Monday, March 16, 2020

It is okay to feel...

I learned some time ago that I don’t do well when I contain or ignore difficult feelings. They stew, vibrate, swirl around creating tornadoes of anxiety. I do much better when I name them and then communicate them.  While this post is in many ways an avenue for me to do that, I also want to acknowledge the fear and anxiety we are all likely having, and make it known that it is okay to communicate those feelings

So, I admit it.  I am anxious.  I am worried. I am afraid. I am grateful.  I am hopeful.

Name my feelings…check.

I am anxious and worried about outcomes.  We, those of us in the US, have not had to deal with something en masse like this since 1918. 

I am anxious and worried because I know there are so many people who can’t take time off, who live paycheck to paycheck, people who risk losing their jobs if they don’t show up, or their housing if they can’t pay rent. 

I worry about people who are unsheltered, who don’t have health insurance, who risk losing access to food, or safe places to sleep. 

I worry about my elder friends, my friends who are high risk due to health issues.  I worry about all of us. 

I am not a hypochondriac, but this virus scares me because I am a person of high risk.  I have asthma.  I am intimately familiar with the feelings of not being able to breathe. The thought of death by what is basically slow suffocation scares me. 

I am afraid because while I and one roommate are able to work from home, the third roommate is employed by Starbucks and still has to go to work.  I worry for her.

I am grateful that I am able to work from home and that, for the time being at least, my income will not be disrupted. 

I am grateful that the streets are quieter knowing this means most folks are doing what they can to follow the suggested protocols. 

I am grateful I have roommates who are patient with my instance on hand washing. 

I am grateful I have a platform to express my anxiety, fear, worry, gratitude…and hope.

I am hopeful because I see people reaching out and supporting one another. 

I am hopeful because I know we are resilient. 

Communicate my feelings...check. 

Please take care of yourself.  
Please take care of one another. 
Please stay home as much as possible.
Please be kind.
And of course, please wash your hands.

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