I’m struggling to make it through my day with any sense of normalcy or accomplishment. I left the bed with extreme reluctance and walking into work with loathing. It felt strange to go about finding something to wear and packing a lunch, checking my calendar and worrying over the calendar’s details when such carnage was inflicted on babies less than 24 hours ago.
I tried to integrate the horror with mundanity, but my pain and bewilderment are too painful to look at directly. It utterly shatters me.
The only way I can keep moving is to turn away, for a time. News apps and social media platforms are all off limits. There isn’t much to see beyond further gruesome details and rage spilling and sloshing everywhere. It seems you cannot soothe your pain with the pain of others.
I have to remember that it is ok to enjoy small things. It’s okay to take in the sun, though I know there are those who never will again. It’s okay to laugh while knowing there are those whose have so little to smile about. It is okay to hope, though my rage threatens to overtake me. It is imperative that I hold on to some last love for humanity, or else risk losing my own.
These last days of school cannot end fast enough, though I can’t articulate exactly what it is I’m looking forward to. My schedule is so full that when I think rationally about the summer, I am overwhelmed, but I sense there is still a younger version of me for whom the summer will always be a season of freedom and discovery. I hope she never loses that sense of wonder.
The weather has turned gloomy and cold outside and my mood has almost no chance of improving from yesterday. I still haven’t found a way out of this funk. I’m still irritable and down. I’m on the edge and everything feels like too much, or not right, or bothersome. I don’t want to do anything but not doing anything makes me feel, at best, guilty, and, at worst, angry, with myself and whoever happens to be around.
A lot of it might be because I skipped my morning walk. I forgot how much I need the fresh air and the perspective during these times. The little route around the neighborhood is a kind of walking meditation now, especially since I make sure not to take my phone out or put my headphones in. Those 20 minutes spent unplugged front the world mean more than I realized.
Then again, maybe it isn’t the walk, or maybe the walk is only part of it, a symptom of something much bigger.
Maybe I thought going back to work would help, and it turns out that having nothing at all to do but sit at home and go to work is worse than just sitting home. Maybe giving over all my energy and capacity to my coworkers and our simple duties left me with nothing for myself. Maybe the combination of isolation and loneliness coupled with increased fear and anxiety may just have pushed me over the edge of hopelessness and melancholy.
Maybe I’ve lost a sense of importance and purpose of my job over these past few months. My work is not essential and with everything going on the risk hardly seems worth it right now, for any of us. Maybe I’m a little angry too at being asked to come back before there are concrete answers about the virus and the future.