The period of frustration now lies behind me. During the phase of desperation last week however it was terrible. I couldn’t eat – my stomach was pulling itself together and just the thought of food felt awful. I couldn’t sleep.
I woke up each day between 3 and 4 a.m. in the morning without a chance of being able to fall back asleep. I couldn’t calm down, I couldn’t relax. Nothing helped. I tried everything. I got on the home trainer and walked until I was exhausted. It didn’t work. I did yoga exercises for two hours and that didn’t help either. I tried it with auto-suggestion which normally works fantastically but again, nothing. I walked up the ‘Zugerberg’ (mountain in Zug), being in the forest helped but I couldn’t really relax completely.
I was frustrated because of my mother, as I couldn’t really help her. The feeling of powerlessness was overwhelming and unexpectedly overcame me with a huge force. My mom is going to be 80 years old soon and is sitting alone in her flat, hundreds of kilometres away from me and the thing that she needs the most – that I can take her in my arms and give her the reassurance that everything will be ok again – is nearly impossible. We should have seen each other during the Easter period but we both know that it will be impossible. The border is closed – no one gets in and no one gets out. The border is being watched. My mom is in fear. Fearful, that she won’t ever be able to hug me again. She cried and I stayed strong during our conversations and cried all the more after our calls.
Last Saturday I was so exhausted that I had to tell myself that it cannot continue like this!! I acknowledged my fears and frustration and admitted that I don’t know how it will continue. I cleaned the whole flat, as if my life was dependent on it – and afterwards I sent the money for the completed work to my cleaning lady who surely can use it. Many of her clients quit the contracts with her out of fear of getting infected by her. After that I lay into my little sauna that we have at home and for the first time I could relax. I slept for eight hours and on Sunday I was a different person.
We managed to solve all daily problems with my mom despite the distance – getting hold of face masks, arranging for supplies of fresh fruit and vegetables, organising the necessary medication. My mom is feeling better and has regained her confidence. We can make jokes together again and life goes on.
We are both confident, that we will see each other in the summer and are working towards that point in time. With my youngest we started to turn the kitchen table daily into a table tennis table and we have exciting daily matches surrounding the little ball.
There is a lot of laughter, many jokes are being made and we are getting better with each day. My youngest has gotten a lot more independent and is doing all the things that I told him countless times before but up to this point he has ignored them. He takes out the bin, empty bottles and waste paper without any complaints, he cleans the shower after showering so we don’t have as much cleaning work at the end of the week. Every negative also has a positive.
Life goes on and we are starting to arrange ourselves and to live a new ‘normal’. I am aware that I am privileged and that many on the planet have it a lot worse than me in my current home office. I feel the gratitude for having found a solution with my mother to master this difficult time and the distance. I wish for everyone to find their way in this difficult situation. Stay at home, take care of yourself and of your loved ones and help wherever you can.