I do this a lot–go into some state of hibernation with writing and what that really means is getting swept up in the chaos of life and too distracted to reflect on my feelings long enough to feel consistently grounded. Perhaps it’s avoidance. One of the numerous coping mechanisms that no longer serve me.
Something important brought me to writing today, and my initial thinking is that it was yesterday’s coffee. There was about 4 oz left in the pot, and I couldn’t bear to throw it away because we are already running low, and trips to the grocery store seem too risky right now. Of course, we’ll have to go eventually, and that will be a calculated endeavor in which we have a long list of food items to get and will speed shop while wearing a mask and gloves. I also saved the coffee because “yesterday me” foreshadowed I would need that small caffeine boost while waiting for a fresh pot to brew this morning. It helped–not staring hopelessly at the coffee brewing while in a dead state. Instead, I was drinking old coffee and found solace in the warmth of each sip.
I realize now what brought me here is actually many things. It usually is. It’s never one thing or one reason or one explanation for anything, life is much more nuanced than that and I’m learning to accept that as a truth, a lifelong lesson.
Two days ago I woke up to news that an essay and poem I had submitted for publication was accepted into the magazine. I read it and felt a small dose of excitement begin to surface only to be weighed down by apathy. I remembered my lifelong dream of publishing a book and how my name would appear on the front cover, what the front cover would look like, whether the title would be too obscure for people to understand, and therefore, would detract them from picking it up on the bookstore’s shelf. That dream seemed so distant and out of reach, I questioned whether it still mattered to me. All of this is the anxiety and depression talking, and Covid-19, the stressful job, cabin fever, perfectionism, my mood disorder, anhedonia, fatigue, homeschooling, worrying about my loved ones, the list goes on. The apathy is usually a red flag that I need to take care of myself because whatever is going on inside of me needs attention from me.
So today I’m deciding to not hide, I’m going to show up for myself just as I’ve been showing up for my family to the best of my ability. I’m going to feel all the things, remember to be gentle with myself and those I love, that life is so precious and there are so many things for which to be grateful, and to practice living my best self by being present, by taking moments to breathe and check in with myself. To see the sunlight filtering in through the curtains and really hear my little girl when she proclaims, “The sun is awake! And so am I!” and to enjoy the soft, melodic sound of my baby boy cooing in the background.
Celebrating all the things that matter, staying healthy and connected, and living from a place of love–yes, that’s what will get me through.