I am coming undone.

Social media pulls me in two directions at once with friends and acquaintances shouting in each ear with every scroll.

“Read my latest conspiracy article from a recognized scientist,” or, “Watch this video that will expose the government.”

“Read this article from a world-famous doctor—he knows what he’s talking about,” and, “Check out these statistics.”

Two sides pulling but unwilling to budge while insulting everyone who doesn’t buy into what they are pushing.

I am coming undone.

My children need support and stress outlets more than ever before as their world is pieced back together painfully slow with dozens of gaping holes. So many rites of passage missing or mangled.

If they honestly said what they need it seems like, “Mom, I need to vent, I need you to understand me, and I need you to be my safe place for my frustrations, sadness, and anger to fall,” would explain their desires.

At the same time, my own mental state is at its most fragile ever and I’m not the secure landing place for all these emotions that I want to be.

I am coming undone.

Work has extra precautions and limitations. New policy today. Work from home tomorrow, but don’t forget to get work done in between loads of laundry and bathrooms that scream for attention when you sit at the computer.

I am coming undone.

Plans have long ago been erased from the calendar. This is canceled, illegal, or frowned upon.

I am coming undone.

My home is my only view day and night with rarely a break. The masked trips to the store hardly count anymore.

Life is mundane, yet unpredictable.

I cannot keep up with all the demands and needs and I cannot occupy my day the way I wish.

I have no time for me, yet I have nowhere to be.

I am coming undone.

The tears fall freely with no control.

I can’t go on; it’s me or the stress.

I sink into the hot bathtub with a scented candle and let my salty tears mix with the bubbles in the dark. This is supposed to help. They say it works—self-care, right?

A tiny piece of the stress melts away temporarily. I know it will resurface, but the smallest break is welcome.

Worship music cranked up loud with the words full of hope.

Another piece of worry fades a bit.

A smile when I catch the eye of a loved one. Dance party in the kitchen. Giggles slipping out.

It’s coming undone.

Snuggling on the couch in the arms of a loved one. Stories shared and chattering voices full of hope and dreams finding ways to blossom again.

It’s coming undone.

Will I be me tomorrow? Or will I spend all day in survival mode?

Will a steaming cup of coffee, joyful music, or text from a loved one save me from falling apart? Will I have enough sense of purpose to tie myself together—at least for a day?

Will I wake to find sunshine, coffee, and morning chatter a balm to my weary soul, or will a spilled drink, forgotten item, or cancellation shatter my fragile state?

Tonight the stress is the one giving way and I am letting go. Letting go of control. Letting go of keeping it hidden. Letting go of holding back the tears. Letting the idea of keeping the old me in charge go—she doesn’t know how to handle this strange new world anyway.

What if I didn’t hold it together so tightly? What if I cried all day and let it out? Will I ever be put back together or will I find something new inside that is tired of being bound by the old way of functioning?

Do I need to be strong enough to keep myself together or brave enough to let go?

I don’t have an answer so I pull myself back together to soldier on for another week.

This week I choose strength, but not like last week when it was all my own strength. This week I can draw strength from my caring husband, my loving children, but mostly from my Bible that gathered dust this week and my equally neglected prayer life.

I may not feel a huge difference in one week; it takes consistency to grow strong in anything.

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (Psalm 73:26). 

“Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His presence continually” (Psalm 105:4).

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1). 

I choose not to fall apart, but neither am I choosing my weak abilities to hold it together.

I am seeking the real thing—His strength.

PS – In times like these, it’s OK to cry.

Tanya Teichroeb

Tanya is a wife to a wonderful man and mother to three precious children in northern British Columbia. Tanya is learning to look for the good in the hardships and the beauty in sharing her experiences. In her spare time Tanya enjoys coffee, reading, gardening, and silence. You can follow her at https://www.facebook.com/TeensandCoffeeBeansbyTanyaTeichroeb/