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To those that are restless,




I hear you. My heart goes out to you, and it’s okay that you’re feeling this way.

We all lost so much so suddenly. In the blink of an eye: our routine, our social activities, and our livelihoods were taken from us without much warning. Though we try to have some semblance of a routine, many of us are left aimless. Nowhere to go and nothing to do.

Some of you lost the opportunity to share your hard work through presentations and performances. Some of you lost a safe and comfortable place to live. Some of you lost your jobs and may not know how you’ll pay for next month’s rent, let alone this week’s food. 

You lost plans. You lost adventures. And you lost the last few weeks you might have had to say goodbye to the place you called home for the past four years and the people who made it feel like home.

I am so sorry.

I know it’s not my fault, but I want you to know I feel for you. I cannot pretend like I know what it is like to be in your exact situation. I do know it isn’t easy. But I want you to know I care. Even if I don’t know you personally, I care. You are a human being, full of life and potential and my heart aches for your loss just as much as everyone else’s. 

But more importantly, I believe in you. I believe that you will manage to muster the motivation to finish those online assignments. I believe that you will see your friends again, that you will manage to stay home until it’s safe to go out again. I believe that you will overcome the demons that are rearing their ugly heads more aggressively than ever.

You are strong.

Every one of us is different, and every one of us is handling this situation in our own way. No matter what way you are handling it, don’t do it alone. Reach out to someone - a family member, a friend, a coworker - and talk. Stuffing your feelings down inside will only lead to more grief. 

You are allowed to grieve. You are allowed to feel negative emotions. No one is happy all of the time, so give yourself some grace and let the emotions pour out. You will feel better after, I promise.

But I’m not here to bombard you with more well-intentioned advice on how to get through this quarantine. I am only here to remind you that you are loved, that you are heard, that you are strong and that you will get through this.

If you do need some resources or help during this time, please seek help. You can follow some of the CDC’s advice on coping, a sanity guide from the meditation app Ten Percent Happier, and check out the Good News Network for more uplifting stories.

And, if you are in a bad situation, please use the SAMHSA Helpline, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline, or the NAMI mental health hotline page.

I will see you on the other side.

Abigail Shepard is a junior at Central Michigan University studying music and psychology. She is the alto saxophone player in Kefi Quartet and the lead alto of CMU's Jazz Lab. She is also treasurer of To Write Love On Her Arms, a mental health advocacy group on campus, and an undergraduate researcher in the Psychology Department. Outside of school, Abigail loves drinking tea, petting cats, and exploring nature.
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