Covid19: My Meltdown Discovery

Covid19: My Meltdown Discovery

It’s a common phrase I like to use, especially when I’m wrapping up a conversation or signing off from a column:

And on we go…

But lately I’ve had trouble using it. The idea of “going on” has been tough. Thanks to Covid19, life just seems like one long time-warping cycle of day and night.

Apparently, I’m not alone. When I catch up with my friends, they often stumble when trying to remember what day something happened. More than once I’ve heard, “The days are running together. I can’t tell one from the other.”

Amen to that. This meme sums it up well:

In case you lost track, today is March 97th

So true, right?

Even my home décor is confused:

Even my home décor is confused

Life has lost its punctuation. It feels like one giant run-on sentence with no commas, semicolons, or colons to segment it in clarifying ways. There’s not a period in sight. But my, oh my, are there questions marks!

How long will this go on?
Will I get the virus?
If I do, can I survive it?
When will it be safe to resume the life I knew?

How can I possibly know how to “go on” when I’m not sure exactly where I am?

Despite my best efforts to take a dose of my own medicine and “find strength in susceptibility” and cultivate a “strange friendship” with this latest life challenge, the unanswered questions closed in on me last weekend. The weight of “thirty more days” and the dread of the upcoming peak pressed down hard on those spinning questions.

The tears began and would not stop.

Yep, I had a bit of a meltdown.

The sadness of all the reported losses, the anger at those choosing to be non-compliant, and the uncertainty of not knowing what was next sent me into that place I fight so hard to avoid—the pity pool.

But there I was, treading mightily to stay afloat.

I hadn’t left my home in 25 days. Even though I was healthy, safe, and supported by family and friends, my paralyzed parts and their necessary routines were a constant reminder that I was “at risk” for Covid19. My fear of requiring medical attention was hovering over me daily.

After a while, though, I tired of treading water and grew frustrated with myself. Why couldn’t I just buck up and “go on”?

know how to get through tough times. My life is riddled with no cause/no cure experiences; one child’s autism, another child’s epilepsy, and my own paralysis from a rare inflammation of the spinal cord that affects one in a million.

I’m a veteran of dealing with unexplained adversity. Why couldn’t I use what I’ve learned and get on with life?

Because, my tears reminded me, you can’t deny the pain of loss. You can’t skip over the—grief?

Grief! Is that what this is?

And somewhere in the back of my mind the wise words of Robert Frost rescued me again:

The best way out is always through. – Robert Frost

The best way out is always through. – Robert Frost

Of course!

Just like there are no shortcuts to that treacherous peak of Covid19, there are no shortcuts through the valley of pain and loss. I needed to feel those feelings of sadness, anger, and uncertainty before I could go on with life.

Grief, that strange companion, had rendered me fragile. But that’s okay—I’ve dealt with her before. I know how to move through a valley with her at my side.

It takes some work, but I’m up for the challenge:

Mindset challenge: What do I let in so that I can go on? #CovidCoping – Becky Galli

Mindset challenge: What do I let in so that I can go on? #CovidCoping – Becky Galli

Recognizing this fragile state, I began to consider carefully what I allowed in my life. I had to make room for hope, as all good grief work does, and give it the space to redefine itself and grow.

What does that look like? For now, I’m filtering based on the restorative properties of an activity—more sleep, more time with nature, longer quiet times and time spent listening to my father’s and others’ messages of hope. I’ve slowed down my routines and even lowered standards for myself.

Did I have to get this column finished by Thursday? Most folks don’t know what day it is anyway, so does it matter?

Maybe I should rename my column, Thoughtful Whatever.

I needed to laugh.

Okay, sorry. I needed to laugh.

Bottom line: Take care of yourselves. I’ll do the same. Let’s hold each other lightly, with few expectations and lots of love. We’ll get through this.

Yep—and on we go. . . mindful of where we are, what we need, and who can help us find renewed hope.

My best – always,

Becky  (Nana B)

From the archives: If you need another laugh, check out an Easter tradition gone wrong with my dog, Tripp. Happy Easter! Happy Spring!
Happy Easter! Happy Spring!