It's Okay, and it's Going to be Okay
Emotions are interesting. My experience with them is sort of like riding a bike - once you've gone for a ride with one you recognize it again pretty quickly. Today I hopped back on the bike with a less than desirable, yet necessary, emotion - sadness. Today sadness came rolling back in like a nasty blast from the past and consumed me for the better part of the day.
I don't feel wrong for feeling sad, we are experiencing something that to this point, many of us had only read about in history books or seen similarities to in movies. Sidenote: Contagion is too close for comfort right now. I think we are all processing this in different ways. We feel excited to be together and at the same time overwhelmed to be together. We feel anxious about educating our kids and at the same time, we feel significant being able to educate our kids. We need to stay home yet so many close to us are called to work on the front lines. There's a whole lot going on - it's good, it's bad, and maybe it's ugly. I have no doubt we will come out of this stronger, more connected, and more grateful than ever. Of course, as soon as I recognized that I felt sad the fear of it returning to my life amplified the feeling. I lived in a different place for some time after having my first son, Stetson.
Since leaving that place, I've made no plans to return. I'm sure I'm not alone in this. I'm sure others who have experienced ppd or any sort of depression can relate to the unsettling feeling of a low day. One thing I know about this feeling is that I need to give myself some grace and let myself feel the feelings. Today, once I recognized my emotion, I let myself feel as much as I needed to because really, this is my first encounter processing some tough emotions as a result of the current state of the world. If you know me, you know I had a real good cry.
And then I dug into the strength, the strategies, and the tools that I've developed through the years. The walking that brings me joy. The journaling that helps me express myself. The connecting that brings me comfort in knowing I'm not alone and that others need to hear this, too. I went for a good long walk (on the treadmill) today, I talked to my husband and my sister, I wrote in my journal, and here I am writing for anyone who might need to hear this. Brené Brown shared this the other day:
Well, here I am in all my awkward, brave, and kind glory - choosing to be vulnerable and share. It's okay to feel sad, lonely, anxious, unsettled, or worried. We're all doing our best to stay healthy, positive, and to be strong for our families - in the midst of all of this - it's okay to feel. And it's also okay to feel hopeful, excited, and optimistic - most days that's where I'm at. It's okay to slow down and enjoy this time with your loved ones, to read a book, to paint, to journal, to watch tv. To bake or cook all of those recipes you swore you would try one day, to laugh, to cry, and to play with your children. After a good cry, I know andrà tutto bene, i miei amici - everything will be okay, my friends. - lovefrommaria