“Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage.”

Brenee Brown

I try to be that ray of sunshine in someone else’s day, but, I have to say that right now I am feeling completely overwhelmed! We are all sitting in a state of heightened fight or flight, our parasympathetic nervous systems on overdrive as we all wait in the unknown and hoping for the best. I am and forever will be the optimist and will hold others up even as I’m limping along myself.

I’ve been through all sorts of hard times throughout my life and I am very familiar with this feeling in the pit of my stomach. A pit that for whatever reason has me wondering “how can I dull this suffering inside?” to which my addiction brain goes “let’s get pissed drunk!”

I know it’s not the answer, but it sure would be nice to take a break from reality, even briefly. I recently read somewhere that addiction should not be called ‘addiction’—it should be called ‘ritualized compulsive comfort-seeking. And I couldn’t agree more.

I wish I could check out for just like 5 minutes, so that I could at least numb out some of these ridiculously high levels of anxiety and stress and maybe feel nothing instead of the intensified overweight sensation of my limbs and on my heart.

While a lot of people are taking it easy and finally getting around to that good book or spending quality time with their kids, I’m sitting here on the computer day in and day out doing damage control, attempting to satiate concerned minds, doing research and trying to stay on top of what feels like a black hole looming just behind my back.

I feel confident in the absolute need to stand in solidarity with my fellow human beings and close the doors to my studio for the greater good, which I can only hope is only a two-week interruption of flow, although that doesn’t look like the reality of the situation. I am doing all I can to keep our community together through creating a Digital Village on Facebook and posting live and pre-recorded classes on YouTube to hopefully motivate people to stay the course of their fitness goals.

With all this comes the unease at the uncertain fate of my small business, the stress of the undetermined ability to pay rent not only for the roof over my head but the studio’s as well. The apprehension for my husband, who’s job also vanished for the foreseeable future as the film industry takes a prolonged hiatus to wait this out. With both of us being self-employed we don’t qualify for the current EI policies and impatiently wait our turn to apply “some time” in April. A lot of mysterious anticipation in the unknown causing heightened pangs of chest pain coupled with my heavy limbs. 

I’m doing my best and hopeful I maintain the community I’ve worked so hard to build. Under this immense pressure of endless daily damage control that I must do for my budding little business, I’m left thinking “I feel thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread”. I was already at a breaking point of exhaustion and overextension of my limits right before all this happened. The straw that broke proverbial camels back, so to speak, yet somehow, I’m still standing here, a little exposed and a lot raw, having no idea what to do next. Trying to maintain my overly optimistic outlook whilst being dragged down my demons of depression.

It is so easy for me to be the pillar and give words of encouragement for everyone else and quite another for me to perform it myself when I’m feeling this way. I know what I should do, I have the tools, but sometimes that utility bag feels just outside of my desperately searching fingers’ reach. I’ve always felt it’s easier to care for others than it is to care for myself, and I know a lot of you out there feel the same way. So, I’m hoping that in this tumultuous time we are all able to find some solace and take 5 minutes for ourselves. That’s what writing this out has done for me… now back to work!

See you on the other side.

~Namaste Jenine