Updated: Apr 10
I have been really struggling with lack of inspiration and enthusiasm. As time has gone by and I kept questioning my purpose in life, the entire world has fallen apart. Since my last meaningful post on February 21, I have just stopped writing. Oh, not all at once; I started a few times but then I stumbled on this very strange and empty feeling. It was a feeling I started recognizing as depression but also something felt off. It wasn’t just a feeling, though. My thoughts, my emotions, my feelings, and my body all felt off. So now what? Do I just stop and give up? I seriously felt like it. I decided to ignore all this and just do what I do best, work. My work hours were crazy. I was putting in 12 to 13 hour days. Well, that kept me exhausted and certainly busy to the point that my functioning and my health were diminishing. I tried keeping a positive outlook but, truly, now my body had started speaking louder. As health matters started coming up, in a way I had no choice but to start paying attention. The long days were killing me, but me being me, I would not let that keep me from doing what I have always done: work harder at everything so I could overcome anything. When life and circumstances got harder I would become tougher at any cost. That was me all my life—taking care of everything, everyone. It really gave me a sense of purpose. It didn't matter what, I always looked at solutions to any problem by forging ahead as hard as I could. I felt like fixing everything and taking care of everything was somehow my responsibility. This time, however, I didn't have any solutions so I started avoiding the problem. Feeling overwhelmed and tired, I set my writing aside and kept hiding in my work and my business. That all changed when the world fell apart from a tiny little virus. Fear and isolation engulfed the masses. The unknown became such a strong reality and we all withdrew. Not just me, everyone started isolating and distancing. Mass hysteria was spreading, people started hoarding the basic necessities, and supplies became sparse. The scary part was that I suddenly was reliving my childhood, only this was today, now. The media coverage of this new contagious disease was spreading fear and chaos. People didn’t know how to navigate this new way of living with unpredictable outcomes. I didn’t know how to navigate this new way of living. The cautionary measures were needed and wise to adhere to, but the fear it evoked was strong. I watched that happen all around me. I kept telling myself that I have been through worse and again started trying to focus on the positives, only I really couldn't find any. Because of social distancing I had to close my business and now the one thing that had kept me focused was shut down. Running a small business during a global crisis can be extremely stressful on top of everything else. Everyone was experiencing a shared social emotion like never before. We are all going through this together. Ok, well now what? I had to be still. For the first time in my entire life, I had to simply “be.” Only I did not know how. I felt empty, and void of any answers, solutions, ideas, and escape. As more and more pieces of daily life started shutting down, isolation, fear, and depression started hitting me more. Now what? National parks, public places, and business were closing to keep the public secure. My “escapes” became fewer and fewer. For the first time in my entire life I had to do “me.” I did not want to write, read, listen to anymore news. I just wanted to sleep. Of course this is when I recognized that I needed to fight these feelings or they would get worse. When depression hits me I have this small window of opportunity to fight it or it swallows me into a deep, dark, and lonely place. If you were to meet me, you wouldn't know; few would. It is something I have battled all my life. It now makes sense that I found escape routes all my life. I never dealt with substance abuse, but I struggled with anger. I was even angry at God for a while. I struggled with loss of self esteem, no direction, and such fear of life itself. Fear can be a powerful weapon depending how you use it. If I was to evaluate all my actions back then they were led by underlying fears. Life was my teacher. I chose to write about this today because this afternoon I had such a huge revelation. As I was on the bike path roller blading and giving my all to beat my best time in which to finish, all of a sudden I asked myself why? Why am I in such a hurry to try to beat my best time? Why? The sun is shining, birds are singing, the river is calmly flowing next to me, and all I want to do is rush. I would be missing all the beauty and life around me. For the first time in my entire life I don't have to take care of anyone or anything. All I have to do is be, just be...why cant I allow myself to do that? So, today I gave myself permission to simply be and take care of me. Feels a little selfish as I express it, but is it? Will everyone really fall apart if I don't take care of everything or be there as others’ worlds fall apart? Will the lessons they may experience make them stronger? Could there be a lot of good in letting go? Lots of questions, but I need to allow myself to be or not be. What would really happen if I would let go of this feeling I have to be in control? I guess that is what it all boils down to, the secure feeling I seem to get when I have some sense of control. How real is that though?