00024: I Know I’m Not Alone

Pain

Less than a week ago several (more than three) members of my family tested positive for COVID-19, among, my mamá and an aunt. Why so many people you ask? Because my mamá’s house is a multi-generational household and those who are young are essential workers.

I knew it was going to happen. I always had the feeling the day would come. And as I had told one of my sisters who lives in Mexico City, it is not of matter of “if” but a matter of “when.” Last week, that “when” arrived.

The situation with my family is serious, especially when it comes to the older generation. Everyday I spent a few hours of my day on the phone, talking to my siblings, my nephews, my mamá. I can’t talk to my aunt because she’s in the hospital and on a ventilator.

By the end of the day I am emotionally tired and my body is exhausted. I’m worried all the time and my brain seems to be scrambled. Luckily I am on sabbatical so I don’t have to think about teaching. And because the pandemic didn’t allow me to travel I am still charing the department so I attend a few meetings and I do take care of the department faculty’s needs. On top of that, I’m an official for KCACTF, Region 7 and the festival, although online, starts next week so that has me a little busy. I’m also a board member for two different entities so I have those meetings to attend. I mention these duties because this is what is keeping me busy, but due to the situation with my family, this is also what is keeping me feeling overwhelmed.

I am, on the creative side, working on a new one-person show and this blog, which helps me alleviate the emotional state and the stress I feel every day. But do notice, that everything I’m saying is “practical,” not emotional. And by that I mean, that I am not “spilling my guts” at the moment. One reason is because these events I’m describing are happening as I write this entry, and also because I need to keep some stability within me so “spilling my guts” at this moment is dangerous. I am not denying my feelings; I am simply keeping them in check. It is important to keep balance, to maintain my sanity, to continue in a survival mode.

Yes, I hurt. Yes, I cry. Yes, I worry. Yes, I feel pain. And one day, not too far into the future, I will be able to use metaphors and poetic language to express the struggle and the burden I’m experiencing at the moment. For now, though, I’m simply acknowledging my state of mind, my emotional state, my painful physical present.

But the way, I am okay. There is no need to send me an 800-number so I can call someone. I am not suicidal, people. I’m simply expressive. And that is good. I am dealing, acknowledging, and processing what I’m feeling, what I am experiencing, what I’m living day by day. Besides when it comes to the pandemic, its effects, and its consequences, I know I’m not alone. #carlosmanuelspeaksthetruth

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