I joined Suleika Jaouad's journaling project at the invitation of a dear friend. Here is the website for more information http://suleikajaouad.com/the-isolation-journals
Today the world inside and outside is not quite awake. Midmorning, the might is still dim as if the planet didn't make a full revolution toward the sun and is stuck a few minutes after dawn. There's no sound except the sitar on my Spotify playlist and the occasional yells from my four year old, who is completely out of fucks and will not be tamed. It's ok. I'm not going to make him try to act like everything's ok. Everything is not ok.
When he was born and people asked me "how are you doing?" I'd either break down and sob over the phone or tell them that everything was amazing and wonderful. The majority of the people to whom I sobbed either stopped talking to me or tried to make me feel better with platitudes: "you'll look back on these days with so much joy," "there are the best years, cherish them." But these were not the best years of my life. They were almost the end of my life.
If I were to go back to those long months I'd say this instead: "Holy shit. I cannot fathom the dichotomy of beauty and terror I am currently experiencing. This new life in my arms is the best thing that every happened to me and I am thinking about killing myself. My brain is so scrambled I am hearing voices look at my son isn't his laugh the best thing you've ever heard?" Because it was all one package. The good was not separate from the bad. The joy was not separate from the suicidal thoughts. The sleep deprivation and the hormones and the social isolation was rooted in the same thing. So were the results.
We're all stuck inside our homes for fuck-all who knows when. We have plenty of food and money to buy more when the fridge empties out. We have a bedet if we run out of TP. We're really freaking lucky. People around us aren't as lucky, and at some point we may not be either. I spend the days reading to and playing with my son, my favorite tiny person, building fairy houses out of scrap wood and cooking together and bringing tea to his father, working downstairs in our cold unfinished basement. These are sweet days. They are days filled with silent terror. We are laughing and running in the backyard. We are yelling and dropping f-bombs around our kid. We are throwing fits and refusing to get out of our jammies in the morning. We are fine and not fine. We have learned that these are not separate things. We are learning to feel again in ways that are human and not in ways that are defined by a society that does not want to hear about our pain unless it can make money off of it.
We are learning to ask each other "how are you?" and really mean it. We are learning how to listen again.