In the midst of something I never thought I’d experience – something I never thought to even think about whether or not I’d experience – I mostly just sit and I think. It’s been almost a year of isolation now and if you can name it, I’ve thought about it. In fact, I haven’t just thought about it, I’ve contemplated it. I’ve stirred it around, kicked it, hugged it, worried about it, cried about it, held onto it for dear life and laid with it hovering over me and dwelling inside. You name it, I’ve contemplated it. Big things, little things.

Odds are I’ve contemplated it with the kind of hallow deepness you experience after a major loss, uncertainty laced with worry and wonder and heartache and longing and guilt.

Even the happy moments are heavy. And the possibilities of what could be seem futile. I wonder what the point of all of this is. I wonder about my purpose. I wonder if there is purpose. I wonder what happiness is. I wonder if I’m happy. I wonder if the kids will remember this; I hope they don’t but know they will. I wonder how the world can seem so unbearable when I’ve hardly left my house in almost a year. I wonder if I’ll ever find crowds enjoyable – let alone bearable – again. I wonder if things will ever feel normal again. I wonder if one day I won’t feel the burning in my chest; that I won’t feel like I’m on the verge of crying at any moment. I wonder how long I’ll think about things like this. I wonder if anyone else feels it.

The weight.

The weight of the guilt that eats away at your clarity every time you have to ask your child to hold on, to be quiet, to shush or to wait just one more second that will inevitably turn into thirty more minutes because the work doesn’t stop. The weight of knowing that they know that it’s never just one more second or one more minute. The weight of the worry that your children are interpreting this as though they’re not the most important thing when they’re the only thing. The weight of the anger that gets a little heavier every time you’re expected to ignore the circumstances because it makes others more comfortable. The weight of your heart every time your child politely asks, “Mom, are you done working yet?” after the sun has set and you’re long from done and you don’t even know what the point of it all is. The weight of all the thinking and contemplating. The weight of the internal conversation you’re having with yourself while you sit on a Zoom call with strangers noting all the things they need from you. The weight of everything everyone needs from you. The weight of pretending everything is fine because you know they know nothing is fine but if they don’t hold tight to those expectations, we have to talk about it and nobody is in the headspace to talk about it.

The weight of not knowing what to say when someone does want to talk about it.

The weight of trying to identify what it is.

What is it?

***

I tell Seth I’m writing something and I’m not even sure why or what. He says, “good.” I say, “I’m thinking about titling it, Depression.” He says, “You need to go to a therapist.”

I wonder if anyone doesn’t need a therapist at this point. I wonder, for the third time this week, if Instagram is a decent place to ask for therapist recommendations. And again, for the trillionth time, I wonder what preferring a female therapist says about me. I start to self-diagnose.

***

In the midst of something I never thought I’d experience – something I never thought to even think about whether or not I’d experience – I mostly just sit and think. It’s been almost a year of isolation now and if you can name it, I’ve thought about it.