Things We Lost In The Pandemic

In a couple of weeks, I will mourn the anniversary of when my life changed in ways I had never imagined. Not marriage, not childbirth, not success. When the worldly events became a pandemic and swiftly began its attack on my life. I may not have contracted covid-19 because of all the precautions I have taken, but a different kind of virus settled in and began to grow in my mind. I know I have spoken about the opposite of homesick before, but this is so much worse than simply wanting to escape the physical confinement.

So many losses have happened over the last year, but the biggest loss I feel has taken place over the last year is of my friends. This loss feels so much bigger than the demolished self-worth I associate with the success of my small business (it has been forcefully shut down for more than half of it), even bigger than the loss of joy I once felt in my marriage. Don’t get me wrong, I love my husband, but it has been an extremely unfair burden to expect each other to fill the growing void of friendship that NEEDS to come from outside the marriage. Otherwise, you greatly risk the once happy marriage slowly creeps towards feeling like roommates—I don’t know about you but I have always left my roommates after a year or two because we low-key ended up hating each other—and the sweet things you once loved get overpowered by the annoying things you can only try to hard to overlook and it becomes even more difficult to appreciate the good. We are still making it work, but even the best of relationships can only handle so much of this crap.

My bestie and I getting our nails done pre-pandemic. I miss being able to go out together without worry.

The constant longing for my friendships, my business community, my chosen family, has really taken its toll. A few weeks was fine, a few months was doable, but an entire year where half of it the weather has made outdoor distanced hangouts impossible has eaten away at my soul and I feel like a shell of whom I once was. I need my friends. I need someone who is not my husband or my toddler. I need it, like really really need it. But for the safety of everyone, I give up a basic need for my mental health. While some asshats continue to throw parties and go to work knowingly infected “because they need the money” and put everyone at risk! (But that is an entire post in itself that I won’t get into).

I miss being able to leave the house at the drop of a hat because I felt like it. I miss being able to pack up kiddo and head outside to prevent a tantrum and enjoy the sunshine. I miss being able to drop kiddo off with a friend or family member for a few hours while I did whatever I wanted. I miss being able to visit my family and letting my toddler interact with them other than video chat. I miss being able to enjoy drinks with the girls and not have to worry about anything. I miss being able to go out to mingle with my business networking groups and talk shop guilt-free. I miss my life. I feel like part of me died this past year. I no longer have that fire in my heart or spunk in my personality, and that I am living just to say I am alive—I certainly don’t feel it.

Here’s hoping that with the upcoming reopening of my business and the remote chance of an early spring, that that spark rekindles.

stephanie de montigny SdeM handrawn initials ottawa blogger