Took a pandemic to get me to write & share again

I used to write all the time. Especially after fights. Just pour whatever was in my soul out on to paper or a keyboard. And I shared some of it, not to be boastful or to try to gain followers or anything other to put it out into the world – to get thoughts and feelings and ideas that I had out of my physical being and out from just my eyes reading to someplace bigger than me. In a way it’s therapeutic, like releasing things we hold on to so tightly out into the wild – letting them run free to take whatever path they’re meant to, connect to who ever they’re supposed to. It’s something a little more (to me) to let other people read what I write, instead of just tucking it away in a journal or planner. These thoughts and feelings I have are going to come and go, but putting them here for you to see is like allowing that flow to be a little truer. My grip on them can become a little looser,  make more space for me to be a bit more present.

Somewhere along the line, it became harder for me to let people see this side of me. I feel like a harden a little. Maybe it was from fighting and never feeling good enough, maybe it was from relationships that left me feeling inadequate or that being so emotional was too much, maybe I just started feeling I didn’t have anything worth reading to share.

So, it took a pandemic for me to write and share again. Maybe, I still don’t have anything worth reading or maybe I’m still too emotional, maybe I am not good enough for some people. But I don’t think any of that really matters anymore. If we’re learning anything now, it’s that we are creatures who thrive on connection and emotion. And I don’t think that’s a bad thing. In fact, I think it’s beautiful.

This might be a little long, but we’ve got nothing but time. Sit and be with me, even if you’re 1,000s of miles away or next door. Maybe something thing in this resonates with you.. maybe it won’t. Share it, if you feel called to. X it out if you don’t care. Either way, it’s here for you (and me.)

—-

I’ve been battling insomnia the last few days. I’ve been battling perfectionism for the last few years.

Laying in bed, I can quite literally feel a heavy wave wash over my entire body. It’s not slow, it’s explosive. Like I’m trapped in the perfect storm, lightening strikes my body. The pressure is heavy, the anxiety is electric. Little tiny pulses of energy course through my veins weighing down my heart with every beat.

Every night, I lay my head on my pillow and fear sleep won’t come. I talk to myself, plan my tomorrow, remind myself what I’m grateful for, and pray the storm won’t come. Sometimes it doesn’t and somewhere between the schedule making and deep breathing, I drift away and awake the next morning thankful for the sleep I was given. Sometimes a mist the planning and semi dreaming, the pressure starts and my eyes grow wider, my heartbeat quickens, and all those little tiny electrical pulses build from the tips of my toes coursing all the way up outward to my fingertips and out through the crown of my head.

I fear for the world.

Pretty heavy, huh?

I can’t block it out.

I know I am lucky for this life.

I am thankful for where I am, for my health, for my family and friends, for my jobs, for the support from co workers and bosses, for my dog. I am thankful for the sun and for neighborhoods. I am thankful for smiles from strangers and for Ubereats and Instacart and Amazon and for all their employees. I am thankful for healthcare workers. I am thankful for small businesses. I am blessed to have this life and be able to connect on the Internet.

I keep hearing and seeing, this situation being compared to war.
We aren’t being drafted, we aren’t being called to go fight.
We are lucky we are asked to just stay home and stay isolated.
This is true.

And everyone should by now be staying (the fuck) home. There are no excuses left. You should not be doing group workout classes outside your home, you should not be partying, you should just be at home. Because every time you aren’t, you personally, you make process longer. You extend the time loved ones are torn from their families, you extend the time people are dying alone in hospitals because they aren’t allowed to be near anyone, you extend the time doctors and nurses are worked into the ground, you extend the time people are unemployed, you are personally responsible for this. No one is immune, no one is an exception. You are not special.

This is also what keeps me up at night. I think about those people dying alone. I think about the doctors and nurses who haven’t seen their families. I think about the fear that is pulsing through the world and I think about the ignorance.

I know these thoughts won’t go away and I try to cling to balance. I let the thoughts come and go. I send love and prayers to all those who need the extra support, and then I try to find a way to work through each day.

But, I have found myself in the same mindset in a completely different world. We are living in a “new normal” where nothing is normal and nothing is balanced. And yet, I am still comparing myself to everyone else. Still berating myself because of the scale, because of my time on my runs, because of my craving for connection. I still think I should be smaller because I look in the mirror and see bigger thighs and a belly. But I feel guilty for even thinking about that right now. I still think I should be stronger/faster because that person is running a mi in 7min. Again, guilty for letting that be something I think of right now. I still think if everyone else is busy on the computers doing work, I need to be doing something online, I need to be producing something. I think about the work I’ve been needing to do on myself as lesser than, I think about the values that matter to me as nothing because its not tangible, its not profitable. But, how can I even be thinking about myself right now? I still think I need to be able to everything alone and when I break, I consider myself weak and I spiral. But, how can I even let myself be a priority right now while people are dying?

No, I am not being called to go to war. I am not a doctor. I am not a nurse. I am not an essential worker putting my life on the line for others. And believe me, I know how lucky and blessed I am for the life I have. Because I feel it. Guilt ties how I feel internally about myself and my own wold with the thoughts I have about our world in pain.

I don’t have any answers or any journal prompts or ideas. This is just how I feel.
I struggle accepting my feelings are still valid in a world where there is so much suffering.
I struggle feeling I should be able to let go of the perfectionism that eats away at me.
I’m not writing this for pity or for anyone to reach out.
I just want to be able to let someone else out there know that if you are feeling guilty the world around you fall apart while the rest of the world is just barely hanging on, I’m with you and I’m there.

I woke up this morning after being able to sleep, but I didn’t feel like getting up.
I told myself to just go outside and move and let my body take it from there.
And I think that’s all we can do right now. Tune in.
Be with ourselves in whatever fucked up shape we’re in.
I hope I am able to allow myself to do the work I need to do –
there won’t be anything I can hold in my hands for validation,
I won’t be able to compare myself to someone else,
I won’t be able to know for sure if I’m doing anything “right.”
It will take time and some days may be slower than others.
I hope sleep won’t be something I fear anymore.

And I hope you know your feelings are valid even though there are terrible things going on in the world right.

You, as a human being, still matter.

And we as a whole, will recover.

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