- Autumn Quiles, LCSW
This is a short film made by a brilliant teen in Canada, Liv McNeil. She has called it Numb. I was called to watch it by a Huffington Post headline that said she captured what a "pandemic loop" feels like.
A pandemic loop.
We all know these. Regardless of our life circumstances, we have all found ourselves in loops. Wake up. Eat. Do our "job" (whatever that means). Exercise (hopefully). See the sun (hopefully). Eat again. Go to bed. We have the same arguments. The kids pick the same fights. We cry at the same movies. Days start to look like the movie Groundhog Day- endless loops of the same life. Pandemic loops.
Sometimes, these loops give us a sense of false security. Predictability brings comfort. Sometimes the loops give us a nagging feeling of sadness or nostalgia. Sometimes, the loop is colored with anxiety. Tomorrow, we will loop again, and the predictability gives us the grace of starting over, starting again, when we wake. The numbness in Liv's video tells the story that is playing, re-playing, playing, re-playing in all of our homes.
But, here is the good news (there is always good news, if you look for it): this numbness is necessary for us to find Meaning. Purpose. Value. Passion. Life. This numbness can be the moment right before our lives explode out of black-and-white, into technicolor. This numbness can be the epitome of our stagnation, before we begin to blossom... into the juicy parts of our existence.
I consider myself to be an existential therapist. This means that I see worry, sadness and disconnection as natural human conditions that are necessary for us to grow as human beings. These difficult feelings are necessary for us to find meaning in our lives. To grow as people. To fulfill our life purpose. When I see numbness in a person, I also see a skyward trajectory of growth, waiting for them in the future. As a therapist, I nudge them closer to that.
If you are in a pandemic loop- if you are numb- you are not alone. If you see that your children are in a loop- are numb- they are not alone. In fact, (and this is the exciting part) you may be closer than you have ever been to knowing Who You Are, and Who You Want To Be in this life.
Soon, it will be easier to see the Important Things In Life. It will be easier to say Yes to the things you want and No to the things you don't want. You will Remember the things and people that you truly Love, and you will carve out space for those things in your life. You will Re-Define yourself and be very clear about what you Want To Do with your time. You will be closer to Meaning. To Purpose. To Passion. To Life.
And... if you are on the precipice, and could use a little nudge, give me a call. :)