It’s OK To Just Survive. There is no award for Outstanding Quarantine Mom.

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I learned to tell the truth in Al-Anon. Until then, I’d been under the impression I should just present my best self. I pretended.

A lot.

But when I stepped into an Al-Anon meeting for the first time, I watched person after person step up to the podium and just TELL THE TRUTH.

The real, awful, horrible, beautiful truth!

So, I told mine too. We ALL took turns stepping up there and telling our story. Our REAL story.

The truth.

Stories of crumbling marriages or bankruptcy or grown children in prison or infidelity. Stories of loss and sadness and pain…and ridiculousness. Like the woman who told about storming out during a fight just to have her drunk pants-less husband JUMP onto the hood of her car.

No one even flinched.

Because you know what happens in Al-Anon when someone shares her truth???

People smile. And nod. They look on with love and understanding.

Absolutely NO ONE raises a hand to suggest it will all be okay.

No one suggests making good use of this time to bake and make blanket forts.

Not one single person implies ONE DAY this will all make sense and we’ll be HAPPY we’ve experienced this pain.

There is no judgement.

There is no pretending.

People love and share and nod and pray.

I had never ever ever experienced anything like it.

I think we need more TRUTH in this weird world we’re living in.

I’m growing frustrated with what I’m hearing about being productive or enjoying quality family time or painting the living room or building blanket forts during our ‘staycation’ and somehow imagining this is all happening for a reason…this GIFT of slowing down.

How we’re ALL gonna look back on quarantine with loving thoughts.

Can I just tell the truth??

This is HARD.

We are struggling.

And it is okay to say so.

It is okay to feel angry or sad or scared.

It is okay to worry about your loved ones.

It is okay to be pissed about the situation and all the stuff we’re missing.

It is okay to feel panicked about money.

It is okay to say school is turning into a (pardon me, but I’m telling the truth) sh*tshow.

It is okay to want to throw the remote at the news…the news is terrifying and infuriating!!

It is okay to acknowledge all the kids are home and demanding attention and bickering and spending waaaaay too much time on screens and they should get out of the house but it’s raining and we’re having trouble being present in whatever activity we attempt to do anyway and we have nowhere to go so we’re all just SURVIVING.

It is OKAY to just survive.

We can lower our expectations, you guys.

Here’s a picture of my daughter laying ON the kitchen counter in the middle of lunch and school with a chip clip on her lips eating from an entire bag of Cheetos

There is no award for Outstanding Quarantine Mom.

We don’t have to build blanket forts if we don’t want to.

We can tell the TRUTH.

Like, here’s a tiny snippet of conversation from our house today.

Kid: Mom, there wasn’t any toilet paper in the bathroom so I just wiped with the roll.

Me: Ummmm. Okay. I guess. What did you do with the poopy roll???

Kid: I threw it in the trash.

Me: Hmmm. Make sure you wash your hands.

Right away we know three things.

One of my children probably has major skidmarks in his underwear.

There is a poopy toilet paper roll somewhere in a bathroom trash.

I don’t really care.

Huh.

That’s my truth!

So, what’s yours???

I’m here.

I’m listening.

I promise to smile and nod and respond with love and understanding.

And I absolutely will not suggest a blanket fort.

I learned to tell the truth in Al-Anon.Until then, I’d been under the impression I should just present my best…

Posted by Ordinary on Purpose, by Mikala Albertson on Tuesday, March 24, 2020

3 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you so much for posting this. I am in tears reading your words because they are very powerful. This whole situation is A LOT, its overwhelming and frustrating. I feel guilty for complaining because compared to a lot of people right now I am very privleged. I have a roof over my head, a stockpile of food, ad a husband that can still work and provide money to pay our bills. but I am still experiencing a roller coaster of emotions coupled with anxiety of so many things. its nice to not feel alone in the struggle.

    • After 4 weeks of bottling all of my frustrations and keeping it together for my 6 yo son, I finally broke down today. Yesterday I was officially furloughed by my company; silver lining: my company found me valuable enough to KEEP after this is all over. Bad news: I’m REALLY fucked now. Applied for unemployment, got approved (THANK GOD). But the amount that the government expects an already struggling single mom to live on, with a NEVERENDING GARBAGE DISPOSAL with 2 legs and a heartbeat, is ridiculous.
      It’s exhausting being the teacher and the mom and the dad. It’s exhausting when my tiny 1 bedroom apartment has NOWHERE for me to regain emotional control with silence and calmness. I am combatting every negative emotion and reaction with every ounce of my soul… but moms….. I. AM. TIRED. I haven’t slept more than 2 hours any given night, my animals have been non-stop ALL THE WAY UP MY ASSHOLE. Some of my best friends and coworkers keep telling me ‘it’s gonna be fine, relax.’ Or ‘it’ll get better.’ Or my favorite ‘the government is going to help.’
      No, for me, it’s not gonna be fine… no, for us, it’s not going to get better. It’s gonna get a lot worse before it gets better…. and as much as I appreciate the help that the government IS providing us with, it’s not going to be enough to keep us above water. Not even close. I’m surrounded by a society that has no idea the struggle that I grew up with, and has never experienced it. They don’t REALIZE that I don’t have thousands saved up for an emergency. They don’t realize that my family doesn’t financially assist me. They don’t realize that I legit might have to get butt ass naked in front of a bunch of creepy ass old dudes, in hopes that they’ll be kind enough to compensate me for my efforts. And then, when I’m out and about and someone recognizes me, and mentions it in front of my son LOL oh the joys.

      Long story short: this fucking sucks giant dicks.

      I hate it. I want it to be over so I can work on rebalancing my emotions and psychological power over myself. Stepping off my podium now. Thank you for coming to my ted talk.

  2. Your words and the words of B Hayes are SPOT ON.

    I AM DONE. Done with everything, everyone, everybeing. Done. I am not eloquent or a writer and can put lots of graceful words on a page or even speak them. They are in my head sometimes but never come out. I can just day. I.AM. D.O.N.E.

    🙁

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