Well folks, I’m still here. Still writing. Still have this cute little cat named Scout to keep me company.
Yesterday I turned some sort of corner on how to respond this whole situation. I don’t know how long it will continue, but at the moment I’m feeling positive about my day-to-day living.
Before, I was definitely going through the stages of grief. Here’s my timeline of what was happening with me.
- Denial – this was basically where I was up until about last week. I just completely refused to believe that anything was going to happen to my contented little world. I had found a new job that promised some stability, I was waiting for grad school decisions, I couldn’t be bothered by what I assumed was another overblown scare tactic. Oops.
- Anger – this kicked in right around my birthday. I just felt irrationally irritable. I snapped at people trying to wish me well. I got fed up with myself and everything around me. I went into that selfish tail-spin of “why is this happening? And on my BIRTHDAY?” Yada yada. Sorry about that. I am human after all. My first defense is to hide within myself when threatened.
- Bargaining – basically last Thursday through Sunday. “Okay,” I said to myself, “this is happening, but maybe it won’t be so bad? If I do everything right – wash my hands, avoid contact, use all the hand sanitizer in the world – then things will be normal and fine.” I played a similar game as a child. I believed that if I played my piano exercises perfectly then nothing bad would happen to me or my family. I wanted then as I wanted last week to exert some sort of control over the world, over my surroundings, over the future. Joke is on me! The only thing I control is myself and my reactions.
- Depression – Monday and Tuesday were rough. I felt exhausted and sad and basically despondent. I couldn’t imagine how I was going to get through this or how anyone was going to get through this. I just sort of wallowed in the overwhelming nature of a global pandemic that would utterly change the landscape of pretty much every aspect of life. Not to mention the people who might or already have died because of it. It was and still is a lot to take in. I think it’s fair to be depressed and angry about this.
- Acceptance – again, I have no idea how long this is going to last. If I know anything about grief it is that it surprises you. I can spend all the time I want applauding myself for reaching a new head-space, but it’s likely that I’ll return to one of the earlier stages again and again. That’s fine. Again, that’s human.
One of my goals this year is to accept limitations as a part of being human. That means allowing people (myself included) to make mistakes, to be disappointing, to have the possibility for growth. That’s how I’m looking at this involuntary seclusion at the moment: as a possibility for growth.
Now, as promised here are some pictures of Scout.