Life being married to a nurse during COVID19
I suddenly lost myself…the news hit of covid-19 here in the U.S. back in early March and I came to grasp with the reality of what my life would soon be unraveled into. If you’ve been around, you know I have had deep struggles with anxiety in my past. I have been an open book on it and try to be transparent with my personal struggles because it’s not only therapeutic for me to write – but also because I know it might help another person in my same shoes out there feeling lost, alone, and depleted.
Although I am all too familiar with anxiety, it doesn’t make it something that is any more or less easy to deal with. Especially when you are riding an insane high and haven’t had an episode with it in a long while. I thought my head was on my shoulders tight and narrow, and that I would use my self help mechanisms to sail through this time. Well, I guess I thought wrong. One thing about anxiety is, it is always there waiting in the back corner ready to unleash its powerful grip around you at the next perfect chance it gets.
I quickly found myself an unraveling mess. Not only is my husband a nurse, he’s an ICU nurse. The nurse that would be needed during this critical time. The nurse that would be handling these sick covid patients, and the nurse who would be putting his life at risk each and every time he has a shift. My husband is close to 40 and has thankfully never had any super serious health ailments. A few run in’s with the flu, pneumonia, colds, etc. but all self managing with a typical recovery.
However, that didn’t make me feel any less fearful after learning more about this covid virus and what it can do. I immediately went to fear and panicking. Imagining my life and our family without him by our side. How I would survive with four kids since being a SAHM for the past 9 years. Yes, we have life insurance in place, his retirement, and others – but with the economy falling to pieces, would I even see any of that? The feeling isn’t pleasant to sit with.
We quickly put a plan into place and it has been much harder than I could have ever anticipated. Mid March, in fact the week of my birthday – I moved out of our bedroom. I then moved my three boys across the hall out of their bedroom. Our new life and bed would become our living room couch. My husband quarantines himself in our room after each shift, being careful to hopefully not contaminate us or other parts of our house.
At first this didn’t bother me too much. It was only as the weeks grew longer, the days never ending – that I found myself struggling more and more with it. The kids quickly grew unruly and hard to handle, and I was left with doing everything. School work, cooking, cleaning, parenting, life, you name it… and there was no relief for me. No one to pass the baton to, no one to give me a break, no one to talk to, no one to hold me and comfort me. Nowhere to go – it is just me… all alone. Alone with my thoughts, my pain, my uncertainty, my fear, and my heartache. A concoction for a disastrous recipe brewing up in the horizon.
As soon as he leaves to work I feel unbearable heartache and pain anticipating the worst. When he is home I feel release and peace, but agony because we cannot be together. Living in a household separated is not as easy as it might look to an outsider not living in this way. It’s a broken sense of normality, in which we all have felt through this, but mine is in the form of my family. My kids are torn inside out not being able to interact with their Daddy. I feeling the loss of the love of my life, while yet he is still earth side. It’s an ugly and unfair feeling to have to go through.
To top it off and make the hurt and pain even worse, you throw social media into it all. Reading comments and posts of others who think this is all a hoax. Stirring the pot and saying that they deserve their “rights and freedom” back. That they should be able to live as they please and that they’re “un-afraid.” Well, my friends – as an opinionated person myself, this only grew more fuel to the deep fire that was already lit and burning within.
What comes of negligence, is selfishness, unrighteous and pompous thinking. Kindness, compassion, and understanding are not within reason. In return I am then left feeling beaten, broken and shattered. No one cares how much I am suffering inside, or my husband and kids. No one cares to see what this might do to us because of their actions, as it doesn’t “effect” them. No one cares to understand another human beings struggles, because they are not faced with it. This is where the broken cycle of history repeats itself over and over again.
We have made it exactly 2 months to the date – almost 9 weeks in total, that we have lived through this nightmarish journey. Just like you, we wonder when this will be behind us? When it will be “safe” again? and when we can finally come together and be a family again? For us, our life moving forward will take much more time to come together, as we will have to succumb to the footsteps of others, while relying our fate on those who’ve proven so unkind and unruly. A terrifying knot-turning explosion, is what sits and churns in unending circles, constantly flopping within me.
One day I hope to look back on this period of time and know that we survived it. However, one thing I know I will always be disappointed in, is how divided we became over this and just how truly un-supportive we were to another persons hurting heart and face. While we all may not walk the same walk of life, or be able to fit inside someone else’s shoes – we can most certainly choose… Choose to be empathetic, understanding, kind, and compassionate. We can/could make a world of difference, if some just allowed themselves to tear down the walls they have built against it. There is so much more to this life we all live, and it truly saddens me that we can’t put our heads together in unity.
If there is one thing I see more than others in this world as a wife to a nurse, it is that nurses are compassionate, caring, loving, and selfless. They don’t know their patients, and yet they are there willing to save their lives, bring life into the world, or hold a hand on the way out. How come others can’t seem to do that, when our biggest unsung heroes can? If we all could just be thoughtful, be kind, be loving, and make peace when things aren’t right or normal in the world, what a truly miraculous gift that would be. We will get through this, I will get through this, but not without support, strength, and understanding.
Be mindful of your words and choices, especially during such a trying time of uncertainty. We all are hurting with some sort of pain inside – it’s just how we choose to exasperate that pain out into the world or not, that will make all the difference in the world.
- If you are finding yourself struggling during this time please reach out to someone! Finding at least one person you can confide in really does help in fighting against anxiety and depression. You are NEVER alone – please always remember that. I am and will always be a source of reaching out for others, if they wish. We are suppose to be here for our sisters and brothers, and I will do my best to always be that light of hope, that listening ear, and that small spark of inspiration for others to keep going.