Fear makes me want to hide.
Fear makes me want to curl up in a corner and squeeze my eyes shut.
Fear makes me want to cry.
Fear makes me worry for things I cannot change.
Fear makes me feel powerless, helpless.
I think I’ve been obsessively cleaning and rearranging things in my room because that seems to be the only thing I can control right now.
It’s just one month, I tell myself.
After one month, things will get better.
You’ve booked a staycation in May (with flexible cancellation dates. Just in case).
You’ll get to meet your friends again and sit in the cafes to have coffee and people watch through window seats. In the meantime, you can still journal at home. You can make art. Music. Read. You have Zoom. And Skype. You can finally do all the online courses you’ve always wanted to do but never had the time for. You’ll have all the downtime you’ve always dreamed off and not have to feel guilty about it! You’re not going to be bored to death. You’ve always been able to find things to do at home. It’s just the mindset of having to stay at home now that’s making you anxious and feeling trapped. And that’s understandable.
It’s ok to feel scared and anxious, AND also remember that we don’t have to panic and that this will pass. We’re in the storm now, knowing that this storm won’t last forever.
Yet it can sometimes seem really hard to get there.
Not quite there yet, but getting there.
-Morgan Harper Nichols
Even here, I see light coming in the form of my supportive and loving family, my patient and caring friends, my meaning-filled and gratitude-filled work.
And I want to always believe that even in the darkness, we can make our own light.
“What makes you think you can help others when you can’t even help yourself?”
Excuse me, voice in my head. I’d like to let you know that I’ve done plenty to help myself. I have asked for help. I have reached out. I have made certain changes to my lifestyle. I’ve been courageous enough to ask for more help. I’ve been working on voices like you, who may have developed at some point in time in my life for some purpose which is no longer relevant and hence does not benefit me anymore.
The fact that we are still on this journey does not mean that I have not done enough.
It might simply mean that the journey is still ongoing, that the process is continuing, that we are truly all works in progress.
Trust the process.
Thick smoke rising in the air.
Orange light. Flames.
I get on a bus. It starts moving and we’re driving on a mountain road. Trying to get to safety.
I see buildings above us going up in flames, things inside bursting into flames.
I see objects, debris falling from the dark night sky onto and around the bus I’m in.
Around me I hear voices saying that it’s a natural disaster of sorts which caused the huge fire.
And I think: How could we be having natural disasters in this country?
And after I had woken up and dried the tears and felt my breathing go back to normal, I thought: How could I be having struggles with my mental health?
I accept that you’re not feeling your best right now. That there’s a nagging voice in your head telling you that you should be happy because you have nothing to be “sad” about. I accept that it’s really tough to live with that voice, and on bad days it makes the shame unbearable and you wish that you could just make it go away. I accept that it feels like a really tough journey and there are days when you feel like such a weakling for wanting to give up. I accept that your chest feels heavy and uncomfortable and tight. I accept that you also feel good at times and then wonder how long will that feeling last, and then feel guilty for wondering that instead of being mindful in that moment of feeling good. I accept that there is a compassionate voice inside that comes out when it’s most needed, even though it feels foreign and weird and even wrong at times. I accept that it’s probably not very used to being used and could probably do with more practice. I accept that there are the horrible feelings and the bad voices, as well as the helpful and kind ones. I accept that this is one heck of a journey and nobody knows what is going to happen. I accept that these things are happening to you, within you, but are also NOT you. I accept that you are a living, breathing, human being. I accept that where you are will not be where you will always be. I accept that this is difficult, and this is life, and this is all ok.
I accept that I am still learning to accept.
That I am trying my best to try my best.