It’s March 1st, and we’re fast approaching the one-year mark of the Age of Covid. It feels like a lifetime ago, and like yesterday. Time is funny that way.
Anniversaries are opportunities to take stock, and I’m starting to look back at my earliest blog posts. How little we knew! I was writing about a 21-day shelter in place mandate which I hope would be lifted, which seems hopelessly naive, although there was no way we could have predicted the outcomes. There was a lot of fear back then, anxious anticipation, a head-first plunge into something utterly unknown.
I feel for the me that wrote those first few posts, and I want to tell her that while things will get far, far worse, and that she’ll be more frightened and angry that she has ever been in her life, she’ll get through.
I would also tell her that her depression would dive deeper and the hypomania would become less frequent. Looking back, the base state of my bipolar cycling sank a bit for those first few months. And the hypomania wasn’t the vaguely pleasant, highly energized kind, but the kind where your skin tingles and your ears ring and your brain buzzes and you can’t be still, any time, anywhere. Not fun.
I would tell her that joy came in unexpected places, from a child’s chalk drawing on a sidewalk to the endless possibilities of an empty new apartment. That beauty could be found in the small, still things, the quiet times, the in between times.
I would tell her that there are wonderful human beings around her.
I would tell her to keep doing the hard work of making peace with uncertainty, of accepting each reality as it arises.
I would tell her that she will persevere. That she will inexorably move forward, although the steps seem imperceptible at the time.
What would you tell yourself?