How are you, really?
Because of the pandemic, I am taking far fewer outfit photos these days, which means I am sharing far less of my life. Traditionally, those have been the catch-all posts to just shoot the breeze.
So I thought I would sit down and write a personal update. The truth is, I’m not doing that well right now. As much as I have tried to remain optimistic and look for the good, going back to another semester of Zoom school has both exhausted me and reopened scabs of pandemic-related isolation and grief.
While many of my blogging colleagues plug away at personal style posts and update their social media feeds, I have mostly been sitting on the couch spacing out. I’ve neglected to stay in contact with people, I’m constantly having to push against apathy to get through class readings, and I simply don’t feel passionate about anything.
I am aware that what I’m describing are classic symptoms of depression. I’m currently on a waiting list for local therapy.
It’s hard to talk about these things publicly. Regardless of who you are or what your social context is, I think our pull yourself up by the bootstraps culture permeates the way we talk about wellness and mental health. We feel like we can’t speak from the heavy middle of things, that we have to say “I’m not great, but I’m getting better.”
But, right now, I’m not getting better. I am tired: of the pandemic, of continuing and entrenched prejudices that harm those I love, and of losing access to the physical world in so many ways.
As someone learning how to be pastoral and do pastoral work, I feel like I’ve been trying to cover up the lows. To show a brave face and say the right things to make everyone else feel better. But I’m not in the mood to cheerlead.
Compared to last March, I am more grounded in the reality that this, right here, is what life has to be for now. I am aware that I am not alone in my sadness, exhaustion, and anger. But I don’t want to pretend that I have figured out a way to make this unworkable reality somehow workable, somehow good.