I Am Not Okay. Are you? (delayed post)
Just when hope appeared on the horizon with news of the arrival of the much-anticipated COVID vaccine, those of us in Tennessee, were blessed with the beauty and the beast of a winter storm. What is seldom experienced in our area of the country, especially to the degree we are experiencing now, supplied us with more than 8 inches of snow and ice blanketing our city, sending us into another state of slow eroding panic.
Frozen pipes led to overworked plumbers and utility workers with additional news of a main water line bursting causing our water, the fresh, often bragged about Artesian well water of Memphis to be filled with bacteria. For some of us, it was just an additional inconvenience having to boil water for this and that. But, for those of us who never completely gained relief from mounting anxiety that COVID, along with the public display of racial unrest brought on,
this has sent us swirling into yet another abyss.
Again, we are trapped in our homes. Some of us with people we don’t care for and that don’t care for us. Others of us have children we love and adore but the noise and busyness that their consistent presence brings, pulls on our grounding reserves leaving us tired and frustrated. Moments of relief are felt in the dead of night when everyone finally falls to sleep, as we attempt to take rest in our temporary Vampire state. Sometimes when we may all agree to watch a certain movie or play a game and that decision is accompanied by an hour or so of sought-after peace, but this Vampire is just about movied and gamed out.
We are not Okay. We may respond to your texts and calls with words that sound like we are good, but please allow me to explain without any uncertainty, WE…ARE…NOT…OKAY.
Our ability to tolerate small things, utilize our healthy coping skills to help us overcome daily struggles, ability to speak positive affirmations and remain in the present has been exhausted. Understand, there is nothing that can be said, sung, or wrote to us that will cure this ill. To some strange degree, writing out these concerns seems to lighten the load, alleviate some of the pressure that keeps trying to mount in my chest, by offering a place to vent frustrations.
Don’t worry, some of us know what to do and are anxiously and eagerly doing so daily, less we lose our minds. We pray, clean, journal, work, cook, enjoy nature’s beauty, practice grounding, read, pray, stream our favorite shows, text, call, pray, scan our social media pages, eat, talk to our loved ones, play with our pets, make TikTok videos, and pray some more.
Don’t fret, some of us, in particular this writer, will make it through and come out on the other side of this stronger and more creative than ever. But there are those out there, whom we know and love, that may appear and even sound okay, but know this, They ARE…NOT…OKAY.
Use this weekend to call your friends, coworkers, church members, relatives, and neighbors. You don’t have to do anything special or spend a long time doing it. You’ll never know how it fills someone’s day responding to your texts or calls. It helps to know that we are important enough for someone to take time out of their schedule and check on us or just say Hi.
We have lost so many and so much over the past year. Let’s not lose our love and concern for humanity. You can’t change things or make us okay but just like the Serenity prayer requests, God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. Amen.
Go ahead start reaching out right now. It has a reciprocal effect.