Living With Anxiety*,  Pandemic Ponderings*

“Normal Life” Hesitant.

I have debated back and forth about whether or not to write about this.

I’ve tried very hard to steer clear of the whole topic because I know it’s very contentious and personal, and there are so many differing views and opinions surrounding it.

…but this space, even while public, is personal to me. It’s where I come to sort things out, and right now I am struggling with something personal.

I am not a risk taker. I never have been.

The rush and exhilaration some feel that comes with taking risks, even planned ones, does not appeal to me. As I’ve gotten older I’ve realized that I am a planner. An organizer. I like to know what’s coming so that I can be prepared. I think about what I’m about to do and what any potential outcomes might be. It’s just… who I am.

I think it’s fairly safe to say that Covid has completely upended life for most of us. The last 18 months have been hard. Every time we left the house or saw people, it felt like it was a bit of a risk. I was pregnant before vaccines were wildly available, so we kept our “bubble” exceptionally small. I went very few places. We pulled the kids out of school. We planned and organized and just… stayed home.

I haven’t talked about it much, but I made the choice to be vaccinated. Two weeks ago I finally got my second shot and I was so excited. My two weeks post vaccine have passed, so I’m now fully vaccinated. Yay!

…except now I find myself in this weird limbo, and I am really struggling.

People talk a lot about those that are “vaccine hesitant”.

I feel like I am on a bit of an island because even though I am vaccinated, I think that I am “normal life hesitant”.

As Ontario slowly opens up again, I am filled with this blend of excitement and anxiety, and my head and my heart feel like they are constantly at war with one another. I feel like the vaccine has given me a coat of armor, but I still find myself struggling to really embrace any freedoms that may come with it.

I feel pretty okay being outside with most people. To me, outside feels safe.

…but Ontario is opening. Fall is coming. At some point I will have to start being indoors with other people again. And I am really struggling with it.

Part of it has to do with my own anxieties around covid. I know so many people who have had it. Some had very serious cases, and some would be considered “long haulers” because they are still struggling months after having the disease. I have zero interest in ever having it. I don’t care to build up an immunity or antibodies. Personally, I would rather not have it at all.

Another big part of it is my children. I know it doesn’t seem to affect most children very seriously… but that’s not the case for all. If I put my children in a situation and they contracted it, I would just feel so so awful.

I also have a three month old. I’ve always been a bit of a mama bear with my babies, but this feels different. He is so small and has no real immune system yet, and being around people who could pass something on to him is stressful for me. I know that I cannot protect him from everything. I know that. But… he is my baby, and for me, covid feels like a predator that is constantly lurking around, and anyone could have it.

The rational side of me knows that cases are low here right now. That I’m vaccinated and more protected. Chances are we’ll all be fine. I should go out and safely enjoy life as much as possible… and in many ways, I am.

…but I’m finding that putting a toe back into the waters of normal life has been stressful as well as exciting.

As much as I desperately want normal life, I’m hesitant to embrace it.

I’m worried about having covid myself. I’m worried about potentially passing it onto someone else. I’m worried about my children having it, and what that could mean for W. I’m worried about not providing enough opportunities for my children to socialize with others, but I also worry about their vaccination status. I worry about offending someone if I inquire about it. I worry about ignoring the feelings in my gut by not asking.

I worry about a world with vaccine passports. I also worry about life and lockdowns without them. I worry that I’ll lose friends if I don’t let them into my home, even though it has way more to do with my own anxieties than anything else. I’m worried about the safety of going into the homes of others. I worry that I’ll be judged or cause offense if I choose to wear a mask if and when I do.

I worry that I’m overreacting. I worry that I’m not.

I look down into the blue eyes of my beautiful baby boy that I fought so hard for… and I worry that it’s still too soon for normal life.

I am a worrier. I know that. It is what it is. I see that there could finally, finally be a light at the end of this covid tunnel and I’m so desperate for it to be true.

…but I worry that we’re not there yet.

So here I am, “normal life hesitant”, party of one.

I’m working through it… just maybe a little (okay, a lot) more slowly than others. It’s hard for me, and I’m trying to stop beating myself up about that.

I know that I’ll get there eventually.

I’m looking forward to the day when I can jump back into real life with both feet, relatively worry free.

I’m just… not there yet.

It’s harder than I thought it would be. ❤️

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