By now the walls in my apartment and I are in a relationship. Admittedly, it’s a little toxic and emotionally draining. We just look at each other without speaking. It’s been weeks now and nope…not one word. I remember the days when I could not wait to rush home to gaze upon my walls (sigh.) Don’t judge, it’s complicated. The ironic thing is I am not mad at these mothers of pearl or more of eggshell colored walls of mine. Are you ever really fighting about a surface issue in any relationship? Usually there is something below the surface; a massive iceberg. For myself and a lot of us who live alone and have a “love, hate” relationship with our walls… it’s COVID 19.
What is worst is that I am an extrovert. I thrive from human interaction. Yes, I’m an essential worker and I have co-workers that I communicate with. However, even that has been tainted with the governmental demand for us to wear mask in public, not to mention the social distancing. How personable is that? Not much. Come to think of it, the relationships with my co-workers are surface level at best on any given day, pre or post Corona Virus. (TBH) I do not love these people. Relax, I understand that loving your coworkers is subjective based on investment, personalities and the actual job you do together. All and all, I would not want any of them to get hit by a bus and surely not contract COVID 19. They are just not my biological family and do not provide the relief that I need from human interaction. I digress.
So, what am I to do? I have literally been banded from any social involvement. What little of it I could gain from my co-workers is not satisfactory and I dreaded returning home to those angry walls of mine. Ugh! I felt like I was sinking back into depression. I could not hug or kiss my loved ones or see them in person. My Wi-Fi connection and Zoom seemed to be on Satan’s side. I could not celebrate my older sister or niece’s birthdays. I was not present when my nephew discovered his sense of humor and told his first knee slapping joke to my brother. I could not run to my girlfriend’s side after her father took his last breath. I could not embrace her. I felt helpless. I could not embrace her (it was worth repeating.) I could not breathe deeply in public without building anxiety… despite my faith and war cries for mercy, to God. I could not. Everything seemed distant and unstable. Was I letting fear win? Is this depression’s reprise? The responsibility to stay sane and unwavering seemed unfair. Then, out of nowhere, my help came. My dad called.
“I started a text message to you about 15 times. I was trying to get my words right. Then, I was like …no…I’m going to just call my son.”
He went on to express how proud he was of me. He praised me for some recent accomplishments and told me that he loved me. He went on to have a candid and vulnerable conversation with me. I heard him. He heard me. Wow! Have you ever been hungry but you are not sure of what you desire… you feast on the greatest meal and then you are like… “Yup, that is what I needed?” That is how I felt after my father called to check on me. He validated every feeling I was experiencing. Shortly after, I was overwhelmed with gratitude.
I was grateful for the release I was provided simply from one phone call. No, it was not a hug or handshake but it was Gods best in that moment. I was grateful. The walls at my house were no longer intimating. I was grateful for them and they no longer appeared to be closing in on me. I was grateful for the assurance that I am not alone.
In summary, we are all going crazy during this quarantine. If you do not agree, remember I started this blog detailing my relationship with my apartment walls and you continued to read. Hey, no judgment here. Have you seen the current TiKToks going around? The point is, checking on your loved ones can work wonders and bring them back to a place of peace and hope. No, the world does not revolve around any one person and no one is responsible for the countenance or sanity of the next. We are all just trying to survive this thing, right? Yet, just as my dad’s actions suggest, a phone call instead of a text message.... surely goes a long way.
Stay home, stay safe!