While many families are already back to school, here school starts in two weeks. While I should be planning the new routine my kids, instead I’m laying on a couch in and out of consciousness. I’m burnt out. Exhausted. Scared. Anxious. Sad. Depressed. I don’t know if overwhelmed is a strong enough word. I do know one thing: Parents are not okay.
There are no words to explain this feeling. There is no way to communicate the impending doom of every single day, as I struggle to balance all the things. So my body decides to sleep instead. To rest. To forget for a little while, and let go of some of the stress that is causing my lip to twitch.
My father passed away in April, and the world isn’t the same now. However, there’s no time to grieve. There’s too much to do. Too many people to call. Too many affairs to settle. Honestly, burying him during a lock down was the easy part. Dealing with his ex, and all the paperwork, has been a nightmare.
You see, the show must go on. The kids need to be fed, watered and loved. So do the plants. I’m glad our school system is choosing remote learning, and terrified I am not enough. I’m privileged that my partner has steady employment, and frightened every day he is high risk. I’m relieved my children will be learning from home, and sad that my re-entry into the workforce will be delayed.
Then there are the regular stresses of being a household manager, a parent, a partner, a friend, a sister, a daughter, a descendant, and a future ancestor. When I leave the house for a break, the anxiety of COVID begins to creep up. While sure, it’s not good to live your life in fear, my anxiety didn’t get the memo yet.
[See Also: Self-Care Techniques from a GeekMom with Anxiety]
The phrase “It’s okay to not be okay,” doesn’t do justice to the impending doom on all of our shoulders. The “love and light” positive affirmations don’t stop the stiffening in my body throughout the day from the physiological effects of this stress.
I even started grinding my teeth, aggravating my TMD, causing my anxiety to be on overdrive, wondering if there is some hidden health crisis in my body waiting to happen. Sitting down to write, or even game, seems trivial compared to what is going on in the world.
Who am I to self soothe while the world is in this state? How can I be sad when there are people in the world worse off than I am, facing different choices with higher consequences?
A human. That’s who. I am a human being on this earth. A person with responsibilities, not just to myself, but to my family and others to the community. I am able to bring great things to this earth, and have great ideas that can build better futures. There are humans relying on me to be the best version of myself I can be, and sometimes that version is laying on the couch to allow my body to rest, and just be.
And that is okay.
If you are struggling right now, I’m sorry and I see you. I am struggling too. We are all doing the best we can with what we have. While it doesn’t feel like it, I want you to know something:
From human to fellow human,
You’re best is good enough.