Oh, Felicia. Sending so much love. I’m so sorry.

It’s time we admitted that while this is stressful and disruptive for all of us, for some of us it’s catastrophic. We are all not okay, but some of us are Really Not Okay.

I think we get scolded (or we worry that we would) if we try to say we are Really Not Okay. That it’s hard for everyone and we should buckle up. It’s hard for Americans to admit it because of the bootstraps mentality – the same mentality that praises people in normal times for not taking time off when sick, which is all kinds of messed up. It’s hard for Brits to admit it because of the stiff upper lip and keeping calm and carrying on.

And it’s hard for all of us because we don’t want to seem selfish. We probably always care about being judged and liked, but it’s especially important to be liked now, because when we need help, we want people to want to want to help us.

Last night I dreamed I hugged someone hard. That’s what it’s come to – our subconscious longing for very basic human things we’re being denied.

I think it’s also hard because breaking down with nobody to hug us is an unbearable thought.

I keep going because I have to – because I’m trying to build a freelance career, and I have no choice if I’m going to weather this. Especially since this is going to last for a long time. It’s also an act of both denial and hope: this will end sometime, and I need a career to come back to when it does.

I’ve become very good at suppressing my feelings in the last couple of years, when the bottom last fell out of my world, and I joke that it’s serving me well. But I’m also very lucky in a lot of ways, not least of which my faith in God, which gives me hope as well as a church community, and the fact that I’m from the UK and if I need to (and I can find a flight), I can always return there – where things are just as bad but the government takes better care of its people, and as a result far fewer will lose everything or become destitute.

I’ve only cried once since this started, and really that was about something only tangentially related. But that isn’t normal, is it? We should be crying. We should be demanding that landlords and creditors and governments hear our cries. This is a catastrophe for our livelihoods, as well as our love lives and friendships and businesses – our entire way of life. And I agree – we need to admit it. We need to shout it. I think we’re scared to.

I think we think that if we start crying we might never stop.

Editor of WALK WITH US: How the West Wing Changed Our Lives; author of the novel UNSCRIPTED and of CONQUERING BABEL: a Practical Guide to Learning a Language.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store