Social distancing while being homebound may be a new experience for many. But for us, this quarantine has been more of the same.
Every year when the weather begins to chill, I give a half-hearted wave to the world and tuck myself in for a long winter nap. I spend the majority of cold and flu season in self-induced hibernation; maintaining distance, vigilantly washing hands, wearing masks in clinics, reluctantly canceling plans with friends. For six months out of the year, being immune-compromised means that my world mostly exists within the four walls of my home.
It can get very lonely. And maybe you’re feeling lonely right now too. Continue reading
Adversity, loss and grief are a part of life. And so is getting mad.
Chances are high that you’ll experience anger before this crisis is done. And far too often, anger gets a bad rap. It can be easily mishandled or misunderstood.
Growing up, I believed it was better to “be nice” than to be angry. I thought that expressing any kind of anger was automatically wrong and harmful. So when I was bullied by kids at school, I never confronted them or stood up for myself. Over time I learned to suppress my anger with good behavior and a happy face.
When you’re cooped up inside for over a month, restlessness is the result. And people are demanding for relief. Extended quarantines have already resulted in protests, petitions, and a willingness to compromise social distancing.
No one likes feeling irritable and restless. But understanding and tackling it will help you stay sane and avoid irrational behaviors. Continue reading
Losing your routine, sense of normalcy, employment, social life or a family member is a lot to deal with all at once. It’s like trying to drink from a fire hose.
Life-altering events can shatter your familiar assumptions and expectations about the world; the belief that it is relatively predictable and safe (Bessel van der Kolk). Traumatic events may fragment your sense of self or your belief about God and others. These events and the disruption of your internal world can overwhelm your ability to grasp, adapt and cope with what has happened. Continue reading
This pandemic getting scary. Many of us are on a roller coaster of emotion as we hear the latest news about loved ones, ICU patients, makeshift morgues, and healthcare workers making life-or-death decisions on the front lines.
When this pandemic hit, I was already neck-deep in trauma recovery. For the last twelve months, I’ve been working through my own post-traumatic stress that had compounded for decades. Continue reading
Once again, the world is experiencing a pandemic. Only this time it’s our turn to encounter travel bans, cancelled events, stockpiling and waves of uncertainty.
The response has been quite diverse. Some are waking up to a reality that has been looming for months. Others are running a “do not fear” campaign exhorting those who are anxious. Still some are promoting conspiracy theories, dismissing preventative action, or downplaying the virus as “just the flu”.
But for my family the threat is very real.
I am one of those in the “at risk” category. As one who is immunocompromised, my actions could literally be the difference between health and hospitalization.
For now, the virus is here to stay and will likely get worse before it gets better. Am I nervous? Of course. Am I taking precautions? You bet. A mutating virus to which humans have no immunity deserves our serious attention and responsible action.
How you respond to this crisis matters. Whether you realize it or not, your actions communicate a message. The question to ask yourself is, what kind of message do I want to send? Continue reading
The sun peered through the blinds, gently nudging me awake. As I quietly slipped out of bed, fatigue and stiff joints greeted me for the day. Snuggling into a sweatshirt, I routinely followed the smell of percolating coffee.
The sun rose slowly over ridges and rooftops, casting a golden glow on all of creation. A warm cup of coffee in hand, I nestled into a white porch rocker at the edge of the deck. The dew sparkled like stars on the grass. Filling my lungs with the crisp air of spring, I treasured being the only one awake.
And like a hundred birds. Continue reading
It was yellow. I had prayed for yellow.
Moving day was set, our boxes were packed. A new house, a new marriage, a new job. The future was looking bright.
And then it happened. Something didn’t feel quite right.
Over the next few weeks my energy faltered, and my knees swelled to the size of cantaloupes. It hurt to stand, it hurt to walk, it hurt to move. Continue reading