• Madison Kolla

Pandemic Check In



Photo by Guillaume de Germain on Unsplash


I've been struggling to write this post for the last month. Feeling the need to put something out there - an update, a check-in - but also feeling like words aren't doing an adequate job of capturing this worldwide situation we've found ourselves in. There are just so many feelings.


I'm obsessively consuming news media, which is unlike me. But it's (mostly) not causing me to spiral out in fear. Really, it's making me feel less alone. Seeing how all over the globe, people are doing the same thing. Staying home, drawing inward. It ends up making me want to reach out.

There are many moments when I appreciate the gift of being home with my little one. There are times when I want nothing more than to get away. Often I can focus on gratitude for health, for the sunshine and birdsong, the budding and blooming of nature all around me. And then I'm caught in resentment or loneliness. There's fear about sickness, finances, and the big unknown future, and so very many opportunities to remind myself to come back to the present moment. I'm feeling the isolation, the familiar stirrings of anxiety and depression. The effects of too little distraction in the form of work and social connection. It's challenging to spend so much time alone in our brains.


Unprecedented. Unknown. This is groundless, uncharted territory we've been thrown into. Where so many of our coping and control mechanisms have suddenly vanished. We need to be reminded that all of our feelings are normal and understandable, considering the circumstances.

Who would have known that mental illness is surprisingly good preparation for a global pandemic? This time last year I was in a psych ward, and I've done a whole lot of suffering and struggling since then. I've had to relearn and strengthen those oh-so necessary skills of mindfulness, self-compassion and self-care. And I'm grateful to say that right now, I'm okay. Grateful to feel it, to believe it. I will be okay.


So many folks all over the world are not okay. And I feel that, too.


I guess I just want to write and ask - how are you? I'd really like to know. To validate where ever you might be at. To share resources. To offer an ear: by email or text or phone or video chat.

I have some capacity right now to steady someone who's not feeling so okay. I'm grateful for all the support I've received over the past year, and I feel lucky to be able to pay that forward in some way.


So please - reach out, say hi, connect. I'd love to hear from you.


Be well and stay safe,

Madison

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© 2013 by Madison Kolla | Photography by Michelle Pichert, Douglas Ludwig, Sherida Rae Taylor & myself.

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