Yesterday I let myself be sad. The first 6 days of Quarantine, I went so hard and wanted to be super positive and do all of the things and do them well – teach every class, be present for the kids, take care of my high school kids, have a strong positive presence on social media, be a light of joy in a hard time, be a good wife and support my incredible husband who worked with a team to get our school of 1600 students and 150 teachers online in 1 day, take care of myself, don’t have anxiety, focus on today, feed the kids, teach them how to pee in the potty, make this a fun and memorable time for them…the list goes on. Yesterday I took a break from all of it. I didn’t take a single picture. I did lots of cuddles on the couch watching Frozen 2 and several other shows. I cried. I let myself be really sad because I miss people and unknowns make me really anxious. I yelled at my husband and then made up with my husband. I texted friends to help me. I asked for advice. I went for a run but didn’t worry that I had to walk some. I cried some more. I wished that I was an introvert but then realized that this whole thing is just as hard on introverts (well introverts with small kids) because they never actually get to be alone either. Yesterday I let myself feel all the emotions.
This morning, I feel better. I feel less tired. I feel less alone. This morning I still feel a little anxious but I know that I have several friends just a text or marco polo or zoom away. I know that physical activity has to be a part of my daily routine during this season. I am thankful that I have been through panic attacks and see the warning signs and am aware that this season of isolation is a breading ground for poor mental health. Yesterday, I felt shame for feeling anxious. If you are struggling, you are not alone. You are loved. You are strong. Talk to someone. Anyone. Be vulnerable. Go outside. Stay active. And write. The emotions aren’t the problem. The problem is the shame. Life is not meant to be lived only with rose colored glasses. We are allowed, I am allowed, you are allowed to be sad and to be afraid of all of the unknowns. But we have to remember that this is not how the story ends. Anxiety doesn’t get to win. In a way there is unity in the fact that we are all in this season together. It may look different for everyone but everyone has a Both/And. Life in general is both full of things to be grateful for and things that bring pain. Embrace both. This season enhances both. It enhances the awareness of the people surrounding me and the fact that our health care system is full of servants. It enhances my appreciation for my job. It enhances my need and love for rest and long walks outside. But it also enhances my anxiety and fear in a very real way. It enhances how hard life with 3 three olds can often be. It enhances my need for people. It’s ok that it is both. We need to lean into both at the same time. See the beauty along with the brokenness. “For when I am weak, then He is strong.”