Thursday, March 19, 2020

Healing is not Something that Begins or Ends

I already thought the COVID-19 virus was the planet's way of saying, "You guys have to give me a break. SLOW DOWN!" Then yesterday's 5.7 earthquake in Salt Lake added a frightening local flavor to the theme of nature's ability to snip the golden threads we think are so strong. As someone who has taken social distancing to heart and now spent sixteen days with minimal contact with society, I have to say, this feels about as close to dystopia as I want to get: a nation of fools led by a fool, a seemingly uncontrollable pandemic, the prospect of 20% unemployment, and the fear of the "big one" hitting the Wasatch Front. As low as 9/11 made us all feel, and as horrific and angering as it was, for me personally, I don't know if it compares to the despair that has gnawed away at my confidence over the last week.

There were dark, selfish moments yesterday where I questioned how much more I could take. Just a few weeks ago, I told my therapist about my "tragic math" exercise. I took that nice round number 10 and used it to "look back" as we now embark on a new decade. When I deducted 10 from the current year, I was reminded that less than 2 years in to the last decade, I lost my job and my mom. Should I expect more pain at the start of this decade? Current circumstances make it seem more likely than I care to admit.

I'm not alone in my fear and anxiety. There are people around me in pain as well. People I love that need help. I was reminded of that yesterday when I realized four years ago I lost a close friend whom I had no idea was in such pain.

Then somehow I stumbled on this quote from F. Scott Fitzgerald:
It isn't given to us to know those rare moments when people are wide open and the lightest touch can wither or heal. A moment too late and we can never reach them any more in this world.
Things are grim, and I admit, sometimes the misanthrope in me takes smug satisfaction seeing humanity's stupidity contribute to its own demise, but this can't be the time for that. And for all of you struggling like I am, let's try to be right on time with a touch that heals.

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