How are we doing? I'm going to admit that I'm not doing so great. I'm supposed to be working on a project right now, but I can't get it together. I've been swamped by anxiety. I'm having trouble sleeping. My appetite is gone (though I am still eating, making sure to put food in my mouth three times a day even if I don't taste it). I've been having panic attacks. And sometimes I just can't stop shaking.
However, I did three things to help: I had an appointment with a therapist over the phone (I used MDLive) and I had a telemedicine appointment with a doctor who prescribed me medication to help me get the anxiety back under control, as much as it can be at a time like this. The MDLive appointment was a stop gap just to talk to someone. I'm sending emails and making calls about finding a therapist who I can do regular phone appointments with (one that takes my insurance). I also downloaded the Calm app, which has been helping too.
Do you need to hear this? Maybe. I know I'm not the only one struggling right now. I've been honest with my editors too, just letting them know why I'm falling behind if I am. I thought they might judge me. Instead, every single one was understanding, and many shared their own struggles right now. One wrote me a long letter about what it was like to be in New York and report on 9/11 and the anthrax attacks. In an editor/writer relationship, it's sometimes hard to remember that they're people too, not just folks handing out assignments and then judging if your work is good enough or not.
I talked to a friend last night who said I'm having the same problem her husband is, because we've both known that this has been coming. She said we're like Cassandra, who spoke true prophecies that no one believed. I'm saying this because I feel like some of you may feel this way too. You are not alone. You're not.
Hugs (but virtually),
Jen A. Miller