Pre-pandemic, I lived a pretty typical suburban life. I spent my days taking care of things for my family – meal planning, shopping, brunch with friends, running kids to and from sports. Then one day, all of the “busy” came to a screeching halt. As the stay-at-home orders locked down our great state, I found myself with a lot more time… and slowly, the sunshine faded away.
There were no more vacations to look forward to.
There were no more parties to plan.
There were no more big family gatherings filled with laughter and love.
As time dragged on, I found projects around the house to keep myself busy. I purged unnecessary things. I organized and re-organized until there was nothing left to organize. We had family game nights and baked fancy desserts. Yet somehow, none of that felt as special as it used to…and time trudged on.
The kids grew taller.
Social texts became more rare as the days dragged on.
Holidays came and went with unnatural virtual hellos in an attempt to bring normalcy to a very strange time.
I wish I could say there was a specific day that I felt the sunshine start to fade away. Maybe then I’d be able to rekindle the relationship that eroded with my husband during a year spent in close quarters. Maybe then I’d be able to bring back the enthusiasm I once had when playing with my children. But instead, the sunshine faded into an unfamiliar new chapter of my life.
Lazy weekends were no longer a welcome break from the “busy” we once lived.
Planning for an uncertain future felt like a waste of time and energy.
Even music and chocolate don’t bring the same joy.
So for a while, I just waited… Wondering if the sunshine would come out again…
And then one day, out of the blue, a sweet friend reached out with three simple words: “checking on you.” And just like that, the world felt a little less lonely and the sun started to shine through the clouds.
If you or a loved one is feeling hopeless, please reach out to someone for help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours a day with free and confidential support: 1-800-273-TALK