If it’s okay to not be okay, then I am the okayest.

Last week was GREAT. I handled the transition into home/blended/online school well and Wesley and I found a good rhythm and I was able to help my daughter with Math (I predict next year I won’t be able to be much help anymore) and I cooked many good meals and kept the domestic ship afloat even with more people at home all day to destroy the place. I felt good about myself and my attitude and my handling of the chaos.

But this week is the first week with all of that AND my Mom’s new dialysis schedule. (Did I update you on Mom? They sent her home from the hospital with a diagnosis of end stage renal failure which means dialysis forever. 3 days a week, 4 hours a session. FOREVER.) And I don’t know if it’s that or if it’s the fact that it got cold so running is not as desirable or the fact that my shin splints flared up so I’m not sure I’d want to run anyway or the overdose of Easter candy or what but I feel…just…off.

One minute I’m cracking up with a kid and the next minute I’m hiding in my bathroom crying because I’m overwhelmed by *gestures wildly at the world around her*. The internet is irritating me more and more because we’ve entered the SHAME EVERYONE phase of the pandemic and while I get it…I’m annoyed by a lot of things too…I’m not going to post my annoyance all over social media to shame everyone. THIS IS HARD AS FUCK and I just am not going to put more negativity out into the universe in the form of shaming people.

HA! Look! I shamed people on the internet! By making them feel ashamed by shaming people!

Uggg.

I’m also feeling really insecure lately. I don’t follow a lot of people I don’t know in real life on social media. None of those “influencer” types who make me feel bad about myself. I have very real friends who live very real lives and are very honest with their personal challenges but for some reason…ALL OF THEM ARE DOING ALL OF THIS PERFECTLY AND I FEEL LIKE I AM FAILING. Maybe I’m just suddenly aware of the beautiful homes in the backgrounds of photos and jealous of space for offices where I don’t have to be on camera for all of my husband’s meetings because his “office” is in the one main room of our house and I have to fix food periodically for the kids. Maybe I’m embarrassed I don’t bake more, or know how to bake. Maybe I’m ashamed I’m not being more active and that I’m eating more chocolate. I’m not reading ANY books and I’m not even watching ANY TV. I’m doing a lot of moping. I’ve been the queen of moping this week.

Wait.

*shakes head a little and takes a deep breath*

Let’s try this a different way. I’m pivoting.

Dear Kim,
You need to quit comparing yourself to all of the amazing women you see on social media. You need to quit feeling ashamed for moping. This is a hard and difficult time for everyone. We are experiencing a global trauma and it is okay to not be okay. I’m not even going to list out all of the things on your plate right now as reasons why it’s okay you’re stressed. Do you know why? Because you could have NOTHING on your plate and it is STILL OKAY TO BE ANXIOUS. Anxiety is your brain and your body reacting to perceived stress by pushing chemicals through your blood that make you react with a fight or flight response and so it makes it hard to focus on anything but that stress. Take your medicine. Make a hot tea. Take a breath.

You are one human amidst billions and everyone is worried. It’s okay not to be able to focus on books or TV or anything because the world is a mess right now and our future is uncertain. The only thing you have control over is your actions. Take a moment to love yourself for surviving. You’ve made it to this point because you’ve survived all of the points before and for that you deserve an abundance of love from YOURSELF. Love yourself, Kim. You deserve that right now. Find ways to harness that love. Maybe just a slow walk in the woods. Maybe quiet meditation on gratitude. Maybe a long bath. Just take a few breaths and center yourself on love for yourself.

And then…when you feel up for it, try to put that love out into the universe in any way you see fit. But not until you’re ready. Fill your cup. Take the time. Don’t beat yourself up because other women don’t need to do the same thing. You are You. You have your own needs because your body and your mind and your histories are all different and if you need time to manifest self love before you can even thinking of posting baking videos or art projects on social media…DO NOT BEAT YOURSELF UP OVER IT. Just focus on your soul and what your soul needs so you can serve the people who need you.

Love, Yourself.

Here’s to all of us taking a minute to be kind to ourselves in these moments. Don’t compare yourself to anyone. Literally. Anyone. Just focus on what YOU need. Take a breath. Let yourself be tired and anxious and scared and worried. All of that is okay and expected.

Love to you all and love to myself.

10 thoughts on “If it’s okay to not be okay, then I am the okayest.”

  1. I am not okay either. I beat myself up over it because I feel like I should be more okay because I still have my job, my family, including my parents and sister, are currently healthy and okay. My Dad’s afib is under control. I’m doing my job, but the constant tele/video conferencing exhausts me, so it is hard to get any work or anything else done. My kids are doing okay with school, but I feel bad when they come to talk to me and I have to say “I’m in a meeting” over and over again. My house is a mess. I strategically position my visor camera or don’t use it. Motivation for exercise is low, but I’m trying to get myself outside on nice days and using virtual Christy to make me do stuff (in classes I pay for). Oh and sleep – that is terrible. Between the hot flashes and racing brain, night is when I read, and sleep little. I’m trying to limit my news consumption but mostly not successfully. There has been a lot of chocolate and alcohol consumption. I’m not okay either! The thing so far that has made me happiest was video chatting with you and our friends! I really miss being with friends!

  2. I’m not okay either. Is anyone really okay with the world the way it is these days? On Monday, I had to mute a conference call I was running and drag my hysterical child out of the room and then listen to him cry while I wrapped up the call. I felt like a failure as a mom and as a professional. Yesterday, I gave up in the middle of the day and just let him watch Disney+ for three hours because I was tired of fighting about schoolwork and I had my own work to do. Plus I had an off and on argument with my husband for half of the day about something that is basically meaningless.

    We’re at that point of the year where my allergies are TERRIBLE and I’ve had a sinus headache since Sunday.

    Like you, I’m having a hard time getting into reading or watching anything on TV, so it feels like there is no escape.

    I’m so sorry to hear about your mom. I had no idea that dialysis took so long or had to happen so frequently, although I have to admit I only have a hazy understanding of how it works.

    And I will take your advice and try to be kind to myself. We’re all doing our best in difficult times.

  3. Thank you for reminding me it’s okay to not be okay…… I’m not okay either. Let’s make a coffee date when the dust clears. Here’s to self-love and refilling our cups.

  4. Dear Kim and Colleen and LC and Hilary and Kathy
    I see you.
    I hear you.
    I feel you.
    You are not alone.
    Julie

  5. Amen sister. When I’m feeling “better” about things, I recognize all of the good I am doing in my little world. When I’m washing the counter for the 50th time today or putting things away for the 100th time I think “why do other people not seem to be having this struggle?” It can’t just be my people who are slobs. It didn’t dawn on me until just this week, that this is a world wide trauma, and we’re all handling it the best we know how. And I read that those of us who survived trauma in our younger years are having different struggles than people who didn’t. And honestly who didn’t have some kind of trauma in their youth? You’re doing great just as you are, and I’m so sorry about your mom’s illness as this will be life change for all of you.

  6. I can keep it together for about 3 days, and then I’m in a puddle of mess. Awfulness. So, we’re OK together.

    I’m sorry to hear about your mom. That is a very difficult diagnosis and plan treatment. The next sentences are practical advice, and I understand that practical advice can make you [not YOU, the general *you*] lose your mind when you have anxiety, so feel free to stop reading.

    Consider outsourcing some of the driving to treatment and hanging out at treatment. Especially once she’s gotten into the routine. There may even be funding for it. Medicaid, American Kidney Fund, the local Agency on Aging. http://www.alabamaageline.gov/programs.html

    Please don’t believe that having your mom live near you means that *you* [and I do mean you] have to do all of the hands on stuff. A big part of being her helper is to find other helpers. Get respite. Manage. Those are all Real Tasks and taking them off her plate, and allowing someone else to do the driving is caregiving.

  7. You’re awesome – I’m often reading your posts thinking, “Man, I wish I had that much empathy/social skills/creativity/consideration for others/ability to grow a social support network.

    I cant imagine the emotional stress I’d feel if I were doing the job you’re doing for your mother, while also raising teenagers.

    You are killing it in so many ways. Moping is allowed!

  8. I am sure you know this and I will repeat it because it bears repeating: do not compare your insides to someone’s outsides. Just because people’s internet presence seems picture perfect on the outside does not mean that it’s a reflection of their inside.
    Remember how you chose to downsize your house and get rid of a lot of things you don’t use or need? Remember how good that made you feel? Your husband works in the main room b/c this size house made the most sense for your family. Right now this is inconvenient, but it’s also temporary. Things are uncertain right now and we don’t know how long this will last but it is still temporary. In the long run, this house will still be in your family’s best interest. You really are the okayest as anyone not having some struggle during this time is probably a sociopath.?

  9. I see you.

    I’m not okay. I thought phone calls were draining, but now video calls! Friends wanted to use MarcoPolo and I only lasted 2 days on it. That said, I relish the video chats with my parents and friends because it’s the only way to see them right now.

    Sending love to you and yours and all of your readers. Together, we’ll get through this.

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