Have you ever been engaged in a conversation with another person about problems that you’re experiencing, but the other person completely disregards your concerns and makes the conversation about them? I was talking to a sister friend about my decision to join a gym to focus on my mental and emotional health and at the same time addressing my physical health. I made this choice after several sessions with my therapist who helped me to understand that I have been suffering from pandemic fatigue, a term unknown to me. I thought I was experiencing simple depression, and with the threat of another virus I’ve become increasingly concerned about the quality of my life. My therapist helped me to understand that this was brought on by the pandemic. I missed working out and homeworks is not helping as much. So, I put my fear aside and joined a gym.
Anyway, out of my excitement I called a close friend of mine to meet me at my favorite coffee lounge to share my good news. However, during our conversation she completely caught me off guard by her lack of compassion and listening skills. It seemed to me that she was condemning me for the choices that I made to regain some balance in my life, and she dumped all of her issues on me. The Conversation went something like this. .
Me: Thanks for meeting me for coffee. I needed to get out of the house and just breathe.
Sister friend: I felt the same way glad you called.
Me: Since the cold weather is setting in there aren’t many places I am willing to go in doors.
Sister friend: Indoors or outdoors no place is safe.
Me: Well, that’s true, but at least here they are checking for vaccine cards and the staff wears masks. I did feel better during the summer when people could spread out. I enjoyed the outside dining.
Sister friend: Inside or outside, if the virus is going to get you it won’t matter where you were.
Me: Sipping my coffee in silence.
Sister friend: What have you been up to?
Me: Doing my best to be productive, positive and stay safe.
Sister friend: Stay safe, stay safe I am so tired of hearing people say that.
Me: What else do you expect people to say, and with the news of yet another variant of this virus people don’t even know if what they are already doing is keeping them safe.
Sister friend: Anyway, is anything new happening?
Me: Yes, I am so excited! I stopped procrastinating and joined the gym. I am done with the pandemic weight. I needed another place to connect to people. So, ready to get my workout on.
Sister friend: Girl are you crazy? You talking about staying safe and you’re going to a gym?
Me: Yes. I thought about it. I need to start rebuilding my health. I’ve been feeling off balance. I did my research, the gym is near my house, they only allow 25 percent capacity, fully vaccinated people only, they take your temp, there is a mask mandate, and it is clean.
Sister Friend: Girl, I wouldn’t dare go in a place where there is so much sweat and germs, people breathing out God knows what. And what do you mean your off balance?
Me: Before I could answer-
Sister friend: From where I sit you’re doing great. I’ve been dealing with creditors calling me, still behind on my rent, squeezing pennies to buy food, and I might not have cable next month. To make matters worse, Christmas will be here soon and I don’t have money to buy gifts, so this means I won’t be getting anything. You know how some people are if you don’t give, you don’t get. And it’s been a long time since I had a professional mani-pedi. And the only thing you’re worried about is a few extra pounds? Here is a suggestion that will save you the gym membership, stop eating. ( laughing ). Girl you know I am only kidding.
After that rant I didnt go into details about my conversation with my therapist, and how I’ve been feeling depressed more than usual, and my fears about going through the winter shut indoors alone. I wanted to ask her about all the unemployment money she received on top of the stimulus checks. I dare not go there. I left the coffee lounge feeling like the bad girl who’d been chastised for getting caught with my hands in the cookie jar.
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