Maintaining distance

Social distancing day 10,548:


Not working today, so lazing at home.



  • Discussed the news with the hubs.
  • Made menu and grocery list for next two weeks.
  • Studying my Spanish book.
  • Getting ready for a continuing education webcast.
  • Gave the cat her flea treatment.


Living the dream? Oddly, yes. While this is a horrible situation, it takes me back to the end of my cancer treatment.  I fully believe that any situation that drives you to the brink of a meeting with the grim reaper makes you assess your priorities.


Was I working too much?  Was I not focused on my family?  Was I doing anything for my own mental health?


I gravely thought about all these questions and more.  And I incorporated the answers into my life.  Yes, I worked too much and allocated too much stress to my job.  So I went back to work in a lower position and salary and loved it.  No stress allowed, I promised myself I would quit if I ceased to enjoy it.


I slowed down my life.  I accepted that I needed more peace and downtime.  I stayed home and eliminated much in the way of outside activities.  I tried to let myself heal.


But at some point, I started pulling harder on my leash.  As I took on more responsibility at work, I fell into bad habits.  I let stress creep in.  I pushed myself to get out more.  While that was mostly a good thing, sometimes I regretted going against my better judgment.  I convinced myself that staying home and resting was wrong because I am healthy.


When the self isolation mania first started, my anxiety went back off the charts, practically overnight.  I had flashbacks to chemo.  All the progress I had made in the last year with my mental health was out the window.  I seriously felt out of control.


Then I remembered what my therapist told me early on.  That I should not beat myself up, and that sometimes I need to give myself permission to not be ok.  It was sort of like slapping myself.  From that day on I slowly reintegrated the control mechanisms I have learned.  Taking a break when stressed.  Appreciating little things.  Focusing my attention and energy on productive activities.  Resting when I need to rest.  And the most basic, cold water and a fan when the panic attacks flare.


I am getting back on track.  Even when the world re-opens for me, I am slowing my life back down for the things that matter to me.  And locking the stress out.  It’s a wake up call that I will heed.


For those who are struggling, please find help.  A therapist, a friend, a support group.  This is not the time for a stiff upper lip.  You can live your best life, but use your tribe to get there.  Let’s do this together.


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One Comment

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