I can’t help but think about the physical loss we are all experiencing & just how vastly different many of our coping strategies are.
Some of us are sharing & posting more on social media. Some have dug deeply into our work. Some have spent our days making those previously rare phone calls, texts & video chats to friends & family. Some have become researchers & news watchers & experts on infectious disease. Some have become political commentators. Some have signed up for every dating app that Google Play offers. Some have binged everything on Netflix & have moved into the Amazon Prime catalog. Some have become semi-pro home athletes. Some have pushed away the idea that there even is a world-wide disaster, moving forward as if this is just some inconvenience sparked by misinformation. Some have pulled tightly to the loved ones under our own roofs, finding ways to express joy & optimism. The list goes on…
My point is that these are all manifestations of how we cope. How we each try to deal as effectively as possible with something difficult. In periods of instability (think small boat in a storm getting tossed about in the waves) we each have our own strategies for finding a sense of stability.
Some people need to shout loudly, letting others know something is wrong. Some need to firmly plant their feet on the ground. Some reach out & connect to who & what is around them. Some go through their list of survival tips. Some need to find out who’s to blame & hold them accountable. Some crack a joke & find a distraction. Some run around looking for someone to save. Some cover their eyes & tell themselves that nothing is wrong. And some need make sure that everyone else is okay.
At the end of the day, we’re talking about our needs – shared & different – to feel safe, to feel stable. Our needs when we feel like we’re on a small boat in the middle of a storm being tossed around by the waves & cycles that come even in the best of times. Be kind.