Can we all just admit that life is kicking our whole tails right now?

Maybe you’re working from home, homeschooling, virtual schooling, in grad school, balancing budgets and big feelings, breaking up fights, and cutting up chicken nuggets while being all things to all people.

So, by the time the kids are in bed, you’ve eaten the last spoon of mac n’ cheese left on the stove, and you’re staring at the mountain of dishes in the sink, you choose to check out of your responsibilities and binge-watch your favorite show because We. Are. Tired.

But what happens when it’s over?  

When the show ends?

When the credits roll?

You’ve invested hours (or days, because we are dedicated, darn it!) of our lives and when the end credits roll and the theme song is over we are left feeling empty and confused.

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What do I do now that David and Alexis aren’t making snappy jokes about their parents?

Now that Daphne and the Duke have their baby?

Now that Monica and Chandler are moving to the suburbs!?

Don’t they even care that I’m still here in my sweatpants left with nothing but the last two cookies and my feelings?

As we approach the one year mark of some level of quarantine, we’ve been actively separated from the people we love most—from the life-giving, belly laughing, ugly crying connections we crave for over THREE. HUNDRED. DAYS, folks. 

Without relationships to feed our souls, hold us up, carry our cobwebby parts, and make us smile while eating chips and queso and sharing life’s stories, we are sitting in a void. We have this empty space that many are filling with virtual connection through seasons of Netflix and families on Hulu that make us feel less alone.

When the last episode of the final season is over, we find ourselves dusting the crumbs from our robes and wanting more, feeling like we’re wandering around lost.

Last night, when I finished the last episode of a show I’d been watching for weeks, I seriously wondered what was wrong with me.

It was 1:30 a.m. and I went from watching Netflix to scrolling social media for funny show-related memes because I wanted more. I mean, is there a support group for when your favorite show ends!?

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Friends, we are all overworking our emotional brake pedals right now because life’s demands haven’t stopped but our circles of support have been severed.

Our minds are constantly jumping from dinner to directions for our kid’s homework, household chores to how in the world will my kid graduate if virtual classes last forever. And we are doing all of this with less personal connection than ever before.

So maybe I DO love David Rose more than I should and maybe I SOMETIMES assume I’ll see Twila at the neighborhood cafe when I’m picking up takeout for the fourth time this week, but it may just be because I miss real life.

I miss laughing with friends on girl’s night.

I miss the camaraderie with other moms on the sidelines at sporting events while we cheer on our kids and throw orange slices at them after the game.

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I even miss the dreaded parent night where I talked to my kid’s teacher while looking at her actual face and being handed a pile of papers and artwork that I’d inevitably have to figure out how to trash without my kid catching me.

We might miss laughing at our TV favorites when a new series ends, friends, but what we REALLY miss are personal connections.

We all need that because it’s there where the scripted series ends and real-life relationships carry us through the lowest of life and cheer for us during the greatest parts.

So, even if you can’t hug or have a night out yet, call your people. Send a text or a card and check in on each other.

After all, they may have just watched the last episode and be wandering around their kitchen not knowing what to do now.

Brynn Burger

Mental health advocate, extreme parent, lover of all things outdoors, and sometimes a shell of my former self. Parenting a child with multiple behavior disabilities has become both my prison and my passion. I write so I can breathe. I believe that God called me to share, with violent vulnerability and fluent sarcasm, our testimony to throw a lifeline to other mamas who feel desperate to know they aren't alone. I laugh with my mouth wide open, drink more cream than coffee, and know in my spirit that queso is from the Lord himself. Welcome!