if I’ve been putting off responding to your messages, or have been turning down your invites to chat or (virtually) hang out, know that I’ll be back in touch soon. I’m just clawing my way out of my message inboxes now, and have found a relative ease with videoconferences that I didn’t have even just a few days ago.

And remember: if you’re still struggling to see through the fog, that’s okay. Just know that it takes time, and we all have to grieve in our own way and on our own schedule. We all get to where we need to be in our own different ways. If you need to talk, or just need someone to sit with you in virtual proximity for a little while you go through things, let me know. My energy stores have been restored and I have the emotional capacity to help, now. I’m here if you need me.

Huge thanks to everyone who helped me stay afloat over the past few weeks, and to everyone who treated my need to isolate with kindness and understanding. And to all of you reading this, massive thanks for being excellent to each other. We’ll be in touch soon.