Listen. I thought at first that a quarantine couldn’t be worse than postpartum hell after a c-section during the summer with older children home. And to be honest - and probably a bit disappointingly so - I do not struggle with being at home without lots of human contact. But, still, this experience is way more jostling than I could have expected and in ways I can’t yet find words to describe.
And I’m grateful that we are all doing what we need to do to keep our communities safe. It is the right thing to do. Period. I am also a believer in helping each other stay informed with all that is falling apart and needs our help, but also staying buoyed with all the things that we are doing right. We can do this. Together, we can do this one day at a time.
Outside of all that stuff, I will confess that I am experiencing some incredible turmoil for which I can’t find a name. Is it overwhelm and overstimulation? Yes, that’s part of it. Is it survivalism and fear? Definitely. Is it extreme agitation? Hell yes. Is it uncertainty? Yep. Is it claustrophobia? 100%. Is it fragmentation? Oh yeah. Is it failure on all fronts? Sigh.
Yes. It is all of the above, plus more - especially for those of you who are extroverts and especially those of you whose entire business/work life is imploding with rapid speed.
But, it’s also something else. And I couldn’t really define it until recently and that’s because this “something else” is unnameable. It’s the reaction to trauma and shock, which - for me - includes an out of body sensation. It’s quiet and it is numbing. It is elusive and yet it is constant like a current. It is oddly depleting too. Everyone I know is feeling it, even those of us who are tough cookies and have been through a lot. We can’t help it, at least that is what my therapists have explained over the years, as I continue to trudge through the landscape of healing trauma. In essence, what we are feeling is an automatic response that we can’t necessarily control.
And, now, a lot of us assume that there is a hierarchy of trauma, which means that some trauma is worse than other trauma. This is the idea that, well, this situation is bad, but it’s not as bad as other catastrophic events. And I don’t know if you have a bully of an internal voice like I do, but this idea then leads to the thought: I need to get my sh*t together and stop being so weak and so affected. In this way, we compound the response with a healthy dose of shame.
But, the deal is that our nervous systems do not have a hierarchy of trauma. Trauma is trauma is trauma. And while, yes, we are not suffering the intensity of trauma that so many others have faced in history and in their own lives, we are still having an automatic response to trauma. It is that plain and simple. And that response does not depend on you being healthy enough to handle the trauma. It does not dictate your strength of character. It does not choose some people and not others. It is etched into our human programming and cannot be escaped.
It also can be underestimated. All of our worlds just got thrown into a deep state of fluctuation. We are in flux. Our children are in flux. Our parents and our friends and our careers are in flux. Our communities. Our health. Our government. Our security. I could go on and on. And while we can work through things like overstimulation and agitation by identifying them and by creating a plan of action around them, as for the trauma reaction to a sudden state of being IN FLUX, well, guess what? All we can do with that is be with it. And, most importantly, the most essential thing we can do is be kind to ourselves like we would a tiny lost kitten who just got threatened by a big scary bear in the forest.
And because we here at MommaStrong are determined to be a part of the solution, we are here to serve you this month … and as many months as this takes. Our focus is to get YOU back into your body, no matter the fluctuations ahead. We will be here each day with new workouts (and some for your kids too) in order to remind your nervous system that it can handle this and that this situation is not a big scary bear and we are not tiny kittens.
We know that you can’t think your way out of this, you have to act your way out. This is why we maintain and promote the notion that exercise is not a luxury, especially not right now. Please don’t go this one alone. Please join us and please help yourself be with being in flux. Heck, we might even discover lessons and truths that deepen our ability to parent and navigate this weird world.
I love you all, truly. We can do hard things together. Join us, whether you are a new member or an existing member, for our April “In Flux” Challenge, which starts on Monday, April 6th. Oh, and we have some new rules and some new offerings that may interest you:
Ok, I’ll see you on Monday, April 6th.