My Pandemic Self
You are Okay….
You are Okay…
I found myself saying these words more and more, especially as the pandemic grew from one country to the entire world. It became a mantra, a chant.
“You are okay.” When the world seemed to go crazy and schools shut down and toilet tissue disappeared off shelves.
“You are okay.” When cities then states then countries begin to go on lockdown, and it seemed as if we woke up in the midst of the science fiction movies I detest.
“You are okay.” When I was suddenly told I would work from home until further notice.
“You are okay”.
I went from saying it when traumatic events happened to saying it all day because suddenly everything became trauma. Stuck at home all day in a two-bedroom vintage home with a newly disabled, moody, depressed, and scared spouse. “You are okay.” Cooking 3 to 4 times a day and washing dishes repeatedly because I ran out of things to do. “You are okay.” I took six weeks of mental health therapy to deal with my emotions after witnessing the death of George Floyd. I was in so much emotional pain that I realized even the life coach needs coaching at times. “You will be okay.” I postponed finishing my book because I could not focus. “You are okay.” I gained 30 extra pounds (dubbed the corona 30!) that I did not need because food became my “safe” place. “You are okay.”
As time moved along, I began to understand that “You are okay” meant different things in each situation. It meant that I am terrified but right now I am choosing to be brave. It means that I feel out of control and so it is okay to control the one thing I can, even if that is the dishes. It means that sometimes I am not okay but, in the future…whether it is a minute or hour or day from now I will be okay.
This mantra has been my balm for all the plans that vanished by the wayside, the heartache that I thought would consume me, the grief that did consume me, the loneliness that made me dread waking up.
“You will be okay” I had to adjust to a new normal and reach inside myself for strength that I forgot I had.
“You will be okay” Sometimes there was no strength left and I had to realize that I would still be “Okay”.
“You will be okay” has soothed and comforted me when the world and everything that was familiar could not. I remind myself that each and every time things got bad, they have always returned to good or even better.
“I have always been okay”.
So, I lend it to you… the power of those three words…” You will be okay.”
When the rent is due, and you have no money ….” You will be okay”
When the kitchen is dirty, and you have to clean it…” You will be okay.”
When you are lonely and can not possibly watch one more tv show…” You will be okay.”
When it seems like you have taken one step forward and 5 steps back…” You will be okay.”
When your heart is broken….” You will be okay.”
When it seems hopeless….” You will be okay.”
When you are scared and find that fear has consumed you…” You will be okay.”
When you are bored, and you find that one day is just like the last day….” You will be okay.”
When you watch what seems like everyone be happy and prosperous during this pandemic and you compare it with your life…. I promise you….” You are okay” and “You will be okay.”
And even when this passes these words will still be available to you when you need them…
” You are okay!”