Cracks 3/19 '20
Move along, nothing to see here.
I've been the strong one for a very long time. Not always-always, but a lot of my life and identity has been in roles where tears, complaints, and collapsing from exhaustion are accepted in the people I'm supporting but have to happen off stage if I run out of solidity. Funeral? Severe illness? Team or family troubles? I'm the guy with the shoulder and the resources.
Sometimes I have depression. Or loss of executive function. Or a physical illness. I don't let it show, except to one or two very well trusted people who get the hell of my worst, some of the times when I am at low ebb and simply cannot any further.
The rare occasions when I do let it show more publicly, inevitably someone or other throws noise my way about how horrible I've become. Or quietly backs away, never to interact with me again. I've seen both extremes and a few departures in between.
Between a cold last week and the work-from-home mandate that came down for most of the civil service on the weekend, I am already weary of a confinement that will go on for at least a month and possibly longer. Getting physical activity and social interaction have been keystones in my self care, and both have become considerably harder to achieve: no gym, no choir, lack of routines and structure to replace either.
Today I got not unexpected news that my aunt's funeral last year is probably the last I will have seen my mother alive. I've been treating every goodbye as a farewell for years but it's different when a lockdown order gets issued, it seems.
I will keep doing my best to put on a public face of being the kind of person I desperately need. Thoughtful advice. Wacky, uplifting distractions. The stuff that gives people strength.
I sure could use some of that strength now.