“It’s been a hard few years.”
Can you feel the truth rolling in your gut when you read those words?
They don’t need explanation or justification, those words speak volumes on their own.
It’s unfortunate that so few of us are saying those words… Or talking honestly about how the covid years affected us. Many are keeping their stories to themselves because of the crappy responses they heard growing up …
“What makes you think you’re so special?”
“Stop acting so Precious.”
Comments like those are hurtful. They add shame to the pain we’re already carrying and tell us that our listener isn’t a safe person to talk to… but ready or not, we need to start listening to the stories around us.
After three years of coping with the effects of covid, we’re each dealing with our own collection of covid-related after-effects and emotions. When you add that to life’s usual mix of change, grief and losses, it explains why everyone’s fuse is so short lately and why you may be feeling one inch from a meltdown more often than you’d like.
Pre-covid we’d grown accustomed to a system that exalted tireless workers and shamed anyone who “needed” a rest. That’s how we learned to pretend that we were fine. We learned to push through hunger and exhaustion, grief and sorrow as if none of that mattered. We pushed ourselves to do more with less until we were running on fumes… and we didn’t say anything about it.
Like the townsfolk in the fairytale “The Emperor’s New Clothes”, no one was willing to say: this way of life is bad for us. It’s bad for our mental, spiritual and emotional health…
Then covid arrived and pushed the system beyond its limits. Things that we could “put up with” before were suddenly too much. Some collapsed then, many more are only beginning to feel the effects now… We need to talk about what’s happening.
There are a million things that need to change if we are to live our happiest, healthiest lives and balancing the needs of everyone, is a tricky thing… but not an impossible one.
It’s scary to be the one who speaks up when others aren’t.
But we’ll never find the solutions we need, if we don’t start talking about the problems.