So starting this blog in the midst of the Covid-19 virus may lead you to believe that I am giving voice to only the Freudian psychoanalytical side of my nature. Not true. I would rather be writing about why my blog is called "The Logger's Lunchbox" or the wonders of nature in the pacific northwest or my latest favorite recipe or memories of growing up in the 1960's. However, it never makes sense to avoid the Covidophant in the room. So, today I want to write not about the disease and how it affects people physically. My loved ones, knock on wood, have not been touched by it as of today. I want to talk about the stress response as something that has become unfortunately too clear as of late.
When children go through a difficult time in their lives they often gather things around themselves to make them feel secure or to communicate what they feel by an outward sign. I'm thinking of blankets, teddy bears, which by the way I just saw an adorable photograph of a little boy looking out of his apartment window wearing a face mask. Next to him was his teddy bear snuggled in his arms also wearing a face mask. Oh, so touching. Another touching image to illustrate my point is a story of a little girl whose family has been torn apart by horrible events and she has decided that she needs to walk with crutches. Day and night, a bandage around her foot, she walks with the crutches. Even I can see how profound that picture is, she is showing the brokenness and pain inside herself with a literal crutch to get her through.
I had a moment of enlightenment recently. My husband had gone through a terrible non-Covid respiratory infection that lasted for weeks. I swear I must have been worried about it a whole lot more than I realized based on the sore jaw in the morning from clenching my teeth so much at night. But the teeth clenching wasn't the enlightenment. The enlightenment came when he started a new antibiotic and woke up less than 24 hours later feeling great. I was so happy but I found myself going why aren't I even more happy than I am? It's because stress does not leave your body the way that an infection leaves. Stress takes time to heal. Stress takes contemplation to heal. Stress takes a hard workout to heal. Stress needs proof that it doesn't need to fight or flee to heal. Most importantly, stress takes reminding yourself of the truths that bring you hope. For me those truths are found in my faith.
So when the Covid curve is flattened and heading down and when schools, restaurants and stores open. When the news doesn't have an "Alert" every 10 minutes. When I can grab my loved ones for a hug and snuggle my grandkids. When I go to the grocery store and have a friendly conversation with someone over the bell peppers. Will I be happy? Oh, yes extremely so. I will feel like having a street party dance-a-thon. Realistically though, there will be so much healing left to be done. Time will tell how our global psyche responds to this crisis. Will we find hope in our faith? Will we treasure our freedoms more? Will we even realize that we need time to heal? It would be tragic for us to trade one crisis for another.
Final note to self - seek mental healing for the tremendous amount of Covid stress.
Stay safe and healthy.