April 1st…”April Fools” but there’s nothing humorous or trite about what we are all facing now. COVID-19 is no joke!
The isolation, the fear of the unknown, the lack of control…I’ve been through this all before. It was two years ago this month that I woke up one night with severe chest pains, convinced I was having a heart attack…until I discovered that blood was seeping out of my left nipple. It was this month that I was inundated with tests and doctor’s appointments to determine the cause. And it was this month that I was told I had breast cancer. For two years I have dealt with overwhelming pain, fear and anxiety; the kind I thought only a traumatic experience like cancer could make you feel. Until now.
COVID-19 has put me back in that place. Just when I thought I was really on my way back to some normalcy, this experience has hit me hard. I’m scared. We all are. We are all isolated from our friends and families. We are all taking extreme precautions to try not to get sick or spread the virus and we are other living in limbo as we wait for news; hoping and praying every day that it will be good and that there’s an end in sight.
I have found myself more than once these last few days/weeks bursting into tears. Sometimes its brought on by seeing or hearing a story in the media whether tragic or inspirational and sometimes I start crying for no apparent reason. Of course there is a reason, but not a specific one. Stress can manifest itself in many ways; physically and emotionally. I’m sure we all are feeling it. Our routines…hell, our lives have been turned upside down. Most of us are coping the best we can from home. We are inundated with information on the spread, the lack of tests, the shortage of proper medical supplies and the ever increasing numbers of death. No wonder we are stressed! Like many of you, I am separated from my family. My parents who are elderly (sorry Mom) live six hours away. My daughter and husband are 5 hours away and my brother lives and works in New York City…a hot spot for the virus. I worry about them. All of them. And I worry about what the rest of this month will bring. I try to limit how many times a day I watch the news, as it sucks the energy from me. I try to focus on all the good in my life. I try to get outside for fresh air and exercise all the while staying six feet away from any living soul and I try to stay in touch with as many friends and colleagues and of course family as possible. I have one friend who’s firm has started a mass email called “Today’s Mindful Moment” where positive thoughts and suggestions on keeping safe and well are shared. It has been very helpful and I look forward to receiving it everyday.
We owe it to ourselves and each other to stay connected. We are all in this together and we all need each other more than ever. In times like these it is important to take a moment each and every day to take stock of all the good we have in our lives and to reach out to those who are less fortunate. It is also important to recognize and not be afraid to share our fear and anxiety with each other. We are not alone even if we are currently isolated. There is no shame in the fact that we may need some extra help, encouragement and understanding in these tumultuous times. Our mental health is just as important as our physical health.
This is the start of the month…and it will be a long one. Let’s be patient with each other. Kind to each other. Supportive of each other. This virus may be controlling how we live and interact right now, but it can’t control our attitude, our spirit and our hope.
Stay safe and healthy everyone. #coronavirus #bettertogether #COVID19 #staystrong
President of As You Like It Marketing & Communications Inc. Award winning speaker and author. Breast cancer fighter and blogger. I’m sharing my journey…the good, the bad and the ugly. Hoping to help anyone else that has been touched by breast cancer be it you or someone you know or love.