I’ve been thinking about the feelings that so many of us are experiencing during the COVID-19 “lockdown”.
We just want life to go back to normal – for things to go back to how they were.
In her article “Why Am I So Tired?”, therapist Jenn Geryol explains some of the brain science behind these feelings, recognizing them as a normal response to trauma and grief. She suggests that as we deal with the changes COVID-19 has brought, we are experiencing grief…
“We are collectively grieving the loss of what used to be
and what should have been.
… We’re all missing and longing for a different time,
just as we would mourn for a loved one who had passed.”
And we all entered this time of change due to COVID-19 with different situations. For some, this season is simply an inconvenience. For others, it has taken place while we were already struggling with things like relationship issues, the loss of a loved one, health problems or employment challenges. And now we face layer upon layer of difficulty, grief, fear, confusion and frustration.
And it occurs to me that these feelings related to COVID-19 are the same feelings that we hear about all the time at Envisage, from women facing unplanned pregnancy.
“I’m so afraid”
“I feel so alone”
“I just wish this would go away”
With the extra line reading “positive” on a pregnancy test, a woman’s world has suddenly changed. And a woman often feels so incredibly alone as she faces a choice about whether to live in this new reality … or not.
Continuing a pregnancy may impact her relationships, delay the attainment of goals or change her financial situation.
Life may have been going well – and pregnancy will change everything.
Or she may have already been struggling. She might be in an abusive relationship, be overwhelmed with debt, struggle with health issues, be caring for children with special needs, be wrestling with addiction to cope with a life-time of trauma or carrying any other multitude of burdens. And pregnancy feels like the proverbial straw that will break the camels back.
Either way, there is often a longing to just go back to the way things were. A woman facing unplanned pregnancy may struggle with grief-feelings over what feels like the loss of her goals and dreams, potential loss of relationships, loss of freedom, status or the loss of her ability to cope with all that is already overwhelming.
And on top of the grief-feelings, there are often feelings of shame and guilt … and a fear of the judgement of so many others.
So how does one cope?
Back to Geryol’s article, she talks about the importance of facing our grief feelings amidst COVID, with grace – for ourselves and others.
At Envisage, for women (and men) facing unplanned pregnancy, our desire is to be a place of grace. Giving kind space to people to talk about their situation and acknowledge their feelings.
And we also aim to be a place of hope.
We offer judgement-free emotional support and practical help. And sometimes that can make all the difference.
Check out our Client Stories on this blog to hear just a few of the many situations in which Envisage’s support has helped.
If you are facing a difficult pregnancy situation right now, you are not alone.
Please reach out. We are here for you.
You don’t have to face this alone.
Author: Kathy Pedersen, Executive Director