A Bit Obsessed…

I haven’t been able to quit reading about Covid19 and thinking about it. I’m not afraid that I’m going to get it. In fact, I have a hard time remembering that I’m in a high risk group.

I’ll read something about what people 60 and older should do and it takes me a minute to realize that means me. I mean, I’m reading it, and kind of nodding along with, and then when I realize it’s me, I’m like, “Wait a minute – don’t go to the grocery? Have someone bring me food? Seriously?”

And then I remember that it is serious. Damn.

I keep trying to just wrap my head around this. I think it’s going to change the world as we know it and I don’t think we can even begin to know how at this point.

Plus – it’s just like the beginning of a dystopian future movie. Isn’t it? Sometimes I read something – or even say something – and hear Twilight Zone music in my head.

I don’t actually hear the whole thing, just the signature bars…

Anyhow, I’ve been poking at it, like a sore tooth.

Then I saw this poem that Jade posted. It shifted my energy in some odd way that I can’t define. Anyhow, I’m less worried now. It’s like I”ve moved into Acceptance for real. So that’s kinda cool. Thanks, Jade.

Pandemic
What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath—
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
Center down.
And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.
Promise this world your love--
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.
--Lynn Ungar 3/11/20

14 thoughts on “A Bit Obsessed…

    • Oh, that’s interesting! You’re like at the opposite end of the spectrum from me. So many people I know are being affected by the steps we’re taking to mitigate the damage that it’s hard not to read about it think about it. I think it’s going to have long lasting ramifications…

      Liked by 1 person

      • The long lasting effects is exactly why I’m not burying myself in it. It’s impacting us here, too. Daddy works in the hospitality industry. The hotel is hardly booked and all reservations through June have been cancelled. I”m at a VERY high risk for the virus as are a couple of my closest friends. All the schools in the area are closed through March and some into mid April. I like to be educated, but not bombarded with it.

        When I was in school wrapping up my psych degree one of my classes taught about the effects of 24/7 bombardment of news like 9/11, this pandemic, and the fires that struck here again this October. The news creates PTSD in and of itself. The event going on is difficult enough to live with and deal with. Staying tuned into it 24/7 and worrying about it all the time adds to the level of trauma.

        I’m hearing that it’ll take several YEARS to get this totally under control on the global scale… and within our nation. In the meantime it’s really important to LIVE and keep things as normal as possible… even within the abnormality.

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      • Oh, that makes perfect sense! I was surprised because you said you didn’t understand the obsession, but I can understand deciding not to let yourself be bombarded with it! Of course you’re right, that’s a form of secondary trauma and does cause many of the same symptoms as PTSD – just like you said.

        I think I feel a need to stay with it and try to come to terms with it partly because part of my job is going to involve listening to people who are struggling with different aspects of this. I don’t need to have their answers (thank goodness) but I need to be able to really listen and be present for what they’re experiencing. For me, being open to the feelings and letting myself flow with whatever comes up is part of the process I need.

        And I think it’s so important that we all do this the way that works best for us. Thanks for explaining where you stand and why you feel this way!! 💜

        Liked by 1 person

      • You’re welcome. I was a crisis counselor in a mental health facility for 6 years. doing hospital diversion work. I had to learn how to manage stress, anxiety, strong emotions, etc, so that I could be present for my clients and not mix my stuff up into theirs. Boundaries were an integral part of what I did. Distance from the trauma and struggles are a big part of what I learned both for myself AND from those around me who taught me along my career path.

        To be clear, I still don’t understand the need or desire to obsessively be up to the moment with the news on the situation. It’s unhealthy and stressful. I can’t begin to imagine why anyone would CHOOSE to do that to themselves.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Nice to know that you have a lot of experience with trauma too. I have 25 years experience as a psychotherapist, working with people who had C-PTSD, in the midst of a community with increasing levels of violence. Part of my current work is to coach people who experience secondary trauma at work to reduce the risk of burnout. I’ve spent a big piece of my life learning to deal with trauma, both direct and secondary.

        And I’m noticing that I feel pretty defensive about your comments, which is interesting. I feel like you’re being very judgmental about how other people “should” deal with this current global crisis. I think we just have very different stances on the best way to manage life and the challenges it presents. I take a mindfulness approach, which means I can feel whatever comes up for me, acknowledge it, and tolerate the discomfort, knowing that feelings are like waves that come and go. That doesn’t mean I think you should do the same, I think that we each have our own processes that work.

        It’s ok if you don’t understand my need to scroll FB looking at what’s going on. It is that same need that has led me to some wonderful examples of the ways people are coming together and supporting each other.

        I’m glad you’ve found coping skills that work for you. Mine actually work for me as well. My blog is my safe space, where I can process whatever is going on with me without censoring myself to make sure everyone else is ok or to be concerned about whether others approve. Shrug, you’re entitled to your opinion, and of course you can be as judgmental as you like. And I still don’t agree. 🤷🏼‍♀️

        Liked by 1 person

      • Olivia, if you are finding my comments judgmental, I suggest you look further at yourself and why you are needing to defend yourself. What I’ve said all along is that I don’t UNDERSTAND the desire or need to stay plugged in to the news and updates all the time.

        In the last 3 years I’ve lived through 3 MAJOR crisis which have hit my entire area. Huge parts of my county and city burned 2 twice with a year in between with threats of other local fires hitting us, too. These fires impacted far more people than the global pandemic has thus far. Over 2 million people dislocated from their homes during evacuation and 40 thousand people lost their homes and businesses. The damage is still all around us.

        What I’ve learned from these experiences is that staying tuned in only hypes up the panic level and makes it harder for people to manage themselves through a really difficult time. I also learned that after these fires, even as recently as they were, our area doesn’t panic like many others.

        One last thing, I don’t expect you to take care of my feelings in your blog. When you post something publicly for the entire world to have access to, you must be prepared for people to disagree with you and be able to handle disagreement. You’re not sitting in your living room chatting with your girlfriends. You’ve posted on the world wide web where anyone and everyone has access. If you’re so uncomfortable with the idea that people who read your blog don’t agree with everything you post or question why you do something/feel something…. take a long hard look at yourself again.

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      • Succulent Savage, I’m not upset about anything you said. I’m glad that you have a strategy for dealing with trauma that is working well for you. When I said I was feeling defensive, yes, I’m aware that those feelings are about me, not you. My observation that I thought your comments were judgemental was just that – my observation. I do try to be aware of my own reactions to things and pay attention to what that’s about.

        I don’t expect you to take care of my feelings. This is the internet, and, as you point out, you can say anything you like. As far as this not being a “safe space,” you’re right. Except this particular community of bloggers, many of whom I’ve known for years, do tend to be supportive and kind. If they don’t agree, they often just don’t comment. Or they say it in a gentle way. Or they email me. Or they might do like you did at some point yesterday and make it their own blogpost.

        I don’t even disagree with what you were saying about how to deal with trauma. Keeping a distance is often helpful. It’s just not what I’m doing right now. I don’t have any hard feelings toward you, and hope that y’all are getting through these difficult times well.

        Liked by 1 person

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