Check-In: How Are You, Really?

I’ve been going on lots of walks

How are you, really?

Hey y’all.

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.

How are you? Is there anything I can pray for or keep in mind?

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6 comments

  • I hope things get easier for you, I know I was low at the beginning of January as everything came to a big stop here (numbers in Ireland went through the roof) – and especially as I had a quiet christmas I assumed everyone else was (!!!) I know its not a blame game but it really got overwhelming.
    I was glad to have January done with as the days are now getting much longer and I can make plans – they are limited as there is a 5km travel ban – so plans are made accordingly, this week its seed sewing and next week I may chance transplanting some roses (still a frost risk here so deliberating on that one!) – Its all very tame, but I think I will be glad of it when I am sitting in the garden this summer (and maybe even have guests over !)

    • That’s a good idea to make small plans for the near future. I’m hoping to have a friend visit for Easter as long as we can get Covid-tested and there aren’t any late-season snow storms.

  • I’m sorry you have to wait for therapy. I hope you get in soon. In the meantime, walks sound good! Thank you for posting a picture of East Rock; I used to live near there and it made me smile.

    • I’m within walking distance to East Rock Park, but it’s not super convenient, so I haven’t spent much time there until this week. Now I’m going to make it a weekly walk.

  • I’m glad you’re talking about just how difficult life is right now. It’s rough. I have been work from home for almost a year, and I go between loving not having to wake up early and slog to the office, and going stir-crazy from never leaving my house. I miss going places, seeing people, touching friends and family, not worrying 24/7. Some days are better than others, and I think we have some sort of a light at the end of the tunnel? I recognize I have immense privilege that I have a job that supports working from home, and the weather is fairly nice here so I can get outside. But thinking about *things* in the world is exhausting, and I feel like a lot of us are reaching a point where we can’t imagine life any other way. Anyways, I hear you and I’m sorry, and I wish there was some magical way to make everything better. For now, we just have to keep imagining how great it will feel to get this weight off our shoulders. Much love being sent your way

    • Thanks, Elizabeth. I think you’re right that we’re kind of in this perpetual state of acknowledging what we do have and still wishing for the old joys of people and crowds and public spaces. I’ve been checking in with a lot of people today and it has made me feel much more connected.

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