This is not specifically about Diabetes, but then, not everything in life has to be.
In light of the Covid-19 Quarantine...
We are all individually riding the waves of processing, learning, growing, grieving, being forced to adapt and draw on any creative problem-solving skills we never realized we had.
And it is exhausting.
I'd assumed that with less driving, less activities, less stimulation, I should be celebrating with my fellow introverts for a time of Quiet. A moment of Still.
...so where is it?
People have talked about how quarantining and social distancing have been a true challenge for extroverts. My heart goes out to them; I have many extroverted friends and I can only imagine the stress you feel not being able to decompress with in-person events. I hope you find others that are safely able to provide company and enrichment so you can feel that energy in your soul again.
But as an introvert, I can promise you, this is not our time to shine either. I believe it's important for everyone to understand a little more about one another in this circumstance. Compassion will drive us all forward to whatever the future holds because we are in this together now and will be for the long-run.
Isolation does not mean recharging, there is a huge difference.
Maybe you're more tired than you've been, or you don't understand how people can be baking bread and learning languages while you call it a win to drink your coffee while it's still warm... Or if you're confused why your friend has more time and still less energy to share on Zoom chats...
I invite you to reflect with me.
First of all, thank you for being so considerate and caring for others' needs. Everyone is on different paths or sharing a path at difference paces, and I've seen extraordinary support coming out of this shared experience.
Next, please don't compare your experience to anyone else's. This is not the time to set expectations, instead embrace the expectancy that things will change and you will be able to manage the situation.
You are doing an amazing amount of work to just be you right now, nothing changes that fact. Some people are thriving as leaders or making a huge impact on the pandemic, and that is their right. It is enough to just take care of yourself and do no harm to others, that's everyone's right.
I've felt that most remote socializing is one of the most taxing exercises I've encountered. And now the line between work and personal socializing is getting thinner. In either case, there is NO social buffer, there is no comfortable break in conversation, there are no other sources of energy fueling the conversation, no outlet for release. And for empathetic people like me, there's no energy to reflect! I can still grasp how someone is feeling, but through a screen I don't get to experience that joy or spark. I get to "plug in" to my friends when I visit them and while communication leads to nap-time, the connection I share with them is literally electrifying at the time. It takes so much more effort to convey and derive an organic chemistry with less return in virtual communication. I am so grateful for the time I still get to spend with others, I'm just sharing perspective. It may seem like there's little investment in a Zoom chat, but sometimes it's more than I can handle at the moment. Please keep reaching out and inviting people.
There are so many external factors that introverts are trying to understand, to observe and process, to compromise around. We are watching social dynamics develop that no one was prepared for and still trying to navigate the fine line between what we can control and what we can't. We are sitting with uncertainty, with friends and family experiencing fear, with economic implications no one can predict, and all despite a constant barrage of media input from whoever happens to be the loudest.
There's just so much input. Whether it is a benefit or a hardship, it still requires energy to acknowledge.
When I say the amount of support and flood of well-intended guidance is "overwhelming".... I mean that. Should I buy this for protection? Should I take this course to be productive? Should I try this new program to keep in touch with people better?? How can I best care for my community? How can I replace my personal communication and intimate connections with virtual supplementation??
Especially for introverted empaths, the world we are in is draining almost every moment we exist in it. My dreams are full of worries, my thoughts and emotions are scattering to different places with every update, and my heart literally aches with all the fear and sadness I see others battling. My job has turned from dog-trainer to social worker, BEING with people in their pain and just holding it with them.
Even if you don't think we can sense your emotional and mental hurt.... we can. I promise.
And you need to know it is NOT a burden.
I want to walk YOUR path with you. And if we have to stop to just let this suffering happen because you can't fight it off, that's ok. Rest and find the strength to keep moving.
I won't let you stay in the dark, but I will never shame you for just letting it BE for a moment. Toxic positivity comes with mostly good intentions, but it's alright to identify what you feel and not push it away just because it's not ideal.
It will get better, I firmly stand by that. But we have to recognize it may get worse first, there may not be a silver lining sometimes, but I hope you're able to release your self-sabotaging expectations. There are people offering help, ways to adapt, accessible self-care resources, and valid information to keep you as safe as possible... all for when YOU are ready.
Be understanding of others, be kind to yourself, and get to know You. The more you identify with who you are, the less you'll be negatively influenced. The character that resonates in your soul are exceptional. What you are capable of is your glory to celebrate. Please don't lose sight of that.
There is a shared strength and quiet power flowing through our community; whether you take from it or contribute to it is Right for You.
As you deserve to be reminded: you are loved, and I am here with you.