This is Week Eight. I don’t think I’ve ever been able to count something so effortlessly as I have this pandemic with it’s stay at home orders. Literally. I have never kept track of anything in weeks or months. Except maybe my age. And the number of months until my favorite book released.
So eight weeks. Why has it been so easy for me to mentally keep track of these weeks? Because it is unprecedented. Nothing in our lifetime could have prepared me for this. Because from the start there have been so many unknowns. So much fear. So much time with my kids.
Also quite possibly the most isolated time and the most prolonged in our lives.
The Summer between my junior and senior year of college I was very alone. I lived alone. I had broken up with a long term boyfriend, and had yet to make many new friends. I stayed up at school in my apartment off campus where I lived alone. I worked full time though. I went for runs daily in a park nearby. I was able to see the few friends I did have whenever I wanted. I have thought back on that time a lot during this time of isolation. That was probably the closest I came to pandemic level isolation.
It was a hard Summer for me. I felt acutely alone. Now I have my sons and my wife and my cats. The cats were with me that Summer also. It was my first Summer with them having rescued them both in March. I think the cats enjoyed that Summer of isolation more than the pandemic.
They now have to dodge my boys and they aren’t as fast with their reflexes as they once were. I’ve seen some clients who live alone. They report feeling that level of loneliness and isolation that I touched on roughly 14 years ago. It’s hard to overcome without underlying mental illness. I remember I sewed a lot that Summer. I ran a lot. But it always took motivation to not sit and wallow in my loneliness.
Some of my clients don’t have that resilience or ability to pull through that motivation in these dark times. Especially with the financial stressors on top of the isolation. While I am overcome with the constant chatter of my boys I am also relieved to have them here with me. The memory of my loneliness carries with it a wave of sadness. I joke that I would be loving this pandemic if I didn’t have kids. But it’s not true. I would be hating the reminders of a time in my life of being very much alone if I didn’t have my kids.
We will come through this time. For those of us going through it with our families there are certainly challenges. But for those out there enduring this alone. My heart feels for you. I hope you have some social or family or professional connections that make it more bearable. I knew only one Summer of loneliness. It’s less than many feel in a lifetime, and more than some feel in a lifetime.
These eight weeks have been filled with a busy practice running out of my home office. Many fires in the fireplace. And as I mentioned, the constant chatter/yelling/crying/screaming/banging/running of two four year old boys. I count myself incredibly blessed to not be riding this out alone and to have kids who still cherish the sight of me instead of teenagers who’d rather be rid of me.
This marks eight weeks. Stay strong. Stay safe. Reach out for help. Mental health providers are still accepting patients and still providing a connection to the outside world.
Things that have happened- Star Wars Rise of Skywalker came onto Disney+, #45 still sounds/acts/talks crazy, we opened the pool and had our first swim in it (thank-you pool heater:), some areas lifted restrictions and shockingly had increases in COVID cases, I received my bulk order of 1/4″ elastic that I placed 8 weeks ago…yay for mask making! Pic is view from my home office window.