Let’s face it; we will not be out of the crisis any time soon – if one of them might end, there will be plenty of others to meet. It also seems unlikely that something will magically fix it all. I didn’t write “we’ll fix it” because for “we”, too many people are still sitting on their hands pretending that it’ll go back to how it was before.
The good old days… when the crisis was there, but some of us – including myself – could still pretend it wasn’t.
So let us just say this is it. The crisis is “the new normal”. Instead of crisis mode, let’s ease in and acknowledge that this is how it will be – an ongoing crisis made up of many different ever-changing “criseses” (What is the plural of crisis?). Sometimes worse, sometimes better, sometimes more of them, sometimes less, but never really ending. No “old times” to look forward to, to hope for.
At first, this might sound pessimistic. On the other hand, oping for something better without working towards it is an odd form of optimism. I prefer a realistic view – and the neverending crisis seems to be the most realistic view of the future for me atm.
Now, as I am settling into this thought, accepting it, I am more at ease. I can shape what I can grasp and that gives me hope.
As Octavia Butler writes in Parable of the Sower:
We are neither helpless nor will things happen the way we want them to. All we can do is work with what is there the best we can.
That applies to the world we live in and our physical and mental health. How can we even expect things around us to run all the time smoothly? I wonder what part advertising and the media plays.
People get old and die, but somehow this isn’t as much of a subject as it is a reality we need to be aware of. Death and sickness won’t care whether we are prepared or not – they’ve always been around.
“Not being ok” is normal and human and could be manageable, but pretending to be ok for various reasons is what drains us.
If I feel helpless and defeated, I can say so, maybe get some support, someone to talk things through or sleep or soup or privacy, and there’s a good chance I’ll be better.
On the other hand, if I feel helpless and defeated and pretend that I am ok, I’ll get in trouble. I’ll be touchy, aggressive, defensive, and whatnot, which is even more draining. Now I have to pretend to be someone I am not, and that’s why? Because somehow, my struggling self needs to be hidden, it’s a cause of shame, and I am a failure. Additionally, no one knows why and then I can’t admit what’s going on, so I’ll get more defensive and instead of allowing people to help, support, and hold space for me, I turn against them, which will cause more problems right around me.
What if not being ok is normal? People break a leg, and we know how to support them. How about being accepting of all forms of not being ok? Sometimes we are not ok, and other times we go beyond our very best and everything in between. Each time it’s the best we were able to do at the time.
By accepting change – inside and outside – we do not waste time and energy fighting it, but we can use all we have to shape it.