I think the biggest struggle I’m currently facing is that everyone is in pretty much the same boat as everyone else. Every parent is struggling with their children. Every teacher misses their students. Every doctor, nurse, etc. is overworked (and definitely underpaid). We’re all exhausted from doing too much and not enough. We’re tired all the time. Fatigue sets in almost immediately every morning.
No one is really in a position to help someone else. We all need support and comfort which means we’re all somewhat incapable of offering it to another person. I told my husband today that all I really want right now is a massage. There’s no way I’m getting a professional massage any time soon. And while he offered to give me one, it feels unfair to take him up on that because a) he’s as stressed and over-worked as I am and b) I don’t have the energy to reciprocate.
We are all pouring from severely depleted cups. We’re all probably more like knocked over beer pong cups at this point. At least, that’s what I feel like. Every time something starts to pick me back up, another proverbial frat boy throws something at me, splashes out whatever was left in my cup, and knocks me down.
The theory that “bad things come in threes” has taken a hiatus. That theory is so deep into global holiday that every bad thing seems to be happening all at once.
My husband’s orders got shifted. Then they got moved back to the original date. Then they got pushed even further out. Then Godzilla’s dance classes were canceled (right after we dropped coin for her recital costume). Then we found out I have skin cancer. Then base leadership told us we can’t send our kids to yochiens anymore. Then our move got shifted again. Then the base landscapers broke our car window.
One could argue I buried the lead a little right there. But did I? Everything is awful right now so even the worst thing for me isn’t really the worst thing. That’s how damn empty our cups are. I don’t have the energy to care than I fucking have skin cancer. And I don’t expect that anyone else will care either. Because it’s a) benign and b) not the worst thing that’s happening in the world right now.
So how do we function together when all of us need care and none of us feels capable of giving it? I don’t know. But I think ackowledging our needs and our abilities is important. Even if I can’t give my friends exactly what they need (which, right now, is simple things like talking for hours over bottles of wine or making dinner for her best girls on the patio or talking shop in the hot tub or breathing the same air and being in the same room as her), it’s important to ackowledge the things we’re all missing. I think giving it a name is crucial.
We’re all experiencing different levels of depression right now. And talking about the things that are making us sad or the things we’re missing? It gives us back some of the power that’s been taken away from us.
There are so many more things that need to happen in the world in order to claw our way out of this nightmare we’re in. But for me, the first step is really understanding what it is I need and what I’m missing. I know I can’t get a lot of those things right now. But sitting and thinking about what I really want back in my life? That’s important. That’s my first step.