Making This Up As We Go

A short piece I wrote for Facebook seems to have struck a chord so I thought I’d share it for a larger audience:

here’s a quick note just to say: you’ve got this.

i’ve lived through the AIDS crisis and 9/11, blackouts and hurricanes and a kidnapping and none of those things prepared me for this.

so this is just to say, to the younger people who are freaking out: no one is prepared for this. it’s not because you’re young. it’s because there is and was no plan in place.

be thankful, if you’re not, that you’re not carrying around trauma from other events. pay attention to your responses, to your body, to how you’re sleeping. give yourself room to be panicked at one moment and euphoric or calm in another. if you are post traumatic, go back to the beginnings of how you first got yourself through.

i pretty much drop any sense of humor, the hardcore introvert kicks in hard, & i tend to be up all night & sleep all day. i call it my nightwatchman response, and it’s all too familiar.

i am not the one who can lighten the mood by any means but i am here if you don’t want to freak other people out about how gloomy and despondent you are. you will not freak me out with your pessimism or fear. these are my normals.

a new normal will emerge, but these first days are a period of adjustment to change none of us wanted.

we’re all making this up as we go. your core of self reliance, your ability to appreciate beauty, your love of the small things – all of these are muscles and this will strengthen those. lean into the growth, even into the fear. you are more than you know.