Take a Breath
Published in

Take a Breath

Pause.

It stopped. It all just stopped. The world, my writing, my child’s school, my workplace, my favorite places and seeing my family and friends.

We hit PAUSE on March 13. Here we are May 1.

Anxious. Depression. Disconnected. Scared. Overwhelmed.

No more busy life. Home. Staying at Home.

Pause. Quarantine. Isolation. Disconnected.

Pause. No gathering for church. Now all online.

Pause. Dance lessons and connections.

Pause. Missing my students and co-workers.

Pause. The two weeks off campus school turns into the rest of the school year off campus.

Pause. Not seeing family.

Pause. Not seeing friends.

Pause.

Mental Health. No pause there.

Anxiety. Still alive and kicking.

Depression. Still here.

Disconnected. Zoom helps but not the same.

Scared. Understatement.

Overwhelmed. Even more than I thought I was.

Pause.

Mental health continues with the pause. It doesn’t take a rest. It pushes the button to play.

The worst of much of this is that my anxiety has been so debilitating that I couldn’t even write until now. And even right now I worry about how to talk about my life of anxiety.

I am reminded daily now that I have seen how this pandemic has caused others to show anxiety that I am not alone.

YOU NEED TO HEAR THAT!

YOU ARE NOT ALONE! I am here. You are here.

We ARE STILL HERE.

This has been the longest 7 weeks. But we are here standing or sitting or even maybe laying down in bed.

Every day we get up. It might not be a good day but we are up. We are breathing and we can get through this.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and each day I have committed to writing. Whether my day is amazing or a day from hell filled with an ugly anxiety attack.

Living daily in this temporary pause hasn’t been easy.

I remember the first week feeling like a week off work…then each work got harder and literally harder. Adding work back, homeschooling, teaching two college courses and regular home life.

Truly experiencing grief and mourning.

Holy Cow. Let’s be HONEST…it’s been so overwhelming!

But I get up. I breathe. I get a nice little lavender soak in with my essential oil and try to start my day.

I have had outright anxiety attacks in a store with people watching and at home, I have melted down in parking lots and restaurants, I haven’t slept, eating has been hit and miss and much much more.

But I breathe. And you can breathe. And every day we get to do that is one more step toward working through the beast that beats us down like anxiety does for me.

Pause is temporary. We will eventually get back to the play button that we call “Back to normal.” What we are learning in this 7 weeks and more is going to last us a lifetime. The new way of life still has HOPE in it! It may look different and there may be new rules but we will see each other again. There will be activities.

But this pause is what we need to get there. We need this pause as difficult as it has been.

Take a moment and pause. Reflect on the good, bad and ugly. Because in all these moments there is lessons of who we are and how we are stronger than we would have ever known.

Pause my friends. Reflect. And Just Breathe.

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Alicia Edquist

Alicia Edquist

Daughter. Wife. Mom. Friend. Journalist. Journalism Instructor. STORYTELLER. Beach Lover.