We are now 348 days into quarantine.
And somehow I’m, like, okay.
I thought at first it was because we gradually went to work from home. We started with 3 days a week at home. Then we went to only going in once a week so we could stagger days. Now only one person from each part of our team comes in once a week so we go about 8 weeks between office visits. It was a weird adjustment but I’m kind of glad we had the slow crossover. It kind of slowly lowered me into the burning building of COVID rather than tossing me in directly after dousing it with gasoline.
When it looked more and more like this was going to be an extended time away from friends, away from coworkers, and away from family, I had a conversation with Ben letting him know that I was worried about my mental health. Not that I was in a bad place THEN, but that I expected a crash to happen.
At some point.
I was going to crash.
Except… I never did. And to be 100% honest, I DO NOT FUCKING GET IT.
Long time followers know that I’ve been very open about my battle with depression. I love that when I’m raw and real about it I get comments and messages saying thank you for putting into words how they are feeling. For normalizing the mental illness. For being an advocate. And I have to tell you, I have felt some significant guilt for NOT doing that. For NOT feeling that way. For NOT being that support for others.
But it just… never happened. Maybe it’s the Lexapro? Maybe it’s that I get to sleep longer every day now that I don’t have an hour commute in the morning and have to put like 5% of the effort into getting ready every day. Maybe it’s the feeling of INCREDIBLE PRIVILEGE to have a stable and steady income through a time when a lot of people are really struggling.
I don’t know what it is but I’m ready to stop second guessing it and start trying to process it. In a private friends Facebook group we sometime ask for a mental health check in. A place to sound off, judgement free, letting it all out. I described being really shocked that I am okay. But also that some nights I can’t fall asleep and lie away wondering when the crash is going to happen. What trigger is going to set it off? What random chemical imbalance is going to suddenly trick me into believing that sleeping all day is the only way to stay alive. I haven’t even TAKEN A NAP in months, let alone a depression nap.
I know how lucky I am right now. I had a long conversation with a friend the other day that is not okay. I was able to listen to her and tell her that I know where she is and that I understand how she feels. And I told her that I know there is nothing I can do to fix it, but I promise you, I understand and you are not alone.
If you are there, if your brain is missing the chemicals you need, please know that I am safe harbor. I GET it. I KNOW where you are. I can’t fix you, I know better than to try, but I can HEAR you. Shit still really sucks right now and I don’t know when it’s going to get better and I also know that even when everything is going perfectly in your life, you can still be There. In that shitty dark place where your brain tells you lies.
I hope you’re all okay. Wear your masks. Wash your hands. Stay the fuck away from people that don’t live with you. And take care of yourself and your mental health in the best ways that work for you.