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Weathering the Storm 

By Ashline Lal, written during 2020 in the height of the Covid-19 Pandemic and relevant as ever.

Getting used to this new “normal” isn’t easy. We are all pretending and trying to be ok for someone else when in reality it is hard. I put on a smile and act like everything is going to be ok for my son who depends on me, for my mom who is a cancer survivor with a compromised immune system, and for my grandmother who is just at that worrisome age. I know I’ve gotten into my car, driven off and literally screamed at the top of lungs just because I’d had enough. I, just like many others am fed up. I am fed up that people are not taking things seriously and dying every day. I am sad that I am unable to see my coworkers on a regular basis because in reality they make up a huge part of my day to day life. I am happy that I get to spend more time with my son because I am currently working from home. I am frustrated that I can not take part in the luxuries of life like getting a massage, or going out for drinks with my friends. I am angry that people still stand too close to me in the grocery store line up. This pandemic has been a huge emotional roller coaster and it’s tiring. But let me tell you a secret… It’s ok to not be ok. We are allowed to have bad days. “We are not all in the same boat, but we are all in the same storm.” – Linda Graham 

When this whole thing started, my dad said something to me that stuck. “Ashu, everything is going to be fine. We are all feeling the same way so you don’t have worry.” So simple, and yet so powerful. Guess what, he was right.  We can’t help but to go into a “woe is me” state of mind not realising that there are people who have it way worse. Some potentially could lose their homes or businesses, some may not be able to feed their children, and some have lost loved ones. We are in a constant state of panic. Now that’s not to say that all is bad in the world right now. We also need to remember to look at all of the possible positive outcomes as well. 

For those of you who know me, I am an optimist, the glass is always half full in my world. Out of all of this disparity, comes goodness. My silver lining is spending time with my family that I never would have had the opportunity to do so before. I am able to stay in bed longer and cuddle with my son. I was able to help my mother paint her whole house, that of which my back says otherwise. I’ve done more baking now then I have my entire life. For all of this and more, I am grateful for these little pleasures.

In a world that has become so lost we need to reach out to our friends, family, peers, and sometimes even strangers. A simple genuine, “How are you doing today?” can go a long way! Majority of us have some sort of support system that we can lean on and talk to. Have you ever thought how your neighbor is doing? Those who are too far from family. Those who truly have no one to pass the time by with? You need to make time. It is these people who sometimes need more from us. Just because someone looks ok, doesn’t mean that they are. With all the chaos that currently surrounds us, restore faith in humanity. Be the change. No harm ever came from being a good person. 

Mental health is important today and everyday. Recognizing and allowing our feelings, whatever they may be, is important too.

If you think someone is in trouble, reach out to the many organizations available to help guide you and get your loved one the assistance they need. Or as Ashline offers, “Be the change. No harm ever came from being a good person.”