I don't know and that's OK.
Updated: Jul 30
This is such a wild time to be alive in the world today. Every morning I wake up and have a realization that this IS my reality. SO many thoughts and feelings have boiled up to the surface during this unknown time. Immense fear, anxiety, and worry; coupled with grief and sadness; accompanied by anger and exhaustion. The chatter I hear while walking my dog, the fear I see in posts on social media, the blame hashed out on news outlets and political forums. When will this stop? What do I do?
Yes, I said it. Through all these feelings I keep coming back to the same thought: I have been so privileged. I have spent 25 years of my life never having to worry about having enough food, toiletries, or income. I have seen tragic legislation and political warfare take place and have sympathized with those affected, but have been able to keep living my life, unaffected. But this, this pandemic, has forced the glaze over my eyes to be wiped away. I sit at the end of each day fearing that myself, my loved ones, my friends, will face immense hardship. My father has worked for the same company his whole life, over 30 years now, and he doesn’t know what income will look like during this time. I see friends who are teachers devasted by the years’ closures. I watch parents struggle to take on the necessary and important task of educating their children. My loved ones who work in the service industries like salons and restaurants, facing serious unraveling of a life they so tirelessly have built. It’s scary. I am scared. When will this stop? What do I do?
Not only do I feel privileged due to the hand I was dealt, but also biologically. This pandemic is affecting my parents, my grandparents, my most adored loved ones. I may be able to wash my hands and not touch my face, but they, they are sitting with a much greater reality. I have talked to numerous of my friends and every single one has said “I am not worried about me, but I am worried for my parents, my grandparents, etc.” When will this stop? What do I do?
I can’t help but think that I can somehow control these uncontrollable times. I want to force my friends to stay home so that our older generations can be safe. I want to demand that the older generations hoard up in their homes. I want to tell the government what I think is best and what will best help the people I know and love. I want to yell at the people who aren’t taking his seriously and thank those who are. I, I, I. We can absolutely continue to spew our opinions and thoughts on how we would or should handle this differently.
Or we could surrender permission to ourselves, others, and the world to feel. We spend so much time spinning our wheels trying to figure out what can we do. Maybe what we can do is we can name our feelings. We can hold space for others to feel. We can accept the uncomfortable. I am not saying to just sit and do nothing, but man, aren’t we ALWAYS hustling and exhausting ourselves for the next thing, the next level up in life? I am so proud and thankful of where I am today, of where YOU are today, tomorrow, and a month from now… that IS enough. We do not need to DO as much as we might need to BE. So, the nonstop loop of running questions of “When will this stop? What do we do?” I don’t have an answer to. I don’t know when this will be something we talk about in the past tense. I don’t know what we should or shouldn’t do, but I hope you grant yourself permission to not know too.
Hang in there everyone! Thank you from your Denver Counselors and Psychiatrists at The Collective!
About the Author
Emily Yetzbacher, is the Clinic Administrator of The Collective Integrated Behavioral Health located in Denver, CO. The Collective is a multidisciplinary behavioral health practice that provides holistic therapy and psychiatry services to adults and young professionals. For more information go to www.collectivebh.com
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