There are people during this social isolation / social distancing / virus from hell that seem WELL!!!!!. Some of them even seem HAPPIER!!! I find this to be shocking a relative bullet to my heart. I wonder if it is me who is off or them? Is this even the right question to ask? It is not a competition, or is it? So I ask this instead- would I rather be the person who accepts this, embraces it and does not feel the pain of loss and loneliness? Or, would I rather be the one who sees things how they really are or at least how it really feels. The one who knows that this is not the way we were meant to live. The one who continues to morn the loss of connection in a world that is already so disconnected.
I am indeed the opposite of content or happy. I take daily , hourly and minutely offense to this new normal. I do not understand those who do not feel the same.
I titled this blog ‘be with me’ because this is my favourite thing to say and do. To be with people in their pain. To be with people in their suffering. To be with people in their happiness. To be with people in their lives. To hold, to touch and to really see.
I am told to find a new way to do this. To stop raging against this change. To accept , move on and even delight in things like curb side deliveries and time spent with oneself. But no one has mourned. No one has said goodbye. No one has stood in a group (even 6 ft apart) to say that this is not how it was meant to be. There has not been a funeral for what has been lost.
When ever I raise this idea of loss – people reach for comparison. They say count your blessings – you are saying goodbye to an ideal not a real person like many others have had to. You are still healthy. Your finances are still intact. Your family members are still well. You have family. You have, you have , you have. I continue to say we have lost, we have lost , we have lost.
Where does this get me? Perhaps no where. But it is real and true for me and if it is real and true for me , I wonder if it might be real and true for you? I wish to find others who are willing to mourn with me. Who are willing to stay in the room with me. Who are willing to honour our collective losses -not just once but daily, hourly and minutely. Even the ones that seem like they should not matter.
Be with me …
I took a break from social media for approximately 4 months (give or take) right before this virus hit. I made the decision to return about a month before this virus came to be. I vowed that I would get back on and be a participant rather then a passive observer (aka stalker). I even posted a live video claiming my commitment to engage and be part of. I promised myself I would limit my time on social media, be careful what I consumed and be aware of my own triggers for comparison , envy and judgement. Then Cornona hit (does it even deserve to be capitalized ??) – aka roughly 6-10 hours a day on social media and being glued to my phone. Before long those old familiar feeling came rushing back in. The feeling that maybe I should go off again like “good addict” – abstinence being the only option. But I think in the end these feelings are normal (quote on quote). What’s extra special and perhaps not so “normal” is the amount of time I spend feeling guilty and shameful at having those thoughts. Thoughts like – oh it must be nice she (aka mom friends) can homeschool her children w no concerns or issues. Must be nice she can concentrate on keeping her house clean and neat. Must be nice she can spend all that time on herself and on and on and on. These thoughts have become so loud I can barely hear my children when they are asking for their 100th snack of the day. Is anyone else just hating the word SNACK right now? Back to my story, in addition to having all of these ‘I am less then’ thoughts I have also been thinking about how I can help, how can I be part of the solution rather then the problem during these corona times ?
Side Note: If you haven’t heard of Glennon Doyle, stop reading this and go find her now- but please come back. As far as I can tell from binging her books, blog and videos over the last month she believes in telling the truth and encourages other women to tell their truths. She is so much more then this but for the purpose of this blog we will stick to this idea of telling the truth. Suddenly there was the answer… this is how I can help, I can tell my truth…
My truth is this….I do not feel good enough and where this shows up most in my life is in parenting. This feeling of not good enough was there long before social media and has the potential to be there long after. Will there be an after of social media??? Perhaps another topic for another post another day. It started when I was very young. I wish I could provide you with an original origin story about not being good enough – but I cannot. My father left when I was one and was never mentally well enough to be present with me when he was around. I remember sitting at the window waiting for him to pick me up and when he inevitably did not come – I wondered what was wrong with me? I told you it is not original, but it is still true.
So…can I blame social media for this ? Or have facebook, Instagram etc etc become mirrors to my pain – sent to remined me that this wound is still there and is in need of healing. When I am my best self I can know that the mom who appears to be killing it at e-learning probably worked hard to create a love of learning in her children or she worked hard at limiting screen time or she simply has neurotypical kids whom learning and educational systems come easier to. Whatever it is she should be celebrated. I can know that the Mom who’s killing it at routines and keeping her house in order may be doing so because that gives her a sense control in a world that seems so out of control. I can know that the mom who is killing it at self care may just in fact know that the best way to fill her childrens cups is by filling her own first. I can know that the mom who is having small but physically distant visits with her mother is doing so to curb the depression and lonlines her mother has experienced since loosing her husband. In my most authentic and best self I can even know that the mom who is writing this blog and holding all of the other warrior moms achievements and pain through this crazy time should be celebrated and also forgiven for having those comparative thoughts and feelings.
To all the corona mamas out there – I celebrate you in the hopes that i will one day be able to celebrate myself on the regular.
Another sidenote: All hail the single corona mamas, you are my heros