I know you’re probably feeling a lot of things right now. Maybe you’re mostly feeling excited about getting that edible cookie dough from Dixon Marketplace. Maybe you’re more motivated now that you can study by the Starbucks in the AF with a chocolate chip muffin. You’re almost certainly relieved to finally feel at home again. Maybe you’re mostly none of those things. Maybe you’re more anxious about whether you could still get sick. You’re probably stressed from working way more than you did during quarantine, and worried about whether your mental health will take another sharp downturn. There’s a solid chance you’re feeling all of these things at once, and thus also feeling desperately conflicted and confused.
Breathe. Slow down. You’re safe in this moment. I promise.
You’ve been through a lot since quarantine started. You had to leave your friends and the place you call home. You had to get used to pre-recorded lectures, and figure out how to sing in a choir you couldn’t hear. You had to readjust to having two toddlers at the house twice a week. You started therapy again, but through video sessions, which just aren’t the same. Then you had foot surgery right after the semester ended, so you lost basic independence for a few weeks and couldn’t work all summer. You’ll probably have gone at least nine months without physical affection from another human.
You’ll have spent a lot of time considering the fact that life will probably not be “normal” again for a very long time, if that’s even truly possible at any point in your adulthood. You’ve had to grieve time and experiences you can’t get back. You’ve had to grieve a sense of relative certainty. It’s a grief that will take a long time for you to process, and you’ll probably still be in the middle of that work when you read this. Feeling easily overwhelmed, tired, and worried makes sense. A lot of people are feeling that way right now. You’re not weak or lazy. It’s okay to rest.
Enjoy the foods you’ve missed, spend time in your favorite spots, and hug your friends. Also, drink water, take your meds, and for Pete’s sake, remember to eat. You’re worthy of that time and care. Just in case you need a reminder, you will be okay. I don’t know how or when, and you might not know either, but we both know deep down that it’s possible.
You, but calmer