Sometime ago, I can remember an ad campaign from Corona Beer stating “find your beach.” Such an amazing concept and one which I did not object. Flashforward to the year 2020. Everyone is in quarantine, people are fighting in public over toilet paper, and Gov. Cuomo is one of the main beacons of hope for residents of New York State. To say this escalated quickly is and understatement. I write today not only for my catharsis, but also to validate what many are experiencing as the new “normal.”
Early into my professional development it was solidified that there is no “normal” in this crazy life of sin. (For those who feel otherwise, just have a look at a little program called “Tiger King). One of the most ecological ways to cope with life is to understand that the only constant we experience in adulthood is change. Hence, the saying “tough times dont last, but tough people do.” Cliche, I know. Fact of the matter is that these positive quotes and motivational sayings are cheap in times with Americans are dropping dead from a “mysterious” virus overnight.
If the reader takes anything away from the rantings of a sleep deprived shrink/ comedienne/ triathlete/ amateur bull fighter, it’s this: it is ok to have days during this time where the walls close in and then a minute later feel absolutely fine. It is actually a sign of healthy, mental balance. What is not ok is clinging with all our might to what we perceived was our “normal” prior to Co-Vid 19 hitting the states. We are not going to be able to wake up like nothing happened in a few weeks and this time marks a change to society as we know it. Enjoy the memories of the past because it is not where we are going.
Now , doom and gloom can creep in at times like a high school stalker, but my challenge to any experiencing it is flip the script. Remember who you are. Reminisce on times in the past where your world was ending and think to the now. Guess what? That thing you thought would kill you? It no longer exists, it did not. You are still here. The vacilating feelings of being invincible and positive one minute, then the walls caving in another minute is 100% healthy. From a cogntive perspective, these feelings are actually a signof mental health. What is not healthy is the denial that change is happening. Allow the moments of emotional tsunamis so as to release the aversion to change. If we avoid our “end of days” feelings, we can become numb, withdrawn, or hopeless. These are aspects of the quarantine more deadly than the virus itself.
There will be days where we feel we can take on the world during this pandemic. There will also be days when we feel like salmons swimming upstream and the walls are closing in. Both of these experiences are valid and appropriate. If nothing else, as a community, as a family, as a country as humanity, we must hold on to the truth that no one is going through this alone. We have some of the best medical professionals in this world working in our hospitals driven by a passionate cause greater than themselves. Love your family. Set and adapt goals for future growth. More importantly, utilize the time at home with family/friends to reflect and be present.
The sun always rises and the tides will always come in. If nothing else, this law of nature can be the one constant we can remember in this current atosphere of chaos.
Stay Safe. Wash your hands.
To be continued…..