ISOLATED

I’ve been avoiding writing lately. I’m sure many people are writing similar things.

We are all living in this weird world. Self-isolation. A virus.

It feels like some typical, apocalyptic movie, where zombies will soon be roaming the streets. (Which is probably why gun sales are skyrocketing–c’mon people!!)

However, minus the zombie part, this is REAL.

I get up in the mornings, after a shitty night of sleep, and seriously wonder to myself, Is this REALLY real?

It doesn’t always feel like it.

At the moment, I live in a part of the country that hasn’t been hit yet. There are hot spots around me, but no current cases. We are out of school, working from home, and social distancing.

But there are plenty of people who are around, still going out, having dinners, debating if this is all some hoax to get a Democrat elected in November.

To be clear–I am NOT one of those people. I feel like our government’s response to this pandemic has been crippling, and fear that we will be living with the repercussions for months to come.

However. It is hard to believe how drastically life has changed in such a short period of time.

Two weeks ago, I was celebrating a Friday night, after a long week of testing. There were whispers in the air. Discussions of changes and precautions coming down the pipeline. But, we all–teachers–believed we had more time. At least a week more to prepare, get our students ready, etc.

Instead, Sunday night, everything was cancelled. NO school. Working from home. Video instruction. My own children at home, needing to be homeschooled.

It was needed. Absolutely necessary to protect those of us who are most vulnerable in society.

But, I didn’t get to say goodbye. I didn’t get to prepare my students.

That is the hardest part. Luckily, we have technology, and, at this point, I have been able to connect to ALL of my students in one form or another.

But still. I can’t help but worry. And miss them like crazy.

Not to mention–I am an EXTROVERT. This social isolating thing is hard.

I need people. I need hugs. I need connection.

Yes, I can FaceTime and call. And I do. It does help.

But it is not the same. I get my energy from others, and right now, with cloudy weather and rain, coupled with the fact I haven’t left my house in a week and a half….ugh.

I am scraping bottom. Lacking energy. Lacking motivation.

It sucks.

This whole situation sucks. We are all experiencing something new. Something scary. As Brene Brown would say, it is a fuckin’ first time (FFT).

I am spiraling. I don’t like it. I don’t know how to handle it. I don’t want to handle it.

But, again, I have no choice.

So, instead, I will name the feeling: It sucks. I feel lonely. I am going stir crazy.

I will accept it. Normalize it. Of course it sucks. Of course you are lonely and stir crazy–you haven’t left your house in awhile or seen any of your people.

Then, I can reality check my expectations. Okay, yes, I have to stay home. Yes, I am Clorox wiping my fucking groceries, and that is weird and feels overboard. Yes, it all sucks and feels like a bad movie. But, it isn’t. This is the way it is going to be for awhile, and there are some things I can do–workout at home. Go for walks and get fresh air. Work in the yard. FaceTime and call friends. It isn’t the same as an in person conversation, or a great big hug, but it is SOMEthing. And, on some days, I will feel lonely and isolated. 

We probably all will.

But, that is not abnormal. It is not something I should feel bad about–it isn’t just me and my own anxiety and shame talking.

It is a human experiences–and, for once, nearly all of us are universally experiencing varying degrees of this right now.

We can remember–it is okay to feel all the feelings, whatever they are. But, we don’t have to get lost in those feelings. We are not stuck in the mud–we can move through it and remember–we can do hard things.

Even when it sucks.

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