Friday, March 27, 2020

Yesterday I was okay...today it's harder.


I have no control over this. 

I’m not one for mantras, but the above has been uttered by me so many times that it has become one. I also find myself reciting the Serenity Prayer over and over again (two times through is 20 seconds by the way). For those who may be unfamiliar with it:

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.”

While I use a different word than God, I keep turning to this because it is the reminder of letting go of trying to control what is out of my hands.  With this virus that list is long, but it really comes down to two things: 

I can’t control this virus.
I can’t control other people’s behavior.

I am going to acknowledge that this feeling of this all being out of my hands fucking sucks. I wish I could wave a magic want that sent a message to everyone’s brain so that would cause them to suddenly develop enough communal empathy that everyone would step up to the plate to do what needs to be done. I wish wave it again and our government would just say, “Hey, we are going to make sure that everyone in this country gets paid, has enough to eat, and is housed through this crisis (oh and it sounds like such a great idea we are going to make sure these measures stay in place after we all recover).”

But I can’t. And I’m driving myself up the wall obsessing about it. 

I have no control over this.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m pissed off.  I’m scared. I’m angry.  I want to know why we, as a country and a culture, can’t get out act together and just freaking take care of each other.  Why can’t we get out of “Me. Me. Me.” And into “Us. Us. Us?”  

I have no fucking damn control over this!!!!!

But I’m also angry that this situation and my obsessing over this is disrupting my life. I don’t have room in my head for this and also managing the things I have at least some control over:

My selfcare.
My emotional wellbeing.
My job.
My social connections.
My activism.
My art. 

These are the things I have some influence over and I’m doing my best to keep my focus there. 

This is where courage is needed, not be cause these things are hard to do, but trying to keep my thoughts and feelings focused on them while it feels like the world is falling apart is.  The past few days I vacillate between:

I got this. 

Fuck we are all gonna die. 

This will all be okay.  

AAAAAAAAAH!

I will do the things I can to keep safe and healthy. 

It doesn’t fucking matter!  It only takes one person not washing their hands before you will find yourself hoping you are one of the lucky ones who gets a ventilator. 

Joie. Stop. Breathe.  Just try to survive the next five minutes.

Okay…okay.  I got this. We got this. 

There is no magic bullet to get to a place of acceptance about this. And when you get there, that acceptance doesn’t equal peace of mind, things are hella out of our hands right now.  When we find it, it is often fleeting. 

But I also can’t live in perpetual state of panic and terror.  I have to find ways to disrupt it.  I have to find some spot, even a fleeting one, in which I can find some peace. 

So, I keep trying.  


Be well.
Take care of yourself.
Take care of one another.
Stay home as much as possible.
Be kind.
Let those you love know how you feel.
And of course, please wash your hands. 




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