Nearly everyone I know has slowly been breaking apart for the past five months. We’re extremely lonely or depressed or scared or frustrated or all of the above. And we’re the lucky ones.
I’ve had several “breaking points” over the past 5 months, but this week I just seem to have broken off a few pieces of myself and have no idea where to look for them. The overall morale of my staff, my colleagues, my friends and my family is bleak at best. I’ve said before how helpless I feel because there seems to be so little I can do for them, but I’ve come to the point where I feel just as helpless and hopeless as they do. I have many good moments, and that’s what they are–moments. Seconds. Tiny tidbits of light and goodness and laughter. And honestly that’s what I try to show everyone. Those smiling pics on social media? I am typically really that happy in that moment. It’s the next minute you don’t want to see. Or the next hour. Might want to wait until the next day.
The past few days have been seesaw days, up and down, light and dark. But my frustration level with my work has been off the charts. I’m so sick of cleaning surfaces and quarantining items and for a few hours I thought some of that would be lessened. But of course there is so little consistency in the library world when it comes to procedures that my little light of hope was dashed and I might have had a mini meltdown in a Zoom meeting filled with Maine librarians. My exhaustion and frustration bubbled over. Me being the “good girl” I am, I apologized and I really didn’t want to offend anyone, but for fuck’s sake! Can we get on the same goddamned page for just once?!? (no pun intended)
*sigh* There. Thanks. I needed that.
And, of course, the school plans are out. The school my son attends will have hybrid learning like many schools in Maine, which includes going to school for 2 half days and remote learning the rest of the week. Just a remote option is not currently available, but I did let them know I’d like that if it ever becomes an option.
Have I been judged by some parents for not homeschooling (or wanting to homeschool) my child? Yup. Am I mad as hell about it? Yup.
If you have the money or opportunity to homeschool your child, kudos for you. I’m happy for you. Really. If others are choosing to send their child to school OR if others have to send their child to school because they work outside the home and their child has already been home THE ENTIRE SUMMER without any contact with other kids except the occasional Discord or video game chat, then let them be, Judge Judy. As my lovely friend said to me this morning, “They can go fuck themselves.”
If you think any decision is simple or easy when it comes to my kid, you’re damn wrong. Don’t you think I’ve thought about all the consequences for both my son and my husband? What about the fact that I work in a public building and see 50 people every day? Don’t you think I’ve thought about THAT?
*insert deep breath here*
The thing is…I’m tired. I’m tired of being afraid, I’m tired of feeling like my head will explode from all the information and plans that change from week to week, I’m tired of wanting to feel numb so I can’t feel all of my feelings.
I know I’m preaching to the choir. I know many of you feel and think all of the same things I do. So what do we do about it? Hell if I know. I’ve done all the shit people tell you to do–exercise, eat well, laugh, talk with friends, etc. I also take an anti-depressant, rage at the universe, and occasionally drink until my brain quiets down.
Since we’re all in this together (which, by the way, I am so damn sick of that phrase), what do YOU do to not go completely insane or sad? Or if you’re already at that point, do you have any thoughts of how to climb out of that hole you’re in? Do you need a hand? I have really long arms, orangutan-length in fact, so just let me know.
I’ll leave you with a photo of the sky near my house tonight. There were dragonflies in the air, too, but you can’t see them so just imagine the magic.
I hope this doesn’t come off wrong since I’m lucky enough to be able to homeschool my kids (lucky – I keep telling myself – is what homeschooling is… 🤪😉). Nevertheless, I get low and have had more than my share of dark nights of the soul. Beyond your very good list of ways to combat suffering, one of the first things I do with it is let it take me over. I wallow in it, at least a little. It also helps me to read poetry written either by folks who have already suffered more than me or who write directly about suffering (I am loving Alice Walker right now).
Beyond that, one of my go-to’s is to cry-sing really loudly in in the car — really moan to songs about suffering, especially anything that has a cry in it. It’s like yogic chanting (good vagus nerve stimulator for rest and digest response), only it involves Elton John and blubbering (sort of an act of purposely purging the angst).
I love you, and your work at the library should be commended with the highest honors, and I mean it. Like monuments of librarians everywhere. And pregnant women. Or monuments of pregnant librarians. And CEO pay.
Anyway. I love you.
I love you, too, my friend. And of course it doesn’t come off wrong because you’re homeschooling! I have no problem with folks that are able to do that if that’s what they choose to do. I just don’t want to be judged for not doing that, you know?
I love the cry-sing method. I haven’t done that in a while. It’s actually the sing-cry method for me, but such a good thing. Thank you, Holly. ❤