It's okay to not be okay.
April 7, 2020
by Paola Martinez, Crisis Intervention Services Director
These past few weeks have been emotionally challenging. Everywhere we look, we are confronted with the reality, gravity and the effects of this pandemic. Chances are you have experienced many changes in a very short amount time, whether it’s the inability to leave your home, loss of employment, not being able to spend time with the people you love, the closure of schools, having to work remotely from home while trying to balance the duties of being a caregiver and the list can go on and on. This may be tremendously difficult and I can’t even begin to imagine how most of you may be feeling at this moment. The uncertainty of this quarantine is overwhelming and that is a reality.
During the past few weeks I have been experiencing a rollercoaster of emotions and amongst these, to be completely honest, is guilt. Guilt for not being able to feel and remain optimistic through all of this, even when I am the one who continues to encourage family and friends with a flood of positive thoughts and messages. Truth is, no matter how many books I read, or how many podcasts and videos I listen to, I am still grieving all of these unexpected changes and circumstances. There are moments which are filled with anger, confusion and fear and days where it is hard to get up from bed and continue with day to day life. On one of these especially difficult days, it felt like the weight of the world had been dropped on my shoulders and I felt hopeless and desolate. So I cried; I cried as a way to release some of those feelings because at that moment that was all I could do. As I sat alone in my room thinking about the present and worrying about the future, I realized that I needed to reach out for support. I took some time to reflect, to process my emotions and thoughts, and to connect virtually with family and friends in an effort to find peace.
Through all of this, I realized that I had created unrealistic expectations of how I should feel or act. I was reminded that we are all human and it is nearly impossible to remain optimistic every single day of this quarantine. As a dear friend once told me, “It is okay to not be okay all of the time.” In fact, it is healthy and brave to acknowledge that there will be days in which we will not be okay. The most important thing to remember during these times is that you are not alone and that even when we face a challenge as big as a pandemic, there will always be someone ready to provide support. Whether it is a friend, a partner, a family member, a neighbor or a staff member from MCRCC, we want you to know that you are not alone. There definitely have been many changes in our lives and even at the offices here at MCRCC, but we are here for you. There have been changes to the way we serve the community and we may not be able to provide in-person support at this time. However, we are doing everything we can to continue to provide services and support virtually or through our helpline. We are here for you, especially on those difficult days in which one might just need to be reminded that it’s okay to not be okay.