*Blows the dust off of this screen*
Tap, tap, tap.
So, anything new happen since I last posted? Just jokes friends because OH MY GOODNESS GRACIOUS. Are there any other words, honestly? The last time I posted was in June and my boy was graduating from high school. Since then, well, it seems like a million things happened and a million more things didn’t happen. Pandemics, AM I RIGHT?
I’ve been wanting to get back into the habit of writing for a while, but I don’t know, the globe shifted and the world turned on its axis and everything was just different and at the end of every day, I just want to crawl into bed with the New York Times Crossword puzzle and a few episodes of Letterkenny. If I’m being honest, I don’t think it’s the pandemic, exactly, that has caused the big tilt within me.
It’s the loss of my dad.
He died at the end of June. He was sick for a long time. I actually don’t remember my life without my dad being sick. But, we learned to live with my dad being part-bionic. He had multiple heart attacks, he had diabetes, he had a pacemaker and a defibrillator, and that’s just how it was. My dad was going to outlive us all. And it was a fun party trick to be able to hear his heart ticking just by standing next to him. But then a twin diagnosis of dementia AND colon cancer back-to-back changed everything.
I didn’t get to see him before he died. I didn’t get to say goodbye. I didn’t get to be at his funeral. I didn’t get to hug my family.
Because of COVID.
I saw him in March, just days before everything changed. No, actually.
We weren’t going to go, because LIFE. But we hopped into the car and drove down to Nashville to spend a couple days with my dad. It wasn’t enough, we knew it even at the time, but it has now become EVERYTHING. He was sick while we were there, so sick, so we just stayed close, as he liked it. Even before he had stage 4 cancer, my dad loved being quiet — and just enjoying the loud of his people around him. So we were loud for him. And then we turned around and went home and that was the last time I hugged my dad because while we were with him, Tennessee got its first COVID patient, a man who had brought it home with him from a business trip. And, well, you know how this story goes.
As far as this pandemic, I feel lucky. At the beginning of all of this there was a viral tweet (at least I think it was a tweet) saying that we are not in the same boat. We are in the same storm, but none of us are in the same boat. And I believe that to be 100% true.
My kids are older — so we are finding zoom school to be more than manageable. I was able to keep my job — in fact, I’m working more than I was before. I’m walking more, thanks to our energetic Pandemic Puppy Bowie.
I lost twenty pounds on keto [I’m currently in the process of transitioning off of it a bit after ten months and I can’t even tell you how excited I was to eat pea soup last night]. I’m getting extra time with my basically adult children — for which I will forever be grateful. They even like to play games with me. We are healthy.
We sure do miss PEOPLE-ING. Badly. We sure do wish we could hug every single member of my family.
But we are OKAY.
My mental health seems….okay?
It feels almost … paralyzing … to type that out.
Because I have struggled with anxiety for so long.
Since middle school, at least.
It wasn’t until the night before I left for my post-high school gap year in Israel and I found myself doubled over with a panic attack, though, that I was able to identify that what I had likely had a name and wasn’t just, you know, “being a teenage girl.”
It wasn’t until I was an adult with children that I was officially diagnosed with anxiety.
And it wasn’t until last year that I was able to find a medication (pristiq) that worked.
So, it feels almost paralyzing to say that yes, even though my anxiety is here and its taken up permanent residence in my brain, and it does lie to me occasionally and tell me things, and occasionally I believe these lies, and it does give me panic about work and my kids and FOMO and COVID-19, and, you know, the sometimes panic attack, but even with all of this, I am doing OK.
HOW ARE YOU DOING?
Yesterday I got a text from a friend who was just checking in. She just wanted to ask how I was doing.
I can’t even tell you how much that little text meant to me.
So I texted a different friend to check in with her.
Let’s do this more.
Let’s check in on our people.
Check in on your strong people, your busy people, your work people, your quiet people, your loud people, your happy people, your “totally looks like they have it completely together” people.
It’s a small way to make a big difference.
So more of us can say that we are OK.
It’s actually a little teensy bit of serendipity that today is Bell Let’s Talk Day.
When it comes to mental health, now more than ever, every action counts. On Bell Let’s Talk Day, TODAY, Bell donates 5 cents to Canadian mental health programs for every applicable text, local or long distance call, tweet or TikTok video using #BellLetsTalk, every Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitter and YouTube view of the Bell Let’s Talk Day video, and every use of the Bell Let’s Talk Facebook frame or Snapchat filter.
Now more than ever. Yes.