I know they are meant to be encouraging words, but they sound anything but encouraging when they’re uttered. Growing up in my family, I’ve heard the phrase, “Well, if this is the worst thing that ever happens to you…,” many times. It is usually followed by a groan and “that look” from me to the person who uttered the phrase. I could understand if it was referring to something like a traffic jam or ruining a great pair of shoes, which still doesn’t help the situation. Unfortunately, I’ve had this phrase uttered to me while going through infertility treatments and divorce. At the time, that was the worst thing that had happened to me and was absolutely devastating to go through, let alone hearing that fucking phrase thrown back at me when all I wanted was some support. Don’t get me wrong, my family is amazing, but the person who utters this has no idea how harsh this can be.
To say the world is in a state of uncertainty is an understatement. Things change daily, many times for the worse. My company has been put through the ringer, and the future of my employment is anyone’s guess. Feelings like being stressed and scared are a daily occurrence. I feel as if nothing about my future is in my control. All of this has made me think of this asinine phrase. What I would love nothing more is for there to be proof that time isn’t linear so I could look ahead and see if this the worst or one of the worst things that ever happens to me.
Sure, I’m safe and healthy right now, as is my family, but I don’t know for how long. What will the new normal be? Hell, what IS normal anymore? Will I be laid off and have to find another job? I know for certain that that would prove to be a substantial challenge right now. My future is a huge question mark, even more so than ever before because the current situation is affecting not just me, not just my family, but the world. Yeah, stressed and scared are exactly what I’m feeling as I write this.
I see and feel more division just in our country alone. Because of this, I’ve basically not only logged off of social media, but I even deleted the apps from my phone. My friends will text me to tell me about something I need to see, but just the thought of logging on is more that I can handle right now. Just the simple act of deleting the apps helped. I was becoming very angry. I was seeing things as black and white and there was zero gray. People are playing both offense with their posts and defense when replying to someone else’s. Given all sports, for the most part, have been called off, this was not the type of competitiveness I wanted to see in society.
Even I was guilty of that. Seeing how our government is responding to everything, from all sides, is infuriating. The Friday before I logged off social media for good, I lashed out due to something that was in the news that I felt was not only irresponsible but dangerous as well. As you could imagine, my friends of mine didn’t feel the same way, and thus friendships were terminated. My anger was growing day by day, minute by minute. I was seething as I read and saw what others posted. My blood boiled and I literally felt my blood pressure rise with each swipe of the screen. I got to a point that I was no longer withholding responses on other’s posts. The negative was by far outweighing the positive.
One of the last things I saw before logging off, and which brought me to tears and still does, was hearing of the death of my friend’s only child, a senior in high school. It gave no explanation as to how he died, but I immediately flashed back to when she was pregnant with her sweet boy. I remembered holding him in my arms as a baby. I recalled the time he spit up on my shirt and my friend, who was a new mom, freaking out upon seeing it. My response to her was that he wasn’t the first child to spit up on me and he surely wouldn’t be the last. It was fine…in fact, I was almost honored. Now he’s gone. My sweet friend and her husband are left with a huge hole in their lives. There were just no words. There still are none.
When I realized that social media brought me very little joy anymore, mostly because I was focusing on the negative, I closed the door. THAT I COULD control. I will admit that I feel much more peace on a daily basis for having stepped away, but I do miss my friends and seeing how they are all doing. Many had very creative ways of dealing with the current state of the world.
Now I just think back to that damn phrase and wonder, if this isn’t the worst (or one of the worst) things to ever happen to you, then what is? I mean this is a fucking pandemic after all. I swear, if I hear that fucking phrase uttered you might see a mushroom cloud from where I’m standing at the time.