I had a moment where I felt an overwhelming sense of grief and sadness. My heart felt heavy and my shoulders sagged. My whole self just wanted to cry and sob right then and there in the grocery store.
I have been told that I am a very emotional intuitive person that tends to feel emotions from others. The highs and the lows and all that is in between. My heart seems to absorb the emotion of the room I am in sometimes, and it is often painful.
As I traversed the grocery store today I watched the people as they slowly made their way through all the aisles with their shopping carts packed to the brim. Yet-no toilet paper.
I watched people hurry by perhaps afraid of becoming sick but knowing they needed supplies. They needed to feed their families. So, they went out taking a risk because that is what is necessary.
I watched people standing in line waiting to check out. All I saw was blank expressions. No one was laughing, no one was smiling, no one was talking.
There was no emotion.
I think that is why I felt the overwhelming sadness. The entire front of the store was like that. The check out clerks were like that. Ugh. My heart. It hurts.
We are in an unprecedented time. It is extremely challenging and very, very sad. For me, it is really difficult as my three daughters are many miles away and all I want to do is be with them. I want to hug them and tell them it is going to be all right. I want them to know that they are not alone and all of this will pass. I want them to feel secure and know that they are safe. I just want them to be ok.
Fortunately, my son is local. He and his family are doing well and I am so grateful I am close to them.
But, I am still sad. I am sad for all the people that cannot be with their loved ones. I am sad that others are sad and concerned about job security and how to pay their bills. (we are in the same boat!)
But, I have seen so much hope and help, too.
It is amazing to me to see how communities are banding together to help each other. It is amazing to me how much the government and other agencies are willing to help those who are not working. I received an email from the company who holds my car loan the other day. They are waiving all late fees and payments for 120 days! So, I do not have to make a car payment right now for FOUR months. WOW!
There is hope.
Hope is a good thing. It can get us through some very awful trials. It can give us a light at the end of the tunnel even though we cannot see the end. It is important to have hope, but we also must not discount how we feel. Staying positive is extremely important, but we also must FEEL how we FEEL. If we are scared or sad, we must acknowledge that. Not give in to it, but at least acknowledge it. This time is a very traumatic time for many, and if we do not work through it, then the emotions we feel will just lay hidden beneath the surface waiting for the right time to explode.
Let's feel our sadness and fear, but not panic.
Panic leads to anxiety, stress, and overall chaos. Understanding and acknowledging our emotions leads to peace and hope. Many will say to "look on the bright side", or "stay positive", which is fine advice. But, remember to also acknowledge the fear, sadness, or whatever emotion you are feeling in order to stay healthy and well. I was extremely sad in the grocery store. Looking at the people with expressionless faces just standing like there was no life left in them. It left me feeling extremely overwhelmed and my heart hurt.
Writing this all down helps me process how I felt, and in turn, leads to my thoughts about the entire situation the world is in today. I am not a psychologist, therapist, or have any training in the mental health industry. I do have a lot of experience with trauma, grief, betrayal, and have been through much. I used to be the person who always looked on the bright side of things, and I still do to this day, but I have learned to deal with emotions like sadness, grief, anger and frustration. All emotions need to be addressed and worked through. And if they are not, they will be like the lava below the surface of the volcano, moving slowly and waiting for just the right moment to erupt.
There is help available.
Below are a few links that will take you to places that offer assistance. Unemployment, small business help, and more. And, good news! The deadline to file taxes is now July 15!
And, here is info from the Oswego Chamber of Commerce that might be of some help-
Gov. Pritzker has directed the Department of Revenue to defer sales tax payments for more than 24,000 small- and medium-sized bars and restaurants — accounting for nearly 80% of all such entities statewide.
Under the directive, eating and drinking establishments that incurred less than $75,000 in sales tax liabilities last year will not be charged penalties or interest on payments due in March, April or May made late. The Department of Revenue estimates this will give relief to nearly 80% of bars and restaurants in Illinois.
Penalties and interest will be automatically waived; however, qualified taxpayers must still file their sales tax return even if they are unable to make a payment. Any taxpayers taking advantage of this relief will be required to pay their sales tax liabilities due in March, April and May in four installments starting on May 20 and extending through August 20. For more information, please view IDOR's informational bulletin available at tax.illinois.gov.
Additional Measure(s): o The U.S. Small Business Association has approved the state's eligibility for disaster assistance loans for small businesses. To apply visit disasterloan.sba.gov.
We can be sad, angry, frustrated and hurt. We can work through that. It may take time. But, in the meantime, do what you can to help your family. Do what you can to help yourself. Apply for unemployment, get assistance with your small business, and see if the disaster loan is an option. I do not know much about any of these things, but the links I provided should be able to help you.
My heart is heavy and I hurt, too. I am thinking of all of you and hope that you are finding ways to enjoy your children and loved ones even more than you have in the past. If anything, the circumstance we are in puts life in a different perspective. What are essential things? Food, clothing and shelter. What is even more important? People. People whom you love. And, in this time of social distancing, it is your family. Use this time to really "be" with them. Without all the activities and things that cause you to run from one thing to another. But, just "be" with each other. Play a board game. Create stories together. Play 20 questions. Take a walk around the block and have races in the backyard.