I’ve been sitting here looking at a blank screen for almost 15 minutes, cursor blinking at me, Carrie Bradshaw style. I don’t know exactly how to communicate what I’ve been feeling lately but I feel like I need it off my chest so get ready for some word vomit.
If I had to put my feelings into one sentence it would be this: I feel stuck. There is no flow of creativity or excitement coursing through my blood which makes me feel almost paralyzed at times when I sit to accomplish… well… anything.
I perform well under pressure so my marketing work is actually the one thing going really well. I get paid to do things by a certain date for my clients so that keeps me in check. But with Lemon Stripes, I feel like I’m floating around and can’t get my thoughts or ideas together the way I’ve been able to for over a decade. This is highly unsettling because a big part of my identity is tied up in my work… probably too big a part but that’s a story for another day.
The stuck feeling isn’t anxiety though (which I’m more used to). It’s something else.
Before I went on medication, I used to go through cycles of anxiety, high anxiety, panic attacks, then mild depression. The depressed state would only last for a week or less but I always knew it would end which made it more livable.
For the last two weeks, I’ve had a similar feeling of lethargy and stagnancy that I’d get in those times. But now it’s not a part of any “normal” cycle so I’m working extra hard to take steps to make sure I get through it. Talking through it in therapy and staying on top of my meds has made me feel more confident.
But as a Type A human being, I want to know why. When it comes to mental health, I’ve been taught over and over again that there isn’t necessarily one particular thing that causes me to feel one way or another. It’s a physical condition in my brain.
Yet here we are in what is by far the weirdest period in most of our lives and it feels bigger than a chemical imbalance. There is a lot of fear in life right now and that fear has tampered my spirit more than I’d like to admit.
Going into winter, I have a fear of major lockdowns again. Fear of working from home with no childcare, and our household income on my shoulders if Anel has to shut down his gym again.
There is a fear for my daughter and all the kids who are growing up in this strange world. For their mental and physical health.
I have an overwhelming fear of the outcome of this election which is why I’m doing everything I possibly can to help Biden win (sidebar, join me tomorrow at 2:30 pm EST, to learn about how you can help phone bank in key states!).
Plus a general fear for the state of our nation. The amount of hatred I see online both towards myself and others has grown exponentially over the last year. Vile, hateful, disgusting insults are thrown out seemingly without a second thought.
Oh, and QAnon. Just the fact that it exists. Yikes.
Honestly just writing out that list made me feel better! But what I find what helps me the most is something really simple: getting out of the house and exploring.
In addition to fear, antsiness is part of my problem… I’m sure you all can relate to that in some shape or form! I’m antsy to go visit my mom in California and I’d kill to spend a weekend away with Anel. But those things aren’t part of our 2020 reality.
Our options are obviously limited in this day and age but even working from a local coffee shop with outdoor wifi instead of at home makes a big difference. Over the weekend I drove into the city to walk the High Line with my cousin who I haven’t seen since pre-COVID days. Being (safely) in the energy of a new place was like a jolt of electricity that I needed. This also inspired me to finally put my feelings into writing.
In conclusion, I have no conclusion. But if anyone else feels like this I want you to know that you’re not alone and I really believe we will all get through this. Do the things that make you feel alive no matter how small they are!