Let’s talk about mental health – I think far too often we feel that it’s not alright to admit that we might not be coping. I come from an era where real men don’t cry and it’s not ok to say you are not ok when someone asks how you are. But now we find ourselves in a pandemic world where nothing is as it should be and where we are all mourning, in some way, a life that we have lost.
David and I have over the years, made immense (and often extreme) sacrifices to live a life on the road, to be able to explore the world and do what we love the most – travel… but here we are, unable to live the life we created and I find I have a huge sense of loss for this… grief actually… which at times feels a little overwhelming. We then compound this with the fact that in truth, David and I are safe, loving our life in Cambodia, truly blessed to have the friends and family we do here (and around the world) and the ability to make a living, put a roof over our head and food on the table, when the pandemic has taken this away from so many people around the world… this thought process then causes a little guilt and I am emotionally conflicted, feeling like I am being ungrateful despite mourning the loss of something that that was so incredibly important to me (even though to others something that might seem so inconsequential) – it’s an emotional rollercoaster.
I think though, the thing that surprises me the most is that in the last two weeks, when asked how I am, I now respond truthfully – I am battling a little emotionally and conflicted with the fact that I am grieving for something I have lost while still being so grateful for what I have gained instead and the responses have been amazing – for the most part, I am not alone in this emotional state of mind. Many of our friends and family here and around the world are feeling the same thing and I am relieved to know that I am not riding out this storm by myself.
This also reinforces my belief that kindness matters and part of being kind is recognising that someone you know and love might not be in a great space emotionally and that while there is often very little you can do to change their emotional state of mind, reaching out and just saying hi with no expectation of anything in return goes a long way. Don’t put off today what you think you might have time to do tomorrow, because in truth, none of us can be sure that tomorrow will exist like we want it to. Reach out to those you love and say hi, check in with them… even if it’s just so tell them you love them.